I returned from three months travelling in the Middle East in December 2010, and after a few weeks back at work I had this feeling that it wasn’t where I was meant to be. I don’t know where I should be – it just wasn’t sitting in an office back home in Melbourne. It didn’t take much for me to realise that this would be a good point in my life to leave the ‘real world’ behind and just take off overseas without much of a plan. While I’m young, while I don’t have a career or any real commitments, while there’s nothing tying me down in Australia, I figure that there’s a whole world out there and no reason not to explore at least part of it.

So, in May 2011 I jetted off to Egypt, planning to head to Morocco after Egypt and Estonia after Morocco. All plans end in Estonia; once I hit European soil I have only a vague idea where I want to go and absolutely nothing organised. The idea at the moment is to spend five or six months in Eastern Europe, then head through Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia through to Iran…maybe make it to India and South East Asia…I’m making it up as I go along. I’m planning to wing it around the world until my money runs out – or at least until I’m down to my credit card and it’s time for a flight home. The idea is that I should be able to travel for twelve months or so, provided that I can stick to a reasonable budget, but if I’ve still got cash, I won’t be coming home! A year of solo travel is just what I need right now.


58 responses to “About

  1. Hey Cat, My cat and I enjoyed your blog on Uzupis Republic very, very much. We want to become honorary citizens of Uzupis. What is the quickest way to do that apart from going to Vilnius?

  2. I’ve enjoyed your pithy comments and encapsulations for all of the places visited. And your respectful use of the theologically neutral CE/BCE dating system throughout is much appreciated!

  3. Nothing wrong with winging it as you go…and if all else fails all you Nothing wrong with just “winging” it and if all else fails all you need do is remain out of control and see what develops 😉

    Good luck out there…!

  4. Dear Curious Cat on the Run,
    My name is Lidia Medina and I am with the World Spa & Travel magazine’s marketing team. World Spa & Travel is a luxury travel magazine devoted to bringing our readers & new refreshing content while building a community of like-minded individuals. Our company launched a blog this week! I came across your blog and loved it! I was wondering if you were interested in writing some blog posts depending on your availability. Our website is http://www.theworldspa.com and the blog is under “Travel Network”. Feel free to message me any questions! All the best, Lidia

    • Hi Lidia,

      Thanks for your message. I’d definitely be interested in writing some blog posts for your blog if you let me know what kind of content you at looking for. I’m going to be uncontactable for the next ten days as I’m about to leave for a ten day tour of Central Mongolia, but if you can email me at curiouscatontherun@gmail.com I’ll get back to you upon my return! Kind regards, Cat

  5. Just ‘happened’ across your blog. Look forward to following your travels. Pick me up and put me in your pack- I am coming for the ride.

    • I stayed at a few great places in Morocco. In Marrakesh, Auberge Riad Douzi had a beautiful atmosphere and staff. In Essaouira, Hostel Essaouira was great fun. In Fez I stayed at the Funky Fes hostel, which was amazing. It was quite new, although hard to find at first. Anything in a medina is hard to find though.

      I wouldn’t recommend the place I stayed in chefchaouen, which I think was pension Souika – mainly because of the large knife fights that took place in the lobby two days running, leaving people stuck in there until it finished!

      I can’t remember where I stayed in Tangier. It wasn’t anything special, I just wandered the medina looking for the cheapest place I could find.

      If you like pre-booking and prefer a hostel atmosphere (dorms or private rooms), check out hostelbookers.com or hostelworld.com. I prefer hostelbookers as they are usually cheaper and don’t charge a booking fee!

  6. Hi Cat,
    about to embark on some morocco action.
    our plan is to get from Chefchaouen to Tangier, then the ferry to Spain (algeciras) all in the same day.
    can you please help a fellow aussie with this step (we have ferry times but not sure if we will make them due to Chef->Tang times)?

    thanks in advance

    • Hi Jimmy,

      It’s fairly easy to take a bus from Chefchaouen to Tangier – and it’s worth walking to the bus station in Chefchaouen to buy the bus ticket, as it’s much cheaper that way. Just make sure that you also buy a ticket for your bag, as they won’t tell you that you need one but won’t let your bag on the bus without one!

