The Monsoon Diaries

Join the international community of thousands in changing how we travel: No time, no money, no excuses!

Travel With Us!

Prague, Czechia, Nauru, Saudi Arabia, Greenland, Kiribati, The Solomon Islands, The Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, and Fiji!

Join The Monsoon!

Meet Those Who Have Traveled With Us!

Read The Blog

My love letter to life: Blogging live and everyday while on the move!

Where Have We Been?

40+ trips: 160+ Countries in 7 years, without skipping work or school!

North Korea (Aug. 2011)

Vice did their take, here’s ours.

Antarctica (Dec. 2013)

Perhaps our most remote expedition yet!

The Monsoon Diaries

Changing the way we travel: no time, no money, no excuses

Our mission

“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

We’re 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. Having travelled over 160 countries in 7 years without skipping class, quitting work, missing shifts, or breaking the budget, we find ways around the habit of saying “I don’t have time or money” and make it work. We come home with too many stories to share and filled with saudade, and then we do it again.

Our trips are raw, real, and unapologetic: We don’t design vacations where we hold your hand — instead, we monsoon.

So more than blogging about how to travel without having any time or money, we go together: Join hundreds of others around the world for our unique style of international travel where we bring the solo backpacking experience to a group; in other words: “group travel for people who hate group travel.” 

Take a leap of faith and dare to live your best life. Let the trade winds catch your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Monsoon.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Until Our Next Adventure!









Dec. 28, 2018 – Jan 16, 2019


Jan. 17-20, 2019

Saudi Arabia

Mar. 16-23, 2019


Sept. 16-25, 2019

Search The Site

Happy Thans-Kiev-ing!

 Thanks Fanny for the pun of a title!I realized that whenever people ask for advice for what to see in Kiev and I look through my blog to rev up my memory again, all I have on Kiev is a crazy night out that began at the infamous Palata no. 6 (aka Hospital Bar), and...

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The Return To Yerevan

 After 3 days in Artsakh it was time to return home. We woke up at 9am, had breakfast and quickly packed our bags ontop of Yerish's car, who had come just in time to drive us back to Yerevan. Instead of the southern route we took to reach Artsakh, we would return...

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The Last Lights On The Right: Shoushi, Agdam, & Martakert

  After a morning in Stepanakert we headed out towards the rest of the Karabakh region to explore other areas evidently affected by the recent clashes between Azerbaijan and Karabakh/Armenian forces.The first sign of the war was a tank memorial on a hill, refurbished...

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Where We’ve Been

Videos Of Past Trips

Meet Some of Our Travelers:


When I was traveling with The Monsoon Diaries, I experienced the world like I never had before. The feeling from the adrenaline rush from constantly being on the move, seeing the boundless beauty that exists in the world, and building meaningful friendships with people who were once strangers was incomparable. I was challenged intellectually, culturally, emotionally, and politically. I learned how much there is to see and experience in the world, and how much I appreciate my youth for giving me the energy and flexibility to go see it. I got a small taste of what that clear mind and rejuvenated soul feels like…
. . . I want to take a second to thank this guy for being such an important person in my life. Calvin, you have become one of my best friends over this past year and easily my favorite travel buddy. From when we first met in Russia last New Year’s Eve to these past few weeks in Australia and New Zealand, I’m so glad I’ve gotten to experience so much of the world with you. You never fail to challenge me and remind me the importance of self-love and embracing all the opportunities that life presents because life is short and there’s way too much to do and see in this world. I would never have embarked on this journey around the world if you never came into my life and helped me find the confidence to just do it if for no other reason than I deserve it. I am constantly grateful for your friendship, support, and guidance. Whenever and whenever our next travel adventure takes us, I know it will be epic.

Taylan Stulting

The Trans-Mongolian, Tibet, Scotland, The Balkans, Australia, New Zealand

It really has been an incredible experience and like I said before, I don’t even see how you are human. You do so much and still find time to give people like me, experiences of a lifetime like this. So, as much as I can’t thank you enough, thank you, thank you, thank you!! Haha it’s been the craziest, most awesome experience of my entire life so I appreciate everything.

Mikey Massey

Southern Africa (11 Countries)

I’m so glad I didn’t shy away from this. I’m so glad I didn’t say no to you and this trip. I’m grateful for the nudge. And I’m grateful for you, and everyone else that opened my eyes and made my vision a little clearer.

I’m most grateful for myself because I feel like I just took 100 leaps forward from all the steps I’ve been taking back. There’s a liberation that comes with loving yourself, and I got to taste and feel a tiny, tiny part of it from this trip this past weekend. All of this self-realization and self-confrontation was step 1. . . .

Thanks for giving me the chance to see the part of myself I tried to not see for a long time.

Ann Wen

Luxembourg, Australia, New Zealand

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

Finland, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia

. . . 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.

[Calvin,] you have created something really special – it is likely that I never would have seen Poland/Ukraine/Cuba had your vision not been the impetus to booking those trips, not to mention the invaluable friendships that form from sharing such a wonderfully intense period of time together. Case in point, all the different configurations of reunions you guys have had in the month since Cuba, Maria extending her family’s hospitality, etc… yep, truly something special.

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

[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 wanted to thank everyone for sharing this experience with me. Calvin reminded me the night of Ruchika’s birthday that NO ONE, not even my future husband, will ever understand or have shared the moments I shared with you all — my first trip outside of the U.S.A. and discovering myself through backpacking.

I’m so blessed to have met each and every one of you. I made a comment to some of you that it’s amazing how 17 different personalities managed to get along; there was not one person on this trip that I did not enjoy spending time with.

Continue to travel the world, get to know yourselves even more, and thank you for sharing your stories with me and allowing me to share parts of myself with you too. You ladies and gents are beautiful people!

Maria Villa

Ukraine, Poland, Germany

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