• Giorgos Eftychiou Featured
    Assorted Articles,  Interview

    Growing up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

    You see them proclaiming the end of days from their stalls in busy streets, or hurrying down garden paths, the glare almost blinding from their pristine, plain white shirts as they bruise their knuckles on door after door after door. You turn them away, or perhaps just pretend you haven’t noticed them, and they move on, bible clutched tightly between their hand and torso.  They’re often the subject of ridicule, and sometimes even persecution, but how much do you really know about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Giorgos struck me as someone caught in the space between two wildly different realities. We’d met on a 60km trek in the Svaneti region of Northern…

  • Couple cycle touring featured
    Assorted Articles

    Surviving a Cycle Tour as a Couple

    If you’ve ever dabbled in the sophisticated world of reality television, boy do I have a pitch for the next big thing. Forget The Bachelor, scrap Love Island, because what’s the fun in seeing people test their love in paradise, at a tropical island villa? Yawn. Instead, picture two overly-confident and under-prepared twenty-something singles thrown together and made to do a cycle tour, with no frills. Wild camping in mosquito-infested woods beside a noisy, polluted highway, giving each other food poisoning (by accident, of course), and making themselves sick after scarfing down (literally) half a free sheet cake provided by a luxury Norwegian cruise liner because they haven’t been able…

  • Assorted Articles,  Opinion

    Traveling in the Trump Era

    On a sunny morning two years ago, in November 2016, I walked across my college campus to the student center, ready to vote in my first presidential election. I had turned eighteen the previous December, and considered myself one of the ‘lucky ones’ that got to vote in a major election the same year they become an adult.   This was my attitude, at least, until I discovered who the candidates were. Government and politics had always been a substantial part of my life growing up, considering my dad teaches it. The first election I can remember was the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004. I was only six…

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    Sweet Home USA

    My journey home from Europe took about 50 hours. What was meant to be only a semi-stressful trip consisting of three flights turned into an extremely stressful trip consisting of four. After flying to Oslo airport from Hamburg and spending the night on a Starbucks couch (and being kicked out at 5am, as they were opening), I flew to London-Gatwick to catch my final flight home to Chicago. Long story short, that flight was cancelled after a seven-hour delay. Since all nearby hotels were filled and I wasn’t about to spend a second night in another airport, I took a taxi to Steyning, England, where Tieran lives. Given, he wasn’t…

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    Stranger Danger

    As a kid, one thing is engrained into your head over and over again: don´t talk to strangers. To be fair, this is an invaluable lesson. Strangers can indeed be dangerous, especially to young, impressionable children. While I consider myself somebody who followed this advice fairly closely growing up, I´ve recently learned that this rule doesn´t apply in Norway, especially while cycle touring. In the north, Tieran and I accepted what we thought was our bleak reality- we were stuck with just each other for the duration of our journey down the country. While most travellers are able to socialize by staying in hostels, like so much else, even hostels hang far…

  • Biking in the Sun
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    Brash to Boujee and Back Again

    We waited all day for the rain to stop. It wasn’t even rain, really; more of an annoying drizzle that was coming and going at its leisure. All day, Tieran and I sat around inside our Airbnb- a luxury we viewed as a treat on our journey. We cooked, we cleaned, we packed, we did laundry, we ate. We even paid a visit to Rema 1000, our grocery store of choice in Norway. Even the five-minute walk there was miserable. We entered the store with water trailing behind us, the damp rubber of our sneakers squeaking as we shopped. Two cans of mixed fruit and a jar of Nugatti later,…