Blog of Blog Entry

There are 276 blog entries within the category of Blog Entry

Starting Price Sheet
July 30th, 2017 | View Post
In an effort to actually help other people plan their own travels around the world, I'd really like to do my best to keep up with the prices of various components. This is the first effort at that. World travel isn't nearly as expensive as people think it is, at least it doesn't have to be. Some of that is based on experience of knowing what needs to be booked in advance and what can be booked on the fly. The rest of it generally comes down to flexibility. If you only have a specific window for vacation or the like, it falls on the high season, and you're dead set on that specific location, then there's a good chance it's going to be pricier. On the other hand, if you can mitigate any of those factors then it can be much more affordable.

Travel Expenses

* One way train seat between Kansas City and Chicago (Amtrak): $61.20
* Round trip flight between Chicago O'Hare and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (EVA Airlines): $679.26
* One way flight from Chicago Midway to Kansas City (Southwest Airlines): $78.98
* One way flight from Austin to Barcelona (Condor Airlines): $539.87

Total travel expenses: $1,359.31

Medical Expenses

* Base cost of travel clinic: $55.00
* Malarone (malaria prevention medication): $248.00
* Azithromycin (traveler's diarrhea medication): $4.50
* Doxycycline (leptospirosis prevention): $6.00

Total medical expenses: $313.50

Equipment Expenses

* Lonely Planet SE Asia: $20.18
* New baseball cap: $35.00
* Underwater case for iPhone: $6.99
* International travel plug adapter: $12.99
* Mosquito coils: $14.95
* Sport Chaco sandals: $104.00
* Microfiber quick-dry towel: $9.88
* Earth-pak dry-bag: $18.99

Total equipment expenses: $222.98

I'll create additional posts for price matches as I make my way.
Vaccinations Complete
July 29th, 2017 | View Post
After rewriting all of my plans in April, I am finally on track and what a day today has been! I quit my job, turned in all of my corporate security, and will now be working as a remote contractor henceforth! I cashed in some investments. I then got my vaccinations for hepatitis-A, hepatitis-B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and typhoid. I also had all of my blood work run too! Needless to say, I was a pin cushion for a few hours. It hurt.

As it turns out, they actually provide pills for both typhoid malaria. The typhoid pills are a live culture that will actually provide a vaccination against the disease for about 5 years to come. The malaria pills are intended to be taken before entering a location whereby malaria is highly prevalent (like pretty much all of SE Asia).

Just the needle piercing into my vein

My round-the-world adventure starts next Sunday starting with the Midwest of the US, followed by SE Asia, then Spain and northern Africa, then the Middle East, then Nepal and India. After than I'll plan Europe, South America, and remote islands around the world. I am excitedly hoping to do about 10 months of travel with stints off for holidays :). Little Atti will be joining me on some of it!

These lovely nurses made my day that much better!

Equipment Layout
July 24th, 2017 | View Post
So given the distance that I'll be covering on this trip and the minimalist style that I am trying to keep with it, this is essentially all of the equipment that I'll be bringing with me. Bearing in mind, this does not include the clothes that I will bring, but even those will be very limited (just 2 shirts, a few pairs of underwear, and a few pairs of socks).

The most minimal equipment package I could assemble

This first pass at a packing supply list includes the following:

* Deodorant
* Toothpaste/Mouthwash
* Universal power converter
* Mosquito repellent
* GoPro
* Canon DSLR
* Underwater phone bag
* My trusted Lonely Planet Asia guide

Aside from perhaps a small flashlight and a quick-dry towel, that should really be all that I'll need besides my clothing, toothbrush, and of course my laptop. I'm intending to get a new Osprey backpack for all of my gear instead of trying to bring any kind of suitcase. This is mostly due to the nomadic/backpacker style I'll be attempting, but also due to the fact that I just don't need that much luggage space.

Preparing to be a pin cushion
July 20th, 2017 | View Post
So as it turns out, there are quite a few vaccinations that I need to get to embark upon the world tour that I am preparing for. I'm sure I can post a picture of my swollen arms (and likely buttocks) once I get these taken care of, but here's a non-exhaustive list of them:

* Typhoid
* Hepatitis A
* Hepatitis B
* Cholera
* Rabies
* Japanese Encephalitis

I'm currently setting up an appointment with a local travel clinic to ensure that I get all of these in time for my travels, but that's a lot of bad stuff they're going to have to pump into me all at once.

