American adventurer, David Nghiem, was in the middle of Andes of Western Bolivia when he discovered the airlines wouldn’t take his return flight tickets because his ticket agency went bankrupt. So, he made other plans. With the funds he had left over, he bought a flight to Panama City, and then biked across Central America. Tired and weary when he got to the Mexican/Texas border, he took a five day bus ride to Philadelphia.

The “road trip”, 2000 miles of bicycling through jungles, deserts, and mountains, included several side adventures: exploring “lost” Mayan cities, getting shot at in Guatemala, and swimming over crocodiles. And then there were some scary moments.

“If I was a cat — I have six lives left.” Says Nghiem.

“One evening I found myself in a desolate corner of northwest Costa Rica. The border area was infested with armed bandits, and I set up camp by hiding on a high cliff behind the brush. I couldn’t sleep and laid in my tent with my diving knife in one hand, and pepper spray in the other. I thought my heart would explode with every sound I heard.” Said Nghiem.

But David wasn’t through yet after that.

“I did a second expedition, through the middle part of South America, by bicycling through the Amazon in 2007. That one was 3768 miles. Now I’ve got four lives left.” Said Nghiem.

Read about his incredible adventures in his new Kindle book, Jackfruit: A Bicycle Quest Through Latin America, which chronicles his thrills, close calls, explorations, and the occasional romance at The Kindle version retails for $6.99. A print edition is also available.

MidWest Book Reviews says about Jackfruit, “Five Stars – On the ground, at a gradual pace, one can view the change of the world in a detail not available elsewhere. Jackfruit: A Bicycle Quest Through Latin America chronicles David Nghiem’s travels as he takes his mountain bike and supplies and rides through the vast part of the world known as Latin America. As he goes through the jungles and cities, he sees the gradual change in culture and people, while facing the harshness of nature all along the way. Jackfruit is an exciting read, well worth picking up.”

You can follow Dave on his twitter @ twitter/dnghiem.


I recently appeared on the Robert Wenzel Show at the Economic Policy Journal site. 

When the airlines wouldn’t take his return flight tickets because his ticket agency went bankrupt, American born adventurer David Nghiem, made other plans. With the funds he had left over, he bought a ticket to Panama City, then biked 2000 miles across Central America.
David discusses his first hand experience in Latin America as he witnessed the economic collapse in Argentina in 2001. His book Jackfruit: A Bicycle Quest Through Latin America is available on Amazon in kindle and print format.

The podcast version is here:
The Robert Wenzel Show interview with David Nghiem

And the Video version you can watch here:

Posted by: davesnewadventure | September 18, 2011

Radio Show Interview on Chit Chat Radio

Here’s the latest radio show interview about my 2007 adventures, and about my book, now podcast, on Chit Chat Radio Talk show.

Chit Chat Radio Talk Show

And no, this blog isn’t dead, so much as I’m now transitioning into my new career as an inventor… which is what I used to do ten years ago until I decided to take off and be an adventurer/explorer. But, the difference is now I’m combining the things I was exploring, with my talent for inventing technologies.

Which means things are going to get real crazy. Stay tuned for updates on a new website about this.

Posted by: davesnewadventure | February 24, 2011

New Intro to Sundrenched: A Bicycle Expedition Through South America

I’m currently testing out the latest incarnations of Avisynth (Wine 1.3), VirtualDub (Wine 1.3), Avidemux (Linux native), and ffmpeg on Linux (Ubuntu 10.10) as a production tool for my documentary, and I have to say, it’s SO MUCH BETTER THAN Adobe Premier Pro!!! I have all my options open, it uses so much less memory, it’s CLEANER, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT DOESN’T CRASH OR CHOKE! Which is what I had problems with the last time with Premier. AND IT’S OPEN SOURCE!

Once you get down to your 2nd or third script, interestingly, it becomes intuitive, and MUCH easier to do video edits, cleanup, and nonlinear editing than in Premier. I’ve come to the conclusion, after messing with Premier and having so many problems with it, that in the time it takes to learn to use Premier well, I’d say I could learn to use Avisynth, ffmpeg, and all it’s features in HALF that time. That’s how disenchanted I am with Premier. I’m not about becoming a God in software. I’m about putting out good content, and messing with software doesn’t contribute to putting out good content.

By the way, this is about my Bicycle Expedition across South America, all 3768 miles in one year, through the backwood wilds of the Amazon. Because this test is successful, and the quality is excellent, I’ll be sticking with this setup for all my video production work. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about my adventures and my recently published book, Jackfruit, come visit

For the Avisynth folks, or for those who are new to it, and want to get an idea of how I did this, here’s the code, with some comments. The best part about doing Nonlinear Video Editing in Avisynth is how it self documents itself. Literally, I can leave the code for a year or two, come back, re read the code, and figure out how I did it! I can’t do that in Premier, or any of the other NLE’s out there.

Here’s the code. As you can see, it’s pretty much self explanatory, which is the beauty of AviSynth.

# Nonlinear edit of the new introduction
# Do sound mixing in Avidemux with an mp3, do video clip info in VirtualDub.
# Use VirtualDub to output the video in raw avi.
# Date Feb 22, 2011, 12:59AM
# Test of AviSynth's Nonlinear Editing capabilities
# There are about 42 avi video clips that have to be processed.
# Do final encoding at commandline with ffmpeg and lib x.264, level 18 for high # quality
# Music is "The Way Home", by Michiru Oshima
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_001.avi"­).FadeIn(30) + \ # Put a fade into the start
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_002.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_003.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_006.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_004.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_005.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_008.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_009.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_007.avi"­).FadeOut(30) + \ # Put a fade out to show transition to South America
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_011.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_012.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_010.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_013.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_014.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_015.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_016.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_017.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_018.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_019.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_020.avi"­).Trim(120,300) + \ #Shorten this clip
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_021.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_022.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_023.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_024.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_025.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_026.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_027.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_028.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_035.avi"­).Trim(0,150) + \ # Shorten this clip
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_043.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_029.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_030.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_031.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_032.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_039.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_040.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_041.avi"­) + \
AVISource("/media/scratch/intro_042.avi"­).FadeOut(30) # Final fade out

Crop(0,0,0,-6).BicubicResize(640,480) # cut off the video garbage at the bottom, since this is Hi8 video capture, and then resize it back to 640X480
Sharpen(-.5) # Sharpen the details
Info() # Show full video information when processing in Virtual Dub, comment out in final video output.

Posted by: davesnewadventure | December 30, 2010

Appearing on Chit Chat Radio Show

Well, I’ve recently appeared on the Chit Chat Radio Show, which you can hear over here:

This entry is for those of you who’ve read my book. Everyone else, you can look away.

September 11th, 2010

I had my first synchronicity in almost three years today. It was most unexpected. Today, is the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. On this day, in the mail, the picture that I drew of a woman, a year before I met her, arrived.

I’m not quite sure of what to make of this. Ten years ago, I would’ve brushed it all off as nonsense, but too many life experiences have tempered that aspect of me. For starters, the picture arrived today, on the anniversary of the attacks, on the day when my life changed nine years ago. I drew the picture eleven years ago. I gave it to her in 2001, the month before I left for South America on my first expedition. There’s no damage to the picture, or frame, and it appears to have been well taken care of for the last nine years.

I personally was invested in searching for the picture with the full intention of finding and destroying it. Before I made that choice, I sent her a letter, asking her to return it or direct me to its whereabouts. I wanted closure on it, because when the year 2011 arrives, I will be doing the task which I was destined to do. It was the last loose end in my life that’s haunted me for ten years. When I didn’t hear an answer for a month, I figured that my letter never made it to her, and probably none of my letters made it to her over the years.

