AS THE MONTHS GO BY: FEBRUARY 2018 IN SWITZERLAND

On February 1, I leave Whitby by train. This is the first time I take the train to the UK, despite all my wanderings around the country. It must be said that with the privatization of the rail and my little salary in London, it was never really accessible, until Virgin Trains arrived on the market.

So I left Whitby on a sunny day. We cross incredible landscapes that I did not even imagine in England. The day and the mist barely rise and I see doe frolic in the forest. I change trains twice and I find myself in these small local trains, with a single car and a driver who checks the tickets, drives and opens the doors manually. I feel like I’m catapulted to Japan. We go through Durham, where I discover in the distance the impressive cathedral. We also go through Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and in a flash, I see a little nook, where I and friends had made a photo shoot almost 7 years earlier. Nostalgia overwhelms me. We are crossing the “border” with Scotland and I am back inHarry Potter at the wizard school . There is no better time for that.

Docks area in Leith in Edinburgh - Visit Edinburgh in winter - A weekend in the Scottish capital: visit Edinburgh in slow travel mode / what to do in case of rain Edinburgh and in the footsteps of Harry Potter in Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh, I am well received by friends and I discover the city under the sun and under a beautiful light. From visits to meetings, from pubs to walks, I feel at home in Edimourg and I smile constantly, savoring the singing accent of the inhabitants and their kindness. Nature is ubiquitous and accessible and I end the weekend with a winter walk on the beach at sunset!

Walk on the beach in Portobello in Edinburgh - Visit Edinburgh in winter - A weekend in the Scottish capital: visit Edinburgh in slow travel mode / what to do in case of rain Edinburgh and in the footsteps of Harry Potter in Edinburgh.

I leave early, too early that morning, towards Geneva . It is snowing in Geneva, the city is empty and cold, as I had quickly discovered a few years ago and I take refuge in the library, the time to wait for my host at the end of the day. Jasmine and Alex, who welcome me to their beautiful home in Gland, are adorable and I know this housesitting is going to be fine.

Getting around Chiang Mai

Everyone will recommend you to rent a scooter. Personally, I still do not drive a scooter, I find it rather dangerous in the city of Thailand and there are many checkpoints. If you are not in good standing (almost no one is in good standing), long live the regular fines! Others opt for cycling, but similarly take me exhaust and fail to kill me permanently, it’s not for me. I still prefer to walk and take my time, even though Chiang Mai is not the place to go for long hours.

There is no public transport in Chiang Mai so you will have to rely on the Songthaew: they make accurate circuits throughout the city and the race costs 20 baht. Do not ask the price, say where you are going and get in the back. Pay downhill. If they start wanting to negotiate the price and take themselves for taxis, refuse and wait for the next one. You can give them a sign like a bus as they pass.

If you’re in a hurry, driving to a more remote location, or have no idea how to indicate your destination to the Songthaew, Uber allows you to shop around the city and even out. I used it a lot for excursions, to go to the airport or to come back from the evening if I was too far away.

Use this coupon code uber exclusive: VVAGABONDAGES if you are a new user of Uber to be able to circulate with serenity in Chiang Mai. You will receive 10 euros to be able to do some free shopping around the city!

VISIT CHIANG MAI: THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SLOW AND / OR NOMADIC TRAVEL IN THAILAND

Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand. Including the agglomeration, it is the second largest city in the country. It is a city known for its student life, its tourism and recently its nomads. It is also part of the first 5 nomadic cities on Nomadlist . Located at an altitude of 300m, it is far from the well-known atmosphere of Thai heavenly beaches. Welcome to the mountain and paradise of nature and culture, in the ancient capital of Lan Na Kingdom. To visit Chiang Mai is to discover another aspect of Thai culture during your trip to Thailand.

It was a bit by chance that I landed in Chiang Mai. Needing to recover from my burnout and the Japanese culture shock , still wishing to stay on the Asian continent, I made the decision to spend the end of the year in Chiang Mai. Why Chiang Mai will you tell me? I did not particularly come here because of an immeasurable love or a specific attraction for Thailand. I came because I knew that life would be easy, that I could create the routine I was looking for, that life was not expensive, that I had heard a lot of good, that Miss Nastasya had lived there for a few months and it was one of the biggest nomadic landmarks in the world. I have been a nomad for yearsbut even among the nomads, I really have a fool. If most of them land in different cities for several months, I move much faster and more spontaneously and most importantly, I never had the opportunity to land in one of their favorite cities.

Transport and me, a great love story!

