Balatonfüred to Budapest

Wednesday the 3rd of May, I awoke to an overcast morning with the threat of more rain. The air smelled fresh as it does in a clean place with the air recently rinsed. I had planned to take the 13:59 train to Budapest, so I rose late and fixed myself a leisurely breakfast. I rode to the station (only 600 m away) with almost an hour to spare, just to be sure that I had not read any signs wrong. The station had walk-on access to the platform from the street. Continue reading

Lake Balaton: Keszthely to Balatonfüred

Monday was May Day, also Labor Day and a major holiday in much of the world – especially the former Warsaw Pact countries. I knew that everything would be closed, so I had bought some yoghurt and brioches at the 05-22 market last night for breakfast. My neighbors (two Germans, one Austrian, one Swiss) all drove off to find breakfast, I know not where. Continue reading

Into Eastern Europe: Kazlje to Keszthely

As I passed from Italy into Slovenia on Wednesday, the 26th of April, the rain began to fall lightly. The border was only 12 km from the town of Kazlje, where I would be staying with Couchsurfing hosts Marco and Arletta. Sežana disappeared suddenly. I found myself on a well-paved highway rolling gently through a thick wood. Continue reading

The Lake District: Valbrona to Franciacorta

Holy Saturday brought clouds and afternoon thundershowers. Marieke’s sons, Emauele and Olmo, went out during the day, but basically, we all worked indoors. I read and wrote; my hostess did chores and read. It felt good to rest, and to turn in early. Continue reading

The Adda River: Piacenza to Valbrona

On Tuesday morning, I set out for Pavia, but when I crossed the Po leaving Piacenza, I changed my mind and decided to head for the Adda River and get on with my trip. The knee still hurt, but I studied my leg movement, and determined that the fit on my new pedals was wrong. I stopped just over the river, and adjusted the cleat so that my right foot could point outward more naturally. That seemed to make a big difference, so that I was able to ride back along the left bank of the Po (opposite the side I rode from Cremona) to the confluence of the Adda River. Continue reading

The Po River: Cremona and Piacenza

Palm Sunday morning, the sun bathed my shoulders as I walked to the high spots of downtown Cremona. The town was smaller than I expected from the night before; before long, I was several blocks past the Violin Museum run by the Stradivari Foundation, and doubling back. The air felt fresh, and traffic was almost non-existent. Continue reading

Updating the great experiment (2013-2020)

Leaving Georgetown, TexasSEVEN YEARS AGO, I set out on my bicycle to see if I could support myself exclusively from my work (translation) while living on the road. For the last quarter of 2013, I rode the Southern Swing 2013, which you can read about by choosing that category in this blog. A lot has changed since then, and today I want to discuss those changes. Continue reading

Important lessons (re)learned (2020)

When this blog was six weeks old, I summarized what I had learned from the three rides to date. Seven years and many thousands of kilometers later, those lessons have stood the test of time, but I have learned a couple of new ones. I had not met Cheryl back then, and my mentor has taught me much more than I could have learned alone.  Continue reading

Update: lessons learned from the GNI 2012.

Starting this week, I will begin a series of updates to the posts about working on the road. It is, after all, the reason that I started this blog, and much has changed in eight years. Enjoy! Continue reading

Maintaining your languages

Answering my challenge, Ask Me Anything, my friend Gio from Miami wrote:

“How do manage to keep your languages active and up to date while on the road?” Continue reading