Santa Feria in Santiago, Chile
We watched a Santa Feria concert onstage!
Just another travel blog.
We watched a Santa Feria concert onstage!
We walked around Villarica and saw some great murals.
We used a sunny day to relax by Lago Calafquen and happened to go snorkeling for freshwater mussels.
We had a lazy day at the lake after our adventures in Pucón.
We explored Hector's private property and found a waterfall viewpoint like none other.
We hiked to the tree line of Volcán Villarica starting from a creek outside Pucón in order to find a grove of Araucaria.
We spent an afternoon hiking to Lago Pellaifa and found a secluded little cove to relax at.
We walked to a nearby thermal bath on a rainy day.
We took a waterfall tour that took us to many points around the seven lakes, including the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve.
We hiked to nearby Lago Pellaifa on a hot day.
Some typical flowers of southern Chile.
A few of the local berries around Coñaripe.
We visited a salt farm near Pichilemu to learn about sea salt.
We walked the hills of Valparaiso on the first weekend of our trip to Chile, looking at all the street art.
We took Jordan and Annette to our favorite camping spot in Switzerland and went up the valley into the mountains.
We saw the dam from the opening scene of Goldeneye 007.
We visited a chapel filled with skulls while in Milan.
We used some of our last summer days to go swimming in a nearby lake.
I tagged along with John and his friend as they fished for Bonitos
I tagged along with Katie as she did her thing on the island.
The last stop on my US tour was Martha's Vineyard where my sister Katie lives year-round.
Next stop as I slowly inched my way back to Europe was Maine. I flew into Boston and my old colleague Ian was kind enough to drive all the way down and pick me up to visit this quiet area of the east coast.
I spent some time with one of my good Purdue friends in Houston. While I was there he whipped up a special treat — six racks of ribs on his smoker!
I wasted no time getting out to my favorite brewery in the world, Jester King! It was thankfully not a release day so we enjoyed short lines, stone-fire pizzas, and farmhouse-style sour ales made right in the Texas Hill Country.
We went to a show featuring the very talented David Diers, playing some rock at the Texas Keeper just outside Austin.
We took a trip to the local water park while I stayed with my family in Texas.
We saw a gorgeous sunset while driving back from Illinois to Texas.
One of our favorite things to do at Grandma's is sunset walks in the nearby cemetery. This time we also made rubbings of the oldest headstones.
We visited our friends Jordan and Annette, spending a relaxing pre-fourth up at their cottage in north Michigan.
We took a couple days to see the main tourist attractions of Chicago.
We happened to be in Chicago during pride parade day and had a blast participating!
We ate our way through the streets of Milan and saw a few sights too.
We went on a road trip to Italy with my cousin Emily. She suggested that we swing through Liechtenstein on the way.
I went to Copenhagen to speak at a local Drupal event, play boardgames, and maybe have a beer or two.
We surprised one of Karin's friends with a visit. While there we did a little bit of city walking too.
A tribute to my friends and colleagues at Four Kitchens in honor of their 10th anniversary!
I took part in an art festival in Sweden called Vetenskapsfestivalen Göteborg.
We made it back safe and sound to Freiburg!
Our final beach day — and last day of our trip — was a lazy day near our bungalow on Koh Yao Noi. It was a wonderful way to wind things down before heading home.
We went on a private island hopping tour with a Dutch couple we met while arriving. It was a fun day visiting great islands, beaches, and swimming holes near Koh Yao Noi.
Our last stop in south Thailand was Koh Yao Noi. Recommended to us by a friend in Pai, we wanted to finish our trip somewhere very relaxed and secluded.
We rented a kayak and paddled around the bay that holds Railay, Tonsai, and Princess beaches.
Next stop on our mini beach tour was Tonsai Beach near Krabi. It's a fun little jungle community right next to the more well-known Railay beach.
We decided to finish our trip off with a relaxing week at the beaches of south Thailand. Our first stop was Koh Phi Phi.
We made a quick stopover in Pai to visit our Sabai family before finishing our trip.
The full path of our three-day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake.
Day 3 of our three-day trek involved a 14km hike within the Inle Lake park zone, followed by a boat ride to our final destination at a town north of the lake.
Day 2 of our three-day trek involved a hike along the highlands with a nice long break at a swimming hole. We walked over 18km and slept in a Buddhist monastery.
