Breakaway Backpacker – Revisiting Fez, The City I Hate Most

Author: , November 9th, 2015

Fez - Jaime Davila

Nothing pisses me off more than when I ask someone who has traveled extensively what place they loved or hated most and they avoid answering with a direct answer because they are scared to insult one place or another. You know they answer with, “Oh I can’t answer that, they’re all special in their own way.” or say something along the lines that they are like their children and blah blah blah. I say it’s bullshit… we all have our favorites and places maybe we don’t hate but dislike. I answer those questions in a heartbeat. Cairo is the city I love most (even though Istanbul is the most beautiful) and well Fez is the city I hate most.

It’s probably obvious why Cairo is my favorite, but it’s more to it than just him…lol. As for Fez and why I hate it so much. Oh… I wrote an entire blog post as to why I hated it. You can read it here: “I can’t love them all… Yes I hated Fez!” I just will never forget how everything went wrong from the get go and was just a tough city to explore on my own or even with a group of people. I also remember clearly how it was also part of the reason I almost went home during my first trip around the world.

In the span of a week I went from visiting one of the places I love most to one I hate the most. I was only visiting Morocco to revisit Chefchaouen, but the cheapest flight back to Spain was from Fez. Fez also happened to be only a 4 hour bus ride from Chefchaouen so I thought why not revisit the city I hate most. It had been 4 years and since then I think I have grown and see things different. I also thought people deserve second chances so shouldn’t cities too?

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker

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Breakaway Backpacker – Experiencing Benidorm LGBT Pride!

Author: , October 19th, 2015

Jaime Davila - benidorm

When you think of gay destinations in Spain or in Europe I am sure both Madrid and Barcelona are the first to pop up in your head. Well I’d like to share with you what my Benidorm Pride experience was like. If you are like me I am sure you haven’t heard much about Benidorm aside from the fact that it’s a huge beach resort town where the drinks are cheap.

Those times are changing because it’s now a bit more sophisticated than just that. It actually has a lot to offer and one of them is an amazing LGBT scene. As part of the #MyGayPride campaign I was invited to Benidorm for it’s 5th LGBT Pride Parade. I arrived with no expectations and was blown away.

It’s a seven day affair leading up to the main event, the parade itself and after parties. Things really got going on Thursday night with the White Party hosted at the plaza of Mirador del Castillo in the Old Town with stunning views of Benidorm. The entire time I was there I just couldn’t believe the venue. Of all the parties I’ve been to this was hands down the best venue ever. The crowd was great with just about everyone dressed in white and amazing music to dance to all night long.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakaway Backpacker | Comunidad Valenciana, Spain Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Breakaway Backpacker – 24 Hours in Paris

Author: , October 15th, 2015

Paris - Jaime Davila

Stories written about Paris can fill a stadium and I am sure photos taken of Paris can too. Especially photos taken of it’s icons. We all know Paris… we have seen it in movies, TV shows and just about every media outlet possible. It’s the city of lights, a city of romance and a city millions dream of visiting once in their lives.

It’s a beautiful city and is no wonder why the world loves it. I didn’t have plans to revisit this city for a long time, but since all my plans in Europe changed the opportunity arose for me to go back and visit friends I made on the road. So I thought why not and went back for 2 days. I had one full day while I was there and decided to walk to all it’s icons. Yes I had seen them all before, but it’s Paris so why not see them again!

My hostel was located a few blocks from the Sacred Heart of Paris so decided to start there and make a circle around Paris walking from icon to icon. I started my day at 9am and finished at 6pm. If you have 24 hours in Paris this is a perfect manageable walk that anyone can do. That morning I literally grabbed a map and circled all the main icons of Paris and just walk from one to the other. Start from the nearest icon to you and make a loop. Yes it’s that easy!!! My loop went in the order of the photos below.

By Jamie Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Oslo in Black and White

Author: , September 10th, 2015

Jaime Davila - Oslo

I never really had plans to visit Oslo at least not now because I knew it wasn’t cheap, but was already in Stockholm and had a friend in Oslo. I had met her during a Street Art Tour in Buenos Aires & she offered to open her home and give me a place to sleep. So I thought why not I’d have a place to sleep and see a good friend so I went!!!

