Life Update

Hola Amigos,

I’ll be the first to acknowledge, I’ve been a total bum in terms of updating the blog over the past year (or more..), but have decided that I’m going to start doing my best to continue updating the site as I attempt to chronicle my life and travels.

Since I returned from SE Asia way back in August of 2011, life has been flying by with all sorts of new adventures along the way. I’ll go into more details as I go back and fill in the gaps, but here’s a very high-level summary/timeline:

  •  I moved into an unforgettable house with some of my best friends during my senior of college. We built a beach


  • I graduated from the University of Maryland!


  • After graduation, I went on a voluntourism trip to Kenya, where I attempted to teach children how to play Ultimate Frisbee. Got in a jump off with Masai warriors, taught classes, went on my first Safari in Masai Mara and had an amazing experience. Also, swung by Istanbul on the way there!



  • Started working with Deloitte Consulting in July of 2012 and became a management consultant. It’s a pretty cool, unconventional job where you actually fly to a client site and work in a different city Mon-Thursday. Aside from the travel, one of the most interesting aspects of the job is that you move from project to project. I’m in a rotational program, and as a result they try to ensure we work not only on different projects but in different industries with different clients. As a result, I’ve worked on projects with a major bank for a couple weeks, a major federal health organization for about 4 months, and just finished my last project at a large hospital system that lasted about 7 months.
  • Moved to DC in September of 2012
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  • In December 2012, took an awesome trip to NYC for Nick’s bday and went to an Andrew Bird concert, then flew out west to go explore San Francisco
  • Spent NYE in New York City, and had an amazing time with a lovely lady. Somehow convinced said lady to fall for me, and shortly thereafter we began dating. First girlfriend! Image
  • Went to a startup weekend for education in NYC in March (Amazing as always) and came up with a pretty neat concept for an international experiential learning program. If you’d like to take a look, you can learn more at
  • Took an amazing family vacation to South Africa in March (I’ll put up the pics soon, I promise!) and went on my second safari in <12 months


  • Moved out of my place in DC at the end of June 2013. Realized that with travelling 4 days a week, I was paying a lot for rent, and was never in town. Figured I’d save some money, and decided to move out of my place in the city.
  • Adopted a full-time travel lifestyle (See: Nomad). When I moved out of DC, I dropped off my stuff at the padres place, and began travelling around the US nearly every weekend. this was made possible by the travel work lifestyle, and a wonderful thing known as alternative travel. My summer travels visiting friends has taken me to NYC, Chicago, the Smokey Mountains, New Orleans, Both Portland’s (Oregon and Maine), Boston, the Solomon Islands, DC, Baltimore, Seattle, and Olympic National Park. It’s been a wild ride so far, filled with lots of couches (Some comfier than others), old friends, and great memories. I’ll try and put together posts of each place so I don’t forget them due to the transient nature of the past few months.
  • Went to Aruba last week for Sahir’s Wedding!


  • Moving to NYC! As I write this, I’m on a bus to Manhattan to embark on life’s next chapter. I’m planning on signing my lease today, and will be moving in with one of my best friends, Nick, and his good buddy, Johnny. We’ll be moving into Williamsburg, Brooklyn – the hipster capital of the world – so I am actively anticipating the jokes to come as I become hip and trendy as part of the cultural osmosis to take place over the coming months. Moving to New York City is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I am excited to say that I am following through with one of my lifelong dreams by making this move.

As you can see, the past year has been a strange one filled with travels, transitions, and life lessons as I’ve continued my journey towards becoming a functioning adult and positive member of society. There are some holes in the timeline that I’ll fill up, but I think it provides a good, quick summary of the past couple years, and I’ll do my best to fill in the gaps in the near future.

I have a bunch of travel stories/adventures to share, and I’ll do my best to update the blog in the coming weeks as I continue to chronicle my wonderful, wacky life. I know this was a long post, but to be fair two years is quite a long time. If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom, I appreciate you and look forward to hearing how things are going in your worlds.

Thanks again for reading my friends!

Stay Smiling 🙂


Beautiful Bali!

While I was in Indonesia, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a weekend trip to the beautiful island of Bali! I had just gotten approval for the trip the day before the weekend I was planning on going, so literally booked my trip at night, and then hopped on the plane the very next day with no plans at all.
I could talk about my trip there forever, so to keep this relatively brief, I’m just going to include a bunch of pictures which I feel do a good job summarizing my trip.

At the Air Asia counter in Jakarta

Delicious basil chicken in the airport!

Landing right over the water in Bali!

I got off the plane, literally with no clue as to what I was going to do. I hadn’t booked a hostel, so was really 100% open to anything. While waiting for luggage, I met a couple cute girls from Jersey, but not the Jersey you’re thinking of. They were from Old Jersey, which is a small island near England. The girls and I split a cab to Kuta, which is the main touristy strip, and they told me they were going to a great hostel they had stayed at before, so decided to grab a room at the place.

It turned out to be awesome!

Believe it or not, I got this room with my own bathroom for $10 a night!

After I dropped my stuff in the room, went to see the beach….someone take me back right now pleasee

That night, met a cool dude from Florida named Ryan, and another guy from Switzerland I believe and the three of us decided to head out for dinner that night. A couple of the swiss guys friends came along, and we went and grabbed a delicious $1 meal…Yep. $1

Afterwards, Ryan and I decided to go check out some of the popular clubs in the area. Everyone told us to go to check out this place called SkyGarden, and I am so glad we did. Turned out to be one of the coolest clubs i’ve ever been to, and had 5 stories including a rooftop lounge. They also had free drinks at night between 10 and 11pm. Place was packed with Australians, English, and people from all over the world so had a blast meeting new friends from across the globe.

Free drinks at SkyGarden!

They also had delicious free food..

Top floor

Day 2

The next day was a wild one, and easily one of the most interesting ones of my life. The friend Ryan I made at our hotel was a great surfer, and had lived in Hawaii for a year just to surf so he was in Bali to test the waters. I told him that I had no clue how to surf, and he told me that he would be happy to teach me so we headed to the ocean. Rented a board for $5 ( So Cheap!) and went out into the water. At first, I couldn’t get up at all, but after a few failed attempts I finally was successful and riding a wave! After that, it was smooth sailing, and I picked it up pretty quickly. Can’t wait for my next opportunity to go.

Surfboard Rental shop

After surfing, we grabbed some lunch and then had heard about the famous Balinese dancing at Oluwatu during sunset, which is on another part of the island. We stopped a cab to see how much it was to get there, and it was way too much so we decided against it. Then, right after we said no to the cab we saw a bike rental, where they would give you a moped for a few hours and it was dirt cheap, so reluctantly I hopped on Ryan to navigate the not quite safe roads of Bali.

Ryan had told me that he had driven the bikes before in Guatemala, so he drove first. Within our first 3 minutes, we managed to go into oncoming traffic, and then hit a car at low speeds and at this point was pretty sure there was no way I was going to make it through the trip alive..

We had to stop to fill up the bike with gas after a couple miles, but couldn’t find a gas station. Then we realized that there weren’t any gas stations, they were dudes on the side of the road with bottles of gasoline that they would pour with a funnel into the bike

The funniest part about it was the bottles were all Absolut Vodka bottles haha

On the journey to Oluwatu

Stopped at this little place to get directions, and walked inside and this was taking place.

We finally made it to Oluwatu!

Oluwatu is renowned as one of the world’s best surfing beaches, and as you can see I clearly killed it hah

Ryan and I took these crazy steep steps down to the beach, where you had to walk through what felt like a cave to actually get to the ocean. Once we got there, it was one of the prettiest things i’ve ever seen. It was getting dark, so unfortunately was unable to get any good pictures but one of the prettiest sights i’ve ever seen.

We went and grabbed beers at this sweet restaurant that was overlooking the ocean, and met some interesting people from Cali who were there surfing, and heard some wild stories.

The bathroom was upstairs, and when I went to go find it I happened to stumble upon the most breathtaking thing i’ve ever seen. There was a beautiful hotel, with an infiniti pool overlooking the ocean. Was absolutely gorgeous, and believe it or not only cost $100 a night. If i were there again, I will absolutely make a trip to stay here as it was incredible.

It was crazy seeing the difference between Kuta and Oluwatu, because Kuta was this super touristy area with thousands of people, and crazy nightlife, bars, and restaurants. Oluwatu on the other hand was just the opposite, and one of the most tranquil and serene places i’ve ever been to and most likely in the world. Can’t wait to make it back there!

After finishing up our beers, Ryan and I hopped back on the bike in preparation for round 2 of the intense motor bike ride back. On the way there, we had switched halfway and although slightly terrified while riding the bike as there were trucks driving in oncoming traffic coming towards you and no real lanes, once I got the hang of it was actually a good bit of fun. With that said, think it’s safe to say that my bike days are most likely behind me.

We stopped at a random place to grab some dinner, and the dish i got was fantastic. I believe it was called Nasi Goreng or something along those lines, and I ended up getting 2 because it was so good haha

Afterwards, we hit up skygarden again and there were these awesome dudes playing with flames!

Day 3

The next day was another adventure filled one, as I had signed up for scuba diving classes! I had managed to negotiate the tour agent down from 95 to 55 bucks, and hopped on a 3 hour bus ride to the northeastern side of the island to a town called Tulamben.

I grabbed a delicious fish and rice meal from this guy riding around on his bicycle, and it was one of the tastiest breakfasts i’ve ever had.

There were about 12 of us in the van, and I was with another american, a few spaniards, and a couple of british brothers.

Was the prettiest car ride i’ve ever had the pleasure of being on

Rice Paddies!

We drove past this volcano that was active just 40 years ago.

We finally arrived to the dive site, and was super excited to go on the wreck dive! There was an old US boat which had sunk, and we were going to go diving through the old ship and explore.

We got all suited up, and met our cool dive master who was going to lead us on our dive. The dive master then proceeded to ask how many dives everyone had been on before. One guy said nearly 100, others said 30 or so, and one group said they had done all the required training. It was at this point that I realized there was required training for Scuba diving..

To the shock of everyone there, I told them that I had never gone on a dive before, nor had I ever even received basic training. The organizers chatted amongst themselves, before telling me that I would most likely have to wait for everyone to go, and then go on a separate shorter dive.

I proceeded to argue with them, and say that I paid for the dive and that I was going and managed to convince them to let me go on the dive with the less experienced of the two groups. Probably not the safest thing to do, especially after signing a rather sketch liability waiver, but I’m so glad that I ended up going!

With my Spanish friends and diving partners! The guy in the middle was our awesome dive master!

After some initial difficulties, I picked it up really quickly and was having a blast. While we were down on the first dive, I couldn’t believe all that was happening around me, as schools of fish would swim through and all around us. I would turn around, and there would be a ridiculously colorful fish staring at me like “What you lookin at?” and then i’d look down and there was a giant turtle just feet from me. Felt like I was in Finding Nemo haha, honestly never seen prettier fish in my life, and gave me a greater appreciation for the world underneath the water.

This is not a real place

After our second dive!

Blowdart guns are always fun

Drive back

Went out for dinner and drinks with the girls from Old Jersey and had a great time.

Last Day

On my last day in Bali, I had a flight I needed to catch in the afternoon but there was one thing I needed to do before I left. I had been hearing all week about how incredible balinese massages are, and I wasn’t leaving without one.

Paid $5 for an hour massage that was easily the best one i’ve ever had. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could walk down the street and get one of those in College Park.

I hopped on the plane headed back towards Jakarta, and said bye to one of the most majestic and surreal places i’ve ever been to.

I had been reading a book on the plane, and as soon as I had walked back into the airport, realized that I had completely forgotten it on the plane itself. It was a book called growing social business that i was fascinated by at the time, and ran back towards the plane to get it. I somehow managed to talk my way back through security despite the language barrier, and ended up back on the plane and luckily the air hostess had my book! Would never have happened in America haha

With the air hostess!

If you’re looking for a perfect place for your next vacation, look no further. Bali, Indonesia is amazing and I can’t wait to make a trip back sometime in the future.


Sahil Rahman

The re-birth of the the blog: Last night in Indonesia

Hello world,

It’s been about 8 months since my last post, and pretty much every day since i’ve gotten back to the US i’ve woken up thinking today is the day I will catch up on my final blog posts from Southeast Asia. Figured it was about time to get started on that task before I forget forever.

