Archive for 2006

Round-the-world planning

Saturday, January 28th, 2006 by Brian

When I took my European Sabbatical, the timing was great. I had just quit my job, put my stuff into storage and left my car with my dad and hit the road. It was relatively easy to get going.
Jennifer and I have been planning a 3 or 4 month around-the-world trip now for [...]

New Zealand Rocks!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 by Brian that is. We have been looking a lot at since that’s our first big stop. Their website is incredible! It shows the full range of things you can do in NZ and goes way, WAY beyond what most tourism sites include.
One thing we’re planning on is touring in [...]

Going nowhere can be new

Monday, March 20th, 2006 by Brian

Sometimes you don’t have to leave home to experience something new. Found these little guys sitting on the window sill a few minutes ago after it started hailing in downtown San Francisco.

RTW Itineraries

Thursday, May 11th, 2006 by Brian

We sat down this past weekend to hammer out our itinerary and came up with the following plan:
SF – New Zealand – Overland to Australia – Vietnam – Overland to Laos – Overland to Cambodia – Overland to Thailand – India – UAE – Tanzania – Overland to Kenya – Brazil – Peru – Costa [...]

Tickets Booked!

Monday, July 3rd, 2006 by Brian

The hardest part of any trip is finally done! There have been about fifty changes since my last post, the most important of which is that we ponied up to go Business class instead of coach. We were looking at a half dozen 15-20 hour plane flights to make the SkyTeam alliance work [...]

Tickets in hand

Monday, July 10th, 2006 by Brian

Now it’s really real. We have the tickets. They are huge. As thick as an owner’s manual for some complicated electronics. Do we need to insure these things? They seem easily lose-able.
Because the ticket has so many legs, I had to go to San Francisco International to pick it up. [...]

VOIP on the go

Friday, August 4th, 2006 by Brian

I currently use Vonage as my home/office telephone in addition to my cell phone. It works pretty well so long as you have reliable Internet access. I’ve been wondering how I will stay in touch with my customers and contractors while I’m on the road. Even with a local mobile phone [...]


Friday, August 18th, 2006 by Brian

Since I’m a new Kaiser Permanente member, my doctor signed me up to have the full slate of blood work done. Everything from cholesterol to HIV. Two of the tests were for Hepatitis A/B to see whether or not I need the vaccines. The tests came back negative so I’ll need to [...]


Monday, September 11th, 2006 by Brian

September 11th is the day before my birthday. 5 years ago I was about to turn 25 when my friend Jason woke me at 6:30AM calling to say “World War 3 is starting”. Tomorrow I turn 30 and have a message to the terrorists:

I will continue to travel. The fear of random [...]

Lightweight Tech

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 by Brian

The technology I’m hauling around for 7 months to stay connected.

Wildlife Encounter

Thursday, September 28th, 2006 by Brian

You go, girl!
Modeling at the exotic summit of the Mt. Ellen Summit Trail

Jennifer and I needed a break so I planned an overnight camping trip in Memorial Park near Woodside, CA based on the recommendation from a friend. We drove down Highway 1 to Martin’s Beach Sunday with Togo’s sandwiches to lounge around and [...]

Indian Visa

Friday, October 6th, 2006 by Brian

Jennifer and I got up this morning and headed to the Indian Embassy near Geary and Arguello to obtain tourist visas for early next year. Six months for $60. We stood in a pretty long and chaotic line while the passport customers were turbo’d to the front of the line. When our [...]

Fujitsu P1510D and HP HW6915 and Backpack

Friday, October 6th, 2006 by Brian

Both of my big purchases for the trip showed up today, the Fujitsu P1510D Lifebook laptop/tablet and HP HW6915 quad-band GSM phone with Wi-fi, bluetooth and GPS. Pictured next to my Indian Visa and Int’l Driving Permit, you can see the relative size of the Lifebook. It’s tiny. Kind of thick, [...] Calling Cards

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006 by Brian

Like everyone else and their brothers, I ordered 100 cards for $20 by pulling images from Flickr. Except instead of just randomly picking some photos, I built a small image to be used as a contact card I could hand out while I’m travelling. The title is a little silly but I [...]

21 Days & Counting

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 by Brian

Since I’m sending lots of emails to old friends, colleagues and family, this may be the first post you’ll see in my travelogue. Thanks for taking a look, I am sorry it’s been so long since we’ve been in touch and I’m trying to improve my record in that category. I’m about [...]

Now It’s My Turn

Friday, November 3rd, 2006 by Jennifer

After several lengthy discussions, Brian has generously allowed me to share his blog. He seems to think he’ll have “editorial review” of everything I write. But we’ll see about that…
At any rate, we have just 4 days until we begin our trip and after the last few stress-filled weeks, I’m ready for a [...]


Saturday, November 11th, 2006 by Brian

Our first stop is Zihuatanejo, Mexico to see our good friends Kevin and Natalie tie the knot. Kevin and I race sports cars with the SCCA and have shared a 2-car trailer for the past two seasons. Zihautanejo is a small town near Ixtapa on the Pacific coast. Our hotel has [...]

