The Monsooners

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

The Microstates (May 19 - Jun. 2, 2017)

Joseph “Sensual Food Critic” Woo, Samin “Cuddle-buddy” Rai, Mihaela “ROFLMAO” Kracun, Ann “30 Seconds of Fame” Wen, Alfred “Ray-Ban/20 Questions” Yeung, Koichi “FOX News” Sakamaki, Steph “Honorary Asian” Hart, Anonymous “Better Late Than Never” Anonymous, Kimberly “Oh F***” Duong, Yannick “Brotherly Love” Della Schiava

The Trans-Monglian + Tibet (Dec. 31, 2016 - Jan. 17, 2017)

Melissa “Storytime” Weinmann, Taylan “Plagues of Egypt” Stulting, JC “Closet Premed” Chan, LaiYuen “The Spy From North Korea” Looi, David “Class President” Ali, Ihita “Secondhand Smoke” Kabir, June “Swedish House Mafia” Kao, Amanda “Puppy Genocide” Knarich, Mihaela “ROFLOLMAO” Kracun, Shanika “Happy Feet” Jayakody

Bulgaria (Nov. 12-13, 2016)

Sarah “Token” Parise, Brenda “Heights” Duong, Amanda “Red Bull” Cheng, Kimberly “Russian Standard” Duong, Minna “Nikon Insurance Policy” Choi, Permveer “Elevator Doors” Longia, Mrinal “Free Walking Tour” Mohanka

Romania (Oct. 21-23, 2016)

Anonymous “In Denial” Anonymous, Ty “I’m With Her, Kinda” Headley, Dmitry “Birthday Boy” Dobrovolskiy

Puerto Rico (Feb. 15-17, 2016)

Michelle “Miss Honey [of Matilda]” Duncan, Sandra “The Cadet” Davis, Amber Lee Makhani, Anonymous “In Denial” Anonymous

Extreme Southeast Asia '15, Led by Dave Zhou: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam (Dec. 13-18, 2015)

Dave “El Capitan” Zhou, Helen “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar” Zou, Nisa “The Good Daughter”, Sidian “Kiss Me, I’m Greek”, Ambrose “Knick” Chu

Extreme South America: Venezuela, Aruba, Curaçao, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Trinidad & Tobago (Apr. 12-22, 2014)

Jennifer “Map&Move” Li, Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson, Rik “The Flying Dutchman” Brinks, Lei “Monk” Zhao, Patrick “Jade Dragon Coffee Health Center” Han, Maddie “The Engineer” Ene, Cindy “Ploppity” Cui, Calvin “One-Armed Bandit” Chen, Yoni “Birthday Boy” Rubin, Clay Gilliland, Tom Peddle, Freddy Lansky, George Martin, Donal Mulvihill

Extreme SE Asia: The Philippines, The Palawan Islands, Indonesia, East Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Macau, Hong Kong (Dec. 2-15, 2014)

Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson, Samantha “Alice” Kay Miller, Dave “Tarzan” Zhou, Alfred “20 Questions” Yeung, Tan “Lieutenant Tan” Nguyen, Mariam “The Queen” Dar, Jenny “Ayurveda” Chu, June “Mamabear” Kao, James “Leaps of Faith” Stephens, Lilliane “High Stakes” Ng, Kevin “Rabies” Zhao, Gordon “The Trainer” Pan, Anthony “The Artist” Lui, Christina “Detours” Gee, Eric “Where’s The Party Yaar?” Chen, Adison “One Shoe” Song, Tim “GoProFlow” Chen, Jennifer “Nomadic Strawberry” Li, Christina “Conference Calls” Elise, Andrew “Hot Wheels” Chang

Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru (Apr. 10-22, 2014)

Angela “The Lieutenant” Chen, Jun “Poker Face” Wakabayashi, Quechau “Altitude Warrior” Thai, Chris “Gets Up For Pregnant Women” Chen, Ben “The Photographer” Dumond, Cindy “Oakland” Lu, Natasha “The Translator” Neris, Andy “The Virgin” Wu, Shanika “The Alchemist” Jayakody, Karthik “Memory Cards” Ganapathy

Iceland (Oct. 31 – Nov. 03, 2013)

Andrea “The Activist” Trillo, Mel “Puffin-Toed” Tri, Danny “Gonna Shank You” Tran, Jenn “The Unicorn” Lau, Tracy “Queen of Scots” Thai, Bill “Prefontaine” Zhang, Alistair “Monkey Bars/Where’s Alistair?” Morgan, Suhrid “Subkuch Milega” Mantravadi, Freema “Gunner Wants Sum Borscht” Vinnikov

Haiti & Dominican Republic (Jan. 01-06, 2013)

Reny “The Ambassador” Pascual, Jackie “The Artist” Ho, Ben “Walking Stick” Tso, Sam “Firecracker” Wong

Iran, Germany, Austria, Switzerland (April 4-14, 2012)

Sonny “The Romantic” Tieu, Gai Olivaires, Andrew “The German” Chu, Evan “The Interpreter” Jones, Anna “The Bookkeeper” Wong,  Jade “The Sketcher” Shyu, Nina “Weapon of Mass Destruction” Yang, Cynthia “Why I Move” Koo, Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson

Guatemala & Belize (Nov. 23-27, 2011)

Anna “The Bookkeeper” Wong, Cynthia “The Newbie” Koo, Maria “The Translator” Funes

Scotland (Mar. 24 - 26, 2017)

Taylan “Plagues of Egypt” Stulting, Mihaela “ROFLOLMAO” Kracun, Ambrose “A Saturday Morning View In March” Chu

Spain & Andorra (Sep. 10-12, 2016)

Venkat “The Biggest Man In Andorra” Kausik, Christina “Parachutes” Elise, David “Senator-Elect” Ali

Southern Africa (Aug. 1-15, 2016)

Michelle “Adventure Pants” Duncan, Kel “Hopeless Romantic” Sage, Ambrose “The Epicurean” Chu, Sarah “Poland Spring” Parise, Linda “A Lannister Always Pays Her Debts” Zhou, Sze “March Of The Penguins” Chan, Nadi “Guardian Angel” Kaonga, Samantha “FML” Kay Miller, Mikey “The Virgin” Ryan, Aaron “Boy Wonder” Lam

Ireland (Mar. 5, 2016)

Simon “The Gamechanger” Lu, Andrew “Hot Wheels” Chang, Judy “Aurora” Luong, Christine “Imperator Furiosa” Ortiz, Brenda “The Virgin” Duong, Eric “The Park Ranger” Hirani

The Silk Road: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia (Dec. 27, 2015 - Jan. 12, 2016)

Eilidh “Secondhand Shoes” Crowley, Ben “Encyclopedia Australiannica” Crowley, Yvonne “Beginner’s Luck” Liu, Patricia “Dancing Turkey” Tsai, Chris “The Monkey King” Tang, Johnson “The Spy From S.I.N.G.A.P.O.R.E.”, Melissa “Candy Floss”, Remi “The BEKoning” Coker, Siavash “Persian Rugs” Dejgosha, Matt “Oh My Days” Peters, Helen “Potato Salad” Chou, Tan “Bukharan Idol” Nguyen, Ines “Bee’s Knees” Petri, Claudia “Marlboro Lady” Petri, Anna “Everybody’s Russian!” Zavalova, Anne “Postcards From The Edge” Davison, Velvet “Everyone’s Favorite Cool Aunt”

The Baltic Crescent: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus (Aug. 8-24, 2015)

