Komagan.com

Perspectives on Global Economy, Technology, Travel and Culture

By

Jordan from the air

Jordan is a land enshrouded in mystery. Serving as a crossroads of humanity for thousands of years has left the country with a cultural diversity unmatched by few. Come along with Matador as we explore this beautiful land from an angle never before seen, an aerial delight captured using the latest in drone technology. From the ancient ruins of Petra to the mind-blowing rock formations of Wadi Rum, Jordan is a place that will continue to amaze you—just watch and see…

This entire film was shot with a DJI Inspire and DJI Phantom 2, equipped with the H3-3D gimbal along with a GoPro Hero 4.

By

Slovenia – Beautiful landscape and people

Slovenia

Slovenia, EU

Slovenia shaped like a chicken

It is strange to think that Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia block of countries. But Slovenes are more industrious and organized than the fellow former Slavs. During Tito’s era, Slovenia enjoyed a remarkable expansion of industrial infrastructure with 60% of all industry concentrated in this small state. Slovenia was the first country to secede from Yogoslavia after Tito’s fall. The breakaway was rather smooth with only a few dozen deaths compared to the mess we saw in Bosnia and Croatia. Within a decade after their independence from Yugoslavia, Slovenia joined the EU club. It was also the first central European country to adopt the euro currency in 2007.

Facts about Slovenia

Geographic Location: Bounded by Croatia to the south, Austria to north, Italy to west and Hungary to east.
Currency: Euro
Capital: Ljubljana
GDP: ~50B USD (2014)
Population: 2.1 Million (2014)
Unemployment Rate: 9% (better than former Yugoslavian countries but worse than Austria and Czech Republic)
Tourist arrivals: 3.4 Million (2014) – higher than the country population??


If you are into nature and outdoor activities you will thoroughly enjoy spending your time in Slovenia. Most people underestimate the time they need to explore Slovenia. The landscape is diverse with alpine trails, ski resorts, and some of the world’s best caves. Hiking is an absolute must in the nearby Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps if you happen to travel in the summer season. I would skip the much touristy Lake Bled and head straight to Lake Bohinj which is only a 30 minutes drive from Lake Bled. There is a local bus you can take from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj. Once you in Lake Bohinj, you can take a 30 minute boat ride across the lake and worth doing the trip. You can see the Triglau mountain on one side and Dinaric mountain on the other side.

Get lost in the solace of Lake Bohinj!

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Ferry across Lake Bohinj

If you do go to Lake Bled, make sure to hike up to the top of the castle. Once you get to the top you can see the sweeping views of Lake Bled and its surroundings.

I love Slovenia

Beautiful Slovenia

Food to try in Slovenia

Pumpskin seed oil
Carniolian sausage
Prsut – air dried ham – Try the different Prsut at the local open air market in Ljubljana
Walnut Rolls
Bled Cream cake (Try the Bled cake in Lake Bled if you do go there)
Coffee – Even a side road highway gas station makes a good cup of Cappuchino in Slovenia

Ljubljana (Capital)
Ljubljana, located on Ljubljanica River is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe. It gets its cultural influences from fellow baltic and central european states – Czech, Italy and Austria.

You can’t swing a cat without hitting a building that is not designed by this architect Joze Plecnik. His architectural landmarks dominate Ljubljana’s squares, streets and water ways. He studied in Vienna under Otto Wagner and designed many buildings such as libraries, office buildings, cemetries, stadiums and bridges.

Metelkova – Wall covered with graffiti art

If you are in Ljbljana this is a must place to go. Metelkova, located near the main Ljubljana train station is well known for its alternative culture and is quite different from the European atmosphere you experience in rest of the city. When you are here you can see artistic expressions through graffiti art displays on walls. The area also includes some clubs, live music space and art galleries. If you want to know more about it I recommend reading local-life.com.

Untitled

Untitled

Preseren Square

Named after the national poet France Prešeren, the square is the center of activities and meeting points for both locals and tourists where festivals, fairs, cultural events take place. My favorite part of the center is the south end where the Triple bridge crosses the Ljubljanica river. Originally built as a wooden bridge, Jože Plečnik built two additional foot bridges at a slight angle on each side of the middle bridge.


