Destination Arrival
1 Majuro, Marshall Islands December 29, 2018
2 Nauru, Nauru January 30, 2019
3 Tarawa, Kiribati January 3, 2019
4 Honiara, Solomon Islands January 5, 2019
5 Port-Vila, Vanuatu January 7, 2019
6 Nadi, Fiji January 10, 2019
7 Funafuti, Tuvalu January 13, 2019
8 Suva, Fiji January 15, 2019

Monsooners: Alistair “Mother” Riddell, Gareth “Father” Johnson, Melissa “Drill Sergeant” Weinmann, Anonymous “That Girl” Anonymous, PD “Food Monster” Shah, ChristyAna “Butterfly” Taveras, Mikhael “Comrade UrbEx” Chai, Paul “BAFTA” Bailey, William “Rock the Casbah” C. Linda “Charge Nurse” E, Lisa “If You Build It, They Will Climb” Vitaris, Jennifer “Hot Toddy” K., Erin “Drunky McDrunkface” S., Melissa “80s Party”, David “Bailando” P., Shawn “The Gun Show” O., Bok “Slippery When Wet” McD, Justin “Kubrick” M., Al “Forever Young”, Martin “MTP Award”, Christoph “Business Card”

Remarks: “I would like to recommend Monsoon Diaries/Young Pioneer Tours. I am a repeat client, and will likely repeat again the next time I get the chance to take a holiday.

My first trip with them was Cuba in April 2018, where Alistair Riddell, the director YPT in Cuba, was my personal tour guide. This was definitely a good trip to take and Alistair is the man to see if you want to have a great time in Cuba. My review however is for my most recent trip with them, the “Least Visited Countries” tour, which took place from late December 2018 through mid-January 2019, and covered 5 of the least visited countries in the world (#1 Nauru, #3 Tuvalu, #4 Kiribati, #7 The Marshall Islands, & #15 The Solomon Islands) as well as Vanuatu & Fiji.

This was one of the best trips/cultural immersions on which I have ever personally been, and I’ve been some places. We saw some of most unspoilt white powder sandy beaches as well as crystal clear blue waters in the world (these islands are in the middle of the south Pacific Ocean), and we had reliable and trusted local guides to give us a true cultural immersion of the locales in which we stayed. And on top of that we had YPT leader Gaz Jonsen guiding us on this trip, whose passion for travel and adventure is parallel to none. And Alistair Riddell of YPT Cuba was another group leader for this trip, as was my good friend Dr. Calvin Sun of The Monsoon Diaries.

So these guys combined with the local guides on the ground in each of the countries which we visited provided a cultural immersion that simply would not have been possible were one to take on a travel endeavor like this on their own. So I recommend and endorse Monsoon Diaries/YPT, and I look forward to my next excursion with them.” – PD Shah

Destination Arrival
1 Prague, Czechia January 17, 2019
2 Budapest, Hungary January 21, 2019

Monsooners: Ann “Czechmate” Wen, Donna “Hungary For More” Vo, Daniela “Joy” Zarzer, Evan “Wingman” Danek, Ravi “Voight-Kampff” Panse, Katy “The Natural” Xian, Anthony “Dutch” Lui, Esther “Happy Feet” Park, Daniel “Wisconsin” Reesman, Christine “Spidergirl” Liaw, Aggeliki “Pilates” Mavromoustakaki, Sidian “Kiss Me, I’m Greek” Lan, Jommel “Infant Jesus” Banaag, Li Li “Ballroom” Bian, Joanne “Salvation Army” Loo, Elisabeth “Group Photos” Koechlin


“What would be travelling without the people you meet along the way, without the conversations you share and the memories you make. I am lucky enough that I have met up and travelled with the Monsooners a couple of times already. It will not be just an ordinary experience where you tick of the sights of each city. You will get part of the Monsoon family, create lasting relationships and get out of your comfort zone.

