Ramón, Ana y Carolina…Gabriela’s boyfriend and 2 friends from Portugal who befriended our David Ali on a walking tour respectively, all for coming by for our first dinner in Barcelona, (and getting us that dessert!) and quickly become friends. 09/10/16.
Gabriela…my friend from NYC, for reuniting in Barcelona, finding us a restaurant last minute on a night where everything was closed, and showing us around a non-touristy ramblas on my first night back in Barcelona in over 5 years. 09/11/16.
Lillian…my friend from NYC, for agreeing tomeet up with me at the last minute for her last night (and my first in over 5 years!) in Barcelona. 09/10/16.
Sydney…for getting to know our group so well (and even becoming part of it!) as you guided us, drove us, cooked for us, and bantered with us during our 3 days together to Sossusvlei and back. Thank you for a great impression of Namibia. 08/13/16.
Andrea Agas…for recognizing me from a workshop at ECAASU at nowhere else but The Cape of Good Hope! 08/12/16.
Sahara and your cousin Hamta…for the conversations on life, marriage, religion, and life as minorities as we headed to Robben Island together, which ended up with my practicing Urdu with your really really cool parents. See you in NYC whenever you visit! 08/11/16.
Chi Chi, Karen, and Mimi…for coming up to us and asking JC for his water bottle while we were descending from the Top of Lion’s Head. A month later, we would find out that we had mutual monsooner friends with Chi Chi through the power of social media. What a small world! 08/10/16.
Genoviva…for being the awesome younger sister of a longtime college buddy of mine (and monsooner), Remi. Thank you for getting us to climb up Lion’s Head, and for watching our bags just so we could reach the summit in time for sunset while you selflessly waited below. Looking forward to seeing you back in the States! 08/10/16.
Nadine and Llewellyn…for befriending JC as he writes: “Quick stopover back at Jo’Burg before we hit up Cape Town. Jo’Burg natives are the warmest and fascinating people I’ve met without understatement. Two are contemporary dancers whom performed at Joyce Theatre NYC and a talented jewelry artist and writer.” 08/09/16.
Jordan…for sitting down, chatting with me, and buying me shots (even though I was being rude by keeping to myself and blogging at the Curiocity Hostel bar in Johannesburg). A curious hello turned into an hours-long conversation about travel, museums, intersectionality, social justice, and activism. See you when you visit NYC next summer! 08/06/16.
The Peace Corps Volunteers, namely Carol and Rita…for quickly befriending our group as we stayed for one night in your home away from home at Sundowner’s in Swaziland. Carol, I’m looking forward to our West African itinerary! 08/03/16.
Alex Howe…for your invaluable insight on what to do and what to see in Swaziland and South Africa while we briefly met at Fatima’s in Mozambique. 08/02/16.
Nadi’s Agogo and Charles…for truly showing us the warm heart of Africa as you selflessly drove us to beautiful Lake Malawi and back where a family-cooked dinner and pie waited for us in your home, all the while sharing stories and giving us a part of Malawi we would otherwise never have known. 08/01/16.
Gentle…for looking out for us and shooing away potential muggers and touts while guiding us around the world’s largest (and probably most chaotic) outdoor market in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 07/31/16.
Rowan and his daughter Malala…for offering me a free ride to the airport in my last hour in Bermuda, after I had asked about calling for a taxi. Thank you for continuing to make me believe in Caribbean hospitality! 04/23/16.
Ilana Alazzeh…for being my fellow social justice warrior, inspiring me to stay involved believe in our intersections. Thank you for coming to meet me during my day trip in DC, the hour filled with intense conversations, and driving me back to my bus ride home! 03/27/16.
Eugene Mok…for meeting up with me not only once but twice when I visited DC on a day trip to the annual cherry blossom festival. Thank you for introducing me to POV bar without knowing I had already tried to incorporate that into my agenda, and hanging out with me again over hookah a few hours before my bus ride home. 03/27/16.
Diana Braham…for the WTF moment when you called out my name in El Conquistador Hotel in Fajardo — literally 5 minutes after I had said goodbye to fellow Columbia alumn Ana Taveras (see right) — making it 2 years since we saw each other even though you work right across the street from my apartment. It was great catching up and I’ll see you back at the next Wagner Middle School fire drill! 02/16/16.
Ana Taveras…for sneaking out of work at El Conquistador Hotel in Fajardo and catcing up with me for half and hour after 10 years of not seeing each other since college! 02/16/16.
Jeremy Hirsch…for striking up a conversation with us while waiting for our bioluminescence bay tour in Vieques, and finding out we had too many mutual friends in common from our days in high school. See you back in NYC! 02/15/16.
Roland…for the late night travel stories at Mappa and teaching me everything I needed to know about the Dutch (and Myanmar!). We’ll definitely travel together again soon. 01/19/16.
Maureen…for not forgetting me after 8 months since our first brief meeting in Paramaribo, Suriname. Thank for the free drinks at Mappa and staying up with me so late that you missed your bus home twice! See you in Moscow! 01/19/16.
Rik…for not only leading our Extreme South America trip in April 2014, but also hosting me when my last minute plans led me to Amsterdam. Thank you for the drinks, the dinner, and our conversations on leading trips together. See you in Afghanistan! 01/19/16.
Kien…for being immediate friends with me the minute I unpacked my stuff at Ecomama Hostel in Amsterdam. Even though you had been brushing your teeth and planning to head to bed that moment, you nevertheless ended up coming out with me for hookah that night. Thanks for the late night conversations on taking life in alternative directions. See you back in NYC! 01/18/16.
Firuz…for showing us around your home country of Tajikistan and being patient with us when things weren’t working out 100% to plan; after all, this is Central Asia! 01/04/16.
Bek…for being the most personable guide we could ask for in Uzbekistan as you were more than a guide, but also a friend. Thanks for all the jokes and never failing to impress us with your knowledge of your country’s history. 12/29/15.
Shadat…for showing me around Astana in the middle of a morning blizzard before taking me to the airport and sending me off to Tashkent. 12/28/15.
Ali…for driving me around Baku, Azerbaijan and showing me the main highlights of your beautiful city before returning me to my flight out to Astana. See you in NYC! 12/27/15.
Christos…for hosting me for dinner and drinks in Athens, Greece. You made sure I wouldn’t go home without trying souvlaki and authentic gyros at least once, while we engaged in spirited discussions over travel, business, history, and Greece. See you back in NYC! 11/16/15.
Sidian Lan…for being friends with me since I first spoke at University of Hampshire, hanging out with me more than once in NYC, and convincing me to visit you in Athens, Greece where you would be my perfect guide for 2 consecutive days. Thank you for driving me around, showing me where to eat, and taking me to all the sights. Have fun monsooning with my group in Southeast Asia! 11/14/15.
Judita…for auspiciously taking a weekend trip to Vilnius on the very same night we would be there. Thank you for keeping up with our crazy group, showing us how to take a “Chuck Norris” drink better than Chuck Norris, and defying stereotypes by proving Lithuanians actually can be friendly to foreigners. 08/24/15.
Teja Aleksandravičiūtė…for first running into each other when you were serving at my friend’s birthday brunch; chance would have it that you would be in your hometown of Vilnius at the same time we were and that you would join your new family of New Yorkers onstage for shameless karaoke renditions of “Bad Romance” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” before your aghast countrymen. Moments were beholden to magical coincidence that night as you learned that coincidence = preparation + opportunity. And opportunity certainly came. So may many more coincidences and opportunities await you at LSE; you are more prepared than you think. 08/24/15.
Maureen Vlaar…for serving up a killer Surinam coffee (rum, sugar, espresso and whipped cream ftw), and hanging out with our crew of crass jokers and bros, sharing a bit about your life in Suriname. – Lei 04/18/15.
Our guides for Angel Falls…for tirelessly getting out of our speedboats to carry them upriver, killing and serving us bushmeat, guiding us throughout Canaima National Park, and making sure we were well housed and fed throughout our 3 memorable days in the Venezuela jungles. 04/13/15.
The social justice league at MAASU ’15…for being our tonic after a very long roadtrip across America and reminding us that there are many familiar faces out there to welcome us home even as we take a break from our travels. 04/11/15.
Yesman Utrera…for being our friend and guide through Caracas, showing us around even at the expense of getting yelled at by his girlfriend. We won’t forget you and wish the best for you. – Lei 4/08/15.
Norman Chen…for planning our Chicago itinerary months in advance, showing up on the day of to personally guide our group around your kingdom, and then graciously offering to drive us the next morning so we could pick up our RVs. Our roadtrip on Route 66 wouldn’t have started off as smoothly if it weren’t for you. 04/03/15.