Preparing for a World Adventure
July 16th, 2017 | View Post

A very loose idea of where I am planning to travel to on the first leg of my world adventure
It's been awhile since I've contributed anything to my own blog, but I think that's going to start changing pretty regularly. As many of my friends know, I had/have been working on an extensive trip around the world that I had hoped would start around November of this year. The plan was for the girlfriend and I to hit up about 40 countries (maybe more) around the globe. We'd start in southeast Asia, then visit a few of the "stans", northern Africa, Europe, and then head throughout South American and the Caribbean Islands before returning home. My hope was to do all of this over about 6 months, but with the girlfriend no longer around, that plan is no longer valid. least not with her; I'm certainly still doing it.

I've been working hard on the first leg of my voyage. The first series of destinations will be in Southeast Asia. Specifically I am planning on flying into Bangkok, exploring some of Thailand, then traveling throughout Cambodia, Laos, and at least some of Vietnam. If I'm able to spend a few days in Burma I will do that too, but nothing is definite just yet. I still have to work on the specific details, get various immunizations, ensure I have all of the necessary gear, and various little things in between. Still though, it's moving forward.

I'm intending to do the first leg of all of this in 3-4 weeks and am excited to meet other travelers along the way and to share some adventures with random people (likely mostly Europeans) from around the globe.

Thankfully I have a nice house and dozens of wonderful friends who would like to stay at that house while I am gone. My good friend, DaveG (quite the phenomenal world traveler himself) will be watching little Atti while I'm off on my adventures.

There is still some planning required for the second leg of the trip, but I am hoping to walk the 600km Camino Santiago with my good buddy Ben before taking a road-trip throughout Northern Europe. Once we conclude that trip, we'll hit up some of mainland Europe and ideally visit some of Northern Africa as well. Hopefully I can get my personal view of the Egyptian pyramids at some point there.
Chasing After a Hit-and-Run Suspect
December 14th, 2016 | View Post
What an exciting Monday morning I had (12/12/2016). A U-Haul right in front of me on I-35 smashed into some cars and fled the scene. I called 911 and immediately began chasing the U-Haul.

top left: The U-Haul just after the crash; top-right: police on the scene; bottom-left: police arresting the suspects; bottom-right: selfie with the arresting officer

After weaving in and out of traffic, he exited MLK and headed eastbound. He began running red lights, excessively speeding, and clearly trying to get away. Fortunately I know Austin pretty well. I followed him south on Chestnut, east on 12th, northeast on Webberville, south on Tannehill, and finally west on Jackie Robinson. Having destroyed his side mirror in the crash, I purposefully kept my truck to his left so he couldn't see me (hard to see in a U-Haul anyways). By coincidence, he and his passenger pulled over on Jackie Robinson just west of Axel Lane, half a block from property I own. They ditched the U-Haul.

I kept a distance of about 100 yards not knowing what they might do. They got out of the car and started approaching me. I started to reverse my vehicle all the while reporting the status to dispatch. I finally told the police to approach southbound on Tannehill so they would intercept them on Jackie Robinson. They did. Police showed up guns drawn. The pair (seemingly a couple) were arrested on the spot. I provided a positive identification of the driver and gave a statement of the entire pursuit.

A map detailing the route of the pursuit.

When it was all over, the arresting officer said he knew me from when I ran for office in 2014 (Kevin Ludlow for TX House 46 ). I asked how. It turns out he was the officer who had broken into my house in 2014 and tried to arrest me citing the "smell of marijuana." I couldn't believe it and just laughed. We shook hands and took a selfie. It was nice to make peace with him. He appreciated what I had done and said they almost never catch hit and runs. Everyone in the accident was okay.

In the News

KXAN put together a story about what happened. I thought it was a pretty fun interview. The direct link to their story can be found here:

The Follow-up

So this is Prashant, the guy whose car was smashed Monday morning. He found me on Facebook and invited me out to lunch. Turns out he's a software developer too and works right near me. He invited me to join him and his wife for an authentic home cooked Indian meal sometime at his house and that he would invite me to Holi in a few months. Such a positive feeling being able to help someone. I feel great that he's so happy about it all.

About the best ending we could hope for after meeting Prashant, the victim in the hit-and-run crash