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Southern Africa, The Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway, Tibet, The Balkans
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This trip began with the Danube River and it’s only fitting that we end with it. After nearly 3 weeks traveling through The Balkans, arriving for a night in Budapest was like waking up from a long wistful slumber and descending into another. Far from the dreary...read more
Albania just got served. Photo Credit: Andy Chen On the right bank of the river Osum lies Berat, Albania’s Town Of A Thousand Windows, where we as a group this morning collectively decided to visit as a daytrip from Tirana. But instead of trying to find...read more
kenopsia n. the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but...read more
Where Are We Now?
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Where We’ve Been
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.
. . .
[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.
[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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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. . . .
[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. . . .
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.