A side thought….

After traveling in Croatia I can say Slovenians are very a nice bunch of happy people who are kind to tourists. Most people who I met spoke decent English (albeit with an European accent).

What do Slovenians think of EU? From my interactions with a few locals I gather people are a bit apprehensive of being a part of EU. They perceive policy decisions are mostly influenced by larger countries. The biggest advantage of the being a member country in the EU block is access to free trade and movement of resources and labor. But it is a double edged sword. It could also mean the possibility of bigger and larger companies gobbling up smaller companies in smaller economies.

Best time to visit: May – June, Sep – Oct
Life expectancy: 80/100
Happiness index: 87/151 according to Happy Planet index

By

Technology that might enhance your travel

After having recently traveled extensively across Laos and Vietnam, I can personally attest to just how much technology plays a role in the planning and management of a travel experience. More so than I’m sure any of us stop to think. Though with the sleuth of technology, tools, services and apps at our disposal nowadays, it can often be an intimidating concept figuring out which to use to enhance your adventure and make the planning process a breeze.

You can read more on Mapping Megan‘s blog

Couchsurfing

By

ASI – Utopia or End of humanity by 2050?

Reading this article will blow your mind. Threat to humanity is not from an alien invasion or WW3 or some terrorist attack but it will most probably be from the development of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI).

This is where we are currently!

HumanProgress

Part 1 – The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence

Intelligence-scale - chimp to Human to AI

Intelligence-scale – chimp to Human to AI

Part 2 – AI Revolution – Immortality or Extinction

Utopia or Extinction?

Utopia or Extinction?

By

Eastern European trip Itinerary

Total duration – 45 days
Countries covered – Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Hungary, Poland, Austria and Czech Republic
Primary mode of transport – Bus, Train, Private transport and ferry

Eastern Europe Travel Path

Eastern Europe Travel Path

By

Laos Vietnam 2015 Trip

Laos (23 days)

Vietene->Thakek->Pakse->Champasak->Don Det (4000 islands)->Luang Prabang

Vietnam (25 days)

Hanoi->Halong Bay->Sapa->Ning Binh->Hanoi->Hue->Hoi An->Danang->Saigon

Laos-Viet

By

Top Performing Stock Markets in 2014

Not surprisingly Emerging markets tops the list. But Argentina, the country teetering on bankruptcy is No.1 really?

Top Performing Stock Market Performance in 2014

Top Performing Stock Market Performance in 2014

By

Press Freedom 2014

Scandinavian countries tops the list as expected.

Press Freedom 2014

Press Freedom 2014

By

My 2015 Travel Plans

I always wanted to take a few years off and travel around the world and capture the special moments in life. While I don’t have the luxury of taking a few years off, I can at least try taking a few months at a time. Here is a rough outline of my plan for 2015 but it is constantly evolving.

South East Asia

Jan – March
India
Laos
Cambodia
Vietnam

South East Asia Travel Plan

South East Asia Travel Plan

Eastern Europe

May – June

Czech Republic
Hungary
Poland
Slovakia
Slovenia
Croatia

Eastern Europe Itinerary

Eastern Europe Itinerary

By

Leaving NYC after 14 years

After living in the city for over 14 years (Manhattan mostly) it is finally time for me to move on and look for new adventures.

I am taking a break for many reasons – spending more time with my daughter in Upstate, traveling to some new places that I never been, working on ideas that have been on the back burner for a while. I want to push myself beyond my comfort zone. Traveling to me is not just about relaxing but also about venturing into unknown. This means experiencing other cultures, trying new food and interacting with the locals.

No I am not saying goodbye to the city and I still have my apartment in the city (but i did sublet it for a year). I will certainly be visiting the city every couple of of months. But I am leaving the city with a heavy heart. This is the city where I spent majority of my life after college.

Watch for more updates, photos and stories in the upcoming days, weeks and months!