      The bus station in Tangier is nowhere near anything useful, and if you’ve got the Lonely Planet don’t believe the map! The bus station has either changed locations since it was printed or they just got it wrong.

      I can’t help you much with ferries. I’d suggest arriving in Tangier the day before you’re taking the ferry as Moroccan time bears little resemblance to Australian time! Buses are late, traffic is crazy – and be warned, you need to bargain hard for a taxi, especially in Tangier. I think there’s only one CTM bus [the more comfy/reliable buses] per day in the afternoon, although there are a couple of more local buses in the morning, I think around 9am and 10.30am. It takes 3-4 hours to Tangier, so make a judgement based on the ferry times. If the early buses are available, and there are later ferries, it’s definitely possible to do in a day. Keep in mind that there are two ferry ports in Tangier, so you’ll need to ensure you know which one to go to. I’d recommend checking the bus times at the bus station when you first arrive in Chefchaouen rather than leaving it to the last minute – that way you won’t be disappointed!

      Best of luck with your journey, I hope you enjoy Morocco!

  7. Nice blog, the cover photo, is from Săpânţa, Maramureş County in northern Romania, right?
    Nice stories about places visited in Romania.
    Good luck

  8. Hey there.
    I recently read about your journeys through Montenegro to Albania this past March and was wondering if you have any advice/suggestions/recipes lol.

    • Hi Richard,

      My advice would be to visit! Travelling through these countries is probably easier during the summer, whereas I was there in December – when there’s not a lot of visitors, and getting around is more of a challenge as you just can’t get to some places. I loved Montenegro, and wish I’d been able to see more of the country. It’s cheaper than Croatia, and seems more laid back, although to be fair it’s probably a bit crazy during the summer given its beautiful coastline.

  9. Hey,
    I came across your blog the other day when I was undergoing an intense wave of wanderlust and surfing the web for pictures of Romania. I am currently trapped in the United States after traveling alot with my parents when younger. I read your “about” and completely know what you are talking about when you said you felt like you weren’t where you were meant to be. I am growing my savings so that I can do essentially the same thing that you yourself are doing, and run rampant across Eastern Europe and Africa. Ever since I found your blog a few days ago i have become enraptured in it and have read through almost your entire journey. I have loved it and can’t wait to keep reading more of your adventures.

    • Hi Nick,

      It’s good to know other people feel like they’re in the wrong place! Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of wanderlust, and trust me – saving everything you can to travel is completely worth it. I’m already thinking of how to save more for my next trip and I’m not even home yet!

      I can’t recommend Eastern Europe highly enough – like anywhere, are are some frustrations but that just goes with travel in general. I’d love to travel Africa – when you make it there I hope you keep a blog, and let me know! Everyone enjoys travelling vicariously.

      Oh, I’m so behind on my blog i’ll still be writing it once I get home – be patient, I’ll get there! I hope there’s something there to inspire you.

      Cheers, Cat

  10. great article on Auschwitz
    I have never been there but reading about it
    and watching documentaries about it send shivers up my Spine
    My Mother was in Poland recently and she went and did they tour
    she still talks about it and hurt by they experience
    She told me as the entred the camp they saw Israeli soldiers commencing the tour.. when she was leaving the camp she saw they Israeli soldiers openly crying..
    I think i would cry too.. I remember being on Wall street on 9 eleven and watching the two towers on fire.. i could sense they death and suffering that was happening inside the towers.. How could humans kill other human beings with such abandonment is beyond me

    • Yep, Auschwitz is one of those places that surely couldn’t leave anyone who visits unaffected. It’s truly horrifying to see what people are capable of inflicting upon others, and very confronting in so many ways. I’m not ashamed to admit that it brought me to tears. If only people would learn. There are so many horrific events and actions in recent history, and it scares me that people continue committing such atrocities. It should send shivers up your spine… That’s a good indication that you’re a normal person!

