HoliDaze Archive

immigration

First Impressions of Georgia: Free Wine & Friendly People

Tbilisi skyline as seen while descending from the mountain

“First time in Georgia?” asked the immigration official after he finished flipping through my passport. “Yes sir, looking forward to it,” I replied. He stamped my passport then handed it back along with a free bottle of wine and a cheery “Welcome to Georgia, enjoy your stay” that was way too energetic for 4am. Now … Read More

Travel Fucktastrophes: The Stories I’ve Never Told

Nicaragua Resort

When traveling, there are those stories that are never told. No, not the ones about what happened in Bangkok or Berlin or Las Vegas — those always get told, often with “my friend” or “this guy I know” substituted in place of the slightly more embarrassing “me” 😉 I’m talking about those crazy embarrassing stories. … Read More

Strange Customs Regulations Around The World

Strange customs regulations at airports around the world

As anyone who has traveled internationally will tell you, it is a learning experience like no other. Our planet is the world’s greatest classroom, home to an endless variety of cultures, each with their own unique food, languages, customs and beliefs. However occasionally it is not the local sights that make you stop and wonder, … Read More

Life In An Immigration Detention Center

Derek Freal is locked up abroad

Recently I happened to find myself locked up abroad in Indonesia for 16 days all because of a tweet. (Yes, a tweet…a deleted one at that!) Now let me show you around my cell at the immigration detention center, my new (and hopefully temporary) home.   This post was written while I was locked up … Read More

Deported Because Of A Tweet: My Immigration Horror Story

I'm A Bad Tweeter

As I type this I am locked in a cell in an Indonesian detention center. Why you may ask? Surely someone who has been traveling the world for five years is smart enough not to get himself deported. Well, apparently I am not. However rather than being deported for some heinous act, like smuggling or … Read More

First Impressions: Singapore, The Little Nation That Could

Marina Bay, Singapore, at sunset

From the moment I landed in Singapore’s Changi International Airport I was impressed. Maybe it was the fact the place was spotlessly clean, orderly and efficient…or maybe it was just the fact that I had spent the previous two months motorcycling through Indonesia that made finally arriving in a country without trash and cigarette smoke … Read More