About Nathan James Thomas

Fresh out of high school , Nathan James Thomas hopped a flight to Australia and spent three months riding the Greyhound buses across the remote centre and forgotten corners of the vast continent. Ever since then he's been hooked on the long journey, the strange town, the new city and the unfathomable characters that have kept him traveling ever since. Originally from New Zealand, Nathan spent 2015 in Poland and is now based in Shanghai.

Author Archive | Nathan James Thomas

Under Keleti Station

We went there the day after the buses. Most people had already left. Carried over the border into Austria. Germany was waiting, arms open. We came with good intentions but few ideas. When our friends first went to Keleti with food they were mobbed. Children snatched the bags out of their hands. 3000 people had lain on the […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Top 10 Travel Songs for Hopeless Wanderers

  Here are my top 10 travel songs for hopeless wanderers – serious travel songs best enjoyed in the company of a stiff drink or on a train late at night (or, ideally, both). The choices are pretty personal so definitely not a great fit for everyone, but if you’ve got a bit of the […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Rhythms of the Road

They’re building a shopping mall next door. Sounds of drilling rip open the suburban evening. The sun is setting out the window to my left. It’s so strange to be still. It took me seven days to get from Istanbul to Poznan. No flights. One overnight bus, three sleeper trains and a delirious 3 hour […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Lost in the Light of Dawn

We crossed into Bulgaria shortly after midnight. Aside from an elderly Chinese couple I was the only tourist onboard. The other passengers blended in with the fabric of the bus. A women in a black leather jacket, ragged face, dark makeup. Old men in blazers with white hair. A young man, short hair, pudgy face, who coughed […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

On the Shore of the Aegean

The Galata bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul is normally full of touts and scammers. Gypsies beg on the ground, swathed in blankets, small children in their arms. Ragged boys place footballs in the middle of the path and line up small wooden blocks alongside the wall for the punters to kick over. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

To the Edge of Asia

When the plane landed in Kiev the first thing we saw were United Nations aircraft parked alongside military jets beside the runway. The bold “UN” lettering and famous globe flag on the grey tarmac under the grey sky. The airport was not deserted but it was quiet. The only planes were stamped with Ukranian colours. There were no […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Warszawa Days

Coming out of the subway the only things to see were towering apartment blocks. The biggest was round, like a space station or something from an industrial plant, round and white and looming over the square blocks that otherwise made up the Warszawa night. I’d had a long journey; first the overnight train from L’viv to […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Wraiths of the Milk Bar

We walked into the doors of the milk bar (bar mleczny) and immediately felt like we’d stepped back 40 years to when Poland quivered under the glare of the Soviet Union and these state subsidised dens were the only places honest people could afford a meal out. Somewhere between a soup kitchen and workers canteen, the […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

At a Honky-tonk in Poznan

Near the front of the bar was a man with a thick, roughly etched face, a clinging, defiant beard and that honky-tonk stare familiar to every visitor to Nashville, Tennessee. Before us was an old lady with short grey hair and golden earrings waving her arms above her head in time with every song. The […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

7 Days in Hungary

Prostitutes and beggars hang out in front of kebab shops waiting to ensnare unsteady drunks. Loud English and Australian tourists hollar into bars and out of clubs. And me, I’m just walking through. Suitcase rolling along in one hand, the other patting down the pockets, phone in the left, wallet in the right. Over my […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }