“There are no excuses.”


I started this blog the summer before beginning medical school and in the ensuing 3 years, I’ve carried this far along to over 45 countries, with #47 coming up right at the eve of my very last exam of medical school (knock on wood). And people always ask: “how in the world…?” (no pun intended) And I’ve always struggled with an answer other than: “you’ll just have to come along and see for yourself!” But there’s really no better way of explaining it than the following itinerary I am (hopefully) about to pull off:

Beginning my day by taking the 8 hour Step 2 CS medical licensing exam (the boards) in Philadelphia — which will end in the afternoon — and then rush by bus, train, and taxi to catch an international flight in another city — Washington D.C. — by the end of the evening. If I’m lucky, I should wake up in Iceland by the next morning.

It’s essentially a perfect representation of my attitude throughout medical school: waste no time. Seriously. Do what you have to do to study and take an exam, but once you’re done, don’t take the day off — make every minute count and catch that flight outta town!


How I’m doing it –


I wake up 7am in the morning in Philadelphia:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.18.16 PM

Philadelphia, PA

And at 8am, I check-in to take the Step 2 Clinical Skills of the 4-part United States Medical Licensing Examinations (aka, the medical BOARDS):

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.56.08 PM

It’s an 8 hour exam. So by 4pm (hopefully), I can rush out of the testing center…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.16.12 PM

….to pick up my backpacks from my hotel before cabbing it to the Philadelphia 30th Street train station:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.00.20 PM

Philadelphia 30th St. Station

The goal is to catch the 4:55pm Amtrk train leaving from Philadelphia 30th St Station to Washington DC Union Station:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.59.30 PM

Washington D.C. Union Station

I should arrive into Washington D.C. at 6:47pm, which gives me about maybe 3 minutes to walk around and enjoy the city…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.54.16 PM

Washington, D.C.

…before having to catch a 1 hour cab ride to Dulles International Airport:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.59.00 PM

Dulles International Airport

With any luck, I’ll be at the airport at or before 8pm, so I can catch the 8:40pm flight to Reykjavik:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.04.42 PM

Iceland Air

I should land about 6am the next morning, which then our journey shall begin…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.05.13 PM

Reykjavik, Iceland

Wish me luck and here we go!

- At time of posting in Philadelphia, Philadelphia International Airport, it was 48.2 °F -

Humidity: 47% | Wind Speed: 5km/hr | Cloud Cover: n/a

Mt. Starr and Manzanar


  1. Adventure hero. Since we haven’t heard from you yet I hope that means you’re on a plane now, to somewhere. You’re the living example of “no excuses.” Also the living example of “crazy.”

    But we know that isn’t a bad thing to be.

  2. Whaaaaat. Forgot to factor in traffic. It’s so bad! Accident on the Washington parkway.

  3. Wow, you are braving DC rush hour from Union Station to Dulles right now! I will send you lots of positive energy! Good luck!!

  4. Then I’m screwed :/

  5. … just reading about your itinerary stresses me out. what if you are just 10 mins late for one of the legs?!?

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