I logged on to the blog for the first time in forever this evening, and was shocked to see that over 2,700 people have actually read my blog! Was exciting to see that people actually read about my travels..and a bit disconcerting based on some of the things i’ve written in past posts haha

In the next few posts i’m going to wrap up the details from my trips to Singapore and Tokyo to provide me with some closure on my travels, and then attempt to record the events from the last 8 months in the US in an attempt to keep the online journal of my life alive. I’m hoping that one day i’ll be able to look back on all these experiences and smile

This post is a short one with some photos from my last night in Indonesia with some fantastic people!

Saying goodbye to my homies at the Ratu Plaza Outback Steakhouse! Interestingly enough, I was at a college park bar the other night and met this white girl in my friends sorority who said she had lived in Indonesia for 3 years. We started talking, and turns out that her dad is a builder, and actually built the Ratu Plaza mall where i was working for a week! Such a small world.

A few of us went for a farewell dinner at a delicious restaurant called Senayan!

Had this amazing tea with Rock Sugar!

Pa Budhy with this crazy looking fish dish

The gang with our feast!

All in all, my experience in Indonesia was an unforgettable one with all sorts of wild twists and turns. I met some wonderful people, and learned so much about the developing world and gained such a greater appreciation for all that I have been blessed with in my life. Despite the conditions the people deal with, they are incredibly friendly and it is very humbling.The trip really taught me how to adapt to any environment, and provided a welcome reminder that my true passion lies in promoting upward mobility and encouraging educational opportunities for everyone.

It was very interesting being in the worlds largest muslim country during ramadan. Speaking of the size of Indonesia, genuinely believe that the country is on the verge of exploding in terms of economic growth in the next few years if they are able to get their government in order a bit, so very much looking forward to seeing the country rise. Apparently the language, Bahasa, is one of the easiest in the world to learn, so may attempt to pick that up sometime in the near future.

Terima Kasih! (Thank you in Bahasa)


Internship done, and Tokyo tomorrow!

Hola Amigos,

Been slacking on keeping this thing up to date, and since so much has been happening figured i would provide a quick update before i just get wayyy too far behind.

The last few days have been awesome. I presented for the SE Asia marketing manager in Indonesia, and had an awesome goodbye dinner with the managers in Jakarta. After that, i headed off to Singapore.

Singapore has been sweet. I gave my final presentation to the company CEO on saturday and it went extremely well. Since my only task over here was the final presentation, i had the opportunity to check out some of the amazing city. Spent my time walking around exploring things, eating delicious food, and even managed to meet up with my aunt who happened to be over here for business.

I have to wake up at 4am for my flight (4 hours…blown) so will write more later. Actually, since i’m gonna be in Tokyo i’ll probably just update this once and for all once i’m back home in 4 short days.

See ya soon, Cheers!

Sahil Rahman

Jakarta, Indonesia

Hello world,

Apologies for not updating this thing in a few days. The last few days have been quite a whirlwind for me, and seems as though life will continue at that frantic pace until i finally get back home to the US. Based on the number of things happening as soon as i get home, there are no signs of slowing down in the near future either, but i’m absolutely loving life and all the amazing things i’m experiencing so full speed ahead!

My presentation got moved up a few days, and have spent all day banging out a write up i’m doing, and then still have to throw the whole presentation together by this time tomorrow evening…here we go! Feel like i’m studying for finals week or something, and as strange as it may sound it’s a bit refreshing. Sure, we had exams in Spain but those weren’t real classes or exams, so this is pretty much the first time i’ve felt pressure and responsibility to accomplish something in pretty much the past 8 months, so should be good to propel me back towards real life as i head home in less than a week or so. Naturally, i’m procrastinating by writing this blog post right now haha…somethings will never change

Anyhow, I just got back from an absolutely incredible weekend on the beautiful beaches of Bali. It was just as amazing as advertised, and that’s saying a lot! I’ll be sure to put up a blog post about it as soon as i’m done with my project…or feel the urge to procrastinate once more

I landed back into Jakarta on Sunday morning, and after dwindling away the day i met up with a guy named Ajie and he took me to my new pad! I had asked to be moved from the less than wonderful accommodations that i had been given, and thankfully i was able to move to a sweet new place!

The W residence hostel resort!

My sweet new room! Found myself appreciating all these mundane things in the room after my stay in the other spot. It’s in a great location in the downtown area of the city where all of the ex-pats are, along with the areas to go out, etc.

For some reason, every place in Asia seemingly decides that in the summertime blankets are unnecessary. I solved the problem by using my newly purchased double-size parachute hammock to remedy the situation haha

I also have a balcony, and it looks out over the sweet pool area. Went for a very refreshing swim the other day, and felt great to hop into a pool for what must have been the first time this summer. There’s also a basketball court, so went out there and shot the ball for a bit…my jumper could really use some work haha. Haven’t played ball in forever, but definitely wanna get back to playing some pickup games with friends this semester


This morning before work, i found the seemingly equivalent of College Park’s one and only bagel place in Jakarta…BagelBagel!
Grabbed a plain bagel (First one in months) and some delicious homemade thai iced tea.

After my crazy scooter adventure in Bali (more details to come in next post), i’ve become rather bold and decided to take the much faster (and more dangerous) route to work via an Ojek (Scooter taxi) opposed to the taxis.
Riding on the back of an Ojek is most likely one of the craziest, most dangerous, and exhilarating things i’ve ever done. As i had mentioned earlier, traffic in Jakarta is just absolutely insane, and being on the back of a scooter weaving in and out of the traffic is no different. Although i’m far more comfortable today on the back of one than i was say a week ago, dunno if i’ll ever get used to it. Nothing quite like going full speed into oncoming traffic while trying to overtake a bus with another one steaming towards you or riding along the bumpy “sidewalks.” Nonetheless, it’s made for a great experience, and i guess “Cuando en Jakarta” seems to be an appropriate phrase for the situation.

Yesterday was my first time riding one, and once the guy had dropped me off to the mall the restaurant was at i asked him how much i owed him. Naturally, he didn’t speak any english and i thought he had said 3,000. I was shocked by how low the price was, and gave him 5000 thinking i was being rather generous. We exchanged confused glances and i gave him and awkward smile and said “Terima Kasih” or thank you and headed off to work.