Nicole McFarlen…for approaching us about our stay in Page, AZ and giving helpful advice on what to see for the day. We made it to Memorial Valley by sunset because of you and we’ll be sure to be in touch when we return to Arizona! 01/04/15.
Iggy Van Reesema…for your inspiring determination to travel the world, proving that “age is just a number”, and making it all the way to Mexico City from your hometown of Australia. Thank you for your recommendations on Darwin and Jim Jim Falls, and for not giving up on us after your bus came in 2 hours late from Las Vegas, as you walked all the way in the freezing cold from the bus station in Phoenix to Milan’s place. See you in Jefé or Adelaide, whichever comes first! 01/03/15.
Milan and Mladen…for hosting us for the weekend, driving us through Arizona, feeding us nonstop from Serbian sausages to avocado, demonstrating what a Crockpot can do, sharing your stories on the road, having discussions about our hero Nikola Tesla, and making the best first impression of Couchsurfers as we immediately bonded during our impromptu weekend roadtrip to Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley. See you in the Balkans! 01/03/15.
Tomz Felipe…for being our fearless, indubitable driver when you impossibly had all 13 of us hop on your army jeep for the whole day as we toured Dili, East TImor. 12/09/14.
The Palawan Ship Crew…for the island hopping and feeding us well during our 3 days in The Palawan Islands, despite the threat of a supertyphoon at your doorstep. 12/04/14.
Liliane Ng…for your fun travel stories, your company, for sharing the crossroads in your life, and your willingness to stay up all night with me as we wandered around the streets Hong Kong before my morning flight back home. And I won’t forget that look. See you in NYC! 06/17/14.
Amy, Andrea, and Lise…for meeting up, catching up, and enjoying rooftop shisha with me on my last night in Hong Kong. 06/17/14.
Mink and Seiki…for showing me around your home in Hong Kong and remembering me after all this time, even though we had spoken for only 5 minutes while waiting in line at the airport in Kathmandu 3 years ago! 06/17/14.
David Zhu…for the conversations and meeting up for lunch with me on such short notice, right after you were coming back from and right before having to depart again for Singapore. See you on our next trip! 06/17/14.
Patricia Tsai…for being a big fan of travel blogs and dancing the night away with me as two silly Americans in Hong Kong! 06/14/14.
Vince Lam…for quickly befriending me over dinner, then taking me out on the Hong Kong nightlife within the hour, taking me to your bar, meeting me outside when Dragon-i got raided by police, and then capping it off at a brilliant night of dancing at Volar. 06/14/14.
Seulbee Lee, Sonia Shrivastava, Maria Hasburn, and Jonathan Cheng…for all the crazy serendipitous connections you all had without ever having met one another before, dinner, drinks, and showing me around Seoul, South Korea during my 18 hour layover there! 06/12/14.
Allie, Kirina, and Alannah…for being genuinely interested in my stories when we started talking at Hostel Brikette about travel and discovering our mutual friends. 05/19/14.
Jeffrey…for the late night conversation about romance, love and choices at Hostel Brikette overlooking the Amalfi Coast of Italy. See you in Vancouver! 05/19/14.
Priya, Anita, Shaista, and “King Ramzey” Magandey…for coming out and partying it up with us in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Thank you for making our risky 2 hour drive from Kingston worth every minute. 05/05/14.
Steph Mur (top center)…for your unmistakably quick wit and sense of humor during our hilarious dinner at The Box and the night out afterwards at Palazzo in Cancún, Mexico. 04/24/14.
Gabino Chu…for picking me up and showing me around your hometown of Lima, Peru before dropping me back off at the airport a few hours later. Thank you for also letting me use your computer as I tried to reset all my passowrds after getting my phone stolen only a few hours earlier in Ecuador. You would then join me 2 days later for the trip to Cuba! 04/23/14.
Annie “Anita” Huang…for meeting up with me for lunch in Quito, Ecuador only a few hours after I had reached out to you on facebook through a mutual friend. Thanks also for being there for me when I got pickpocketed for the first time in my life and for directing me to the airport via bus so I wouldn’t spend more than $2 to get there! 04/22/14.
John Funaro…for quickly becoming friends at Revolution Hostel in Quito, Ecuador before coming along with me for a 2-day run around the city discussing life, philosophy, politics, and travel. See you in Juneau, Alaska! 04/22/14.
Julie Bravo…for getting up at 6am just to meet us for breakfast in Santiago, Chile during our 1 hour layover between Valparaiso and our flight to La Paz, Bolivia. 04/18/14.