My 1 Year Trip That Turned To 8

November 22, 1999

My horoscope on the day I decided to quit my job and travel the world...
The Sun goes from Scorpio into Sagittarius. Your life gets a lot easier, starting now, and it'll be a lot more fun, too. You'll have opportunities to travel, especially once you figure out where you'll get the money. Ask somebody who owes it to you, for starters...

April 10, 2000

Well, today is my 30th birthday and I finally completed my masters degree and my hovercraft , prerequisites for leaving on this trip. This day marks a transition in my life. I still haven't figured out "where you'll get the money", but nevertheless I am ready to head out.

When am I leaving you ask? Well, tonight a few friends are getting together for a birthday dinner at "Something Fishy" (japanese steak house), tomorrow afternoon "Roma" is getting together for an "Adios" lunch, directly after which I will be heading out of town on the first leg of the world tour.

The first leg of the world tour is solo travel by motorcycle south along the pacific coast, through Baja, Mexico, and Central America.

The most common response I get from people about this is 'Are you crazy?!?!? Isn't that dangerous?!?!?' Well, there is really only one way to find out...

Act 1

Central America

April 14 - July 26, 2000

Los Angeles
San Diego
Baja
Mexico
Guatemala
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Costa Rica

After all that travelin' I decided to refuel for a week back home before continuing on. Well, as expected a week turned into a month and a couple sidetrips spawned. A weekend in Vegas with some friends from Santa Barbara, followed by a week of fishin' a lake up in the great white north (Canada) with my Uncle Larry. Let the fish tales begin...

Act 2

Intermission

July 27 - August 24, 2000

Lancaster
Las Vegas
Canada

After almost a month of carrying on, I finally got around to buying one way tickets to Paris with travelin' buddy Fuji in anticipation of the second leg of my world tour, Europe.

And a whirlwind of a European tour at that. Somehow we managed to squeeze in just about every 'attraction' possible through all the major 'hotspots' in only a month. France to Belgium to Amsterdam to Germany to Prague to Switzerland and back to Germany for the Oktoberfest, from which Fuji hopped a flight to heartland Malasia to spend some quality time with family before returning to the cold and heartless working world of pass the tea Boston. There were good times and bad, but mostly it was all a blur to me.

All I really remember is spending over $20 on a bowl of mussels and some frogs legs and washing it all down with a beer or two. Oh yeah, there were lots of monuments too. And cellphones.

After that, lost and lonely once again. Returned to the ever happy solo route and pleasing only myself on a slow and thoughtful wandering through Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. 'Well, what of these countries' you ask? Beautiful people and places, heaps cheaper and a bit closer to the truth, but still a distance from the honest 'adventure' I have found myself longing for. 'Enough of the crap talk! Get to the real story' you say? Okay, here it is...

Act 3

Europe

August 25 - December 20, 2000

Boston
France
Belgium
Netherlands
Germany
Czech
Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Turkey
Bulgaria

Merry December and Happy January! Mom was convinced I wouldn't be happy waking up on christmas morning to the sound of gunfire in Israel. I wasn't so sure of that. What I was sure about was not wanting to miss my grandmother's special 80th birthday surprise celebration and so home I went. A typical white Christmas spent on the living room floor and a mellow New Years spent in the colonial courthouse listening to a childhood friend play guitar. A small step down from the Times Square festivities of yester Y2K, but what else do you expect from someone strung up on antibiotics? Not counting the hundreds of 'mom suggestive moments', it was then that my ecomomic realities started to sink in. I had planned on returning for a South African safari and a classic crossing of the Middle East but my stocks took a dump leaving me with absolutely no money. 'What's next? You can't let this stop you!'

With the headhunters circling me like sharks I quickly landed a 2 month contract working for TI in Pittsburgh, a lovely town. 'Work?!?! Are you crazy?' Maybe, but it got me outta debt and back on my financial feet. For many reasons other then the work itself, this was perhaps the worst 2 months of my life. Read on...

Act 4

Intermission

December 21 - April 16, 2001

Lancaster
Pittsburgh
Nashville

Oh, how work drags on...

The corporate dragon breathes deep and the layoffs begin. An entire department of excess baggage ditched by the high office leather chair committee. The techno-sector is crumbling, a sad state of the union that silently warms me up inside. Finally the bricks and mortar are coming to their senses, realizing how computers create more problems then solve. Thankfully my contract has expired, and not a moment too soon.

