Monthly Archives: February 2009

Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? Sweden’s Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel Photos: Jumbo Hostel

What the hell? Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? 36 year old Oscar Diös of Sweden had one of the most genius ideas when he took a vacant Boeing 747 and turned it into a hostel just outside of the Stockholm Arland Airport. Dub the Jumbo Hostel hosting 25 rooms at 6 square meters and 3 meter ceilings. From 330 SEK to 3300 SEK a night.

I think I might have to swing by Sweden soon and check out Jumbo Hostel for myself.
Jumbo Hostel
Jumbovägen 4
SE-190 47 Stockholm Arlanda
Phone +46 (0)8-593 604 00
Fax +46 (0)8-593 604 11
E-mail reservation:  

Check out an interview with the man behind this unique looking accommodation at Matador Network

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College Vs. Travel With A Little Olympics Thrown In

I am going to take the Oprah/ The Secret approach to this and put it out in the universe. I want to announce I have applied to be an Olympic Torch Bearer for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I don’t know how anyone else feels on the subject, but to me to be one I think it would be huge and a major honor to be apart of Canadian and Olympic history. Any better and I would be an athlete competing. So here’s hoping that destiny and fate and whoever else is watching out for me has this in mind for me.

So while filling out applications to become an Olympic torchbearer I was also filling out my college applications. It’s that time again in Ontario. Well actually it’s passed that time for most students, but I am applying for a January start program so I still have a few days left. When I was senior in high school I had applied and was accepted into my programs but decide almost two weeks before the start of classes that I wasn’t ready for school and wanted to travel. Two years ago I planned to apply to college again but got as far as setting up my application and having my transcripts ready to be mailed in. 5 trips later….

Besides the highway robbery of application fees and any other random fees the Ontario college application service likes to charge and ignoring the fact that I will probably be about 5-6 years older then most of the students in my class or that my grades aren’t as high as they could have been due to the amount of slacking I did in H.S. That has been on my mind. No, it has something to do with what my mom had said when I was discussing my applications for Canadian history and my future over dinner.

“If this is what you want Jo, go for. Put all your little trips asides and do this full course. Don’t do it haft way. I want you to go all the way.”

“Wait I can’t take any more trips if I go to college?”

“You have done enough trips. Focus on doing well on this.”

“Well I can’t take one more trip before I go?”

“Well if you really feel like you need too… But you should be saving up for schooling.”

So here is my question is college the end all to travel? Is this really it? No more foreign adventures but the 9 to 5 drone. Should I travel one more time before going off to school and having to pay upwards of 10,000 a year for the next 5 years? Or do I forget college and a stable future and continue to work at a restaurant so I can continue traveling several times a year at will? Does it really haft to be one or the other?

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What Old is New Again.

Havana, Cuba – January 28 2009

I am back in Habana Veija again sitting in Fuente de la India next to El Capitolio. I finally visited Museo de la Ciudad. Getting there by taxi was momentary troublesome. The driver didn’t know where it was and ignored me when I told him it was in Plaza de Armas. He asked all the other taxi drivers that were waiting at the hotel then eventually agree to let me point it out to him on my map.

The museum was nice. Beautiful and well done. When you first walk in pass the admission desk is a beautiful court yard with a statue of Christopher Columbus in the center. Waddling through the court yard are two attractive peacocks. I was taken by surprise when one of the museum staff approached me asking me to exchange a $10 USD bill for her. Because US is not accepted in Cuba. I refused as I wasn’t 100% sure that what she wanted. She spoke in Spanish throwing in only a few words of English and made hand gestures. Not to mention I would have had to reach into my pants to get at my money belt to get money to exchange it.

I made my way through Calle Obispo again after I finish touring Ciudad. Glancing at the stalls of used books as I walk. It only noon on my last day and I am running out of things to do to pass time so I am not spending my last moments in my room. I’ll probably soak up the sun here some more then maybe do some more wandering.


Back in the hotel now. I visited the Castle/fort {Castillo de la Real Fuerza} in Plaza de Armas. It is now a naval museum with mostly scale models of ships from centuries ago. I walked down to San Francisco Plaza again. It has to be my favorite little spot in Havana. Is it wrong, that it is because it reminds me of Italy? I enjoy an ice cream cone sitting on the steps of the Lion fountain facing the church. I walked back down the street towards El Malecón ignoring the cat calls and offers of a taxi ride from a group of unlicensed taxi drivers.


“Beautiful lady!”
“How are you?”
“Hey! Hey! Hey!”

I stopped to buy some souvenir hats from a gentleman selling them from the door way of him home. You approach the door and you see a girl lying on a gold color floral couch watching television and pass her was the door way to their kitchen where you can see their microwave.

I took another coco taxi back to the hotel. Driving down the El Malecón I’ve developed a real appreciation of how beautiful it is.

I spent the rest of the day the same way I spent the other nights since being in Cuba and that is relaxing in my room taking a nap. I bought some 4Cl bottles of Rum for some coworkers.

I leave tomorrow. Sun wing is picking me up at 5:30pm. Hotel Kohly’s check out is at 2pm. I talked to the receptionist who told me I could pay the 20 pesos for a late checkout.

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A Visit to Papa’s.

Havana, Cuba – January 27 2009


A bit of a slow and boring day. Nothing really went on. I paid my long distant bill and was shocked to find out that I owed 61.35CUC for the three phone calls I made home that were under  ten minutes each. I proceeded to buy a 6CUC internet card and emailed my family to let them know I would no longer be calling them for the rest of the trip and to not worry. Its official Cuba is the most expensive country to call home from to date.


There was only one major thing I had left to see while here in Havana and that was a visit to Hemingway’s museum. His home here in Cuba. I couldn’t find it on the map I bough on Friday so I was only haft surprise when the taxi driver protested making the drive because he would have to wait to drive me back.


“It’s far.” He tells me. “Really far.”

“Um, Okay.” He looked down at his watch and back at me.

“At least 25km there and back.”

“Okay great.” I replied. He drives up to a dispatcher mumbles something in Spanish changing the CD in the stereo and then drives off.


We drove through a forest area called The Rocas. It had the most beautiful dream like trees and streams. As we continued to drive we drove into ‘Real Cuba’. The streets and houses are very poor and decaying. Bustling with people. Along the way I saw the first and only ATM I’ve seen since being here. Complete with a long line of people waiting to use it.


Past almost slum like conditions we drive through these gates and up a narrow winding driveway to a beautiful house. It is a shame you cannot go into the house itself but you can look in through the bottom floor windows. On one hand you feel a bit like a peeping tom, yet on the other hand you get an idea of what his life was like here in Havana. That man had a book collection I only dreamt of. A walk down a path takes me to Pilar, Hemingway’s 7 person boat. Very beautiful. Its places like this that I really hate that my camera was broken.


The taxi ride round trip plus tip cost me 45CUC.


I spent the rest of the day hanging out in my room with nothing to do. I’ve done just about everything I wanted to do while here. Now I have no idea what to do for the next two days. Perhaps shopping.



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