If You Play With Fire…

I promised a girl on Koh Tao I’d send a copy of a video I took of her friend.  Well, I’m a man of my word… and also of overkill.  The video clip evolved into a needed break from screening footage and into what you see below.

Everything was filmed on the island of Koh Tao Thailand at the Fishbowl Beach Bar, over a night or two, one night being the “Fire limbo”, which apparently is a thing.

VisaMapper… Brilliant!

For those who haven’t tried the addictive drug that is “Reddit.com“, a new travel tool has emerged from the travel subcategory called “VisaMapper“.  It’s an attempt to attack the age old question, “What countries do I need a visa to visit?”.

Simply enter your country and, BOOM, all international visa requirements are mapped out.

Read more about it here - Reddit/Travel – About Visa Mapper (Click)

Or, go directly to the site and start playing around – VisaMapper.com (Click)

VisaMapper Website - Click

Video – More Awesomeness!

Another awesome video posted from a friend I met on the trek to everest base camp!  Check it out and check out Tim’s Vimeo page, Hidden Horizons Productions.

Tim from California on the Everest Base Camp Trek.  Brandon in the reflection of his shades.

In Tim’s words, “Upset with the American vacation system, I decided to scorn my future, take my life savings, and buy a bunch of plane tickets to travel around the world until I was out of cash. It was by the far one of the best decisions I ever made, and a life-changing experience.”

Hidden Horizons from Hidden Horizons Productions on Vimeo.


BackpackersUnion.com is still getting a lot of daily traffic, and while it could be from people typing “are bulgarian girls easy” into Google, I’d rather think it’s from those curious about what’s going on with the film.

For that reason I created a News tab on the Jibe Films home page.

While all major information pertinent to film will still be posted here, those who want to know more about the post production process can find it under “News” at jibefilms.com.

Thanks for checking up!

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 4.27.57 PM

A Wonderful Dream

Yes, I’m back home.  I spent the past month trying to surprise friends and family which turns out I’m terrible at (but, hence the absences of updates).

Is it weird being home?  Nope.  What’s weird is it feels like I never left.  The whole trip feels like one elongated dream.

Sun Breaking Through - Lake Bled, Slovenia

I keep having flashbacks of some journey around the world in 280 days packed with a two lifetimes worth of stories.

Water dripping from bamboo durning rain storm in Philippines.

Koh Toa, Thailand

Mostar, Bosnia

Now there’s only one thing left to do; Turn it into a movie.

The “Magical” Mushrooms Strike Again

This happend the morning before the Full Moon Party on Koh Pha-ngan, Thailand.  I wrote it but never posted it.  It’s too funny to keep off the site:

One early morning, or late night depending how you look at it, there was a kid passed out on the table next to me while I was eating dinner… or breakfast, at a restaurant on Haad Rin.   He was shirtless, shoeless, half soaked and half covered in sand.  About a half hour into my meal he slowly lifted his head and attempted to get his bearings.  So, I did the only logical thing;  I ordered him a beer.

Koh Phangan Rain Beer 3

We got to talking and he said the last two things he remembered was drinking a mushroom shake from “Mellow Mountain Bar” and then an hour and a half later waking up to the tide rising after passing out in the sand.  Apparently two short girls did try to warn him not to drink them as he was walking towards the bar, claiming they didn’t work.  They said they both had had one each and were on their second each, and still hadn’t felt anything… no one told them it takes over an hour to hit you and they only waited ten minutes before downing a second.  The end.  I have no idea what happened to them…

A Story Worth Telling – True Manila

Edwin Runs a tour called True Manila in the Philippines.  Essentially it’s an opportunity to visit the projects in Manila, meet local families and offer a small bit of charity in the form of cheap snacks for the kids and Rice and Noodles for the families.  It’s the only place I’ve seen this.  It’s a chance to see how people in poverty stricken countries live in the poor neighborhoods without feeling like a intruder.  You walk the through shanty towns, visit their homes and meet the families.  Edwin and True Manila have also set goals to start raising money to offer children from the projects the opportunity to go to school in an attempt to change their lives.


The reason Edwin started this was because of one story he told.

Years ago there was a boy from the projects that started following two Americans walking through his neighborhood.  The boy was 10 years old, from a really poor family and couldn’t speak any English except, “photo”.


The Americans took the photo he requested and offered him a meal and some Coca Cola.  They ended up seeing this kid several more times during their stay and ended up forming a bond with him.  Over the next several years the two Americans did everything they could to offer help to this kid in the form of small amounts of money and guidance.  The boy ended up learning English, going to school, and eventually college.  In time the boy became an actor, has been in commercials and just finished his first movie as the lead actor.  Shortly after starring in the movie the boy started true Manila.

Edwin was telling us his story.  How a few people passing through his neighborhood changed his life, and how he wished the same for others.

Me, Edwin, Mark, Edwins son - True Manila, Philippines
Me, Edwin, Mark and Edwins son.

Beach Life – The Philippines

Philippines had it’s work cut out for it, “Show me something I haven’t seen after 9 months of travel”.  Well it may have just risen to the challenge.


In fact, hardly anyone has seen it before.  There is no real backpacker trail.  There’s nothing it’s really known for.  In fact the Philippines doesn’t even know what to show you.  All they say in their commercials is, “Everything is more fun in the Philippines”.

What the hell is everything?

Well, everything’s not more fun, but exploring it is.  Philippines is an undiscovered gem in South East Asia.  A place where you could miss on several destinations before finding that spot that makes it all worth it!



Philippines is the spirt of backpacking.  It’s venturing into the unknown.  With over 7000 islands the possibilities greater than most will ever achieve.  With that being said, the only right way to do it is just go and figure it out as you travel.  However, if I ended there I suppose that would defeat the purpose of this site.  So here’s a synopsis of my journey.  19 days… go;

Manila – Stayed at Pink Manila.  Met a crew of travelers listening to music and drinking $2 bottles of rum in the roof top pool.  Did charity work in the projects handing out treats to kids and bags of rice to poor families.  Met up with Jaylee.

El Nido – Flew with three friends I met in Pink Manila.  Celebrated Tyler’s birthday by bribing a shop clerk to sell us whiskey during a 3 day election liquor ban.  Got a little overly wild then day tripped to three beautiful islands.



Coron – Split from the girls then took an eight hour boat ride.  Tyler and I rented Scooters with a Dutch couple, drove to an isolated sketchy beach then moved on to an amazing hot spring (Even though it was already 100 degrees out).


Cebu City – Flight.  First experience with Jolly Bees (Bad Philippines version of McDonald’s).  Jumped on boat.

Bohol – Stayed in bungalow in the Jungle (Nids Bungalows).  Searched all afternoon for scooters to take to chocolate hills.  Failed. Jumped back on boat.

Met Jaylee back in Cebu City… another boat.


Camotes – Took advice from random traveler and headed here with Jaylee. This was the “spot”.  (See, The “Secret”).


From Camotes took a Jeepney, Ferry, Bike trike, Van, Taxi, Plane, Bus, and another Taxi to get back to Manila, played a little more, then headed to Japan.

The SEO Countdown – Backpackers Union Searches

I just discovered that Google will tell me what searches were used to reach the website. It’s confusing, hysterical and sometimes disturbing. While I’m sure the purpose is to use the information for Search Engine Optimization, today we’ll use it for entertainment.

Here is my top ten list of favorite Google searches that brought people to backpackersunion.com:

10. “easy sex at full moon party”

9. “absinthe and sex”

8. “summer bobsled tour weekends only”

7. “backpacker sex orgies”

6. “home made condoms”

5. “are bulgarian girls easy”

4. “crack in the bathroom”

3. “what dirty thing should i whisper in my girlfriend’s ear”

2. “sore ass”

1. “warning this girl will bleed you dry sihanoukville”

The only question that remains… what the hell am I writing about that these searches brought people here??

Condoms spilling out of someones bag at the Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Condoms spilling out of someones bag at the Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand.

The world is ours.