BehindThe CurtainsAbout & the Creator

Self-Portrait in Lisbon, Portugal // ©2012 TakWind

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Twitter @takwind_

If you’d like to escape into some magical place somewhere in the world, like to read or like to learn about distant lands, then you have found an oyster in the ocean. If you don’t like dreaming, reading, stories and information, you best punch a ticket outbound and save your time, because time is the only valuable thing around these parts.

Refrigerators are a space where people collect magnets. TripHash is a space where Tak collects information. This information is usually not purchased in gift shops, but arises while researching places to visit or in random conversations with models from Siberia, foodtruck operators from Morocco or anyone else from whom he can learn something interesting.

He used to keep all this information crumpled up in random slips of paper, stuffed in luggage pockets, waiting in magazines for a re-read, in old wooden drawers, in scattered files across various computers and in his head. Thus, most of it would disappear when cleaning up or when the fickle memory cells were reprogrammed with something more pressing. However, this has changed a bit because now when he reads or learns something random, he logs it here. Thus, TripHash is Tak’s personal notebook in the public domain. It is designed to help him while traveling and perhaps it might assist (or entertain) you.

It is a two headed monster comprised of travel tips and notes and the travel stories, which most might call a blog.

TripHash travel guides are high-level curated banks of travel information on places to help me select where to focus/travel. The blog is a sloppy bank robbery gone right—a story based on truth told from your point of view. What that has to do with a sloppy bank robbery we have no idea, but hang on…

In one sentence, the blog is really a captivating place-based storyline that you can immerse yourself into. It is as if you are traveling without traveling. And, through the invention called a camera, you get to see some of Tak’s photography to help bring you closer. Magical eh?

Eleven Thoughts, Caveats & Such

  1. First, the site can’t be all things to all people. In utopia, TripHash would be, but, in reality, figuring out things for every circumstance (e.g. what visa a Saudi Arabian needs to visit Mozambique, et. al.) would clutter the site (although, for something like this, if you ask in the comments I do my best to find it). That said, I do my best to point to resources that you can use to research your case but understand that the site’s point of view isn’t born out of ignorance but rather, time constraints and thoughtful design choices. Afterall, it is just my public travel notepad (which therefore means if I become a Saudi Arabian citizen someday and need entry to Mozambique then you might be in luck).
  2. My opinions and observations and viewpoints are most likely not yours. My opinions are just my opinions. Don’t handcuff yourself to them (same goes about any travel books, guides, etc). And sometimes these opinions drip with sarcasm or hyperbole, so don’t hyperventilate if you read something that doesn’t make you warm and fuzzy.
  3. There are many different ways of accomplishing the same thing. Our experiences may very well vary.
  4. Travel is a liquid operation. Places, prices and people change constantly. Don’t mortgage your future based on prices and such listed on here.
  5. A traveler sees from a traveler’s perspective and that might not be the same as a local’s perspective. I think both perspectives are important and valid yet neither is “right” — but who cares what I think. Don’t get so caught up in trying to mirror the local perspective that you miss something interesting (like an odd product in a market that they find completely normal).
  6. Things go wrong when you travel and that is part of the experience. Embrace it. Many valuable experience(s), adventures and connections seem to lie therein those episodes. “Wrong” means something deviated from your expectation, nothing more.
  7. My favourite method of transportation is on foot. Typically, my best plan when I get to a city is walking around without one—so don’t expect me to tell you all about the major tourist attractions. There are better websites and resources for that. I’ve been to Paris multiple times and have never seen the Mona Lisa—but I can tell you about my experiences with a good baguette.
  8. Traveling solo opens up magic doors yet can be lonely. Traveling as a pair offers security and comfort yet can lead to divisions. Traveling as a group is dancing with the devil. No matter the form, make it happen.
  9. When everyone strives to go off-the-beaten path, it resembles a highway with bad signage (“Off-The-Beaten-Path”). The beaten path, the off-the-beaten path, the in-between path—who cares as long as you are feeling good. As for me, I am just doing my thing (whatever pathways that traipses across). I have no checklist to accomplish other than enjoy life.
  10. Rely on yourself or your companion(s) when you travel. Guidebooks, websites, and blogs can be great resources, but terrible drivers for YOUR adventure. Conquer your fear, trust yourself, explore and take control of your quest. Don’t be a horse with guidebook blinders just because it seems easy and safe.
  11. I am constantly researching places to go – and many of those places I don’t go because there just isn’t enough time to do everything on earth. In any case, while I come across information, I will populate TripHash. Furthermore, I have enabled comments on these posts. If you have a question or suggestion or comment—shoot it along.

About the Resident Dictator

I like to use em-dashes (—), although I wonder why keyboards don’t have them (if you use a Mac, you are more in luck. If you use Windows, you need to apply a simple hack for the best efficiency), and ampersands (&). And while on the topic of the ampersand, you can check out a wonderfully reviewed and very underground music album by the Mendocrats entitled Ampersand.

The least likely places to find me: large tour groups, posing for photos in front of monuments, casting shadows on a guidebook or eating in restaurants located at the intersections of the two most-popular highest-rent tourist streets in any given place.

This is not a “backpacker’s” blog. You don’t come here to learn about some trip centered around $9 Ryanair tickets, 12-person dorm rooms and getting loaded in the town square. This is not a corporate shill blog. You don’t come here to get hammered with a bunch of ninja-ads whereby you are just being exploited by some friendly face. If I find something that I think is cool or interesting or a good value and find it worthwhile to post, I will. If I find something that is terrible, boring or not a good value and find it worthwhile to post, I will. Hostels have their purpose, and I have slept in them (and will continue if the need arises). Hotels have their purpose, and I have slept in them (and will continue if the need arises). Apartments, couches, airplane seats and park benches have their purpose, and I have slept in them (and will continue if the need arises). If an airplane sucks, I will tell you. If a hotel is great, I will tell you. If I am receiving something for free in a review, I will tell you. I am not for sale. If I were, I’d be busy climbing corporate ladders in lockstep and not taking more difficult roads. Anyways…

The best part of traveling is finding the amazing differences around the world. I want to be able to buy or eat or experience something in a foreign place and not be able to get it in New York. I want to be able to learn something different, experience something new and expand my world view. But at the end of it all, what makes life great is the unique interactions with people and their passions, and that, is motivation enough.

And with all that said, if you can use this site to travel smarter; or can’t travel, but can use this site to feel like you are; or can just share something that helps someone else—then every second of work is worthwhile. I am glad you can be along for the trip.

Lastly, TripHash is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If I find a product that I like, I may link to Amazon. If you buy through my link, you are helping contribute to keeping this informational trove moving forward—and for that I thank you greatly! If you don’t want to buy from Amazon, that is cool too. It is always good to keep the small businesses running!

Anyways, thanks for reading & visiting!

See something, not everything.

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New York, NY
Internationally-published photographer with a passion for creative food, fine products, unique cultures and underground music. Twitter / Instagram / Email


  • Anders says:

    Finally! A travel blog with content, not just another travel blog. I find the stuff you post to be simple, high value, and yet, so hard to find elsewhere. To add to that – your posts are smart, well written and fun to read. I cannot thank you enough for the tips you have shared, which has saved me much time (and also some money). I look forward to read about your upcoming travels and trip experiences. Thanks for sharing!

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