Posts Categorized: Travel

Hafa Adai

Sleepy greetings from Guam. Raining a bit. I need a new pair of slippers.

Hopefully I can hit the ground running hard, and make some wheels turn.

Balls of Steel

SF to PDX to LA

Balls of Steel: SF to Portland
Balls of Steel: Portland to LA

2,613 miles on the 150cc scooter. Can’t write without gushing too much about the intensity of pulling something like this out of the hat. There are a few images that stand out, and when you’re on the saddle for 10 hours a day pulling 400 mile days, there are quite a few to choose from in the pool. The best pictures are the ones outside the camera – inside the curve, through the fog, down into the view, simmering into the golden sunset, burning in the hours that toughen the soul (and the butt). The best ones present themselves in a split second, but are beautiful enough to last forever.

There were some rough moments related to boring straight-aways, cross-town traffic, soggy weather, nail-busted flat tire, smelly tents, strong winds threatening to blow me out the road. There were times when I thought I’d been pushing the envelope too far. But most of the time, it felt more like I haven’t been pushing it far enough. Life goes on, but only when you choose to move forward.

Those who wander far away from home, know it a lot better when they return.

Stay safe, and ride on.


Pismo Beach

I’m so damn tired. I always feel this way after a long trip, but this one is especially exhausting. Put on so many miles and almost reached the Canadian border. This is an almost sure guarantee that I will pursue a cross country trip someday, as I’m probably only a few hundred miles short of actually reaching New York if I went straight east one-way. Will crunch the numbers tomorrow and plot the exact route map we did for the week. And of course, will post some photos. :)

You need to do something drastic if you want change in your life. If you don’t do anything, then nothing will change.

Border Crossing

Oregon Border Crossing

Basso and I actually made it all the way to the north western most tip of the lower 48’s, and camped around the Olympic National Park. Now, if you look it up on a map, that’s pretty damn far from home. We were trying to gun for the Canadian border, but barely had enough time and had to go back down to Portland to meet up with the weekend party.

I don’t have the numbers yet, but we rode an upwards of 1,200 miles over 4 days, and basically finished the entire stretch of highway 101 until it looped around in Washington state. Eventually, I will need to ride CA-1 from LA to TJ to lay claim to have ridden the entire mother loving WEST COAST. On a scooter that puts out 11.5 horsepower!!

I’ve still got more than 1,085 more miles to cover to get home.

What good is life, if you don’t push the limits?

Tuesday Morning

I need to catch up on a lot of things, and was hoping to have some time to sit down and write.

Unfortunately, I don’t. Except to say I’m taking the scooter on a 1,600++ mile roundtrip shenanigan with Basso in a few hours. Destination is Portland Oregon via motorcycle, camping along the coast on CA-1 and 101. I wanted to have time to map out the exact locations of all gas stations and potential campsites – but like everything else in life, time is in short supply so I’m just going to wing it and hope for the best.

I’ve finally accepted that these trips are not just ‘one-timers’ – there is a constant burning desire to push the envelope and scramble over the next horizon of adventure. This is an itch, that once scratched, reveals an even deeper hierarchy of need.

Time to feed the beast!!


Happy Water

World’s largest private collection of unopened beer bottles.

Greetings from Denmark. We only spent a few hours here, and was only able to send one special postcard out. Kinda sucks, wish we were here for longer. The highlight of the day was pounding 4 straight glasses from the Carlsberg brewery. Doubt I’ll get wi-fi on the other ports of call, so I think I’ll cut this short, hop off the nerdery machine and go spend some time at the buffet. Oink!

Letters from the Postman


I will be out of the country for a few weeks with the rest of my family. We will be visiting some pretty interesting places, so if you like receiving random postcards post-marked from mysterious places, kindly let me know and leave a comment or email me your postal address at blog[at]

Everyone is welcome to participate, love is always free from :)

Down From the Hill

I was going through my Picasa, and chanced upon old pictures of a Batanes trip I took in 2004. I realized with certainty that it was one of the most meaningful trips I’ve ever taken in my life. There were so many reasons that made it amazing, not just because the islands were insanely breathtaking, but more so because of the beautiful people we met along the way, at an opportune time in our lives. Each waking moment was so full of detail and emotion, which happens so rarely once we start acquiescing to the rhetoric of the “real” world.

And so I think this trip was the turning point, seeding an adventurous heart wanting to see the small places of the world. Meeting kindred souls that make the meaning of this world count, pursuing his/her own dream independently yet collectively fueling the fire of what it means to be alive. Everyday I seek that hidden place of curiosity and wide-eyed wonder, believing that our lives are meant to be shared together in good times and bad, trying to understand what it really means to be human.

I usually don’t like reposting content, but here is an old favorite:

there’s nothing like donning a backpack, knowing that everything you own is on your back… but the real thrill comes in knowing that you’re looking forward to seeing things that you can never own inside your bag, but only in the memories that you create in travelling, by leaving everything behind.

The Forest

Find love in the simplest pleasures of life. Smile without reason, jump without abandon, and rub your belly once in a while just cos it feels great.

Weekend pictures from Sequoia National Forest camping here.