  11. Hello!
    My name is Anda Sfintes and I am a student at The National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest, Master of Anthropology. For my final thesis, I started a research at the Romanian Peasant Museum and I would be grateful if you would like to answer a few questions about it. If you are interested, please contact me at anda.sfintes@gmail.com. Thank you!

      • I am so glad to hear you’re OK. Thanks for letting me know. I had figured you’d probably run into issues with connectivity, but it had been awhile since I’d seen any updates, so I was hoping everything was all right. Hope the adventures are still going well!

  12. Just found your blog while googling a bit about Dubrovnik. Thanks for the recommendation to walk the city walls – definitely worth the entrance fee even though it felt like a splurge from our backpacking budget!

  13. Hey…I came across your blog while I was looking up some information about Sighisoara, Romania (planning on heading there myself this upcoming summer) and as soon as I read a few of your other entries, I was hooked. I recognize a kindred, adventurer spirit in you, and it is awesome to read your posts and see where you’re going next. I had to smile at the bit about exploring cemeteries (I know what you mean, I think they’re interesting too) but your latest entry about the kindness of strangers in the back streets of Bergama was just amazing.

    Thanks for chronicling your adventures and sharing them with us…in addition to having a great record of events for you to look back on later, it provides the rest of us with a way to share vicariously in your travels. Very cool.

    • Wow, thanks! I’m glad you like it! I like to think I’m a bit of an adventurer. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who finds cemeteries interesting!
      I hope you enjoy Romania – it’s a beautiful country. I’d love to see it in summmer…I wasn’t even there in ‘real’ winter and it was still freezing! I hope you’ve found some of my posts useful, and if you have any questions about Romania I’ll be happy to help!

      • You are definitely an adventurer, no question about that! I love reading your entries; sometimes I shake my head and think, “Wow. She’s braver than I would have been in that situation!” It’s such a pleasure to read what you write. And while the weather may not be perfect over there right now…I really like how you get to see so many really awesome places that would be positively crowded in high summer…yet you have the run of the place since you get to see so many of them by yourself (or with your mum…so cool that she was able to come join you for some adventures. I’d imagine my mother would do the same thing if it were me, adventuring across Europe!)

        And besides the entertainment value, you really provide useful information. I’ll re-read all of your entries on Romania and thank you, I’ll let you know if I have any questions.

        Have fun, and safe journey!

        • Thanks! There’s definitely benefits to travelling out of season and I had an awesome time travelling around with my Mum. I think she had a great adventure. I bet there are plenty of parents out there who would jump at the chance of travelling with their kids overseas – totally different to when they were the ones taking you on holidays and showing you the ropes.

  14. I like the way you capture through your lens the glory of past and enthusiasm of present with equal ease. You seem more of an adventurous person with a creative knack than curious a one. I envy people who are able to steal whole year (some may be years) from the mundane work-life & go for all out adventure. For now I satisfy my travel urge by reading travel blogs like yours. Hopefully there will a day for me too.

    • Thanks! I I try to capture as much as possible through a lens and I’m glad you like the results! I always envied people doing that too – then I decided that instead, I’d join them. I hope your time to travel comes – exploring the world is a wonderful thing.

  15. I’ve been dreaming of doing what you currently do, and I guess I’m only a few months away from doing so. Good luck on your travels!

  16. I don’t think you’re on the run from real life. You’re on the run, finally living your life. Great adventures. Love reading from the eyes of another adventurer.

  17. Hi, I see you state your address as Gdansk, Poland. Is that where you live (some of the time) ? I ask, because that is where I live 🙂
    Great travels and hope you are really getting a lot out of it!

  18. This is great! You are very lucky and I hope you get to see everything you want to see and more! Safe travels and I look forward to seeing more from you!

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