Day 1 of our three-day trek took us south of Kalaw into the mountains. We walked over 18km and stopped to sleep in a mountain village.
We spent a couple days in Mandalay. We visited some of the most common attractions and did our share of walking to get ready for our upcoming three-day trek.
Our second day in Bagan was just as exciting as the first, criss-crossing sand roads and visiting interesting temples in the area.
Bagan is one of the must-see attractions in Burma. Comparable only to Angkor Wat, it is a sprawling area of temple ruins that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The Yangon circular railway is a local train that makes a large loop around the city. It's great for people-watching and seeing parts of Yangon that aren't polished for tourism.
Our second night in Yangon we visited the biggest temple in Myanmar. It has a long history dating back to the 11th century and houses many relics.
Our first days in Burma were spent walking through downtown. Here are a few things we saw as we wandered around aimlessly.
The immigration process for Burma is relatively hassle-free if you're prepared ahead of time. Learn from our experience!
I went on an impromptu snorkeling dive on our last day in Koh Lipe and saw some really fantastic sea life.
Koh Lipe is a small, gorgeous postcard of an island offering many beaches and beautiful views of both sunrise and sunset.
We made a quick hop over to Thailand for one last beach adventure before heading back to the mainland.
We waited until the weekend was over to visit one of the main tourist attractions: SkyBridge, a suspension bridge between two mountain peaks.
Another picture-perfect beach! This time on the north coast of Langkawi called Skull beach.
We moved more north into Langkawi and visited the highest peak to watch the sunset from a 360-degree viewpoint.
We took a popular half-day tour that brings visitors to three different islands in the Langkawi area.
We visited the Kedah night market and had loads of delicious eats for mere cents per item.
We crossed paths with an old schoolmate of mine and enjoyed many delicious futuristic treats in Singapore.
We enjoyed a popular light show in one of Singapore's parks, Gardens By the Bay.
We misunderstood Indonesian visa-on-arrival policy and ended up paying a one-day overstay fee on our way out.
We made a quick stop in Jakarta before flying out of the country and visited a well-known national monument in the city center.
We tried to go white-water tubing through a cave, but the rainy season got the best of us once again 😦
We rode out to Borobudur, a large temple complex outside of Yogyakarta. It was an impressive area quite different than the other temples we've seen on this trip.
Our first day in Yogyakarta we took a nice motorbike ride through the jungle-covered mountains to a waterfall.
We tried going to Bromo to do another sunrise volcano hike, but weather, volcanic activity, and scams got the best of us.
We made a treacherous night hike up to Mount Ijen and into a crater that is home to a sulfur volcano with blue flames!
We stopped in Lovina on the way to Java and found a nice thermal bath to complement the relentless rainy season.
Returning from Gili Air back to Padang Bay, we went snorkeling again in Blue Lagoon a few times. This time we were armed with our friend's camera and caught some great glimpes of underwater sea life.
Our host at Goodtimes Bungalows took me snorkeling in the coral reef around Gili Air. It was one of the most incredible displays of nature I've ever seen!
Instead of going to the main island of Lombok, we chose a tiny paradise just off the coast called Gili Air. It is a 1km-wide island with quaint bungalows and charming restaurants.
We went to a water palace called Taman Tirta Gangga, and then to a mountain temple called Pura Lempuyang. Both places featured old, impressive stone work.
Padang Bay is a "pass-through" town with a beautiful gem of a beach. It's not a secret beach or anything, but both days we went there were max 15 people during the day.
Our hostel was quite close to a beach that was just down the coast from the main tourist strip. It was empty during the day but swelled with people as the sun set.
Balangan Beach is a gorgeous surfing beach a little off the beaten path in Kuta, Bali.
Finally after several major changes of plans, we made it to Indonesia! This was our original inspiration for taking the trip and we're excited to spend some lazy days in the sun.
Due to a minor flight complication we were only in Singapore for 18 hours and did not get to explore as much as we wanted. It was nice to use fast internet, drink tap water, and throw our TP in the toilet for one night though.
We made the best of our two days in Bangkok before flying to Singapore and Indonesia. Star Wars and massage, the good life!
Instead of staying in Bangkok we went back to visit Ya in Ayutthaya. We had a nice time singing songs and just relaxing at his wonderful guest house.
We took a night train from Laos back to Bangkok so we could catch a flight to Indonesia. It was a fun, safe, cheap way to travel!
We got a bit of gift money from my mom with clear instructions: do something extraordinary so we could share the memories.
We did one of the most popular activities on New Years' Eve in Vang Vieng — tubing down the river!
We got to Luang Prabang late, but immediately found a great type of food stand that should be everywhere.
We took a tour to the 100 Waterfalls. It was a moderate hike with a beautiful reward: seemingly endless cascades of springs and waterfalls.
Nang None is a lesser-known viewpoint in Nong Khiaw. We thought it was an even better view of the area!
Phadeng Peak is a steep, moderate hike that ends with a great view of Nong Khiaw and the upstream river toward Muang Ngoy.
We kayaked to Nong Khiaw instead of taking a boat. It was a nice four hour trip and we got to really enjoy the sights and sounds of the Ou River.
Our only full day in Muang Ngoy was spent hiking. We hiked to a nearby cave and village, then went on a separate hike to see the sunset.
We went on a four hour ride for our first slow boat trip, which took us down the Ou River from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoy.
A few glimpses into the markets of Muang Khua. It's a rural town with some unusual choices of cuisine. Warning, strange dead animals in this post!
After our crazy bus ride into Laos, the first stop was luckily the small, laid-back town of Muang Khua. We stayed here several days to recharge and relax.
We survived an epic chain of transport from Cat Ba to Laos, and even enjoyed it despite the madness that ensued.
We went kayaking in the ocean around Cat Ba Island! We kayaked around some of the islands, stopped at one of the beaches on Monkey Island, and went through a fishing village.
Our first day exploring Cat Ba Island we did the easy tourist sights — the Hospital Cave and the National Park.
We kinda got scammed into a tour through Ha Long Bay, but it's a pretty nice place to be tricked into staying all afternoon.
We stopped in Dong Hoi because we had the time and wanted to break up the bus ride to Hanoi.
Full path of our trip with Dalat Easy Rider Club from Da Lat to Nha Trang.
Hoi An is known for two things — a night market featuring hand-made silk lanterns, and its tailor shops.
After our motorbike tour we took it easy in Nha Trang for a couple days. It's a touristy city which is clearly dominated by Russians.
Day 3 of our Easy Rider tour took us through the mountains to visit the highlanders, more farmers growing bamboo, black pepper, rubber and honey, and a fair bit of rain thrown in to make it interesting before arriving in Nha Trang to end our journey.
Day 2 of our Easy Rider tour brought us to many stages of the coffee production process, a waterfall, and an unexpected Thanksgiving feast!
Day 1 of our Dalat Easy Riders tour was a day trip through Da Lat followed by a beautiful ride through the countryside.
We went on a sunrise tour in Mui Ne. We saw the white and red sand dunes, as well as the mysterious Fairy Stream.
We had a sandcastle contest one night. Such a blast! Karin and I were declared the winners based on our excellent teamwork 💗
With my leg almost healed, it was finally time to hit the beach! We chose Mui Ne and had a great time at an awesome resort. The people there are great and the staff are dedicated to showing us how to have a good time.
Ho Chi Minh City was quite the change of pace after our slow weeks in Thailand. It's a crazy, pulsing city that is no place for a newbie traveler. We had a blast checking it out and acting young for a few days.
After a relaxing time in Pai, our Vietnamese visa date quickly came upon us. We went back to Chiang Mai for two nights before grabbing a flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Sabai Garden was our home for two weeks during my recovery. It was such a peaceful, relaxing place filled with lovely people.
Once of the only things we'd planned for Pai was a cooking class. We picked a good one including a trip to the market, and had lots of fun making common Thai dishes from scratch.
Lessons learned from getting medical treatment for a moderately infected wound in Pai, Thailand.
My reading list in Pai. See last entry.
Ok the real truth behind our long stay in Pai... Lina and I fell down the waterfall. We're fine.
After our adventures at Cave Lodge we stopped in Pai to just relax a bit. It's a small town with bustling tourism and a great vibe.
We went kayaking twice in a row because it was so much fun! We did a short 2-hour and long 5-hour trip. The long one had a bit of caving thrown in for good measure.
Our first big trek was a three-cave hike through the hills and mountains, with some jungle and swimming in between.