Was shocked to hear that the rides are usually around 20,000 when i got to work, and felt like a complete Ahole, but realized it was one of the issues which happen with language barriers. I went back this morning to the same guy, who was a friendly and reserved guy but none too pleased to see me after yesterdays mishap. I gave him 20k for the day before, and he smiled and we managed to establish that as the rate for the day again, before speeding off into the madness.. On the Ojek!

Bobbing and weaving our way through the Jakarta traffic! Feels like you’re in some sort of crazy video game on the back of the bike

Along with being the first day of Ramadan, Monday also marked the day i moved from the Ratu Plaza restaurant to the other one which is located in the Pondok Indah mall.

Today, i decided to try some more Indonesian food as i’ve gone through the Outback menu far too many times already. I walked into the kitchen, and to my pleasant surprise i found the breakfast meal for the evening.

The ingredients to the soto mi bogor

Added some beef stew, and ended up with a spicy, delicious dish called Soto mi bogor! Can’t wait to see what’s on the plate tomorrow evening!

Life has been treating me really well recently, and am very much looking forward to what lies ahead. On thursday morning, i take a flight out to Singapore, and will be there till early morning on August 8th. While there, i’ll be giving my final presentation for the second time to the CEO of the hospitality division which will hopefully go well. After the presentation, i’m done with my internship which is crazy to comprehend. My tight aunt (But actually just moms friend who i call aunt), Namtu masi, is gonna be in Singapore for a couple days so really looking forward to meeting up with her.

On the 8th morning, i fly out of Singapore on my way back home. My flight is stopping over in Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan. Just like when i stopped over in Hong Kong, i figured if i’m going to Tokyo that there is no way i’m just going to stay inside the airport. Dad planned it out perfectly, and so i will be staying in Tokyo for 3 nights!

Then, on the 11th i will finally board a plane and head back home to Maryland, USA. Funny enough, my 15 hour flight back from Tokyo will actually land at around the same time it leaves on the same day thanks to the time differences haha.

In other news, we got our house in College Park on August 1st! Soo so excited to get back home, and move in and set it up. School years fast approaching, and surprisingly actually looking forward to the school year starting and my life having a bit of a return to normalcy

Can’t believe this summer and experience has flown by so fast. Hard to put into words. Anyhow, i really need to stop procrastinating and talking to myself on a computer screen/pretending people actually read this thing and get back to work.

See ya in 9 short days amigos!



Bali Bound!

Since I first found out that I was going to be able to work over here in Southeast Asia, I had always wanted to go to Bali. With that said, I figured it was unrealistic as I would be working and thought I would not have enough time to make it over there.

Upon arriving in Indonesia, one of the first questions I was asked by the operating partner was whether I would be taking a trip to Bali. Following that initial question, seemingly every person I’ve encountered in Indonesia has asked me if I was going there, and it is quite apparent that Bali is the crown jewel of the country that all the Indonesians proudly hang their collective hats on.

It turns out that trips to Bali, via Air Asia are actually rather affordable (it’s the RyanAir of Asia) and with all the chatter about the beautiful island I couldn’t get it off my mind. I called my boss in Singapore, and he happily agreed to let me take an extra day off so that I could go to Bali! This only furthered my belief that we can get most of the things we want just by asking. The problem is that most people just never ask, and assume their requests will never be granted; Ask and you shall receive!

Anyhow, after a somewhat hellish booking process with (Assholes rejected my credit card for no reason) I had to go to one of their local sales office to purchase my reserved ticket. It was in a place called M Blok, and so I hopped on a local transit bus that said M Blok (probly should have taken a cab) and was on my way.

There was a strange guy with terrets standing next to me, and after some awkward conversations with Indonesian girls in broken English I got off the bus at the M blok stop. Turns out I was actually pretty far away from the airasia store (sweet!) so started walking in that direction. Walked through a market, and passed by a bunch more. I still can’t get over how incredibly cheap stuff is over here. Anyhow, finally got my ticket and am super excited to get over there.

I’m going to the island by myself, so should make for another very interesting experience. I’m not taking my laptop, so I’ll be out of touch for a few days but send me an e-mail if it’s important.

I’m currently making a playlist for the Indonesian outback steakhouse, as the Jason mraz on repeat is making me want to jump off a cliff. Today marks 2 weeks til I’m back home in the US. The past month has flown by, and the next two weeks are sure to go even faster.

I’ll be in Bali the next three days. Then, I get back to Jakarta for another 3 days, but moving to less of a shithole room hopefully so will feel like I’m gonna be somewhere new. After that I’m off to Singapore for another 3 days or so, then finishing up in Tokyo for 3 days before heading back home. Only 5 more flights to go…really wish I had started some sort of frequent flier program, as i’m sure I would have amassed a ridiculous amount of points by this point.

We’re getting our house in College Park on August 1st, so really looking forward to moving in there when i get to the US. Super excited to get back and see everyone at home, and hope you’re all doing well!



What an unexpectedly awesome night

What an unexpectedly awesome night

I randomly had an awesome night this evening. And now, I can’t figure out how to turn my AC on again and so I feel like I’m experiencing the DC heatwave in my bedroom, but it’s more of a humidwave. Should make for an interesting evening.

I spent most of the day hanging out at the Outback with my computer again, although the things I was doing on it today were much more exciting (No I wasn’t watching porn). I had finally gotten the go ahead to go to Bali for the weekend! So as a result, I was attempting to book my flight there and back on Air Asia, which is basically the Ryan Air of Asia and is a super cheap discount airline.

Sidenote: typing while falling asleep is rather difficult, and I keep misspelling words and having to retype them as if I’m drunk. I guess what they say about driving tired being worse than drivin drunk is true.

Anyhow, after an hour of frustration at Air Asia not accepting my card for some reason, I skeptically decided to just give them a call fully expecting a hellish phone wait time with awful background music jingles. To my surprise, I was connected to a rep right away who was very helpful. He got all my flight info, and for some reason my card also came up as declined with them (which doesn’t make sense as I bought a book with it ten minutes after the phone call) but they still managed to reserve my flight, so I’m going to Bali on this Thursday!

