On March 11, 2020, I traveled from my apartment in the small Bulgarian ski town of Bankso for what I thought would be a two week holiday with my parents in Spain followed by a short work trip to Estonia to cover a music festival. Two days later, Bulgaria shut their borders, and two days after that I was locked down in Malaga, Spain.
Here’s what went down over the past 400 days.
Part 1: 100 Days of Lockdown, Alarm, and Malaga
March 12-June 20, 2020
Spain had one of the strictest and longest running lockdowns during the first wave of the pandemic. And I was there for the entire State of Alarm. Wine, street-art, and low-key madness were my companions for one of the strangest 100-day stretches of my life.
Part 2: 100 Days of Malaga The Province
June 20-September 20, 2020
The State of Alarm has ended and I cautiously expand my explorations from the city of Malaga to the larger province (also confusingly called Malaga). Oddly enough, this is my first summer off from working events in almost twenty years so I go full summer vacation mode with trips to the beach and hikes to see the sights of Malaga.
100 Days of Travel 50 Days of Travel
September 20-November 9, 2020
With my visa ending in Spain and all my stuff still in storage in Bulgaria, I head back to the Balkans. With cases on the decline around the world, I believe that travel can once again be started up safely. I am, of course, comically wrong, and have to cut my Macedonia expedition short.
Part 4: 100 Days of Wandering
November 10, 2020-February 14, 2021
While COVID and misinformation runs rampant across The Balkans, Bulgaria is still keeping their borders closed to Americans. I try to find a place safe enough to ride out the winter, but visa issues and virus spikes keep me on the move from Macedonia to Albania to Montenegro, and finally, to Serbia.
Part 5: 50 Days of Winter – The Serbia Edition
February 15-April 18, 2021
I post up for what’s left of the winter at Serbia’s largest ski hill. The temperature in February is so warm that I’m wearing a t-shirt and spending more time hiking than riding. What I don’t know is that the biggest storm system in the past five years is about to turn this into a winter wonderland and one of the most memorable ski seasons of my life.