Split, Croatia

by Reid Peryam· November 04, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
This year I have been experimenting with living in single cities for longer periods of time. Each time I return to the United States I feel noticeably unhappy; not a typical reaction to returning ‘home’. Aspects of of American society that are incompatible with the way I now want to live my life are frustrating: the cost of living, traffic, public transportation but also cultural considerations like politics, media, news and the collective, schizophrenic personalities comprising the ethos of the USA. Increasingly it is a struggle to locate the parts of America to which I feel a shared set of values. To such an effect that it feels a misnomer to refer to myself as an American. I wanted to try living in Split, Croatia where I visited last year for the first time for three months to see how it would feel staying in one place. It turned out to be the best summer of my life. I was barefoot all day, and got plenty of work done in the amazing co-working space that I was a short walk from the apartments I lived in. The accessibility of the Adriatic sea being only 150 meters from the office was […]
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Munich, Germany

by Reid Peryam· September 22, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
After two previous Oktoberfests in a row (1, 2) the wheels came off. I was in Munich for four nights this year — and it turned out to be long enough. Long enough to replace a disappeared pair of lederhosen that seemed to have walked away sometime during the past year (really I think the hardened exoskeleton of chicken grease, potato salad in absence of napkins and hand washing afforded to them this ability); in their place a darker, tighter, more rigid and less-flattering pair and take on Reid in leather. It started out innocent enough; Martin cooked us a traditional Bavarian breakfast in the fraternity house (I take pride in having been a guest here four times). But after that things went down hill pretty fast. My mobile phone committed mobilecide from the apex of a most maniacal, twisty, spinning carnival ride. The presumably shattered body nor SIM card were ever recovered — may they rest in pieces. Subsequently without access to Google Maps I didn’t trust myself to navigate back to my apartment in a state of post-festival reverie. Instead I ended my nights on the carpeted floor along with other friends at Hannah’s apartment. Trevor snored and […]
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Paris, France

by Reid Peryam· July 30, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I met my sister, Tracy, and her family in Paris while they were vacationing for four days of wandering and site-seeing. It was my first time to Paris and it was great exploring with her because she studied in Paris for a year in college, knows the city and speaks very good French which took the stress out of ordering croissants. I was surprised to discover that no one I encountered in Paris wanted to speak in English which without my sister made everything incredibly awkward and embarrassing for this tourist who didn’t want to speak French. In this city – the local Parisian hipsters out-hipstered me — English is apparently too mainstream. Living up to the hype of Paris is no easy task. Since the 1940s, American popular culture has oozed idolatry of the romantic café culture, art, historic architecture, food and “Frenchness” of everything: elegance, sophistication, history and glamour. When expectations are so high, living up to the hype is almost an impossible order and I expected to be underwhelmed; but I loved my time in Paris. It helped a great deal that my sister played the role of French-speaking tour guide who explained the significance, history and […]
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After visiting Lisbon I wanted to explore more of Portugal. I flew to Porto for three days which felt like a less-touristy, smaller version of Lisbon. Porto is the progenitor of Port wine. Afterwards I drove through the Douro Valley wine region and continued north to the border of Spain; from there travelling south to the southern coast where sand and sun draw tourists from all over Europe. During the summer many of the locals are also down south vacationing and things slowly transition from vacant and peaceful to busy and energetic as you near the southern coast. Portugal is a great vacation destination owing to its small size that allows for transversal of its multiple regions in a relatively short amount of time. The landscapes vary between vineyards and olive orchards and cork trees (Portugal is the largest international supplier of cork); everything I saw was mostly dry, sunny and hot in the south, with more temperate climates towards the north. The people in the central north of Portugal have a reputation for being very friendly and hospitable, even among the Portuguese which my experience as well. Beyond polite formalities people seemed genuine when they greeted me with a […]
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Almost twenty years ago I was enamored with a game on my computer : Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. In it, Indy travels the world in search of the legendary lost city of Atlantis. One of the places the game takes you in search of the lost civilization is the Azores islands off of the coast of Portugal, alone in the north Atlantic ocean, citing a grammatical mistake by Plato that placed the location within the Mediterranean instead of beyond it. I had never heard of the Azores before but the peculiarity of its location (there is really nothing else around it) along with the fun I had imagining it was the location of the fabled lost city, added to my intrigue. Before I ever departed for my first solo adventure (to South America) I had already added the Azores to my “must visit” list; it took a while, but I finally got there. The Azores are nine volcanic islands 850 miles west of the coast of Portugal and give the local culture a distinct personality apart from mainland Portugal. So much so that many Azoreans choose to live on the East Coast of the United States and […]
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Lisbon, Portugal