I told my main boss who is based in Singapore that I would appreciate a move to a real hotel or something like that and he said he would take care of it. I felt bad asking, and even worse that I had to go around my boss in Jakarta to do so. As a result, had what felt like a bit of an awkward conversation with my Indonesian manager, but as bad as I was feeling earlier, this non-fuctioning (I probably just don’t know how to work it but no one speaks English so I can’t ask for help) air conditioner is making me think I probably made the right choice haha.

After a rather uneventful evening, I began talking to a really nice guy named Adhi, who is one of the servers. He told me that him and the very friendly bartender, named Wayhlu were going to play pool after work and asked me if I would like to join. Eager to meet some locals, and break my monotonous days, I jumped at the opportunity, and it turned out to be a GREAT decision!

Earlier that morning, on my commute I had been marveling at the way in which the thousands of scooters flooding jakarta’s streets managed to weave in and out of traffic without killing themselves and maintaining relative order compared to India. In the short span of 10 hours, I went from observer to participant as I hopped on the back of wayhlu’s motorcycle, and we were off onto the fast, crazy roads on Jakarta! It was fitting that the gentleman giving me a lift was named Wayhlu, as that happens to be the name of the road I’m staying on (Hopefully for not too much longer) and also recently learned that Wayhlu is a spiritual term referring ti the light of wisdom or something along those lines. I had never really ridden a motorcycle before, and I can say for certainty I have never experienced driving or riding around on roads like those before. What a rush! There were cars coming at you from what seemed like every direction, and I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t anxious. I had a helmet they let me borrow, that was far too big, and had a broken strap so ended with me looking extremely goofy as I had an oversized helmet that kept falling off my head everytime we accelerated haha. Was quite an unforgettable ride, and quickly learned the importance of goggles while riding a bike as the dusty roads kept irritating my eyes making it hard to see, but I squinted on as I didn’t want to miss a second of it.

In the recent past, i’ve maintained a very negative approach to motorcycles as death traps following some unfortunate incidents involving friends and many stories I’ve heard. With that said, I had never actually ridden on one. Although I do still find them to be rather unsafe and unprotected vehicles, I definitely do see the appeal to them and the rush you get from riding through traffic is pretty sweet.

After what must have been a 20-30 minute ride, we arrived at the pool house. It was much bigger than I had expected, and felt like a giant carpeted warehouse filled with pool tables, in a good way Probably had 32 tables total, with about 4 rows of 8 tables each. We paid the equivalent of 2 USD for an hour on the table (amazing) and started playing. I’m a bit rusty after not playing regularly in a while, but still had a blast and want to continue playing when I get back home.

I really enjoyed talking to Adhi for a while, and turns out he is a law student studying while working currently. He’s a great guy, and during our conversations it really hit me that we are really from quite different worlds and lead separate realities. Although for the most part I have always appreciated what i’ve had, I have never thought of myself as a rich man. Actually, at this point I find myself to be dead broke in American (And my bank accounts) terms. With that said, to these two I was a super rich man, and it definitely was just another reminder of how blessed I am.

Was pleased to hear that the mosquitos here generally don’t carry Malaria in Jakarta, and they are more likely to be found in the forests. The past couple night’s I’ve been channeling my inner Krazi treasure (One of our awesome roommates from Sevilla, Kari Treasure, had a crazy phobia thing of mosquitos. She got bit one night and went a bit crazy, and literally bought a mosquito net, 35 euros worth of bug repellent/mosquito killer, and even had her mom send her this absolutely hilarious mosquite headmask she slept in on the nights she hadn’t mummified herself to prevent from getting bitten… Love ya Kari!) and have been going on mosquito killing sprees. I’ve actually become rather good at it, and have eliminated most of them, although these little fuckers keep popping up all over the place!

Anyhow, after playing pool, we hopped back on the bikes to go grab some Nori Gaseng, which is one of the main traditional dishes in Indonesia. In America, we call it fried rice. I put my sunglasses on at night (pun intended) so I could see, and was far more comfortable my second time on the bike and really enjoyed the ride; almost as much as I enjoyed the spicy meal! It was so great talking to Adhi and Wayhlu at the restaurant more, as It quickly reinforced my belief that we are ALL THE SAME! Even though we grew up literally halfway around the world, in different soio-economic statuses, our generation has all of the same interests, ideas, and loves to have a good time.

After our midnight snack, I hopped back on the bike, this time with Adhi and headed back to my room. Found out that he was planning on proposing to his girlfriends family, to see if they accept their marriage plans which would be super exciting!

All in all, a fantastic night and so glad I got to spend some time with the locals as I was worried it may not happen. Indonesia had been growing stale, and I’m so glad this experience popped up on me just at the right time.

Bali is right around the corner, and after talking incessantly about it with everyone I can, I am soo pumped to get there! Sounds sort of like a wonderland of amazingness, so we’ll see how it goes.

Also, if you ever read this Happy Birthday Sonam, hope you had an awesome day!

Only 15 more days til I’m back home in the US…whattt?! Can’t put into words how excited I am to get back home and see everyone, but still really looking forward to the three incredible trips I have left coming up.

How do these damn posts keep getting so long? Sorry there’s no pictures to go along, didn’t have an adaptor yesterday to charge the camera. Speaking of which, I have an absurd number of power converters, so if you’re ever going abroad and need to borrow one, just let me know haha.

Morning Update

My beard was getting a bit out of control so I finally decided that I had to shave. The only problem was that my bathroom, and room in general doesn’t have any mirrors. This made for a rather interesting shaving experience, but It felt like I had done a pretty solid job sans mirror.

I just got to work and turns out I was wrong. Got an awkward patch of hair just chillin on the left side of my face…sweeet haha

Peace Love and Respect homies!


Day 2 & 3

Sahil Rahman

Day 2

Here’s some pictures of my place that i had forgotten to post in the blog yesterday.

My humble abode. It’s pretty shitty but i’m gettin used to it and it’s growing on me i guess. Decided that i’m just gonna stay here and try to make the best of it, as it would be a whole thing to ask for a relocation. Companies taken great care of me so far, and don’t wanna be rude in any way by asking for different accommodations. Besides, i’ll be getting the TRUE asian experience living in a neighborhood where no one else can really speak english haha.

State of the art facilities


I wasn’t kidding about being a millionaire, guess i can cross that one off the to do list. On to achieving that billionaire status..

Literally get woken up every morning by roosters haha. Completely understand the old saying now, lol.

