Milan via Amsterdam


(Part Five of Five in my Carmen Sandiego series brings us to various islands and in and out of parts of Africa that I’ve yet to visit)

Ooh, Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam,
Mali to Bali, Ohio, Oahu…!

Botswana = no

Depending on my itinerary for my desired Egypt-South Africa overland trip (tentatively planned for Fall 2011), it could happen.

Thailand = yes

An infamous Bangkok tuk-tuk

In 2006, I went on a whirlwind month-long trip of SE Asia. Within Thailand, I hit Bangkok, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Chiang Mai.

Highlights: Buying a cheap, tailor-made suit and riding an elephant in Chiang Mai. The Full Moon Party in Ko Phangan

Lowlights: Having no real positive interactions with the Thai people.

Milan = yes

In 2007, I worked in my first English teaching job, in the English immersion camps of ACLE, in and out of Milan.

Highlights: Going out with co-workers to a big festival thrown by the Duomo. Eating the best panzerotti ever.

Lowlights: Getting fired from aforementioned job.

Amsterdam = yes

Amsterdam Gay Pride (2010)


In 2004, I went to Amsterdam, my last stop on my first big solo trip. I didn’t take any pictures. Totally sick of traveling by that point.

Highlights: Having the guy I was hanging out with (an American that I had previously met in Prague, then ran into in Amsterdam) go off with a hooker.

Lowlights: Realizing that I was ditched for someone to have sex with a hooker.

In 2010, I returned to Amsterdam, wondering if I would dislike it as much as I did the first time. It turned out to be the only city that I didn’t like in my whole Netherlands trip in 2010.

Highlights: Being at the Gay Pride Festival, realizing that you would never see anything like it currently in the United States (i.e., police and military officers openly participating).

Lowlights: Getting endlessly rained on on a never-ending boat ride at the Gay Pride Festival.

Mali = no

West Africa is not currently on my list, and with at least $80 of visa fees to enter Mali, I don’t see myself heading there soon.

Bali = yes

Bali is known for killer beaches, but having been to Hawaii and Australia before on the same trip, I didn’t particularly care to visit them. Instead, I headed right into the middle to Ubud.

Highlights: Somehow managing to convince an engaged Indonesian that she shouldn’t get married to a guy that she wasn’t actually in love with.

Lowlights: Strangely, it later became a highlight, as my miserable experience dealing with monkeys became a rotoscoped masterpiece by Sharon Burian which got me listed on IMDb.

Ohio = no

I worked with a couple of Ohioans at American Village in Summer 2010. That’s as close as I’ve gotten (other than the bordering states of Indiana and Pennsylvania).

Oahu = yes

The home of Honolulu, the U.S.’s only royal palace and (at points) my old writing partner. Hawaii was my first stop to get to Australia and Asia in my 2007-08 trip.

Highlights: Walking around in a park with huge leaves that felt right out of Jurassic Park.

Lowlights: Most of my lowlights came from other islands, such as when I accidentally lost my host’s snorkel in Maui and felt pretty dissed by my host in Kauai.

All pictures can be found at


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