TRAVEL IS IN MY BLOOD—LITERALLY. I have been traveling internationally for 77 years. My Czech parents, too, were continental travelers. I was made in Czechoslovakia, the same week that Hitler annexed the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia to create Nazi Germany’s Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren. As an unborn fetus, I vicariously experienced eleven countries when my parents journeyed by train and cargo ship from Moravia to Nairobi, Kenya, where I was born. Of course I don’t include those eleven countries in my MTP checklist. Many of these lands were visited later when I became an independent traveler. But these multicultural stirrings left an indelible mark on my interests and psyche.
At age 64, I retired as a university professor (though trained in experimental cognitive psychology and mathematical statistics, my research expertise was economic psychology and the travel psychology of seniors and the aging post-WWII Baby Boomers of Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand). By then, I had lived in nine countries on five continents. This experience gave me a deep appreciation of life on Earth and the cultural and societal differences which continue to intrigue me and fuel my curiosity.
Being fluent in six languages (and reading nine) helped embed travel firmly in my soul; no other endeavor excites me as much as visiting a segment of Planet Earth, even if I have been there before. Sometimes, it is the physical and natural aspects of the destination that draw me to explore; at other times, it is the thrill of communicating and interacting with members of the distinctive society that has cultivated the place visited.
So varied and unique are the slices of Earth which are today accessible to adventure travelers, that, in 2004, I was driven to start an adventure travel website in order to stimulate less-traveled persons to truly experience their Planet. I want to encourage people to really get to know the only planet they will ever experience. THIS IS WHY MY WEBSITE IS CALLED KnowYourEarth.net.
I hope that visitors to the website will be inspired and persuaded to travel in a radically fresh way——not by country or territory or political entity——but by geographic slice, based on latitude and longitude.
PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: www.KnowYourEarth.net (just click on the link shown, below, at My Links:). You will discover a systematic and more complete way of experiencing Planet Earth. Let me have your opinions and, better still, in your travels, try to experience the different slices of your Home Planet in the way explained on my website.
The pictures I have posted, below, offer a thumbnail sketch of my travels, to date. Each picture represents a specific period in my life, and continent in my travels.
PLEASE CONTACT ME BY E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Favorite Places:
HAVING VISITED THE SEVEN CONTINENTS MULTIPLE TIMES, I HAVE A DEFINITE FONDNESS FOR ANTARCTICA. This continental landmass is so utterly unique I may never have my fill of visiting it. Consider the EXTRAORDINARY and BIZARRE features of Antarctica:
Traveling on the continent is not visiting any country. There is no such thing as Antarctic citizenship; Antarctica does not issue passports. Moreover, Antarctica has
(1) No political borders; (2) No local currency; (3) No native people; (4) No cultural heritage; (5) No hotels, supermarkets, night clubs; (6) No commercial airports---only air strips on ice; (7) No public transport; (8) No cities, towns, or villages; (9) No land-based animals; (10) No trees; (11) No nighttime throughout the austral summer months.
Physically, Antarctica stands out from her six continental sisters in at least eight ways: She is the windiest, coldest, highest, driest, darkest, emptiest, cleanest, and most isolated of the Seven Sisters. Sister Antarctica offers a cool welcome to all visitors: Approach carefully, appreciate my stunning beauty, and remember I am still a virgin. But do not get too cozy; when I am in a bad mood, I can fly into a stormy rage. I have been known to quietly murder humans and hide them in a permanent freezer.
This is precisely why I intend to return, as often as I can afford (she is an expensive proposition), to THE LAST INTACT ECOSYSTEM ON EARTH. Scientists arrive here to camp on her doorstep, measure her magnetism, plumb her crevasses, drill holes into her ice, take her temperature, study her movements, and scan the heavens through her eyes.
Despite the steady growth in tourism to Antarctica, it is still a pristine wilderness virtually undisturbed by humans. The silence and isolation are almost mystic; the icebergs take on incredible shapes and shades; the bone-dry air produces surreal visual effects that cannot be described to the non-visitor. The wildlife laying their eggs and giving live birth to their young, all along the 18,000-kilometre coastline where continent and Southern Ocean meet, are thriving magnificently in a faraway land that does not depend on tourism income.