At work the next day, they were having a press event over here in Indonesia. Was pretty cool, as it was actually my second press conference event in about 3 days so good experience speaking to reporters and public speaking. Unfortunately, the rain and some demonstrations or something resulted in a smaller turnout than anticipated, but good event nonethless.

Also, quickly realizing that this country actually has NO rules whatsoever. From what i hear, you can basically bribe the govt. and police for just about anything, and just about every second here has been quite a culture shock/learning experience.

With the team before the press conference!

Got my first oreo milkshake (sans the chocolate syrup of course)…was delicious

After the press conference, i spent a good amount of time in the kitchen talking to this awesome guy named fajjah or something like that who is training to be the managing partner in the soon to open 3rd outback in Indonesia. He’s the man! Apparently, he used to work on cruise ships, and travelled all around the world and has been to over 60 countries. He told me all about his travels and experiences on the ship and it sounded like such a sweet experience. He was getting paid to travel the world!

Although it sounded like hard work as well, if i could get a temporary job on a cruise line working fora few months as a supervisor or something, and getting paid to travel that would be soo sweet. Spent a good amount of time this afternoon looking it up, and seems to be a pretty simple application process so definitely something that could be cool!

Anyhow, after grabbing dinner my buddy Dilip (marketing manager) and i headed out to explore the jakarta nightlife. Was my first night out, so had no idea what to expect but turned out to be a pretty relaxed, fun evening. We went to a bar called “Elbow Room” that one of the journalists i met mentioned, and met a bunch of really cool, interesting people.

The first guy i met was a guy named Seb, who was teaching English over here for a year. He was from Isle of Man. Yes, the country he is from is called Isle of Man! Apparently it’s a small island in between Ireland and the UK or something like that, and i couldn’t believe it was a real place.

He showed me his license to prove it haha…Isle of man!

Tried the local beer, Bintang!

Me with my new friend Seb from Isle of Man! He was there with a group of nearly 15 friends, who were all young people teaching english abroad in Indonesia for the year. Was really cool meeting all of them, and i don’t think i’ll ever grow tired of meeting new people who are travelling, and learning about their unique lives and stories. Believe i’m meeting up with im and his buddies again tonight and going out around the town so hopefully it’ll be a good time!

I met a girl who had crazy curly hair just like one of my best friends katie drury so naturally had to take a picture iwth her. It was pretty funny we met, in that it was her last night in Jakarta and my first…circle of traveling.

Day 3 update

Got up this morning and took my obnoxiously long/boring drive to work. It’s actually not that far at all, it’s just that traffic in this country is actually unbearable. Worst part is that since the traffic is always at a stand still, you constantly have beggars and salesman approaching your car and knocking on your window. As you can see below, at times these people are adorable children and i feel terrible not giving them anything. Probably a part of why i’m not a huge fan of the commute to work, but definitely provides ample time to think about my life, place in the world, etc.

Young entreprenuer

There is an absolutely ridiculous amount of scooters or O’jaks as they call them everywhere weaving in and out of traffic here. They even go on the sidewalks and everything, so feel like you’re gonna get runover everywhere you go. Drunkenly crossing streets in cp is gonna be a piece of cake when i get back to school!

Bikers errywhere, guy had a sweet peace jacket.

After getting to work, i’ve pretty much spent the last 7 hours online doing “social media research” and reading lots of random articles. I think the shitty mattresses, and far too much time sitting down have taken a toll on my back as it’s been killin me that last couple weeks, so found some new exercises to do online so about to try some of those out.

It’s rather frustrating that i’m being allowed to spend so much time online, but being unable to stay in contact with anyone as the 11 hour time difference is somewhat terrible for communicating back home. Skyping is also a bit awkward as i’m at a restaurant talking to a computer screen with families eating dinner around me haha. Also, got a mosquito bite the other night so somewhat regretting my decision to not finish my malaria medicine course haha.. (don’t worry mom i’ll be fine)

If you want to contact me just shoot me an e-mail, or send me a message on facebook or something.

Going out for the second time tonight in Jakarta, so hopefully it’ll be a good time. Miss you all a bunch

Cheers amigos!


Here’s to hoping I make it out of here alive, this country is insane!

Hola amigos,

This posts about my crazy first day in Indonesia, and my interesting living situation over here. I’ll add pictures to the post soon, but just forgot to upload them to my computer this morning so those should be up by tomorrow.

Malaysia–> Indonesia

I have been to a pretty significant amount of countries in the past year, and I have to say based on my one day here so far this may be the wackiest one

It all started this morning. I took a cab to KL central, and then hopped on the bus to the airport. Randomly met an interesting dude who happens to host shows on CNBC, PBS, and BBC and is an international correspondent/journalist from Canada based in Southeast Asia.

Also met a really cool American from North Carolina. Always refreshing to meet Americans, especially those with good stories. He had graduated a few years back, and was currently teaching abroad in Korea for the year, and had been in South America teaching the year before so sounded like he was living it up!

Hopped on the plane and started to read a good bit of this ridiculous book called “in the time of madness,” which is all about Indonesia and how there was a ridiculous amount of beheadings and cannabalism in the country just a short 10 years ago, been a fascinating read so far.

Anyhow, I finally landed in Jakarta without any major issues for the first time during my Asian travels, which was a pleasant change. I found a money machine so decided to take out some money. Problem was, I had no idea what the exchange rate was for USD. Turns out it is an absolutely unbelieveable, and obnoxiously large conversion. 1 US Dollar is worth 10000 Rupiah…yes, 10,000. So, when I went to the ATM and saw that there was an option to take out a million rupiah, naturally I had to do it. Phew, I can cross being a millionaire at age 20 off my bucket list now!

Anyways, I grabbed my bags, and headed out the door with no idea what to do. I was supposed to be meeting a gentleman who was the operating partner of the Outback’s in Indonesia, but the only problem was we’d never met before, I didn’t have his number, had no idea what he looked like and no real contingency plan. I awkwardly walked up and down the arrivals area really awkwardly looking for a sign with my name on it, and didn’t see one so headed out. After about 10 minutes of doing the awkward lost tourist for a while outside I contemplated just taking a cab to the outback location in the center of the city. I decided to take one more round inside the arrivals waiting area, so after gesturing to explain the situation to a guard with a machine gun, I got back inside.

