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    China
     
    Radiation Run-1

    A Dream Deferred: The End of Backpackology?

    When I finally penned my response to Men’s Journal (at three in the morning) (over one week late), I was sitting amongst cockroaches on my hotel room floor, stripped down to my underwear, high as a rocket ship on mysterious Chi...
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    Adventures in Backpackistan!
     
    Hitchhikers Tale from the Gobi-6

    The Long Road To Nowhere: A Hitchhiker’s Tale from Outer Mongolia

    On the third day, I made a sea-change decision: I thought, if I ever get out of this miserable desert, I’m going to write my first postcard ever. “Sunny Greetings from the Gobi!” it will say, happily scrawled over a stark, grey...
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    Adventure
     
    goatcover

    GoatBall Superstar, Afghan Hero

    The afternoon sun slanted across the District Chief of Police’s office as he sat glowering at me in his oversized armchair, gnashing his teeth like some rabid, Pashtun muppet. Sitting in his line of fire, I smiled at nothing in...
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    Adventure
     
    Taliban Grimace-2

    Walnuts & Machine Guns: A Taliban Tale

    A man with a machine gun has been following me for the last five days. His name is Zia, and he is very, very shy, especially for a man with a machine gun. He first started shadowing me in the town of Chitral, near the end of my...
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    Adventures in Backpackistan!
     
    WrongPancakeRaw-4

    The Wrong Pancake

    For this week, I intended on writing a story about terrifying street-food in Rangoon… but then I arrived in the mountain village of Kalaw, and suffered an incident so absurd that I couldn’t resist sharing my tale immediately. T...
  •  
    China
     
    Radiation Run-1

    A Dream Deferred: The End of Backpackology?

    When I finally penned my response to Men’s Journal (at three in the morning) (over one week late), I was sitting amongst cockroaches on my hotel room floor, stripped down to my underwear, high as a rocket ship on mysterious Chi...
  •  
    Adventures in Backpackistan!
     
    Hitchhikers Tale from the Gobi-6

    The Long Road To Nowhere: A Hitchhiker’s Tale from Outer Mongolia

    On the third day, I made a sea-change decision: I thought, if I ever get out of this miserable desert, I’m going to write my first postcard ever. “Sunny Greetings from the Gobi!” it will say, happily scrawled over a stark, grey...
  •  
    Adventure
     
    goatcover

    GoatBall Superstar, Afghan Hero

    The afternoon sun slanted across the District Chief of Police’s office as he sat glowering at me in his oversized armchair, gnashing his teeth like some rabid, Pashtun muppet. Sitting in his line of fire, I smiled at nothing in...
  •  
    Adventure
     
    Taliban Grimace-2

    Walnuts & Machine Guns: A Taliban Tale

    A man with a machine gun has been following me for the last five days. His name is Zia, and he is very, very shy, especially for a man with a machine gun. He first started shadowing me in the town of Chitral, near the end of my...
  •  
    Adventures in Backpackistan!
     
    WrongPancakeRaw-4

    The Wrong Pancake

    For this week, I intended on writing a story about terrifying street-food in Rangoon… but then I arrived in the mountain village of Kalaw, and suffered an incident so absurd that I couldn’t resist sharing my tale immediately. T...

 
Latest Posts
 
 
 
Adventure
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Steve McDonald’s Guide to Not Dying in Scary Countries

In my life, I’ve had the fortune of visiting forty-four countries, and if I were forced to write down my favorites, you might mistake it for a list of Government Travel Warnings. I was in Japan when the tsunami turned Sendai in...
 

 
Adventure
 
Taliban Grimace-2
Taliban Grimace-2
Taliban Grimace-2

Walnuts & Machine Guns: A Taliban Tale

A man with a machine gun has been following me for the last five days. His name is Zia, and he is very, very shy, especially for a man with a machine gun. He first started shadowing me in the town of Chitral, near the end of my...
 

 
 
Culture
 
Golden Temple WW-1
Golden Temple WW-1
Golden Temple WW-1

Wednesday Wanderings: The Golden Temple of Amritsar

I’d like to try a little experiment. A friend of mine recently pointed out the irony in that, despite my college degree in Film Production, I never share any videos on this site. To which I pointed out that, with the narc...
 

 
Backpackology 101
 
go the other way feat image
go the other way feat image
go the other way feat image

To Go the Other Way

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life…” – Jack Kerouac In a wild outpost town of eastern Baltistan, two days’ journey by road into the jagged, ...
 

 
 
Adventure
 
Chalo Pakistan-18
Chalo Pakistan-18
Chalo Pakistan-18

Chalo Pakistan!

Crossing the border into the mountainous, Islamic heartland of Pakistan, I decide to settle down in Lahore for a while, catching up on my writing, wandering into mosques, ripping up Government Travel Warnings, and gleefully thr...
 

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Indian Food-4
Indian Food-4
Indian Food-4

Inhaling India (A Diarrhea Adventure): A Foodie’s Guide to India on a Budget

“If you take the foods of the world on one side and the foods of India on another, our pile would easily tip the scales.” –Rocky Singh ************************* You might think you know Indian food. You might frequent a few Ind...
 

