The Monsoon Diaries
Join the international community of thousands in changing the way we travel: No time, no money, no excuses!
Our Next Trips!
Armenia, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, and Fiji!
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Meet The People Who Have Traveled With Us!
Read The Blog
We blog LIVE, everyday while on the move, whether it’s from Antarctica or North Korea!
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
Adventures, Not VacatioNs
“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. Hundreds of our readers (aka “monsooners”) have traveled with us to over 160 countries within 7 years on our monsoon trips without skipping class, quitting work, missing shifts, or breaking the budget. Some people say “I don’t have time or money” — well, we find ways around it and make it work. Raw, real, and unapologetic: We don’t do vacations where we hold your hand — instead, we monsoon.
So not only do we just write about how to travel without having much time or money, we’ll also take you personally there ourselves — join the hundreds of other monsooners on our unique style of international travel where we bring the solo backpacking experience to a group — or 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!
Nov. 11-18, 2018
Dec. 28, 2018 – Jan 16, 2019
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After 4 days and 3 nights in the saudade of Tokyo, a city that actually lived up and dare I say, exceeded expectations (even though travel never is supposed to go your way, every now and then with rare exceptions like in Tokyo, it sometimes does), some of us had to...read more
After a late night in Kyoto last night, we pushed hard early this morning and took the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Nozomi Train from Kyoto Station to Tokyo Station. Look to your left and you'll pass by Mount Fuji about halfway during the 2 hour trip. Your Shinkansen...read more
To preface this entry, Kyoto is more massive than I'd expected. But not the massive as in where every square foot is a temple, going as far as the eye can see like in Bagan. Rather, I was surprised how it was massive more in a dense, in-your-face, modern...read more
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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.
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.
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.
. . . 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.
[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. . . .
[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.
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!