Fortunately, after aimlessly wandering for a bit I noticed a sign with my name on it and was so happy to see it, and my new temporary boss Mr.Bhudy. Bhudy is the man, and told me a great deal about the country and culture in our hour and half ride to the first restaurant. He also asked me if I was going to be going to Bali, which is a world famous beach party island that I’ve always wanted to go to. I didn’t realize that was even a possibility with work, and so if I get approval from my boss seriously considering making an epic weekend trip out there solo!

Jakarta, Indonesia

The reason that the ride took so long, is because traffic in this city is the worst I have seen of anywhere in the world. The infrastructure in Jakarta is horrendous, and so as result the city is a constant traffic jam literally 24/7. It’s so bad that i’m sure that after my two week stay here, I’m going to be looking forward to 495 and the bumper to bumper traffic we bitch and whine about. Can’t say I’m ecstatic about the 45 minute (Minimum) cab rides to and from work everyday haha. Apparently, you can also hop onto scooters and they take you to wherever you want to go, dangerously weaving throughout traffic the whole way, so may look into that option one day.

Anyways, I met all the staff at the Ratu plaza restaurant, which is where I’ll be working this week, grabbed some appetizers, and then took off for the second restaurant location. After a painfully long ride sitting in traffic once more, we finally arrived to the restaurant. I met up with one of my main bosses, Dilip, who is the SE Asia marketing director and we all had lunch and discussed my tasks for my time here in Jakarta. I also learned that my hotel did not have internet, but thought nothing of it…turned out to be a telling sign.

Anyways, after picking up another local sim card for my phone, we headed off to my “hotel” room. The drive took forever, and I actually passed out from travel induced exhaustion and boredom. When I awoke, I had absolutely no idea where we were, but were apparently outside of my “hotel.” In all 3 of the other cities that the company has hosted me in, I’ve stayed in relatively nice hotels in good locations in the cities.

**I wrote this last night, and the dingy little room may be growing on me a bit**

Well in Indonesia, not quite the case. Upon entering the room my jaw dropped a bit, as the thought of living here for 2 weeks made me cringe. It is a dinky, somewhat smelly, dirty green room. The ceiling has water damage, and the bed spread looked filthy & had small holes in it…not to mention the spiderwebs adding to the pleasant welcoming to my new “Humble” abode. There aren’t any mirrors, and the windows are completely blacked out, so no sunlight comes in. Don’t have a blanket either, but it is a full bed instead of my usual twin with lots of pillows (Questionable pillow covers) which is nice i guess. I actually thought it was some sort of joke when he brought me here, and to add to things no one at the hotel speaks a word of English, like not even one.

I generally tend to think of myself as a relatively low-maintenance person, and usually don’t mind most living situations. With that said, 2 weeks in this dump of a room could be kinda rough, so we’ll see how it goes. The Marketing guy, who is only a couple years older than me, is actually staying at a real hotel in the city so was thinking about asking if I could possibly be relocated there. Just don’t want to seem like a bitchy, unappreciative American as it seems Bhudy must have spent some time arranging this accommodation for me.

Also, they told me not to go out at night so don’t quite know what to do with myself. The lack of Internet connection is such a strange feeling, and I feel a bit disconnected to the world. At the same time, I guess it may be a good thing as I’ll be forced to read more, keep up with the blog, and catch up on television and movies I’ve been meaning to watch for months. Also, the restaurants have solid internet connection, so planning on taking advantage of that.

About an hour after I started settling in a bit, I heard a knocking on the door and as there is no peephole and I am clearly a foreigner, was a bit anxious to open it. It was the lady who worked at the hotel, the one who doesn’t speak any English. She came into my room with a sheet in her hands, and just started speaking to me in Indonesian and I legitimately didn’t have a clue what she was saying. Everytime I gestured that I didn’t understand she would just repeat it faster and louder and we both just ended up with an awkward somewhat frustrated laugh as we realized we had no idea what the other was saying, She was a sweet lady and wouldn’t give up, and kept babbling away but I got more and more confused by the moment as her gestures didn’t make any sense to me at all.

I called mr.bhudy, explained the situation and gave her the phone and they talked for a while. We ended up playing pass the phone for about 5 minutes, and was extremely unproductive as I had no idea what the hell was going on still, but bhudy said it was all good and she just left and smiled. Confused would be an understatement.

I settled back into bed, and started editing some pics from Taman Negara which I’ll put up soon. An hour or so later, another knock came on my door and when I asked who it was it was a males voice this time. I skeptically opened the door, wondering what the hell it could be this time. Turns out, it was one of the managers from outback who had dropped me off a few hours earlier to the hotel. He had a towel, and laundry detergent in his hand and I was beyond confused. He explained that this was what the lady and mr.bhudy were talking about and he came to drop it off.

I was planning on walking to the grocery store down the road, but they had warned me about walking around in the dark at night. I told him I was planning on going and he told me to hop on the back of his bike. I did, and we took a short ride to the main rode. After thinking I was nearly going to get wrecked by a huge blue truck as we turned on to the road, I hopped off the bike and we both went our respective ways.

The grocery store was located right across the street. As difficult as getting through the Jakarta traffic may be, I think crossing the road may be even more terrifying. I legitimately waited for 5 minutes before I ran across the 2 lane road, as hundreds of cars and scooters were flying recklessly by. Honestly, can’t say I’ve ever been so happy to have safely crossed a road before.

I got into the store, and quickly realized that this city, and my area in particular is not a touristy one whatsoever. In fact, I believe I was the only non-indonesian in the large store. I wandered around aimlessly for a while with no clue what to get to eat, and settled on a healthy and familiar diet of Pringles, cheetos, and a large bottle of water.

I feel terrible buying so many bottles of water, as I know it’s terrible for the environment, is stupid to pay for water, etc. Unfortunately, the regular water’s not safe to drink so am left with little option. As if angry water gods were getting back at me, upon opening my water bottle a significant amount spilled all over my bed.

As a result, I’m sitting on my new towel in my room (Which may be cleaner than the sheet) and writing this blog. Talk about an interesting few hours/first day so far.

Also, just realized that there’s no toilet paper here soo looks like I’m gonna be exploring the washing method haha. I get the concept, but have no clue what your supposed to do after you wash!

