The Monsoon Diaries

Trying to change the way we travel: no time, no money, no excuses

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Join Our Upcoming Adventures!

Winter 2015: Extreme SE Asia, Myanmar, The Silk Road & Central Asia

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You Are Not Alone: Join The Monsoon!

Ever wanted to travel but didn’t know where to start? We’re here to help.

Meet the Monsooners

Read The Blog

We blog everyday while on the move, whether it’s from Antarctica or North Korea!

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Where Have We Been?

20+ trips: 80+ Countries in 4 years, without skipping work or school!
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Featured Trip: North Korea (Aug. 2011)

Vice did their take, here’s ours.

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Featured Trip: Antarctica (Dec. 2013)

Perhaps our most remote expedition yet!
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Our Mission


You heard it before: “I don’t have time or money.” We believe otherwise. We monsoon.

We are your everyday students and young professionals who ignore the “Yeah, but…” excuse, kick the bucket list, and jet-set around the world without taking time off or quitting anything. In the past 4 years, we’ve taken hundreds of our readers (aka “monsooners”) to over 100 countries on our “monsoon” trips without skipping a day of class, asking for extra vacation days, or breaking the bank.

So besides writing about how to travel with no time or money, we’ll also show you how; we’re inviting YOU to join the hundreds of others monsooners on our internationally renowned trips. So take a leap of faith and change your life today. Let the trade winds catch your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Monsoon.

Until Our Next Adventure!








The Silk Road

Dec. 28th, 2015 – Jan. 10th, 2016

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Extreme SE Asia

Dec. 13th – 27th, 2015

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Latest Blogposts From Our Most Recent Trip

You’re Going To Miss…The Baltic Crescent

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BelaRushing: 7 Hours In Minsk

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Trakai Tribulations

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Meet Some of Our Travelers:

….Although the vigorous tempo seems intrinsic to [my friend] Tiger, he attributed this style of travel to his friend Calvin, who had inspired the itinerary for his trip…“Buffet style,” he drew the picture: just a quick sampling of places because, as Calvin reasons, you can always go back after you see what you’re drawn to. Calvin had already taken groups to Iran and North Korea, Tiger informed us. He was planning to do Cuba over Thanksgiving weekend. And he scheduled all of this on breaks from med school. Even as I was undertaking my own adventures, I remember feeling envious of such an intrepid and enterprising spirit.

….Perhaps the most remarkable consideration concerning Calvin’s compelling argument to travel is that there is no compelling argument from Calvin. He does not push unwilling souls to take the plunge. Instead he inspires by example, moving along his (loosely) planned route on his own accord and, much like the force of nature for which his travel approach is named, leaves you to (re)act as you see fit.

Jan Ferrer

Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Cuba

[Since my first trip with The Monsoon Diaries], I’ve been to more places in the last year than I have been in my entire life. And in another seven days, I will board a plane for my fourth Monsoon in the last year, this time to Eastern Europe, as a third-time veteran of The Monsoon Diaries’ family. . . .

Cynthia Koo

Guatemala, Austria, Iran, Switzerland, Ukraine, Poland, Germany

Calvin, just wanted to say thank you so much for another amazing trip. I just read your latest post, it’s beautiful.

I’m thankful to be part of these experiences with you and really appreciate all that you do. Mad love bro.

Alice Tsui

Route 66, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus

It has been a great privilege to travel with the Monsoon Diaries.  They live, breathe, and thrive by “taking the road less traveled”.  In other words, they travel without maximal comfort, and with ever-fluid and constantly tinkered itineraries.  If we can take that leap of faith away from the “resort” experience, what we experience with the Monsoon Diaries is invaluable: the chance to witness wildly beautiful landscapes, to make human connections with our global neighbors, and to learn exactly what we ourselves are made of.  It is absolutely worth not having constant 3G network, or even having a flush toilet.

. . . Calvin Sun is the heart and soul of the Monsoon Diaries.  All these trips are possible only with his vision and enthusiasm, and the strength of his personality draws together all sorts of people who share that willingness to see what’s out there.  “Taking the road less traveled” is never easy, but with Calvin, it’ll never be lonely or boring. . . .

Tan Nguyen

The Palawan, Indonesia, East Timor-Leste

[Remembering] this, after only a few days of home life, brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for a life changing experience. The highs and lows of the last two weeks are the reason why it would be the best two weeks of my life.

Melissa Le

Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Gibraltar

I will miss you folks. Thank you so much for your kindness and making me immediately feel like a part of the framily. I hope we keep in touch and wish you all safe and wonderful continued travels. Looking forward to sharing photos and more.

The thanks are to you [Calvin] for all you have and continue to do with leading us.

Nadi Kaonga


Words really don’t teach but it was you being an example that help me realize it; I knew you would be an amazing doctor and traveler.

…I really don’t know how you do it as a world traveler and a Med student at Columbia, but now I know for sure there is no excuse and anything is possible if you have the passion and the love and it is thanks to you.


Austria, Iran, Switzerland, Germany

Went on my second trip with the Monsoon Diaries (first being the Route 66 Road Trip) to Scandinavia and came back with so many awesome memories and friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. This was a part of Europe that I may not have otherwise visited and I’m glad I got to experience the culture, food, and sights of these amazing countries.

Definitely looking forward to future trips with The Monsoon Diaries!

Kelvin Sage

Route 66, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland

My Russian fortune cookie from Moscow that reminds me to never give up on my ambitions. Always a special place in my heart. I did my trip without any safety nets. . . . Who says I have to do only one thing? It was really a test of character to quit your job and travel the world, thanks to Calvin D. Sun and his blog The Monsoon Diaries.

William Lau

Route 66, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus