Meet the Brave Ones


This is the true story… of 10 strangers… picked to live on a backpack…travel together and have their lives blogged…

To find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting monsoonal

The Monsoon Diaries.


The last challenge was to see if I could take 8 strangers — none with prior backpacking experience — on a joyride around 4 countries in 11 days. And yet that was through the well-trodden trails of Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, and Portugal.

Now the stakes are higher: I’m leading a group of 8 Americans and 1 Filipino into the heartland of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although 2 of them are previous monsoon’ers (Cynthia and Anna from my Thanksgiving trip to Guatemala and Belize), the rest might as well be strangers to the beast.

So what’s gonna happen to us? Will we go hiking? Will we end up on the news? There’s one way to find out, and we leave in exactly 7 days.


I would like to introduce:

Calvin "O Captain! My Captain!" Sun: Think of me as the show producer…

Cynthia "The Dreamer" Koo: New York, NY; Columbia University ’10

Anna "The Veteran" Wong: New York, NY; Columbia University ’06

Sonny "The Enthusiast" Tieu: New York, NY; Brooklyn College ’11

Gai "The Retiree" Olivares: Manila, Philippines

Gareth "The Guvnor" Johnson: Think of him as the show director…

Nina "Daredevil" Yang: New York, NY; Barnard College ’12

Evan "The Interpreter" Jones: Washington DC; University of Maryland, College Park

Jade "Blade" Shyu: Los Angeles, CA; University of California, San Diego

Andrew "The Expat" Chu: Berlin, Germany; Washington University in St. Louis ’09

Where we’re going: 4 countries and 8 cities in 9 days.

Frankfurt, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Tehran, Iran

Isfahan, Iran


Shiraz, Iran

Persepolis, Iran

Persepolis, Iran

Geneva, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

See you in Iran.


- At time of posting in New York City, Central Park, it was 46.4 °F -

Humidity: 12% | Wind Speed: n/a | Cloud Cover: n/a

Why I Move
The Iranian Visa for Americans


  1. How do you make the water almost look like ice in the Geneva shot?

  2. I must say your story line and adventures are truly inspirational. Looking forward to your posts from Iran. :)

  3. Wow, I am so excited for you guys!! That looks like such an amazing trip. I can’t wait to follow your travels!

  4. Haha ditto to Anya’s comment

  5. you are absolutely crazy :)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>