I have a question for you? How often have you said to someone, “I need to travel more.” Or how about, “If I can just get through these next two weeks, I’ll have more time.” And then do you actually travel? Do you actually find more time?

I know I am guilty of both. And I never actually travel. I never find more time. And instead, I give myself an excuse that the moment isn’t right. In other words, like all physicians, I am an expert in delayed gratification. Except the delay is perpetual and the gratification never comes.

Today’s guest, however, has mastered the art of spontaneity. Dr. Calvin Sun is an emergency medicine physician who is the President and CEO of The Monsoon Diaries, an international travel company, that has led travel groups to dozens of countries. In just eight years (this is during medical school AND residency… when none of us had any time), Dr. Sun traveled to over 150 countries, including North Korea, Iran, Antartica, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Cuba. In addition to giving a TedX talk called Take the Path of More Resistance, he has cultivated a variety of interests from filmmaking to dancing to being a DJ and he has been invited to speak at over 200 high schools, colleges, and conferences.

He is a remarkable person who will help you realize that you just might have more time than you think…

Show notes
  • (00:02:16): Calvin talks about his New York-centric childhood
  • (00:04:15): The dichotomy between extraversion and intraversion, and being self-aware
  • (00:08:22): How Calvin started his Monsoon adventures alone in Cairo
  • (00:14:15): How traveling alone taught Calvin how to speak and listen to himself
  • (00:20:17): How the lack of fear when we are young disappears when we get older
  • (00:22:12): Crashing a wedding in Pakistan and serendipity
  • (00:24:40): 70 countries, 4 years in to the adventure, all during medical school
  • (00:28:00): How Monsoon Diaries transformed into a business
  • (00:33:55): What characteristics do you see in fellow travelers and backpackers?
  • (00:36:05): Monsoon Diaries works because it is a labor of love
  • (00:41:16): What is your philosophy on what makes a good leader?
  • (00:44:47): What advice do you have for travelers?
  • (00:47:24): Does your travels inform your views on global health in any way?
  • (00:52:44): How did you fall into speaking and how did you establish a speaking circuit?
  • (00:56:00): If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?
  • (00:58:15): What’s your most favorite meal you have ever had?
  • (00:59:28): What books do you recommend?
  • (01:00:21): What were your favorite travel destinations?
  • (01:02:30): The impact of writing and keeping a journal
  • (01:03:10): Getting sick or ill on trips
  • (01:06:43): Giving a graduation speech in medical school


Selected Links

People Mentioned

Music by Lee Rosevere – Sad Marimba Planet from freemusicarchive.org


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the Trade Winds in your sails.”

– Mark Twain