Jennifer “Mom” Li, Dave “Responsible Uncle” Zhou, Jamie “Jamilah” Jimenez, Emily “Meathead” Chen, Jennifer “YAY” Yeh, William “Whale Meat” Lau, Ambrose “Celtic” Chu, Nadi “Better Late Than Never” Kaonga, Eric “Flow” Huynh, Teresa “T” Thong, Vivian “V” Cheng, Kelly “Skyscraper” Joo, Shannon “Six-Shootin’ American Idol” Murphy, Katy “Texan Belle” Budge, Michelle “Kindergarden Cop” Duncan, Alex “Athos” Wang, Jack “Porthos” He, Will “Aramis” Chen, Kel “D’artagnan” Sage, Alice “Club Alice” Tsui, Jeffrey “The Wise Man” O’Neill, Joyce “Telepath” Zhang, Joshua “Blynines” Zhang, Christina “Tamer Of The Whale Meat” Ren, Tara Densmore, Tamara Densmore

The Great USA Road Trip: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Wisconsin (Mar. 29 - Apr. 10, 2014)

Jennifer “Map&Move” Li, Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson, Brandon “The Terminator” Garcia, Alice “The Virtuoso” Tsui, Kel “The Sage” Sage, Duncan “Triple D”, Jorge Orpinel, Vishnu Vinekar, William “The Pharmacist” Lau, Clay Gilliland, George Martin

Pirates of the Caribbean: Mexico, Cuba, The Bahamas, Jamaica (Apr. 23- May 5, 2014)

Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson, Jan Elma “Green Lights” Ferrer, Jan Christian “The Warrior” Ferrer, Sonya “Splinters” Chandra, Anderson “All-Star” Lee, Sam “The Honeybadger” Wong, Jason “The Rock” Ea, Laima “Fifth Amendment” Tazmin, Samantha Kay “Alice” Miller, Cathy “CIA” Cao, Christine “Surgeon” Park, Vivian “DJ” Trinh, Andy “The Dentist” Tran, David “Tarzan” Zhou, Justin “Fedora” Huang, Gabino “The Ambassador” Chu, Leslie “Sea Urchin” Auquilla-Cabrera, Joy “Make it So” Achounjei, Steve “Iron Man” Su, Siddhi “Princess Badass” Mittal, Alfred “Umbrellas” Yeung, Edmund “The Translator” Fong, Nicholas “The Wise Man” Chong, Adam “The Vet” Murphy

From Antarctica to Pakistan (Dec. 9, 2013 - Jan. 6, 2014)

Anderson “All-Star” Lee, Tabitha “The Alchemist” Shook, Vineet “I Didn’t Do It” Devaiah, PJ “The Champ” Danarh, Arti “Child of the World” B, Dennis “Vormund”, Joreen “Unfiltered” Tay, Victor “Designated Driver” Ng, Simon “The Historian” Lu, Grace “The Scholar” An, Lui “Guardian of the Dungeon”,  Morello, Alex “Enabled by the Guardian of the Dungeon” Hardy, Esther “Perpetual Motion” Wisse, Patrick “The Grand Cannon” Le Quere, Benjamin “The Virtuoso”, Scott “Streaking Redefined” Frazier, Sandra “Queen of the Amazon” Friedel, Serena “Queen of the Ice” Yuan, Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson: Antarctica, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile (Dec. 9-25, 2013)

Mariam “O Darling, My Darling” Dar: Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain (Dec. 27, 2013 – Jan. 6, 2014)

Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama (Jun. 22-30, 2013)

Angela “Ah-Choo-eey!” Chen, Jun “Be Water My Friend” Wakabayashi, George “Bannne” Mu, Matt Chen, Kym “Stars & Sunrises” Pham, Erick “Ooh-rah!” Capulong, Bill “Smoothie King/Slim Shady” Zou

Poland, Ukraine, Germany (Dec. 26-31, 2012)

Mandy Cheuk, Cynthia “The Veteran” Koo, Kai Tan, Carolyn Hou, Ying Zhu, Andrew “Hot Wheels” Chang, Simon Lu, Olgi Qendro, Ry “Shredder” Willie, Jan Elma “Green Lights” Ferrer, Jennifer “Crime Scene” Le, Ruchika “Sangria” Sangani, Alana Tung, Krystle Jiang, Maria “DREAMer” Villa, Gareth “The Guvnor” Johnson

Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Portugal (Dec. 22, 2011 – Jan. 2, 2012)

June “Mamabear” Kao, Jane “In the Zone” Yee, Go Yang “Artistry in Motion” Park, Calvin “Baby Calvin” Lin, Melissa “Dora the Explorer” Le, Seulbee “The Badass” Lee, Yiru “The Other Badass” Li

India (Jun 30, 2011 – Jul 17, 2011)

Anya “The Nurse” Tomkiewicz & Joyce “The Yogi” Chang

Colombia (Mar. 2011)

Hilda “Immersed” Poulson

China & North Korea (Aug. 7-13, 2011)

An “Smuggled” Wang

India (July 16-20, 2011)

Karen “The Skeptic” Wong

Perú and Colombia (Mar. 26 – Apr. 3, 2011)

Kseniya “The Interpreter” Khamara

Guest Blogger

GO “Pack Attack” YANG (Travel Date: December 22 2011 – January 3 2011 from Spain to Morocco) is the kinda girl that breaks the mold. For one, she’s not gonna write in the third person. Hey, I’m Go. I met Calvin at Columbia when I attended Barnard College my freshman year, but I ended up getting my degree in English and History at the University of Michigan, and spending a year and a half or so in Seoul, Korea, not teaching English (see? breaking the mold) but studying at Yonsei University and freelancing at everything from translations for artists to voice acting. Right now I’m one of the few students over the age of 21 at Art Center College of Design getting a second Bachelor’s degree in Illustration (more mold breaking), and I’m really excited to be traveling, drawing and blogging with Calvin.

Loyal Monsooner

CYNTHIA “The Dreamer” KOO (Recurrent Monsooner: GuatemalaIranEastern Europe) likes to travel/monsoon (thanks to Calvin), and making bucket lists that, in Calvin’s opinion, are way too easy to check off. 

She makes kickass websites for fun. She’ll fill in the rest sometime soon (or maybe never).

Guest Blogger

STEPHANIE “Boulderer” QUAN (Travel Date: June 10 2011 – August 14 2011 from Turkey to Myanmar) went to Columbia with Calvin. She has no idea who Annah is, but is sure they could be good friends. Hi Annah! She’s currently transitioning from being a chemistry teacher at Harvard-Westlake to being an inorganic chemistry grad student at UCLA because while she loves her 10th graders (even when they call her mom by mistake), what she really wants in life is low pay, long hours and the satisfaction of synthesizing Metal Ligand Complexes. When not pursuing academia, Steph cultivates a faux hobo-hipster lifestyle. Rock climbing, beginner’s guitar and driving through canyons are listed among her favorite activities. She also really enjoys listening to bands she found on commercials, starting really long email chains and organizing things like film festivals for fun. Here is an adventure-y photo of Steph. See how innate ADVENTURE is to her? Like I said, faux hobo-hipster.

Guest Blogger

ANNAH “Rough Guides” KIM NELSON-FEENEY (Travel Date: May 31 2010 – July 15 2010 from the Philippines to Korea) is a relatively overcommitted International Relations-French and Music student at Mount Holyoke College. At MHC, she’s on the executive board for Model UN as the Events Coordinator and she’s in charge of Publicity on the executive board for Orchestra. She’s also a CMS Fellow (Web and Media worker) for Mount Holyoke. Adopted at the age of 6 months, Annah is Korean with Polish-Swedish and Irish parents. Unfortunately, she speaks none of the languages that coincide with the above nationalities and instead speaks French and had a brief relationship with Mandarin. Last summer, Annah worked a lot doing a couple internships and jobs. This will be the last collegiate summer before she starts with the GRE’s, GMAT’s, LSAT’s, more internships, grad school applications, and job applications. In short, it’s the last time in her collegiate career to do a trip like this. So she is absolutely psyched to be taking the opportunity to backpack this summer – even if not everyone approves of it!