Almuerzo Oficial

Sunday, November 12th, 2006 by Brian

This is what I’ve been waiting for since we got here: taqueria showdown! Although they advertised four kinds of meats, they only had carne asada but the taste was great. I also liked the assemble-it-yourself approach to the onions, cilantro, salsa and fresh limes. Still, if this place was across the street [...]

We’re half-way to New Zealand

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 by Brian

Here’s what has happened since leaving Zihuatanejo, Mexico on Sunday morning:

Arrived at LAX
Found no commuter flights would put us in SFO before our flight back to LAX for our connection to Tokyo and eventually Auckland
Brainstormed genius idea of renting a car and hauling ass up I-5
Rented car and hauled ass up I-5
Arrived in San Mateo [...]

Tokyo to Auckland

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 by Brian

Tokyo is nuts. We arrived at the Narita airport at 3pm, navigated customs, arranged for a hotel and caught a limo bus into Tokyo. Working on very little sleep in the past few days, I know I nodded off at least a couple of times on the way in jerking upright once my [...]

Calves, Kauris and Cape Reigna

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006 by Jennifer

We headed up north to visit another of Brian’s distant relatives, Anne and Phil Herbert. They raise calves on a 150 acre farm near the Bay of Islands, and they invited us to stay for a couple of days. On the way to Anne’s house, we drove through the Waipoua Forest and learned [...]

Fiesta de Gracias

Friday, November 24th, 2006 by Jennifer

Obviously Kiwis don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and they rarely eat Turkey, so no traditional Thanksgiving meal for us. Instead, we “splurged” on Mexican food. In any other country, buying Mexican food is far from splurging. In fact when Jesse was unemployed, he consistently ate burritos at Taqueria Cancun because they were only $3. [...]

It’s a girl!

Saturday, November 25th, 2006 by Jennifer

Welcome to the newest member of our family, our campervan. We picked her up in Christchurch and will be calling her home for the next month. Of course we had to give her a name, and after my first two suggestions were thrown out (Matilda and Jesus), we agreed on naming her Oprah. At [...]

Queenstown & Rainy Milford Sound

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 by Brian

On a map, the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown looks really far. It’s from one side of the country to the other but that’s California thinking. If you’ve ever rented a car (“hired” a car) in Europe and crossed three countries in an afternoon or driven across the Eastern seaboard and lost track [...]


Saturday, December 2nd, 2006 by Brian

Day before yesterday we left Queenstown and headed up to Wanaka, about an hour north, to hang out while we wait for the Routeburn track to re-open. We decided to try something that we saw in a brochure called canyoning. It looks like running down a riverbed with a thick wetsuit on and [...]

The Mighty Routeburn

Thursday, December 7th, 2006 by Jennifer

One of the most popular activities in New Zealand is tramping (hiking or trekkng in Kiwi speak). There are thousands of kilometers of tracks and a network of huts throughout New Zealand and it’s a great way to see the natural beauty of the country. The Department of Conservation (DOC) administers the tracks and [...]

Kayaking looks fun, but…

Sunday, December 10th, 2006 by Jennifer

Mitre PeakTallest sea cliff in the worldWe rescheduled our Milford Sound Kayak trip for the day after we finished the Routeburn since we would be in the area. This was a stupid decision. Within the last week we hiked the Rob Roy Track, went canyoning the next day, started the Routeburn the next [...]

Glaciers and Gourmet Food & Wine

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006 by Jennifer

We finally left the Queenstown/Wanaka area after two weeks of calling it home. We headed up the West Coast to the Marlborough wine region before crossing Cook Strait to the North Island. We stopped at Fox Glacier for a day and took a full-day hike on the glacier.
There are over 6,000 glaciers in [...]

Oprah takes one to her fat head

Friday, December 15th, 2006 by Brian

Today was a mixed bag. We were in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Our primary mission was to extend our tourist permit until the end of the year so we can stay through Christmas. We entered the country without onward travel from NZ so immigration only gave us 30 days. We [...]

Orakei Korako

Sunday, December 17th, 2006 by Brian

The weather didn’t cooperate meaning we couldn’t do the Tongariro crossing. Instead we cruised out to Orakei Korako which Lonely Planet calls, “possibly the best thermal area left in New Zealand and one of the finest in the world”.
It’s essentially a geothermal area on the edge of Lake Ohakuri with some geysers, [...]

Action Packed

Thursday, December 21st, 2006 by Brian

The last three days have been absolute nuts. I try to let the pictures do the talking but I have diarrhea of the typing-hands – sorry! After the weather didn’t cooperate on Sunday for the Tongariro Crossing, we booked ourselves onto a white water rafting trip on the Wairoa river. This is [...]

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 25th, 2006 by Brian

It’s 10:30pm Christmas Day here in Auckland. Tomorrow morning we get up and fly to Brisbane before catching a bus to Fraser Island on the Queensland coast. Today we called home with Skype to talk to our families on Christmas Eve (NZ is 21 hours ahead of California). We’ve got some [...]