Author: Michael Fraiman

What It’s Like In: Budapest, Hungary

There is no such thing as “small” in Budapest. Every detail is part of a grander scheme, every building is grandiose, every lane proudly clean, every stone and brick an impeccable piece of ever-evolving neoclassical renovation. There are no nooks or crannies. Its central downtown is made up of row after row of elaborately gothic apartments, all towering in the same tightly bound order, shadowing their courtyards hidden behind massive doors of steel and wood; beyond that region, sprawling out into what I assume are the suburbs, the apartment buildings become dingier but no less gargantuan, no less uniform....

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Belgrade Socials

The basement of Belgrade’s G Hostel was dingy, cold, and walled by cement and rough plaster. The beer pong table was lit up with lasers and black lights. We passed it and found a room the size of a solitary confinement cell, maybe six feet by 10, where on ratty futons sprawled two sunken-eyed boys and three chirpy blonde girls with heavy makeup. We sat with our beers opposite them. M, a Serbian friend, leaned in to me. “This is not Serbia,” she uttered. “I don’t know what the fuck this is.” The girls were American, the boys Romanian....

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What It Costs: A Day of Travel in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv tries to be a European city so much that it has achieved at least one commonality: expense. Israel is, on average, a pretty expensive country, and Tel Aviv, its de facto capital, is no different. It’s not too different from the Arab Middle East, but coming from eastern Europe or Asia will likely cause financial culture shock. Below is an example itinerary, purposely on the high end of budget travel. At time of writing, 1 US dollar is equal to 3.5 New Israel Shekels (NIS). A Day’s Expenses in Tel Aviv Israeli breakfast: 50 NIS ($17) Bus into city:...

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8 Reasons to Visit Luxembourg

1. Everyone is Polylingual Their ads are mostly French; their radio mostly Luxembourgish; they all casually know German. Even the just name “Luxembourg” sounds like a conglomeration of other words smushed together: luxurious, emboldened, smorgasbord. (All of which, strangely, are perfect descriptors of this tiny European nation.) Needless to say, on top of that, everyone speaks English, and you’ll find a decent number of people who speak Dutch or Spanish also. The huge expat community means Luxembourg is thoroughly multicultural in a modern sense, while its history is rooted in feudal diverse Europe’s past. 2. Luxembourg’s Old City is...

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Why George Town (Penang) is Probably the Best UNESCO City

An Islamic neighborhood in George Town (Penang) was holding a garage sale a few months back. After a half-hour spent rummaging through broken watches and old leather belts, I left with just one item: a postcard, from the 1960s or ‘70s, of the very hotel we’d checked into the previous day, the Oriental. What’s shocking about the postcard isn’t how different the hotel looks now, but how similar. It’s kind of eerie. The building still has the same bold font, the same bland white paint, the same retro feel. It’s what I love about the city’s UNESCO preservation status:...

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The GoMad Nomad Travel Mag is an online magazine for independent travelers publishing original travel articles on popular and off-the-beaten-track destinations, volunteering and working opportunities abroad, and practical travel advice on long-term, adventure, alternative, and budget travel.

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