This page is a record of all the international travel I've done in my life.
Sapporo, Japan: Jul 31 - Aug 6, 2012
I went to Sapporo for just under a week to attend CogSci 2012. This was my third trip to Japan, but my first time on the Northern island of Hokkaido.
Berkeley, United States: Sep 11, 2011
My wife and I moved to Berkeley, California so I could begin my postdoc position at the University of California there.
Vancouver and Whistler, Canada - Dec 4 - Dec 10, 2010
I went to Vancouver and then later Whistler to attend NIPS 2010. This was my first time in Canada (as well as my first academic conference outside Australia), and I enjoyed it. Vancouver felt somewhat reminiscent of my home Adelaide due to its very regular grid-like arrangement of streets (especially after spending some time in the more, let's say, "organically" laid-out London a few weeks earlier). The natural scenery I saw in Whistler and during the bus ride up to it was possibly the most beautiful I've seen anywhere, but then I come from South Australia so I'm verily easily impressed by things like snow and greenery. I'd love to go back and do some hiking there or something.
San Diego, United Sates: Nov 30 - Dec 4, 2010
On my way to Canada for NIPS 2010, I stopped by San Diego to visit the Computational Psycholinguistics Lab at UCSD and meet Roger Levy, who was a superlative host. As for San Diego itself, my impression was that it's a very large, spread-out city with quite bad public transport and as such I didn't really get to see anything that wasn't within walking distance of my hotel or the university. That did include a stretch of beach, but coming from Australia it wasn't anything particularly impressive.
Berkeley, United Sates: Nov 26 - Nov 30, 2010
On my way to Canada for NIPS 2010, I stopped by Berkeley to visit the Computational Cognitive Science Lab at UCB and meet Tom Griffiths. Some of his grad students showed me around the city (which would end up being my home about a year later!).
London and Warwick, England: Nov 21 - Nov 26, 2010
On my way to Canada for NIPS 2010, I stopped by England to meet Nick Chater and visit his two labs at UCL and Warwick. I got a few days to myself to explore London, which was great. I spent a lot of time visiting the burial places of smart people who have really inspired me or whose ideas I've used a lot, like Babbage, Bayes, Darwin and Newton. I also checked out the excellent science museum, where I got to see one hemisphere of Babbage's brain and the actual Apollo 10 Command Module.
Edinburgh, Scotland: Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
On my way to Canada for NIPS 2010, I stopped by Edinburgh to visit the Language Evolution and Computation unit and meet Simon Kirby. I got a few days to myself to explore Edinburgh. I checked out the castle and was embarrassed to realise that I had no idea about the origin of the Union Jack, despite it being part of Australia's flag. I tried to climb Arthur's Seat, but the weather turned terrible and I hadn't brought appropriate footwear, so maybe next time.
Japan: April and May 2011
After years of planning and saving, my wife and I got to spend 2 whole months on holiday in Japan, the trip of a lifetime! This was long enough for us to see a really good chunk of the country, but also spend enough time in individual places to get a feeling of having really lived there. We spent most of our time based in either Osaka (most of April) or Tokyo (most of May), but all up we visited the following places:
- Wakayama (to visit Tama, of course)
We saw and did more things than it's practical to recollect here, but still wouldn't hesitate to spend another two months there or longer!
Germany: Feb 3 - Feb 7, 2008
For the final leg of our European honeymoon we ventured back to Germany. Our time was split between Munich, which we quite unintentionally arrived in just in time for extensive karneval celebrations; Hohenschwangau, where we saw the spectacular Schloss Neuschwanstein; and St Goar, a small city on the Rhein river.
Salzburg, Austria: Feb 2 - Feb 3, 2008
The European honeymoon continued. We visited more salt mines, this time to retrace the childhood steps of my wife's mother, who lived in Austria for a while when her father was stationed there with the British Army. By all accounts, very little had changed. These mines didn't really hold a candle to those in Krakow, something even our tour guide readily admitted to.
Czech Republic: Jan 30 - Feb 2, 2008
The European honeymoon continued. We got to Prague from Krakow via train, and the rural scenery and tiny towns along the way were really nice. We spent most of our time in the Czech Republic in Prague, which is another beautiful city, and one night in the nearby Cesky Krumlov, which is very picturesque but doesn't contain an awful lot to do per se. While in Prague I met up with a fellow NetBSD/OpenBSD enthusiast who had emailed me the previous year after finding my NetBSD survival guide useful.
Krakow, Poland: Jan 27 - Jan 30, 2008
The European honeymoon continued. Krakow is an absolutely beautiful city! I'd love to go back. We visited the salt mines, which is a much more impressive experience than you might imagine, and also Auschwitz, which was about as sobering as you might imagine.
Berlin, Germany: Jan 26 - Jan 27, 2008
The first destination on our honeymoon proper. We spent far less time here than a city like Berlin deserves, but nevertheless we saw the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Reichstag. We stayed on a houseboat hostel on the River Spree, right along remains of the Berlin Wall.
Birmingham, England: Jan 24 - Jan 25, 2008
This was the first stop on our whirlwind honeymoon tour of Europe, although we stopped more to visit one of my wife's high-school friends than to see England properly. This is why we stayed in Birmingham, which is somewhere I would hesitate to recommend visiting unless you knew somebody who lived there.
Osaka and Kyoto, Japan: Jan 19 - Jan 23, 2008
Before heading to Europe for our honeymoon, my wife and I spent a few days in Japan. We met each other through a mutual friend, who was teaching English in Japan at the time of our wedding and hence couldn't attend, so we jigged our flights to pass through Japan instead of the more traditional Singapore so we could visit her. Our friend was living in Minoh, just outside Osaka, so we spent most of our time in Osaka and made a day-trip to Kyoto. This was the first time in Japan for both of us, but knew pretty much immediately it couldn't possibly be the last.
Penang, Malaysia - Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2007
My first trip overseas, with my then-fiance and her family. Her father used to travel to Malaysia often with the Royal Australian Air Force, so it became a common family holiday destination for them. We stayed in George Town, which is a wonderful place. We visited Kek Lok Si, the tropical spice garden and the butterfly farm, among other places. This trip broke down the psychological barrier of international travel for me. If you're travelling somewhere tourist friendly, it's really not fundamentally different from hopping on a bus or train to another city in your home country. It's much slower and much more expensive, of course, but it's eminently possible and I don't think I truly grasped that before this trip.