The latest in my list of World Travellers is Daniel Kiteski from Passport Symphony. Let’s check out what Daniel has to say to Don’t Stop Living about his crazy adventures.
Who are you?
My name is Daniel Kiteski, a digital nomad and wanderluster from Macedonia. My mission is to explore all the countries in the world but in a different way than most travelers. I like exploring off the beaten track and finding hidden gems that haven’t been visited by many people before. I always say that wherever you travel in the world, part of the experience is learning, through observation and participation, about the people who live there. Their traditions, their culture, their history, their quirks, their cuisine. And the best way to do this is by getting away from the tourist trail.
Where are you from?
I am from Skopje, Macedonia.
Where have you been?
I have visited 35 countries, including: the US, Spain, Italy, France, Monaco, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Turkmenistan, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Where are you now?
I just came back from Indonesia and I’m currently in my hometown for the Easter Holidays.
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
1. Kashmir will always hold a special place in my heart. I have a lot of amazing memories from traveling around the region, which would take me days to write about. The best memory was probably becoming the first Macedonian to climb Stok Kangri (6,153m).
2. Not really off-the-beaten-track but Hoi An has to make it to the top of my list. This small town looks like a normal Southeast Asian city with some influence of Colonial architecture but when the night comes down is when the real magic begins to happen. As the light goes down and all that is left is the candle lights in the streets and on the boats, you begin to really discover the beauty of this town.
3. Bohey Dulang is in my opinion, the most beautiful island in Southeast Asia. It is actually formed from the remnants of an ancient volcano, resulting in a majestic 25 meters deep blue lagoon at the shore. It’s basically a hill filled with lush jungle surrounded by jaw-dropping beaches.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
I would have to say it was in Drass in Kashmir in 2017. We had the bad luck of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Drass is supposedly the third coldest inhabited place in the world and it’s surrounded by majestic mountains. We were exploring the area and enjoying the view when our group was intercepted by armed robbers.
We were in the middle of nowhere when they came on their motorbikes and surrounded us. They were wearing masks, were armed and speaking in a very aggressive tone. I couldn’t quite understand what they were saying because they were speaking in Urdu. But it was clear what they were after… Fortunately, most of our belongings, including our phones that were charging in the local restaurant weren’t with us.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
My best travel experience comes from Kashmir. Right after we got robbed, we reached our hotel in Ladakh we told our unfortunate story to the hotel owner. He even apologized to us and gave us the room almost free of charge. He also helped us get a ride to Nubra Valley and we also told our story to our driver. After hearing, he didn’t charge us for the ride and he even invited us to stay at his home and eat delicious homemade Kashmiri food prepared by his wife. It was awesome how our bad experience led the way for so many good things that were about to happen…
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
It’s a tough question because I consider myself to be an absolute traveling jinx but almost getting killed probably cracks the top of the list. I was in Delhi when I met this beautiful African girl, one thing led to another and we ended up at her place where she supposedly stayed with her brother who was on a business trip. I woke up the next morning hearing voices shouting in front of the door and seconds later I found myself face to face with an enraged guy rushing to the kitchen to get what I believe was his kitchen knife. After a glorious jump from the first floor balcony, I found myself running in my boxers in the streets of Chhatarpur. Sure, it’s a funny story today but it could have ended much worse.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
I just had landed in Hanoi during my first trip to Vietnam. Understandably, all my luggage was with me. I was sitting at the airport waiting for my cab but little did I know that the Grab taxi that I booked will turn out to be a motorbike. The driver reached and located me right away. My two big bags weren’t a problem for the taxi driver. His answer to my ‘how the hell am I gonna get on this bike with my large bags’ face was: “Come on, what are you waiting for”? And yeah, he didn’t speak English!
What is the most random job you have had on your travels?
I know it’s not going to sound very random but it would be working for a consulting company in India.
How do you fund your travels?
I fund my trips through my blog, Passport Symphony, and I also do a lot of work as a freelance copywriter.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
1. Get out of your comfort zone. It will either be a life-changing experience or will at least make you see life from different angles and appreciate what you have even more.
2. Never let misfortunate experiences bring you down or ruin your trip. Remember that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
3. Always research before you visit, don’t be afraid of new things, and always keep an open mind.
What are your future travel plans?
The journey never stops! I’ve only visited 35 countries and there are so many of
them left. My plan for 2018 is to finally set a foot in South America and probably visit
Daniel Kiteski is the blogger behind passportsymphony.com. He's a digital marketing specialist with working experience in 3 different continents. Daniel visited 32 countries on his own, in the cheapest way possible at only 24 years of age.
Thanks to Daniel for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured, either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!