Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Releasing Rough Notes!

As it's starting to dawn on me that it will most likely take me over five years to finish organising my travel stories to post, I've decided to give people an advanced preview, for my family and friends who are interested to see what I've been up to. I am releasing my raw, unedited notes (with some contact details blanked out) from my journeys!

Some of these notes (especially the ones from earlier trips) are somewhat cryptic, but gives you a sense of what I've done. My later notes are much more detailed.

I'm going to start putting all my transcribed notes up here starting from the earliest notes I have to the latest, organised by trip, so keep an eye on this spot!

An additional reason that, and the reason that got me to think about putting up my rough transcribed notes, is that I want a way to prevent me from losing my notes, either by losing hardware or getting a hacked account. Hopefully, the Internet archive sites will craw the text from these posts, and I'll have a nearly un-loseable copy of my notes.

In any case, enjoy! I look forward to the day when all my travel notes are finally posted!

Here they are:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Update: Completed notes for post-New Zealand trip.

Just finished my handwritten notes about my New Zealand to San Francisco trip. After typing these notes up, I'll be back to updating this blog again. It wasn't easy, but I now have a cool hand-written journal for this 116 day long trip, and filled up over 160 pages!

I look forward to sharing my stories with everyone soon! There are some interesting stories from this trip I can't wait to share, such as:
- Getting reported and questioned about smuggling something out of North Korea.
- Hitchhiking in areas with rebel attacks within the past couple of decades.
- Being involved in a road accident in Laos and having to take bloodied people with broken bones and twisted limbs going into shock to a clinic.
- Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and being invited to sleep in the tribe of some kids I befriended on the side of the road using my terrible French and charade skills, and finding out I was the first outsider visitor the kids had met.
- Visiting areas recently devastated by a tsumani and feeling the impact it had on the community.
- Hanging out and drinking kava from bowls made from old fishing floats with locals while their kids slept on straw mats beside us.
- Riding a bicycle through downpours through jungle roads with ancient ruins all around.
- Swimming over a dark bottomless hole to gurgling sounds in a cave filled with the clearest water I have ever seen.
... so many memories, and I've barely scratched the surface!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Update: Posts Resuming Soon!

Hey everyone!

I realise I haven't updated my blog in forever now, and with good reason. Since my last post, I've been busy interviewing, and left my job as a game programming tutor (lecturer) at Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand. I embarked on a 4.5 month trip around the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, North Korea and Japan on my way back to North America to work as a software engineer at Zynga in San Francisco, after surprising myself and others by turning down a job offer from Google in Mountain View.

Since I've been travelling, I haven't had the chance to update my blog. I also went right on the Mafia Wars 2 team upon arriving in SF, so going from 5 moths of not working to pulling 100hr work weeks was quite a system shock! I've now just started working on the CityVille team, and now that things have settled down a bit, I can once again start chronicling my travels. I can't wait to write about my (once again) life-changing trip, but there are so many trips to catch up on (I realised the other day I've spent a good 20% of my time since graduating four years ago travelling)!

I'm currently going to dedicate perhaps 30 minutes a day to this travel log. I still need to finish recording my last week of travel (the little I remember from over two months ago) before starting organising my trips into readable posts.

In the meantime, you can get a very tiny random taste of the experiences I have had at some of my friends' blogs. I've found myself mentioned on a few random blogs from people I have met... but didn't think of making a note about it so don't have the addresses.

My friend Jérôme, whom I first met when he couchsurfed my couch in SF a couple of years ago and then took good care of my in New Caledonia keeps a blog. There's a few photos of places we went together, but I'm dissappointed that he hasn't written up our trip to Ouvéa yet! I hope he'll get that up soon! You can see his blog (in French) here:

I also have a quick mention as a "friend from college" in my good friend Ben's new Osaka ramen blog. (Actually, the couch Jérôme surfed in SF was both mine and Ben's, as we lived together back then) You can see a sample of the tasty (get it? "tiny taste") foods I had in Japan in his posts from late August:

OK, better get back to work recording my trip before I forget it, and looking forward to updating this blog once again! It's been far too long!

Image edited from original at