Even before arriving in Oslo I was already in a black and white mood. It was a transportation day and my first actual day being alone since arriving in Europe and as usual felt a million emotions. See transportation days always seem to be when my mind runs a million miles per hour and my thoughts catch up to me as I get lost in a gaze starring out the window. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like them. I had a fabulous time during Stockholm Gay Pride and exploring Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, but for some reason on my way to Oslo… just couldn’t get a few things out of my head. I don’t think I need to explain what because by now I think most of you know what I am dealing with inside… anyway my feelings changed as soon as I arrived in Oslo, but I was still seeing in black and white.

I arrived after a 6 hour train ride and realized it was dark, gray and a bit chilly outside. I also immediately noticed people wearing black and just a lot of black in general everywhere. I arrived at the right metro stop and my friend was waiting for me. I was so excited to see her.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakway Backpacker | Norway Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Going Home

Author: , August 11th, 2015

Jaime Davila - London

I’m currently on a train from Oslo back to Stockholm and feel like I should give a quick update on what I’ve been up to. As always if you’re following me on Instagram or Twitter you know because they’re up to date, but if not its all good and here it is!

So yes I’m in Europe now and have been in Europe over a week and can’t complain because it’s been amazing.

Before I arrived in Europe and after leaving South America I went home for two weeks. It wasn’t in my plans to go home at all after the last time I left, but I did. The crazy thing is that less than 3 months into my trip in South America I was missing home, missing it bad. During many of my hikes in Patagonia I longed for it. I don’t know why, but I did. I think it may be an age thing, but who knows. The tipping point was when I got sick in Rio and thought I was going to die. That’s when I was like okay for sure I’m going home. I figured out quickly I could easily go to Houston from Bogota instead of going directly to London. I also figured I would never be this close to home again (5 hour flight) because that would never be the case once I was in Europe, Asia or Africa. Plus it was a cheap $100 flight using some of my miles. So I booked it 3 months in advance and didn’t tell anyone!!! Well later on my older sister and then a friend when I drunk called her… oops!!!

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker

Breakaway Backpacker – The Shortest Flight of My Life

Author: , July 26th, 2015

Jaime Davila - short flight

After the 28 hour bus ride from Bolivia to Paraguay that felt more like hell I was not looking forward to my next bus ride. My next bus ride was from Santa Cruz to Sucre. They say it is only a 12 hour bus ride, but can take up to 18 hours or longer depending on the conditions of the road. A 12 hour bus ride is honestly a piece of cake, but I just didn’t want to deal with being on a bus for a long time and taking a chance on it being longer.

My friend Norbert from Globotreks mentioned that you could fly throughout Bolivia cheap. I try to avoid flying because most times it’s not cheap, but thought why not check flights out. So I got online and started looking at flights. Come to find out a flight between the two cities was a bit over $40. So I thought long and hard about it… okay no I really didn’t think about it at all. I didn’t even care how much cheaper the bus was. I went straight to a tour agency and booked my flight.

The craziest thing of all was not that it was a short 30 minute flight, but that I found out that the airport I was flying out of was walking distance from my hostel. I couldn’t believe it. I am in the middle of the city and I am going to be able to walk to an airport. I have never in my life walked to the airport and thought okay this is going to be interesting so I need to document it. I keep track of my thought on long 24+ hour bus rides why not the shortest flight I will probably ever take?

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakaway Backpacker

Breakaway Backpacker – The 28 Hour Bus Ride From Hell

Author: , July 23rd, 2015

Jaime Davila bus ride

I had no plans to document my bus journey from Asuncion, Paraguay to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I knew it was going to be a long 24 hour bus ride, but just wanted to get through it and not think about writing things down. I was at the terminal hours before the departure time to take advantage of the free WiFi. I had not had much WiFi the week I spent in Paraguay and it was a nice break, but I needed my fix. I tweeted that I would be going on a long 24 hour journey and one of my readers replied to please document my thoughts because she loved my diary entries. So I thought why not and am glad I did because it turned out to be one of the craziest bus rides I have ever taken. Here are all the thoughts I had on my bus ride from Asuncion to Santa Cruz that turned out to be 28 hours instead of 24 hours.

