About us

Welcome to Absurdity Checkpoint, where great trips, delicious meals and wonderful friends collide.

Authors Chaz Kelsh and Emmy Liss graduated from Brown University in 2011. While at Brown, Chaz studied public policy and sociology, Emmy studied political science, and we both worked as editors at The Brown Daily Herald.

We met because of a shared interest in reporting and became best friends over a shared love for ethnic food and adventure. After graduating in May 2011, we set off on a grand journey around Southeast Asia. Out of a desire to share our voyage with friends and family, Absurdity Checkpoint was born.

Following a summer of travels together, we moved to our respective east coast cities of Boston and New York, and began to live our grown up lives. But adulthood has not meant the end of adventure, and we continue to eat, travel and comment on the world at large.

We have covered four continents, countless entrees and continue to be completely absurd. Follow us here and on Twitter @absurdcheckpt.

You can reach us at absurdity@absurditycheckpoint.com. Send food and travel recommendations!

Thanks for reading,
Chaz & Emmy


Archived adventures

September 2011: Road trip

In a two-week action-packed adventure, we rented a minivan and explored the west coast. We undertook the most intense hike of our lives in Yosemite National Park, sampled wines in Napa, visited with friends in San Francisco, drove the Pacific Coast Highway and camped out in Big Sur, fought traffic in Los Angeles, reached a peak fit for angels in Zion National Park, explored the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and spent a night down below, drove through the Arizona desert and revisited a bit of old Western history in Flagstaff. We saw a multitude of American landscapes, from the ocean to the desert to the forest to the metropolis, and we couldn’t have done it without our trusty Dodge Caravan, Dorothy.

A. Fresno, Calif.
B. Yosemite National Park, Calif.
C. Napa, Calif.
D. San Francisco, Calif.
E. Big Sur, Calif.
F. Pismo Beach, Calif.
G. Los Angeles, Calif.
H. Zion National Park, Utah
I. Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim, Ariz.
J. Flagstaff, Ariz.
K. Phoenix, Ariz.  



July and August 2011

In July, Chaz continued to trot around the globe, returning to Sweden, where he studied abroad two years earlier, and visting friends up and down the west coast. Emmy spent some quality time on her native Island, participating in an array of projects. The Absurdity Checkpoint team reunited briefly for a barbecue in Emmy’s backyard.

In August, both team members split their time between traveling and spending time at home. Chaz headed north to Maine and then visited friends around the Mid-Atlantic region. Emmy got her wisdom teeth out (for the second time!) and then went to Italy with her family to visit her younger sister, who is studying abroad in Rome this semester. Hurricane Irene gave the Liss family a few bonus vacation days in the old continent. Truly, things could be worse.

June 2011: Southeast Asia

Following graduation, we traded Lil’ Rhody for Southeast Asia and went on a four-week whirlwind tour of the region. The Asia Adventure inaugurated Absurdity Checkpoint and we blogged each step of the way, focusing primarily on all the delicious food we ate.

While in Asia, we visited Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. We saw markets and mayhem, ate in fine restaurants and on street corners, spent time with family and friends, drove cars on the wrong side of the road, attended cooking school, got schooled at pub trivia, and attempted to dress like natives. It was an absolute blast.

6/3/11: Arrive in Hong Kong
6/7/11: Day trip to Macau
6/8/11: Arrive in Bangkok
6/15/11: Arrive in Chiang Mai
6/21/11: Arrive in Hanoi
6/24/11: Overnight trip to Halong Bay Cancelled due to weather!
6/26/11 6/25/11: Arrive in Singapore Moved up one day!
6/30/11: Return to the U.S.

Thanks to our family and friends for the readership, support and gracious hosting. Thanks to Lady Gaga for the inspiration.

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