 
 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Kalash-3
Kalash-3
Kalash-3

A Message from the Mountains

Greetings from the edge of the civilized world, It’s been one week since I’ve last seen a computer, or even a shower for that matter. I’m currently in a sooty, log cabin in a small village in the Hindu Kush mountains of norther...
 

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Namaste Hindustan WM-51
Namaste Hindustan WM-51
Namaste Hindustan WM-51

Guest Blogger Brittanie Sterner: The Surrounded Lady Traveler

This week, I have the pleasure of sharing with you a special guest blogger, a fantastically talented writer and good friend of mine, Ms. Brittanie Sterner. In 2010, I traveled with Brittanie in India for a while, before setting...
 

 
 
Culture
 
Great Trunk Road-24
Great Trunk Road-24
Great Trunk Road-24

The Great Trunk Road

Blazing north from the southern horn of India, I follow the old ‘Great Trunk Road’ through the ex-Mughal heartlands of Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and the Panjab, cutting straight towards the border of Pakistan… By...
 

 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Laughing Yoga-1
Laughing Yoga-1
Laughing Yoga-1

Laughing Yoga in Calcutta

The placid water of Rabindra Sarova Lake shined like gold in the light of dawn, and standing beneath a rustling fig tree on its bank, Mr. P.N. Chettiney screamed at the top of his lungs. “GOOD MORNING, CALCUTTAAAAA!” In a neat ...
 

 
 
Backpackology 101
 
Lonely Road-3
Lonely Road-3
Lonely Road-3

Life on the Lonely Road

I like to pretend that I’m inhumanly self-assured and independent. But the truth is, I’ve never really been either of those things. If you know me personally, you know I’m not the solitary, pensive type. I’m a loud and abrasive...
 

 
Culture
 
South India-8
South India-8
South India-8

The South of India

Meandering further down the Indian coast, I loop around the southern tip of India, through Kerala and Tamil Nadu, before turning back up north, taking up the long and reckless road to Pakistan… Fleeing from the hippy swar...
 

 
 
Adventure
 
Hyderabad Idea Paradise-7
Hyderabad Idea Paradise-7
Hyderabad Idea Paradise-7

A Hyderabad Idea, Part Two: Paradise on My Plate

This is the second half of the two-part story, “A Hyderabad Idea.” To read the first half of the story, click here. ***************** Black columns of smoke curled over the old city of Hyderabad, mingling in heat wi...
 

 
Culture
 
Mysore-11
Mysore-11
Mysore-11

24 Hours in Mysore

Drifting ever closer to the tip of India, I make a 24-hour pitstop in historical Mysore, the old capitol city of the Mysore kingdom, famous for its magnificent maharaja palace, the kinetic Devaraja Bazaar, and its top-shelf pro...
 

 
 
Adventures in Backpackistan!
 
Hyderabad Idea Indian Trains-1
Hyderabad Idea Indian Trains-1
Hyderabad Idea Indian Trains-1

A Hyderabad Idea, Part One: A 500 Mile Foodie Pilgrimage By Train

At five in the morning I sprinted through the Madurai Train Station, hop-scotching over sleeping bodies in tattered clothes and weaving between mustachioed luggage porters balancing suitcases on their heads. The loud speaker cr...
 

 
Culture
 
Temples of Hampi Saddu-1
Temples of Hampi Saddu-1
Temples of Hampi Saddu-1

The Temples of Hampi

Arriving from Rangoon, the two month track through India to Pakistan starts in Mumbai, before cutting south through Karnataka, to the ancient Vijanayagar capitol of Hampi… Aside from walking through the chaos of Crawford ...
 

 
 
Adventure
 
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1
Theyyam Yesteryear Colors-1

Gods Amongst Men

Late one night several years ago, while drunkenly sprawled out on my couch, flicking through a slog of 2AM infomercials and overly-lit diabetes PSAs, I caught a documentary about holy men in southern India, men who would become...
 

 
Burma
 
Bicyclist, U Bein Bridge, Ammarapura.
Bicyclist, U Bein Bridge, Ammarapura.
Bicyclist, U Bein Bridge, Ammarapura.

Photo Travelogue: Burmese Daze (Burma)

He was watching me. I noticed his shifting eyes at about 4AM, as I sat alone in my grimy hotel room, sweatily typing a story in my boxers, beneath a ceiling fan that rattled in the sultry, pre-monsoon heat. He was in my shoe, p...
 

 
 
Backpackology 101
 
Golden Temple 2
Golden Temple 2
Golden Temple 2

Weekend Destination: Top 10 Free Vacations (5/5)

This article is part five of the five part series, “The Top 10 Free Vacations.” You can find destinations #10 & #9 in Part One, destinations #8 & #7 in Part Two, destinations #6 & #5 in Part Three, and destinations ...
 

 
Adventure
 
Hampi-2
Hampi-2
Hampi-2

The Shaman’s Seeds of Wisdom

A chorus of tribal drums thundered in the twilight of Hampi, reverberating off the granite boulders that crumbled down from the cliff face above. Sam Monahan sat cross-legged on a worn mattress away from the drum circle, near a...
 

 




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