Definitely not in College Park, MD anymore…

Talk about a welcome to Indonesia!

Can’t believe i’ll be back home in 3 short weeks, strange and exciting to think about.

Cheers mates!


Morning Update

I was actually woken up this morning by a rooster. There seems to be about a million living in all directions of me, and i finally understand the old saying.

Got up this morning and continued to bang out some blog posts, and as soon as i post these online i think i’ll be all caught up!

Went on a quick run to see the area a bit, and shit it is hot outside! The humidity, combined with me being so out of shape made for a rather short run. I did see 5 or 6 roosters haha. Hoping if i keep running everyday, by the time i get back to the US maybe running will be much easier back home due to the decreased humidity. Still haven’t figured out how to let any light in to my room as the windows are all covered up. I could leave my front door open but would be exposing my belongings to other people and more importantly mosquitos. Anyhow, there are about a million and one things to see here around every corner, and think i’m gonna be taking an unnecesary amount of pictures of just about everything i see…apologies in advance!

The lady who works here ran into me again, and spent another 5 minutes speaking at me in Indonesian with me helplessly looking on. After gesturing wildly back and forth, and her making some interesting grunts i came to interpret it as she wanted me to pay for the towel or something? Haven’t even really gotten out of my “hotel”/neighborhood and this country is already an adventure haha

Should be a VERY interesting two weeks!


My Jungle adventure

On my off day, i decided that i wanted to go visit Taman Negara National Park in Malaysia. Taman Negara is the oldest rainforest in the world, and also has the longest canopy walk in the world. There was a private tour you could go with that included transportation there and back, jungle trekking, the canopy tour, lunch at a floating restaurant, rapids ride, and a visit to an aborigine village. The tour was a bit on the pricey side, but figured i wasn’t sure when the next time i would have a chance to go to the jungle would be so went for it, and it was worth every penny. I tried to register for the the program by myself, but it is a limit of 2 people, so managed to convince my aussie bud ben to come with me, and was so glad he came!

Our driver, Hari, picked us up from the Federal hotel bright and early at 6am. After talking for a while Ben and i just passed out as it was so early in the morning.

We stopped to grab an absolutely delicious breakfast at a small local restaurant. The roti was unbelievable!

We both proceeded to pass out for the next 2 hours on the ride to the rainforest but the moments i was awake for the ride was beautiful. Apparently, our driver said he had tried to wake us up as there was a giant snake and a panther that had crossed the road in front of us which would have been cool to see

After our 3 hour+ drive, we finally arrived at Taman Negara national park!

We met up with our cool tourguide, Zali, and hopped onto a boat and crossed the river to register for the park.

After registration, we hopped back into the boat and went down the river for a few minutes. We got off the boat, and hiked up about a million steep steps to get to the canopy tour!

Canopy tour map – there were 12 different platforms!


On the first walkway! The walkway was surprisingly narrow, and far more difficult to walk across than i imagined. It was basically one really thin board that you walked on, that kept turning back and forth causing you to fall left and right into the protective netting. Somewhat nerveracking at first, but only added to the excitement of the walk.

Following our canopy tour, we met up with Zali once more and began our jungle trek!

Found the oldest tree in the rainforest, (making it the oldest tree in any rainforest in the world?) and so naturally had to climb it!

Zali tore off some lemony smelling leaves for us that i believe the orang asli (Aborigine people) use to cook

Good view spot #1…that’s actually what they called this place haha

With ben at Good view spot #2…it was such a hike getting there. Literally a quarter mile straight up, and even though we were looking forward to the way down, that proved to be even more difficult due to the steep decline. I need to get back in shape haha

Met some belgian kids

After the jungle trek, we took the boat back to the main area and grabbed lunch at a floating restaurant. I was starving so got a chili chicken dish, tom yam, and a mango smoothie joant.

Not what i was expecting when i ordered a mango smoothie!

We walked up this sweet path to go change into our board shorts as we prepared for the rapids ride.

Hopped back in the boat, and ventured off through the rapids! Covered up our bags so that our stuff wouldn’t get wet, but the waterproof camera came in handy once again as i have some great vids form the rapids! There were about 4 total, and we all ended up getting soaked as the boat rocked back and forth and zali sprayed us with water

Off to the rapids!

We drove past a smaller orang asli village and saw all the children walking around.

They were all playing in the water. When we drove past them on the way back, one of them was actually brushing their teeth in the water. Was amusing to see at the time, but now that i think about the color and cleanliness of the water makes me think..

After the rapids adventure, we finally made it to the Orang Asli village! These people had lived in the jungle for hundreds of years, and recently embraced allowing people to come visit them as it was a source of income. More importantly, they finally began to understand what they could do with that money, which was buy things. As silly as it may sounds, beforehand they had received money but just had no idea what to do with it.

Momma with that tight fro and her kids

Convinced this cool dude named Zizam, who surprisingly spoke english, to let me check out his fresh pad

Man make fire. Was cool to see. Was even cooler when i actually made fire myself!

Although it’s hard to say, this was possibly the coolest thing i did all day. The villagers showed us how they made their poisonous blow darts that they used to hunt wild animals. They would put the darts into a blowgun, and blow really hard and shoot it at their prey.
They amusingly set up a teddy bear as a target, and we were all allowed to try out shooting the blow darts! I was surprisingly decent at it, knew my trombone playing days form 3rd – 8th grade would come in handy at some point haha.

Shooting blow darts!

Just had to take a picture of this guy because he was such a clown. His name was Fabio, and was the most stereotypical, fat, singing, slightly dumb italian that you could think of. Can’t quite put him into words, but he was almost like a ridiculous cartoon character haha

Fat Fabio

Before we left, i was still enamored by the blow darts so half-jokingly i asked if we were allowed to buy them. Turns out that we were! They had made smaller versions of the blowdarts, and so ben and i picked a pair of them up, and a bunch of others followed our lead.
We attempted to shoot them when we got back to the hotel, and they worked like a charm. Gonna be such a great party accessory, and can’t wait to shoot darts at freshman trying to come into our house haha

Was only 7 bucks!

The gang! There is only one thing wrong with this picture..

All in all, it was an adventure packed, fun filled day and felt like i really made the most of my day off. Malaysia was awesome, and when you go visit, definitely add this to your list of places to go!

Cheers mates!