Our first activity at Cave Lodge was an easy local spot called Big Knob. It's a short hike, no guide needed, and it can be done in about two hours.
Cave Lodge is an absolutely beautiful place to stay in north Thailand offering more adventures than we thought possible. Anyone passing through should make a stop here for at least a few nights!
Chiang Mai is the biggest city in the north, offering plenty of sights and activities. We had fun checking it out for a few days.
The temples in Ayutthaya are almost all ruins due to the Burmese sacking this former capital city in the late 18th century. The ruins were beautiful and mysterious due to their condition.
We stayed at the Ayothaya Riverside House and made many great new friends.
We did a lot of walking around in Bangkok. Here are some of the things we saw over the course of a few days.
We accidentally stumbled upon Wat Pho, the most beautiful place we have seen so far in Bangkok. The amount of care and craft put into these temples is truly magnificent.
Our first stop in Southeast Asia was Bangkok, the bustling capitol of Thailand. Bangkok is a busy, dirty city but it is filled with very friendly people who always greet you with a smile.
We went to Versailles on our last day in Paris. Aside from the insane amount of tourists, it was pretty neat.
The first stop on our trip to Asia was actually Paris! My cousin Emily had just moved there and we wanted to get a visit in before leaving for 6 months.
As much as anything, vagabonding is about time — our only real commodity — and how we choose to use it.
Parc Güell is an expansive, hilly park in the middle of town offering great views of the city and fun experiences with musicians of all types.
By coincidence, DrupalCon was exactly the same week as La Mercè, an annual festival in Barcelona. We were treated to extraordinary nightlife almost the entire time we were there.
We played hooky from the conference and explored the city one day.
Before DrupalCon Barcelona three of my dear colleagues from Four Kitchens came to visit Freiburg. It was fun being the tour guide and showing them around the town I call home.
My mom and I showed Karin around the Fort Worth Stockyards when we visited her before our trip to S.E. Asia. She had a blast checking out all them there Texans.
We visited Jordan and Annette in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had a fun week of hiking, canoeing, and furniture-building.
We spent the 4th of July in Val Maggia, a stunning valley with superb camping.
I went to Frontend United in Bristol. They had some sweet graffiti.
Our stop at Buccaneers was our last of the trip because it was so great! We stayed several days longer than we planned. It's a beautiful community situated across the entire side of a mountain facing the coast of Cintsa Bay.
We enjoyed a luxurious, thrilling safari on the Amakhala Game Reserve. We saw four of the Big 5 in their natural habitats, living freely under the protection of the game park we visited.
Jeffreys Bay is a popular surfing spot with great beaches. We took it easy here and just enjoyed the scenery.
Mossel Bay is the east bookend of the Garden Route, offering a relaxing string of beaches. It's great for a private getaway.
Lion's Head is an easy hike for people of all skill levels. We easily made the top in about an hour, and we heard it's a good spot for night hiking too.
We hiked the India Venster on Table Mountain on our first day in South Africa. It was an unintentionally intense hike because we went off the trail.
Our third day in San Pedro was the best of all! We visited the Geysers del Tatio, an extremely active area of geysers high up in the mountains.
Our second day in San Pedro we took a tour to the salt flats. We swam in the Ojos del Salar and watched the sunset at Salares themselves.
Our first adventure in San Pedro was visiting Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna. I was struck by the utter lack of vegetation and felt so insignificant compared to nature.
The town of San Pedro is quite small, but full of interesting sights. I expected it to be less modern given how remote it is, but the bustling tourism supports their economy very well.
The bus ride from Mendoza to San Pedro is long but the scenery is absolutely stunning. We stopped overnight in Salta, Argentina. Otherwise we just enjoyed the earth rolling by, slowly turning from lush green into arid desert as we approached San Pedro.
We spent an extra day in Mendoza due to bus strikes. We used it well, finding a beautiful hotel and exploring more of the downtown area.
Starting from Mendoza, we took a day trip to see Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas.
After meeting Karin in Freiburg, I decided to visit her in Chile where she was taking time off work to travel. My first destination was Santiago, where she lived at the time.
When I think of Brussels two things come to mind — the best beer in the world, and great food to soak it up.
Freiburg was my first stop after DrupalCon Munich. Little did I know it would be the best place on my trip through Europe! This day was the catalyst for my moving to Europe to be with Karin.