“My mother loved traveling and would have done more had we been more affluent. As it was, I grew up in a rather poor family: poor, by income and net worth standards, but unaware of that poverty because of parents who knew how to give us the most from the least. I grew up with the same wanderlust that my mother had.
From as far back as I can remember, I was inspired by stories, shows and movies about far-away places and the adventures that took place there. I was enthralled by TV shows like Sea Hunt, the exploits of people like Albert Schweitzer and Jacques Cousteau and movies like Swiss Family Robinson.
Europe never excited me. It was the isolated and undeveloped islands in seas of green and white-capped blue that called me. These were the exotic places that were often the center of long-ago civilization and enterprise, but were now easily overlooked by the blink of an incurious eye. These were also the places that seemed to not be disturbed by human encroachment. What I saw of these places in my imagination was visual, organic and scenic; and while my subsequent experiences are rich in vivid visual memories, the strongest and most meaningful are the memories of the people I have met.
It was the interactions, shared moments, shared experiences and shared adventures in those foreign and exotic places that made what would perhaps be mundane and exotic; exciting and engaging. While I am still drawn to that visual concept of paradise and the wild exotic world of nature; my true thrill and wealth comes from the human encounters I have while traveling.
I travel light, stay in hostels, and avoid the developed tourist and ex-pat communities that cater to Americans of the U.S. variety. I travel to experience the world and people outside my own; otherwise, I would just stay home.”
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