I work as a freelance photographer and writer based in Washington, DC, occasionally telling true stories on stage on the side. ExpatMonkey.com was originally set up as a travel blog and is laboring tirelessly to grow into my warehouse of photos, videos, and oh so very very much more…

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I was interested to see where I’d end up and how, when I had nowhere to be. With a few return visits to the States between October 2010 and December 2012, I wandered and zigzagged around the world. Below was what I wrote shortly after hitting the road. I’m now back in DC, for better and worse.

In October 2010, after 10+ years working in international development (Peace Corps and IREX), I decided to break away and see the world a bit more haphazardly.

This is a balance of touring the world and, hopefully, meeting with the kinds of organizations and activities that have been integral to my work for the past decade. I want to snap photos of street life and write up my two cents of reflection as I meander from town to town without cause.

I expect this blog will sometimes just be brief photo essays and sometimes longer ramblings. For at least the first year, I intend to have one entry for every day of travel, however mundane.

If you know personally of particularly interesting work being done anywhere on the globe, drop me a line. Even if I don’t get there now, I’m always interested in personal recommendations of efforts to make the world a better place.

Or if you’ve got a couch I should crash on, I’d be happy to repay the favor by regaling you with fictional tales told by creepy hand puppets.

I can be reached at kmellnick (at) gmail.com. In additon to the blog, I’ll post photos as I can at http://www.flickr.com/photos/expatmonkey/.



  1. Bob Loftis

    Great blog. Enjoyed the pictures and commentary.

    Bob Loftis
    (friend of Bill Fitz-Patrick at USIP)

  2. Jennifer Lochhead

    Would it be ok to send a link to your website to my daughter? This is the kind of stuff she loves to do, right now she’s backpacking for a month in Costa Rica. She’s a photographer, and a wanderer, and I know she would love to have a look at what you do.

  3. Charles Leahy

    Hi Keith, I noticed you traveled to Baku in Azerbaijan. I will shortly be moving out their and was wondering if you have any contact lists I could get off you to meet expats out there? If so let me know and am sure could always help you out with something in return.


    Charles leahy

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