Travel Tales

103 visited countries, at last count, though both “country” and “visited” have a surprising number of edge cases.
(Click on the images below to read the tales. All photos by Jon except photos of Jon.)

Svalbard, October 2019

In which I become subject rather than author; I took a sabbatical to direct the GitHub Archive Program, which, among other initiatives, will safeguard the world’s open-source software in a 1,000-year archive deep within an Arctic mountain, a mile from the Global Seed Vault, as described in this Bloomberg piece.

Pohnpei, April 2017

A live-tweeted Lovecraftian adventure, ½ of which is entirely factual.

Beirut, May 2015

Some thoughts on the romance of chaos and conspiracy.

The Philippines, Oct 2013

Regarding the end of an era, and my concern for the next.

Myanmar, Oct 2012

Wherein I lament how much better things have gotten.

Djibouti, June 2011

In which I go diving with the Special Forces, and mine salt from the deepest depression in Africa.

Iceland, September 2009

Three days driving around volcanoes and (literally) dodging madmen straight out of the local sagas.

Colombia, Oct 2008

I spent six days trekking through the Colombian jungle to explore a city abandoned a thousand years ago. I blame Steven Spielberg.

Haiti, March 2007

Some notes from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s sprawling, sweltering, seething capital, the poorest and most violent city in the entire Western Hemisphere.

The Trans-Siberian, September 2006

It’s when you fight your way through the hordes and out of Moscow’s metro and walk into Yaroslavsky Station that the sheer scale of the journey starts to really hit you, when you look at the time-zone markers under the diagram of the rail network, and the way those numbers mount up as the track sweeps eastwards: +6, +7, +8. Eight time zones. A third of the world.

South Africa, Dec 2005

So there1 I stood, clutching my bared Swiss Army knife2 in my trembling fist3, alone4 and otherwise unarmed, surrounded by a thousand5 bloodthirsty6 Zulus7. The witch doctor8 fixed me with a baleful glare9. I knew there was no escape10.

Iraq, May 2005

In which our hero travels to a desert war zone and is promptly wounded by marauding shellfish.

Peru, May 2004

Recounts my expedition along the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, and, for added social commentary, my less-than-harrowing descent into coca addiction.

Egypt, July 2003

A satirical tale of becoming what my sister called “The Anti-Kurtz.”

Croatia, June 2003

Tells of Stalinist hotels in Kosovo and my overambitious expedition to the supremely gorgeous Plitvice Lakes.

Papua New Guinea, October 2002

Explains how I am, in fact, pretty fly (for a white guy).

Australia, October 2002

Discusses scuba diving, and warns the world of the immense dangers posed by certain flightless birds.

India, November 2000

Describes How To Buy A Ticket In India.