by Reid Peryam· July 09, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I flew from Bogotá to Lisbon in order to spend a weekend pitching a startup company I had been developing in Bogotá. The goal was to determine if the opportunity has merit and is worth pursuing, using impartial judges to test against my own bias. I had about two days to explore the city, the remainder of the time I was in an office with our rag-tag band of misfits (previously strangers) and together we built a presentation to pitch in front of a panel of judges, using the business plan I had previously developed as a guide. We finished third place out of twelve other teams, a disappointing result as I felt we deserved to win, but the rest of the team was pleased. I continue to develop the idea and formulate the business. I had never been to Lisbon or Portugal before and exploring a new city and country are two of my favorite things to do. My network of travel friends has raved about Lisbon on account of great food, wine and lower costs compared to the rest of Western Europe. The city surprised with its ideal weather, friendly people, English-accessibility and scenic architecture and urban landscapes. […]
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My favorite city in the world is Bogotá, Colombia and I have a hard time explaining to people why; it’s big, it’s dirty, the traffic and infrastructure are abysmal – how can I think that Bogotá is so great? This city feels authentic in a way that others just don’t. No strip malls or vegan cafes (or even vegetables really) people are polite and respectful and when I stay out of the touristy sections I feel anonymous walking among the crowds of Colombians living their normal lives. And when you are living a normal life around here you get a little sentimental to the dirt, grime, the familiar old man selling stuff on your street corner each day, the occasional unkempt gentleman urinating across the street from your building entrance. You develop a sense of community and togetherness with the anonymous people you walk by each morning on the way to start your day and then again in the afternoon when returning home. Part of this camaraderie comes about from walking so much. I walk most places unless I am meeting a friend who lives in a different district of town in which case I take an Uber to where […]
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As a travel hipster, Medellin is a place I’ve never been interested in visiting. It’s probably the most popular white person and ex-pat destination in Colombia owing to convenience, temperate climate, great infrastructure, lush flora and legendary, beautiful women. Without a doubt Medellín is the prettier, daintier little sister to the hulking, dirty mass of my-favorite-Colombian-city, Bogotá. So while I have been able to avoid it for sometime it was too easy to spend two days there on my way back from Santa Marta en route to Bogotá. In preparation, had so many reasons to be unimpressed. The best way I can describe Medellin is “Colombian Disneyland”. If you walk into a café in Poblando, aka Gringo Central, it’s not unlikely to find everyone there is an American. The city has been the beneficiary of a lot of post-Escobar foreign and local investment (Bogotá is a little sore that the money set aside to build its subway went instead to Medellin’s metro and Bogotá got stuck with the much-detested TransMilenio instead) and from where I have been in Colombia thus far it’s the most cush. Back when I was in Barth-a-lona I lamented the city’s infatuation with its own Antoni […]
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Bogotá has been a blessing but also a quagmire of comfort — I’ve done a poor job of exploring the rest of Colombia as I have been happy (too happy?) living a normal life in the capital city; that’s a lazy way to live in a country so geographically diverse and beautiful as Colombia. So while Bogotá is my favorite city in the world (Seoul wants another shot at the title), I needed more research diligence before I can claim Colombia as my favorite country. I was afforded the perfect opportunity when I was forced to depart my AirBnb on account of a five day pre-existing reservation. I took the opportunity to vacation up to the Caribbean coast to Santa Marta for four days to check out Tayrona National Park and the surrounding beaches. Santa Marta is the birth place of my favorite Colombian musician, Carlos Vives — and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit part of the reason I decided on Santa Marta was because of his music video, La Tierra del Olvido (click to watch) which features lots of scenes from Tayrona and the beaches surrounding Santa Marta. The video does a great job of showcasing the cultural […]
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One year ago, while I was in Lima Peru, I ventured to a shaman in the Peruvian Amazon to drink ayahuasca. I gave a talk in Bogota, Colombia two weeks ago on my experience — what happened. I thought it was important to articulate the details and I recorded my story. If you are interested in hearing it you can listen to that story here.
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