Dylan Armstrong
Personal Blog by Dylan Armstrong Just some random, potentially useful, things I've written about. Projects PhotosCrossword

Sudan, Hugo, Etc.

May 30, 2021

It’s been a long time since I posted, so there’s a lot to catch up on.


I like Ghana. I went here in January 2020, but never ended up making a post for it. Unfortunately, I don’t feel much like going through my notes and writing up a blog post on it. It was a lovely country though. Probably my favorite on my west africa trip. Also, don’t know if I mentioned it, but made a good friend here that I am traveling with.


I like Sudan. I went here in November 2020. It was great to travel again. Half the group ended up with COVID-19, but amazingly I wasn’t one of them. I was actually a little disappointed. I thought maybe I got it without having any symptoms. That’d have been nice, so I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Fortunately, I’ve since gotten vaccinated and I never ended up getting it.

Sudanese people are unique in all the African countries I’ve been to. They are incredibly reserved, but some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met once you get to talk to them. You would go into a shop, and no one would approach you, but as soon as you asked a question, it was like a switch was flipped. They became your best friend. It was safe to walk outside at night too, which was an interesting experience.

Also, pyramids are cool, and I slept outside next to the Meroë pyramids. Gas shortages are less cool. Small tip, when going to a camel market, make sure you find the correct market, and don’t go to the general livestock market. Very different vibes there.


I’ve been vaccinated for a month now, and still haven’t traveled anywhere!


I updated my note app to use a sqlite database that I symlinked into my iCloud.


I made a simple photo website and went through and uploaded all my 2020 trips.

It’s available here.

I’ve posted the source code here.


I got really into crosswords so I decided to make a .puz parser and a crossword site.

A live version is available here.

It’s also available under a MIT license. Here’s the parser and the website.

The website is interesting, performance was the most interesting part of it. I have never done a game before, and making it performant was fun.

I ended up going with a canvas using react-konva.


Got really into this for a couple weeks, but trying to actually make a website with it was a pain in the ass. I got a working web server using bs-express, but getting SSR working was a nightmare. No matter what I tried with bs-css, I could not get components to be the same for proper hydrating.

I think the community may be dead, and what the heck is the relationship between ReasonML and Rescript? They both have ongoing development?



I’ve converted this blog to Hugo from Gatsby. I tried to update my Gatsby version to 3 (from 2), and it became a whole mess. Hugo is actually a much simpler to use blogging system. I don’t need all the fancy JS, when a static blog is just a lot simpler.

It took a second to get the style to match exactly, but it is completely indistinguishable from the Gatsby version of this blog.

I’ve posted the source code here.


I’ve got several upcoming trips booked, and I’m moving to the city next weekend.

I’ve even booked my first trip of 2022 already.

I’ve got a lot of work to do if I expect to get all 195, considering I’m short 158…

I’ve been to 37 countries now, but I only really started traveling in 2016. So 25 countries since November 2016. In 2020, I was planning on taking a 4 month sabbatical and going to ~20 countries, but that did not work out.

In 2016, it really started when I was thinking about going to England, and I asked myself “Well, why don’t I book a flight?” so I booked a flight for a few weeks out. It was fun, I didn’t even realize that my passport expired too close to the trip, and I had to get an emergency passport.

Here’s the country count for the most recent years:

Year # List
2016 2 England, France
2017 8 Botswana, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Namibia, Spain, Vatican, Zimbabwe
2018 5 Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uganda
2019 5 Cambodia, Japan, Madagascar, Thailand, Vietnam
2020 5 Benin, Ghana, Sudan, Togo, Turkey
2021 5 TBA
2022 6 TBA

I said “I’ve” a lot in this post.