Today, it arrived, and it had a personal letter inside of it. As I read her personal letter, she revealed to me that she kept it all this time, which means that when I left in 2006 across the country to search for it, I would’ve failed anyway. I thought she’d given it away, because in 2005, she asked me what to do with it. At the time, I was shocked that she still had it. So I told her to give it away, to see if magic works both ways, and I was ready to test the wills of Fate, and see if the picture would come back to me. Strangely, the note was dated on August 10th, 2010. She didn’t send the picture out until September 7th, 2010, and it arrived 4 days later, on September 11th, 2010, today.

All this time, she’s read my letters. She kept the picture, and never let me know. She kept it because she felt that one day, I would want it back. I went on my wild goose chase across the country on the train in 2006 to find it. At that time in late October, I bought an all America Rail pass, and hoped that somehow, my internal guidance system would take me to the picture. I stopped in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, San Diego, Flagstaff, Santa Fe, and then back to Philadelphia. I remember looking over my shoulders in every cafe on the walls for a pencil drawn portrait, of a woman with focused eyes. In Santa Fe, I went to every gallery, and looked through the coal and pencil drawings. At the end of my search, I concluded that there was no magic, and resolved to find closure with a Bolivian woman who I had an epic romance with, and almost married, having lost all contact with her for almost three years. I bought a plane ticket for Lima, Peru, and left in January of 2007, for my second expedition across South America. I came back in 2008, having found closure with her in a way that was most unexpected, but which taught me a valuable lesson, that there’s no such thing as a coincidence, and that there’s a grand design and plan for every single person.

And now, after I bought a motorcycle and created a detailed plan in my head to hunt down the picture, starting first with combing Boston’s streets, and finding leads, it arrived and took the wind right out of my sails!

But I’m stuck in a conundrum. I want to destroy the picture, because of what it represents. For eleven long years, that thing has haunted me. It’s been in the back of my head, and it was partly what sabotaged my relationship with the Bolivian woman and my latest relationship. Because of that, I’ve considered it a curse on my heart and soul. And now I have it, and I’m forestalled from destroying it, because it arrived in my hands on September 11th, 2010, the day that changed my life. And on top of that, there’s the lingering question in my mind, which is why did she hold on to it for that long, just because she thought that one day I would want it back? But more puzzling is this question. Her letter is dated August 10th. The picture wasn’t shipped out until September 7th. Why did she wait precisely a month? For what reason? A month is a long time to wait. It’s a long time to have a personal letter written in hand, and to wait to send out something that’s been with you for such a long time.

After nine long years, I finally got to see the picture again. And now, with nine years of experience, I can truly assess what the function of the picture was for. The picture really was the key, the key that unlocked the door for me to a whole other world, and put me on a path where a tragic world event permanently closed the door behind me after I stepped through, and I’ve walked that path ever since… and it’s been a difficult path, spiritually, mentally, physically, relationship wise, and financially. It’s had enormous heartache as well as fleeting moment’s of triumph. It’s been a path of learning about the injustices heaped on the beleaguered peoples of the world, and the desire to bring them justice is what motivated me to write and publish my book. It’s a path that’s enriched my life to a degree that I think I’ve honestly lived several lives in the last ten years.

If it weren’t for the picture, my life would be vastly, utterly, completely different from the one I live today. I was so ignorant back then. The picture opened me up to wondrous possibilities, new countries, cultures, and experiences. And now I have the key back in my hands, with the intention to destroy it, and I’m at a loss as to what to do. The only thing that’s keeping me from destroying it, is the arrival date, September 11th, and the time discrepancy between when the picture was sent, and her letter. It feels almost like she… like she had trouble parting with it, and wanted to think about it.

Well, I’m going to think about it as well. The very thing that’s cursed me… that’s blessed me… that’s sabotaged and haunted me for so long is now back in my hands. I’m going to give it a meditative period, starting from today, until the eleventh anniversary of when I drew it, on November 26th. November 26th, 1999 is the date that I drew the picture, on the Amtrak Northeast Direct train from Philadelphia to Boston… eleven long years ago. By November 26th, I’ll have my answer, and on that day, I will have a raging bonfire prepared somewhere in the remote wilderness to destroy the key. The double edged sword, the blessed curse, is now back in my hands. And when it’s destroyed, I will close the chapter and the book on the last ten years of my life.

Posted by: davesnewadventure | September 11, 2010

Remember September 11th, 2001

I still remember that day. The day of shock. The day of pure shock, when I was in the Spanish school in Cuzco, Peru, on the 41st day of my expedition, walking into a pair of sobbing americans, and watching it on TV. My world went from the golden age of the 90’s, of the tech boom, when everything was possible, into the morass and darkness of the last ten years. My whole world went upside down, and it was on that day that I chose a path of exploration that I continue on today. If it weren’t for that, who knows what my last ten years would’ve been like.

On this day, I want to reaffirm what it means to be American, about the meaning of American. And when I reaffirm that, I go back to the two documents that make’s us all Americans, whether you’re Asian, Black, Latino, or White, Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever. Those two documents are the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. It’s the ideas embodied in those two documents that makes us who we are. Last night, on the streets of New York City, thousands of people gathered on the eve of the anniversary of 911 to reaffirm what it means to be American, to remember our rights as citizens. And it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Period. You can see some of the photos here.
Photo Essay: Thousands Gather on Eve of 9/11 in Support of “Ground Zero” Mosque

Thousands gathered to support the right of the Sufi Community’s Center’s to be built at Park51, two blocks from Ground Zero. The Sufi Community Center is the embodiment of our First Amendment, the most primal of our rights, the right to nonviolently express ourselves, to worship, and to be. That’s what it means to be American.

Woohoo! I finally got the software to work! And I sent out the first, inaugural edition of the Dave’s New Adventures E-newsletter! In this edition is some more opinion about the Sufi Community Center, Me getting Nekkid with the Bora Tribe in the Amazon, and some tightwad financial sense tips. If you’re interested in signing up for the newsletter, which goes out every two weeks or once a month, hit the link below.

Subscribe to the Dave’s New Adventure’s Newsletter.

It’s all about Adventure, romance, ethnic culture, environment, geopolitics, world economics, ancient civilizations, Amazon tribes naked in the Amazon, and bicycles.

Posted by: davesnewadventure | January 28, 2010

Press Release for Jackfruit: A Bicycle Quest Through Latin America

And he discovered this while riding a bicycle across Latin America.

The recent financial crisis shook up the world since it first hit in 2007. Yet, six years before that, major crises in Latin America devastated the South American hemisphere. Today’s financial disaster was preceded by countries who, much like the USA and the rest of the Western world, were at first epitomized as stable, financially competent, and excellent investments. Adventurer David Nghiem gained a ground level, gritty look at the causes and effects of those crises on the local denizens long before the symptoms were present in the Northern Hemisphere.

On December 16th, 2007, David arrived in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, after pedaling approximately 3729 miles, between Lima, the capital of Peru, Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was his second expedition. His first, which started in August 2001, and ended in June 2002, he cycled through ten countries for 300 days in two routes: Peru, Bolivia, and through all of Central America and part of Mexico. Nghiem wrote a 440 page book about his amazing first journey, titled Jackfruit: A Bicycle Quest Through Latin America.

From the high Andean mountains of South America, to the low tropical jungles of Central America, adventurer David Nghiem journeyed through a soul searching exploration of the depth of human intuition as he tracked down ancient symbols and mysteries. He surveyed the effects of globalization south of the border, and witnessed the devastating results of Argentina’s sovereign debt default, the largest default in history, and the lingering effects of globalization on various Latin American countries. Along the way, while enduring loneliness, dehydration, high altitude sickness, crocodiles, and gun shots as he faced his greatest challenge – surviving the journey.

David is an adventurer, explorer, engineer, and educator based out of New Jersey. You can order Jackfruit at, or at your local bookstore.

Woohoo! The first of what will be many more to come, I got interviewed on the Radio Show, Cash Flow with James Martinez, or, and it’s now podcast. I talk about the fall of Argentina, economic destruction of the USA, and bicycle expeditions in far flung, remote places in this show. The link to Cash Flow with James Martinez, July 25th, guest speaker David Nghiem is here.

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