Off the Road

Camping along a ridge at Sequoia National Forest

Got back a few hours ago from the depths of the Sequoia and Sierra National Forest. Left Friday after work, and met up with Ismael, Alessandra, and Katrina at a developed campground around Lake Hume. I got detoured for an hour thanks to my impeccable pidgeon-like navigational skills, compounded by the lack of a GPS nav unit (aside from me being cheap, the ’79 VW bus does not have a cigarette light accessory charger. I know.)

Saturday was spent “exploring” the back roads, which consists of lots of dirt, the occasional washout and a few deep ruts. At some point, I was even second guessing how the hell Basso convinced me to take a 30 year old VW into the forest trails. Yet Vanessa performed admirably, the engine kept its cool and she meandered gracefully across deep ruts and danced on the gravel. Almost as if she’s more comfortable in the outdoors than she is on pavement! The main goal was to take a specific trail down to the Kings Canyon River, but we were faced with a giant muddy puddle that scared me and we settled on Plan B instead, which is on a small meadow with a great view. :P

Among the highlights of the weekend was going up to “Delilah’s Lookout”, which is this fire lookout point which we chanced upon at a dead-end after getting lost on the trails. We scaled the 70 foot metal structure (and slightly soiled my pants since I’m deathly afraid of heights), met the two volunteers manning the station, and soaked in some pretty awesome 360 degree views of the entire forest. They showed us a few tools they used to track and report wildfires, and I got a kick out of this small 2’x2′ wooden platform raised by glass bottles that they need to stand on during the duration of a storm to insulate themselves from lightning. Plus, Kat scored a vintage copy of “The True Story of Smokey Bear” comic book that they gave us while he was going through the stuff for a fire permit. Very cool stuff.

The other highlights I need to point out are Korean BBQ short rib tacos, chicken skewers glazed with dijon honey mustard, blue cheese hamburgers, and lots of ice cold Tecate. Mmmm. Pictures tomorrow!

Dirty Laundry

Back in Los Angeles.

Thank goodness I got upgraded from coach (c/o King Benny’s friendship counter), and it was finally one of the newer refurbished PAL planes that have seats that lay flat.

Baby Carys Baby Carys

Am tired, but waiting for a giant load of dirty laundry to finish. If there’s one thing that I miss, it’s doing my own laundry. Back to the grind tomorrow.

On the Way Out

I’m beside the empty gate counters of Saipan’s airport. Totally empty. It’s 6:20pm but it looks more like 3:22am in terms of human activity. Even the guards by the security check point are nowhere to be found. This place smells like the old Topanga mall before it became nice.

Of the many times I’ve been here, I always seem to forget that they close the counters for a good solid hour before the flight back to Guam that only takes 50 minutes. Then I get flashbacks that this isn’t the only time I’ve been shuttered out from the 40 seater prop plane, which apparently needs to get controlled by border control and customs so much that you need to lounge around longer than you conceivably should together with all 8 passengers of the entire flight. And so here I am.

I’m just incredibly tired. Been busting my ass to get a project completed, and although I’ve been here for several days, it was barely enough for me to have a clear conscience leaving certain things (outside of my control) to piece themselves together. Whatever. I left work at 4am yesterday after pulling an almost 20 hour shift. Feels great to feel pain once in a while.

This morning after checking out, I went to the back of the hotel and realized that it is a very picturesque coastline, very muted and clean. To think of it, this island might actually be more of my liking than more developed places. It exudes a very provincial feel, with a sense of struggle from its very existence that makes it appear more real rather than constructed. I just had a miserable time trying to sleep because I kept imagining Japanese and American soldiers and civilians spilling blood from the horrors of WWII. Horrible. No thanks, suicide mountain!

The only thing that is bothering me right now aside from a potential change ticket fee, is the fact that I’m most likely going to miss an amazing sunset from the air. Ugh.

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle

Just got back into the west coast from almost a week in New York. Spent the week with plenty of cool refreshments and met up with the usual cool cats of the East Coast, sponsored by Casa de Gatchalian. In a few hours I still have to take the Bart, make the OAK – LAX leg, and ride the Vespa up the 405 straight to work. It was a good run, and excited to see how the pictures will turn out. The weather was perfect while we were there, with the exception of one wet day. I took a lot of TTV shots, and got a lot of stares because of my ghetto cardboard tube light blocker thingamajig.

The weirdest part, was randomly running into people. First, was Jaime and Nic spotting us in the outskirts of Central Park. I mean, how the hell do you run into people you know in a sea of billions of people? And second was running into my old coworker OJ right by his bus stop. The funny thing is, the exact same thing happened the last time we were in the city and ran into Donna, my neighbor who I haven’t seen in forever. Nuts.

Today’s Sunset

Manila Sunset

Today’s sunset will be my last in Manila for this month, as I’m scheduled to fly out in a few hours back to soggy San Francisco. It was a good run. Despite all the chaos in the grit of the third world, there will always be something beautiful out there to pick out, and take home with you.

And then you quietly realise that there really is no such thing as home – because you take it with you wherever you may come, and you find it wherever you may go.