These trips always had an inspiring effect on me. You get asked questions that you have to answer yourself, you will gain perspectives and be immersed in thoughtful conversations. The cities and sights will get a personal touch. A memory full of adventure. All you need is to bring the right attitude – ‘cause in the end it is still up to you to make the best out of the trip 

“I highly recommend traveling with The Monsoon Diaries. I enjoyed every moment of my first monsoon with Calvin. He and Ann did a great job planning the whole thing so that we could experience all the must dos and sees within a span of only 4 or 5 days. You’ll come home full of stories to tell and wishing you were back. Prague + Budapest was my first monsoon but definitely not my last.” – Katy Xian

“A few weeks ago I was standing in a kitchen in Prague with Calvin, Ravi and Aia, talking about attending Ali’s wedding in Islamabad. Still can’t believe we actually went, all thanks to Ali and his family’s amazing hospitality! Shout out to @monsoondiaries for the planning and logistics.” – Evan Danek

“Many thanks Calvin D. Sun, for the perfect trip, best company.. Hope to see you soon ..!!! ❤️” – Aggeliki Mavromoustakaki

“Thank you Calvin! Thanks for all your hard work organizing this trip. Much appreciation for you! 10个星的领导!哈哈” – Li Li Bian

“Thank you Calvin for the nice trip, it was all perfect, many greetings to all from Greece, we are waiting all of you in Greece the summer!!! Have a nice time in Budapest. ❤️❤️❤️🙂🙂🙂🙂” – Aggeliki Mavromoustakaki

“Hey we just landed in Athens! We had a lot of fun hanging out with you guys. Thanks for having us. Enjoy Budapest!!” – Sidian Lan

“Yeah honestly man, none of this would’ve been the possible without you. Past couple days definitely had a pretty big impact. Looking forward to the next adventure.” – Ravi Panse

“Thank you for putting together this trip. Also thank you for showing me the city that means so much to you. I see why it’s your favorite.” – Donna Vo

“Thank you again so much for inviting me to join I had so much fun and everyone was lovely 💕 … I will also bring you a French gift in February when I come over to NY 🙂” – Elisabeth Koechlin

“We are ready for the next trip!!! See you soon! ❤️❤️❤️❤️” – Aggeliki Mavromoustakaki

“Hey monsooners it was a pleasure meeting you and spending time together in Prague! Just sat down on my couch about to relax. Special thanks to Ann and Calvin for organizing the trip. Enjoy the rest of the adventure!” – Sidian Lan

“Also 🧀🧀 time- thanks Calvin for showing us around somewhere as important to your life and as close to your heart as Budapest! Thanks Ann for all the planning! And thanks everyone for making this trip what it became!! The rapid pace of the trip was unlike most others I’d been on with other people- and allowed us to see a lot more in a short time, and become much closer as a group.” – Evan Danek

“Thank you Ann for convincing Calvin to do this trip and for making plans and letting me tag along. Thank you Calvin for organizing the trip and creating a packed itinerary. Also it was a great pleasure and honor hanging out with everyone and I hope that we will meet again soon-ish. 😃 See y’all next time!” — Donna Vo

“Just landed in NY – I wanted to say this trip was an amazing experience, and I miss y’all a lot already. Special shout out to Calvin and Ann for working hard to create and execute on an amazing itinerary, and I really value the interactions I had with each and every one of you. Keep in touch, and can’t wait to see you soon!” – Ravi

Destination Arrival
1 Islamabad, Pakistan March 12, 2019
2 Lahore, Pakistan March 14, 2019
3 Rawalpindi, Pakistan March 16, 2019
4 Khewra, Pakistan March 17, 2019
5 Murree, Pakistan March 18, 2019

Monsooners: Daniela “You Had Me At Hello” Zarzer, Evan “Quest Cookie” Danek, Elisabeth “Proud Soccer Mom” Koechlin, Venla “Bride of Finland” Maki-Ikola, “Prince” Ali Raza

Guest Monsooners: Eugene Master, Amy Tse, Emily Wong, Jen, Christanto “Better Late Than Never” Hadi


“You know the feeling when you cant even go to the toilet in a restaurant without people trying to take a selfie with you? And if you say yes to one, then there is going to be a whole crowd of people around you mobilephones ready for some action. In Pakistan if youre white or South Asian be prepared to take so many selfies that after your trip you will never want a selfie again hahah. Other than that Pakistani people are amazing! Didnt meet any terrorists. Only some peacefull minded people.” – Venla Maki-Ikola

“A few weeks ago I was standing in a kitchen in Prague with Calvin, Ravi and Aia, talking about attending Ali’s wedding in Islamabad. Still can’t believe we actually went, all thanks to Ali and his family’s amazing hospitality! Shout out to @monsoondiaries for the planning and logistics.” – Evan Danek

“[The Mehndi was the] day when I felt like a princess.” – Venla Maki-Ikola

Destination Arrival
1 Bridgetown, Barbados April 11, 2019

Monsooners: Evan “F1” Danek