Back to my travels with a pocket of dough and a renewed desire to 'get jiggy'. Lucky for me KLM decided to honor my one month return ticket to Turkey (reminding them of my delayed flights and lost luggage didn't hurt), and so that is where things will continue... Not sure of my exact agenda, but the time off has given me time to think. Possibly too much time.

Act 5

East to West

April 17 - December 20, 2001

Turkey
Syria
Lebanon
Jordan
Egypt
Greece
Macedonia
Bulgaria
Poland
Latvia
Estonia
Russia
Mongolia
China
Tibet
Nepal
India

Another year, another holiday spent in the comforts of home...

Time to catch up with family and friends. Time to reorganize my thoughts. Time to just plain relax.

Act 6

Intermission

December 21 - February 23, 2002

Lancaster
Oregon
North Carolina
Florida

After quite too much relaxing back home I decided it time to get back out there, and do it in style. Back to India to find myself a motorbike for a few months atleast until the monsoon hits and then finally work my way toward Oz. I say finally, because Oz was to be my destination almost 2 years ago when I started this trip. A trip that seems to be stretching to infinity and beyond.

Act 7

Asia

February 24 - October 2, 2002

Amsterdam
India
Nepal
Tibet
China

Well the Enfield through India was a smashing success. Literally. After 4 months of flawless avoidance along some of the worst roads in the world, I somehow managed a bender with a TATA on my last day in Delhi. Opened his door during a passing in the middle of the busiest road in town. Apparently a rocket scientist. Once again faith offered me another, surviving with only minor scratches and insignificant brain damage.

Left the Bullet with a friend of a friend and scrambled my way outta India on the last day of my visa and back to Nepal to avoid 'THE MONSOONS' . Three weeks of absolutely beautiful trekking through the Himilayas, three more back through Tibet with its endless landscape of space cowboys, followed by a month or so around South China to catch everything missed the first time through.

The grand opening of My Store !!!

On to South East Asia, described by most backpackers as the highlight of Asia. 'Once you go there, you'll never wanna leave.'

Well... 6 months later I left. You be the judge...

Act 8

South East Asia

October 3 - April 4, 2003

Laos
Vietnam
Cambodia
Thailand
Burma
Malaysia
Singapore

I couldn't be more sick and tired of rice and noodles. After a year of rickshaws and rice paddies, silk and sewage, bamboo and buddhas I reckon I've exhausted the 'Asian experience'. Excited by the prospects of change I scurry through the SARS infested streets of Singapore and catch a flight...

And finally after years of '...should be there in a month or two...' I touch down in Oz. Australia to be exact, where for the next three months I'll be playing the real Survivor; wrestlin' up crocodiles in the outback, camping beneath the stars to the howl of the dingo, punching back slabs, tossing on prawns to the Bar-B, and taking advantage of all those aussies met along the way who ofcourse promised the world but long ago have given up on me.

Cheers mate!

Act 9

South Pacific

April 5 - December 15, 2003

Australia

I thought I escaped, but i'm back. Halfway back to Asia, and all the way back to rice and noodles. One way to Indonesia, the cheapest getaway from my 3 month outback experience in Oz. Actually, I was getting tired of meat pies.

So now I will be tearing it up through Bali, Java, and Sumatra on a scooter in search of Bin Laden. Plans to take a couple months working my round about way to Jakarta where the flights to South America are dirt cheap... or so they say.
Indonesia
East Timor
Indonesia (2)
Philippines
Indonesia (3)

Surprise to see me? Turns out it ain't any cheaper to head directly to South America then to connect through Los Angeles. That, and my mom starting to nag put me on a plane once again home for the holidays. Another year, another holiday spent in the comforts of home...

More time to catch up with family and friends. More time to reorganize my thoughts. More time to just plain relax.

Act 10

Intermission

December 15 - May 17, 2004

California
Pennsylvania
New York
Vermont

My last real act, or so I say...

Down to South America for a year or so. Where I plan to pick up a motorbike and learn spanish.

Act 11

South America (South)

May 18, 2004 - March 31, 2005

Peru
Bolivia
Chile
Argentina

A break from my travels through the South of South America in Buenos Aires before tackling the North.

Act 12

Intermission

Buenos Aires

April 1 - June 27, 2005


Buenos Aires
Uruguay

After a 3-month hiatus in Buenos Aires I am tired of asados and vinos and ready to get going again...

Act 13

South America (North)

June 28 - April 4, 2006

Argentina
Chile (one last time)
Brazil
Venezuela

Rosa arrives from Buenos Aires to join me for 6 months from Venezuela back to her home in Peru.

Act 14

South America (With Rosa)

April 5 -

Venezuela
Colombia
Ecuador
Peru
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