If you question my entourage about me and the transports. .. you will soon realize the smiles heard that emerge before giving way to big bursts of laughter. Yes at this level, I have a bad reputation. However, I always ask for more. If there is one who must have delays or mishaps not possible, it’s me. Bad karma, no doubt …

My first love … the car

It all starts when I got my driver’s license (fingers in the nose for that matter). A few months later, I have an accident with a doe . Nothing serious, the doe is not even dead on the spot, but it was a good introduction. The first of a long list of animals killed or injured by my fault. Birds, squirrels, badgers (yes, I killed a badger), it’s a calamity. Some escape narrowly and as soon as I drive, it is to believe that all the animals escape from the zoo to get on my way. I almost had an accident in Sweden with momentum . Not happy with my animal list and many strange failures and skirmishes, my first car burnedwhen I drove. Well, you’ll tell me the car, it’s dangerous. That’s right, that’s why I also like public transport .

A hot passion: night buses

The night bus travel is still bathmat. Weird people, toilet smells, discomfort, noisy Spaniards, Polish screaming in his phone half the night, English waking me voluntarily chatting with me. Classic … But did you have the driver who gets lost for an hour in a small English town (Milton Keynes) for an hour and who does not find the bus stop until a kid of ten years tells him the road. Or did you have the shot of the driver who does not come to the place said and at the time said at the time of the exchange of drivers? Result, waiting in winter in a bus without heating at 3am waiting for another driver deign to replace it.

The Greyhound is fun too. Crossing the border with customs not funny, stop in the middle of the night where everyone goes down to refuel. Sport, I tell you. But that’s not worth the Chinese bus companies in New York …

Glad to have found a return trip so cheap to New York / Washington, you land innocently in Chinatown to take your bus. You can not find the station. Normal, there is not, it’s just a weird stop between two vegetable merchants. You wait patiently for a bus, none arrive, and the queue of travelers (almost all Chinese) is lying dangerously. Suddenly, a bus on the horizon. A Chinese woman with a notebook comes out of no one knows where and begins to shout a destination in “English”. You do not understand anything, but it is the signal for some travelers who take the run and assail the bus. You understand that the buses are over-booked and that if you want to leave at the scheduled time, you will have to fight! ”  Washington!!! “The backpack well hung, I run to the bus, without going through the hold and takes a place … next to a woman who will vomit in a bag all the way of course. Phew! Arrived in Washington, the person who was to pick me up is not there and yet we are two hours late. But that’s another story…

How to Travel Safe in Public Transportation

Everyone may have to take up public transport systems at some point of time in life. Be cautious and safe while using them. Crowded places and transports are the places where one has to follow caution as anything can happen anytime.

Often we experience this when using public transport for our routine travel, as we become a bit complacent and will not give that much importance to our safety. But then, we will have a fear of our safety. Well, it is always better to take few steps to be safe and avoid unforeseen danger.

Here are some points to be noted while ensuring a safe travel.

Use the Most Crowded Bus Stops: Know your route and avoid isolated bus stops. Instead, it is better to walk some distance in crowded places.

Carry the Fare Handy and Safe on Board: Know your bus fare amount and keep the change in an isolated compartment in your purse. Do not open and search for it on boarding a bus. Otherwise, you may encounter snatch from pick pockets.

Avoid Hopping or Taking Footsteps: You are putting your life in danger while hopping on to a bus or leaning to it at footsteps or windows. This may be pleasure for most people, but they have to suffer the consequences.

Be Wary of Thiefs and Strangers: If you experience a tingling movement, get away from there or alert the driver. Stay in well-lit areas or in aisles surrounded by people and do not sit near the door if possible. Avoid speaking to strangers and sleeping while traveling.

Handling Properties: Keep your cell phone, purses, and handbag tight; do not let them down to your legs. Avoid using cell phones while transit. Do not wear expensive jewels or carry heavy cash in buses or trains.

Some Tricks: Carry safety pins and pepper spray to face dangers or attacks.

Check the Numbers and Colors: Before boarding, check the color of the transport system and its board that displays the route or numbers. You may ensure that it is authorized.

Precautions for Cabs: Using taxi services at night is a safe option, but there are some precautions. Ask the driver’s name before taking up the taxi to check if he is the qualified person. If there is discomfort with the driver, better take another taxi. Use the apps to search for “taxi near me” and share your location to your well wishers and to take immediate action on misbehaved drivers.

Do Not Reveal Personal Details on Roads: Do not reveal your personal details while standing on roads. Even if you are put in that situation, stay away from people and silently attend to them.

Do Not Get Distracted: Often, snatchers will try to distract your attention saying something to public or doing a different action. In such cases, do not get distracted and be cautious.