More of my photos from United States


United States Archives

January 31, 2006

coming soon!

I'm leaving for an around-the-world by February 28th (first stop, Fiji!), and will be posting regularly to this blog throughout the trip. (In addition, I'll be making several enhancements to this website before leaving.)

If you'd like to stay posted on my travels through this blog, you can either subscribe to the gone living RSS feed, or subscribe via email (thanks FeedBlitz!) using the subscription box in the right-hand column of this page. Stay tuned for madcap adventures, coming soon!

February 17, 2006

fortune cookies and packing boxes

Back in December, when I was making my final decision to leave my job, my apartment, and everything else behind to travel for a while, I found this fortune at the end of my Christmas Eve chinese dinner:

Fortune Cookie

While I try not to base my life around fortune cookies, I took it as a positive sign for my decision to change my life around completely and pursue the trip.

And less than two months later here I am, packing boxes strewn around my apartment, much of my stuff sold off to friends, and down to my last few days in San Francisco. My life's sole focus at the moment is boxes (and how much stuff I can fit into the least number of them), logistics, innoculations, insurance, and sendoff parties.

It's hard to believe that in two weeks from now I will be on a tropical island somewhere in Fiji, instead of packing up my last few things in a suprisingly cold San Francsico apartment. Can't wait to get there.

February 27, 2006

much love to friends and family

Something that has really struck me as I prepare to leave the country on my trip (only 36 hours to go before departure!), is how supportive my friends have been as I have gotten ready to leave. From great attendance at my party (located at a watering hole far from our usual neighborhoods -- the Fairmont Hotel's splendidly kitschy Tonga Room, if you must know), to enlisting several people to help me load up boxes, haul stuff in their cars, put me up in their apartments and houses, sell the stuff that i'm not keeping, and give away the stuff that didn't sell, my friends have been GREAT. plus they've put up with my panicked phone calls when my planning went awry and I needed some help to have everything in boxes before the movers were due to arrive.

Most of the big to-dos are now done... i've moved out of my apartment, loaned away my car, seen my last look at San Francisco for the next year (and made a ridiculously pixelated phone video of it) and am now standing by in LA getting ready for tomorrow night's flight to Fiji. And by "standing by", I mean trying to get my year's supply of music to copy over to my f**king iPod without having it crash and reset partway through the transfer or having the music files get corrupted in some weird static-y way, getting over this darn last-minute cold, and consuming as much LA junk/comfort food as possible before I depart.

(Someday meaning Thursday in my case.)

I'm trying to prepare for the total reality shift that will happen when I arrive in Fiji by reading the blog of my friends Allyson and Brian (Allyson and I ended up, my complete coincidence, deciding within a few months of each other to leave Yahoo and go on around-the-world trips), but of course it's not really possible to anticipate "the change" that happens when you go into travel mode... it just happens.

To all of you who've helped me get ready for this trip - you all rock! And i'm looking very forward to seeing my sweetie in May for some island-hopping...

I'll post again tomorrow before Jean and I head out to the airport to catch our flight to Fiji.

December 22, 2006

welcome home

i was standing in line at the immigration counter at LAX, getting mentally ready to finally arrive home for a short break after 10 months on the road.

the border control guy at the window called "Next traveller!", and i headed over to the window. i was prepared for all kinds of questions (after all, passing through 32 countries in 10 months isn't exactly a normal vacation) and not a very warm welcome (since border control guys aren't usually paid to be friendly), but instead, the following conversation occurred:

BORDER CONTROL: Welcome home!
ME: Thanks! [handing my passport over the counter] I've been travelling around the world for 10 months.
BC: (warmly) Well then, an extra welcome home to you! Did you learn anything from your trip?
ME: Ummmm..... I'm not sure offhand.
BC: Sure you did! [stamps entry stamp into passport and hands it back over to me] OK, there you go!

And with that, I came back home to America. Sometimes it's nice just to feel actually welcomed and at home and around all the good familiar things again.

