Taking The Long Road Home

A Chronicle of My Journey from Singapore Back To Austin

Sean Paul Kelley

Sean Paul Kelley
Austin, Texas, United States of America
October 06
Agonist Intermedia Inc.
Sean Paul Kelley is a travel writer, former radio host, and before that an asset manager for a Wall Street investment bank that is still (barely) alive. He recently left a fantastic job in Singapore working for Solar Winds, a software company based out of Austin to travel around the world for a year (or two). He founded The Agonist, (agonist.org) in 2002, which is still considered the top international affairs, culture and news destination for progressives. He is also the Global Correspondent for The Young Turks, on satellite radio and Air America. He blogs at The Huffington Post from time to time as well. He's traveled in more than 50 countries including Iran, Turkey, Oman, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, China, Nepal and India. You can read his travel-blogging at The Agonist, which is updated regularly.


APRIL 12, 2009 9:40AM

Effective Historical Writing

I picked up a copy of Lord John Julius Norwich's "Byzantium, the Decline and Fall" yesterday. I read the first volume many years ago in hardcover got sidetracked, missed the middle volume and only picked up the abridged "A Short History of Byzantium" a few years later so

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APRIL 11, 2009 1:23PM

The Flowers of Kadikoy

Flowers, KadikoyI went back to Asia today, Kadikoy to be exact, old Byzantine Chalcedon. Up here in Beyoglu on the East side of the Golden Horn and even in Sultanhamet and Sulimaniye it's reasonbly warm--around 70*.

But get out on that water and it gets cold fast, wind

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APRIL 10, 2009 7:32AM

Istanbul Journal, April 9th 2009

Chora Mosaics, Istanbul"Epiphanies, after all, are the easy part--it's the acceptance of the everyday that comes hard." ~Pico Iyer.

The last few days have been difficult. For the first time in a very long time I was lonely, a deep and visceral loneliness, reinforced by big city interaction/non-interaction: a bump

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APRIL 9, 2009 6:51AM

Istanbul Journal, April 8th 2009

If one had but a single glance to give to the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.

It's a big city, Istanbul. Ten million people? Fifteen? Is anyone really sure? Modern Istanbul's name is a contraction from an old Greek phrase, 'εá¼°ς τá½&ac

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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2009 12:23PM

Parades, Protests and Stunning Vistas

Anti-Obama Protest: Taksim SquareToday was certainly an interesting day. I walked up the hill from my flat to Dolapdere where it all started, watching the preparations for the police parade here in Istanbul, which I mistook for Obama's arrival. It was an interesting thing to watch and there are about a

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APRIL 4, 2009 9:18AM

Istanbul Journal, April 4th 2009

Mosque From BeyogluThe following entry is unedited from my travel journal.

Nine days without journaling? That needs to change. The ink spill in my bag certainly didn't help. Whoever heard of a backpacker carrying around ink for Mont Blanc fountain pens? My hand is spoiled by the smooth 14 carat

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MARCH 28, 2009 6:15AM

Nine Months Gone

TeaNine months have passed since I left Austin last summer. In the three months since I last looked back upon the genesis and beginning of this journey a lot has changed. The questions I wrestled with in December just don't seem so important anymore. And the world and

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MARCH 28, 2009 4:56AM

Rain In Oman

There was a hurricane here in Oman in 2007. It was a freak event. Never in recorded history, and they have records going a long way back here in Oman and the Arabian Peninsula, had an event like this occurred. And now it's raining well out of season

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MARCH 26, 2009 9:09AM

Reflections On India

And People Wonder Why The Lights Go Out In Delhi So Often?If you are Indian, or of Indian descent, I must preface this post with a clear warning: you are not going to like what I have to say. My criticisms may be very hard to stomach. But consider them as the hard words and loving advice of a

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 25, 2009 11:14AM

Leaving India

Corniche, MuscatI had to leave India. I was at the breaking point. I just couldn't stand the place any longer. If all India could be like Kerala then it would be a truly wonderful place to travel in, but it's not. And it isn't.

Two months in India and

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Government Authorized 'Head Shop'I'm seriously considering heading to Dubai in the very near future. The Pakistani visa process is not going well at all. And my time, patience and willingness to deal with the sub-Continent are fast running out. If any of you have friends, family, associates in Dubai or elsewhere

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 15, 2009 4:11AM

The Ibrahim Rouza

Your Tour GuideNarayan, in his travel memoir of Karnataka "The Emerald Route" quotes Fergusson, an English traveler and surveyor, approvingly on the monuments surrounding Bijapur: "A group as rich and as picturesque as any in India, and far excelling anything of that sort on this side of the Hellespont."

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 14, 2009 3:37AM

The Shahis Of Bijapur

Street Scene, BijapurWow, I have totally neglected my duties here of late. Long story and many apologies. I do have may adventures to relate from the last three weeks. Being sick really sidetracked me. However, I know you are not interested in my 'intestinal fortitude' or lack thereof. So, here's

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I Want To Be A California Nandi, a local Mysore cow (technically a bull) recently learned of California's 'Happy Cow' Campaign and auditions for a 'Fresh Face.' Nandi wants the part.

"Every cow here in Mysore dreams of going to Bollywood. But Hollywood? That would be being amazing," said Nandi.

"Also, I am

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FEBRUARY 23, 2009 1:46AM

An Island in the Kaveri

Tippu's Gombaz"About 14km from Mysore the great river Kaveri divides into two branches which meet again about five kilometers further down," writes R.K. Narayan, "and these parted arms enclose a space of land known as Srirangapatnam." Narayan, in The Emerald Route, his travel-memoir of his native state o

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FEBRUARY 22, 2009 8:00AM

A Short Primer On Hindu Mythology

HanumanIf you are like me, you probably find Hindu mythology bewildering. I mean, how many gods are there? I had a discussion in Calicut and asked just this question.

Sanjiv was the first to answer, saying,"there is one, Brahman. All others are incarnations of the 'one,' or

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FEBRUARY 21, 2009 11:54AM

Mysore Photos, Day One

Maharaja Of Mysore's PalaceI swear, there is so much to see and do that it's hard to find time to write. Action, is indeed, the enemy of reflection.

Nonetheless, I did manage to take a boatload of photos today and upload them.

I first visited the Maharaja of Mysore's palace.

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Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 11, 2009 9:19AM

An Update From India

This post is made up of several more random items I've written in the last several days but have been unable to post here at Gather due to difficulties accesing the internet.

Semantics and India

Keralan Fruits!No, this won't be a post

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Hoopoe (upupa epops)Mamallapuram was a dusty little seaside town with naught but ten or fifteen cross streets. One half of the town is dedicated to tourism and travelers, for both are here in equal measure. Othavadai and Othavadai Cross Streets are where you’ll find the tourist haunts, places like the

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FEBRUARY 2, 2009 5:38AM

The "Shoe"

The ShoeWhat is a single shoe doing in the middle of the road? How did it get there? Was it lost? Did it fall out of a trash bag in a lorry? If it were lost, how was it lost? Was someone walking and it fell off? Perhaps he

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FEBRUARY 1, 2009 7:49AM

Two Days And Already A Lifetime

Buddha In The HouseIt's been two days already here in India and already I have a lifetime to write about, photos to share and on and on. Jeez, it's probably a good thing my head wasn't on straight last time I was here or I might well have gotten lost and

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JANUARY 31, 2009 10:16AM

Tiger Breeze Photos, Group One

Sailing, Near VizagAlright, here is a link to the photos I just uploaded. My suggestion is to view them in order. But hey, you are free to do as you like.

I had a nice post all done up and almost finished and I hit the wrong buttons and

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JANUARY 22, 2009 7:27AM

Final Thoughts On South East Asia

ReflectionsI just had duck rice for dinner, which will no doubt be my last duck rice for a while. I'm in my hotel room and the usual packing ritual awaits. I can't bring myself to do it, just yet.

First things first: this will be my last post

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JANUARY 20, 2009 3:14AM

Day One, Kuala Lumpur

Hi Mom!Here are some shots from day one in Kuala Lumpur.

It's really a pretty amazing, organized place. Jeff and I hung out, mostly we just went to Petronas Towers, but the Skybridge tickets were all sold out for the day.

The infrastructure here is great. My iPhone

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Hey, Israel, how does it feel to lose two wars in a row now? Especially the PR war.

Getting a clue yet?

Maybe that clue is this: you can't keep a people locked up in what is, in essence a concentration camp without them doing the

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