7:35pm – I’m on the bus and its left the terminal already. Ummmm it wasn’t supposed to leave until 8pm. Sucks for people who will miss it. Also omg this bus is like falling apart. It has no AC, the seats are shit and it’s squeaking already on a paved road. Oh lord the next 24hrs are gonna be an adventure. The good thing is I think 2 other backpackers got on so I’m not alone, but the bus is very very empty. Maybe we are going to another terminal. I have no clue and fuck I hope this is the right bus. I did say to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

7:41pm – OMG I’m sweating already. We are stopped and picking up more people. That makes me feel better. My seat is so uncomfortable though. I was already dreading this bus ride and now even more so. It’s gonna be an extra adventure because we also have to do the border crossings. I think we do the exit procedures of Paraguay in the early morning and then who knows about Bolivia. OMG I also hope I have no problem getting in with my Mexican passport. Okay I just need to breathe and let things be. As long as I arrive safe and sound to Santa Cruz, Bolivia I will be happy.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakway Backpacker

Breakaway Backpacker – Paraguay, or Living the Simple Life

Author: , July 8th, 2015

Jaime Davila

As I write this I’m lying in a hammock that’s hanging from a mango tree. The mango tree is in the front yard of a tiny bright pink house. The house is two bedroom with a small kitchen and bathroom/shower next to that. The door to the bathroom is a curtain. In this house lives a family of 6 (now 7 including me).

It’s the husband and wife with two daughters and they take care of two additional kids (their niece and nephew). The tiny house is on a big lot of land that holds 2 cows, over 35 chickens and 2 dogs.

The chickens and dogs roam freely and many times are just wandering in and out of the house. We are so far from a major city that they don’t have WiFi out here and they barely get cell service. This is where I’ve been spending the past 5 days & I’ve loved every minute of it, but sadly today is my last day here. I’m going to miss it so much.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker

Breakaway Backpacker – Both Sides of Iguazu Falls – In Photos!

Author: , July 3rd, 2015

Iguazu Falls - Jaime Davila

Sometimes you hear about a place for so long that you just can’t wait to see for yourself. You hear about how amazing it is… about how majestic it is….. about how grand it is…. about how beautiful it is…about how impressive it is… and just about everything you can ever imagine. Yes that is Iguazu Falls I kept hearing about. I am sure if you have heard about it from someone who has visited it you have heard one of the above and it’s all true.

“Iguazu Falls, Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, Iguacu Falls, Cataratas do Iguacu (Portuguese), Cataratas del Iguazu (Spanish) or Chororo Yguasu (Guarani) are a collection of waterfalls from the Iguazu River on the border with Argentina and Brazil. The name “Iguazu” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y”, meaning “water”, and “uasu “, meaning “big”. Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi, who fled with her mortal lover Taroba in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.”

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Dying in Rio

Author: , June 16th, 2015

Jaime DavilaI rolled out of bed and looked at my clock it was 3am. I felt exhausted and weak. I needed to go pee though really bad. I sat there a moment and finally found the energy to get up and walk to the toilet down the hall from my dorm. I went in and instead of peeing ended up throwing up. I had no clue what I was throwing up because I had not eaten in the past 3 days. I then peed and walked back.

As I was walking back I felt my eyes roll back and I hit the floor hard. I had fainted and for a brief second had no clue what was happening. I got up and could barely walk. Then I heard someone ask if I was okay. I said, “no I just fainted”. He jumped out of bed to help me to bed. It was the German who has been on the bunk above me the past few days. I don’t know his name or much about him. He knows I’m sick and ask me how I’m doing every time he comes and goes from the room. He’s only seen me in bed sick. I’m glad he got up.

He told me I had to go to the hospital. I told him yes please. While he searched for the nearest hospital I gathered my things. I put all the medicine I was taking in my backpack along with my passports and credit cards and cash. I didn’t have insurance so knew this wasn’t going to be cheap. I didn’t care though I had been sick long enough and wasn’t getting better. I honestly thought I was dying. Lucky for us the hospital was a few blocks away. He helped me walk outside and we took a cab and arrived at the hospital.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Brazil Gay Travel Resources