December 28, 2006

travel musings

i was looking at photos from my trip from just a week ago, where instead of going through 10 months of back bank statements and junk mail (hours of fun, let me tell you), i was climbing Table Mountain and exploring cape town by day, and combing the bars and nightclubs of Long Street at night with new-found friends.

sitting at home in los angeles, all those things suddenly felt so "far away" (even though it was just a few days ago) compared to everyday life in california, but then i remembered: there are wonderful, madcap adventures EVERYWHERE. and they're waiting there out there for you -- all you need to do is go out there and let them happen. it's amazing how short a jump it really is to go from reading an alluring sentence in a Lonely Planet guidebook and actually experiencing whatever it was that caught your eye.

i'm looking very forward to resuming my own adventures in peru in mid-january. for all of you reading this, i hope you find the time and resources to pursue your journeys. for myself, it's been over 10 months on the road so far (aside from this short detour), and i haven't regretted a bit of it.

December 30, 2006

enjoying my hiatus at home

happy holidays to all the wonderful readers of this blog, and hope next year brings you all that you want.

it's good to be home again. REALLY good.

March 28, 2007

what's it like to be back?

It's only been a week,
The rush of being home in rapid fading.
Prevailing to recall
What I was missing all that time...
- "Remind Me", Melody A.M., Röyksopp

I've been home now for a week and it's all moving slower and faster than I expected.

i'm still the subtly exotic creature at parties, pointed out by the hosts when i invariably fail to mention what i've been up to the last 13 months, somewhat akin to having people notice a rather ordinary-looking pet cat in the corner, and having one of the hosts point out that "Oh, while he might look a lot like the average tabby, he's actually a bengal cat!" (which by the way, does cost more than the total amount i spent on my around-the-world trip.)

i have to admit, it's been nice to have people ask "and when did you end this trip around the world?", and being able to answer "two days ago." or "wednesday."

i've been busy curating the photos, videos, and sound files i recorded on the trip. even with all the deletions of blurry/bad photos when i was taking them, i still have roughly EIGHT THOUSAND media files from my trip that need to be sorted out. i've managed to at least wrangle them into folders for each country, in addition to making the reduced set that someone might actually be able to sit through seeing. it's simply amazing to remember what i did this past year -- tropical beaches and reefs on fiji, hungarian folk music in budapest, tiny siberian train stations on the trans-mongolian train, and so forth. the video and audio files really add a lot of color to the photos -- i'm glad that digital cameras have all these wonderful extra capabilities.

but it's a hell of a time, actually. being able to start from scratch on a number of frontiers gives me a lot of room to redefine myself. while of course i'm still the same guy as ever, it's great to be able to start with answering questions like "where is my ideal place to live?", "what's my ideal workplace?", and go from there. (plus thinking about a couple of ideas for cool internet products. more on that later.)

plus i replaced the power supply in my homebrew computer, and as a quick sidenote to my geek pals: if your computer is having an inexplicable problem that is hard to replicate, it's probably the power supply that's at fault. go and get a good power supply tester and try connecting the leads of your computer's power supply to it. in my case, it turned out that my +5v lead was oscillating between 4.5v and 5.9v and causing havoc with Windows as a result. Oh, and if you have an Antec power supply (like i did before i replaced it with a more reliable one yesterday), my warnings go double for you. I'll never buy another Antec PSU again -- I purchased an Enermax Liberty for my new power supply, and things are now running swimmingly.

December 20, 2007

the best place to buy a global roaming cellphone: united states, singapore, thailand, or india?

i'm looking at getting a cellphone for my trip, and since the (evidently shady) ebay store that i had bought my quad-band unlocked motorola razr from never ended up actually shipping my phone, i need to make a decision about which country i should buy one in.

my first stop is singapore, which will have gadgets aplenty, but i'm looking for a straightforward quad-band phone with reasonable features for the lowest possible price (a first-generation razr would fit the bill nicely, and i prefer motorola since they have the least problems registering new SIM cards in foreign countries).

given the weak dollar, and the state of used/cheap cellphone sales in each country, which country will i be most likely to find an unlocked razr in at a reasonable price? advice welcomed. :)

About United States

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to gone living in the United States category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

UAE is the previous category.

Vietnam is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.