Donald M Parrish Jr - Downers Grove,
I retired young, and travel is one of my hobbies. I'm active with the Circumnavigators Club, the Travelers Century Club and MTP. A friend described my website as a celebration of my life.
My interest in travel started with stamps. By age 8, I could recognize the national origin of any postage stamp. At 10 I read Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels , and his adventures all over the world fired my imagination. In high school, I began my half-century subscription to National Geographics.
While a junior at the University of Texas, I spent the summer working in a factory in Germany speaking only German - not a word of English. Being a real foreigner was a profound experience, something very rare for native-born US citizens. My ancestors include 5 on the Mayflower, a famous Mohawk Indian, and the owner in 1651 of the land that the World Trade Center was built on. I have over 200 ancestors who came to America before 1640.
My career was spent in R&D at Bell Labs in Electronic Switching, the foundation of the telecommunications revolution we take for granted. In 1968, I received a Masterís degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.
In 1971, I made my first trip around the world - six intensive weeks of seeing many of the wonders of the world. I have made two more circumnavigations including a business trip in less than 94 hours. Iím a life member of the Circumnavigators Club and a long-time officer of the Chicago chapter.
In 1977 when Bell Labs decided to sell its telephone switching equipment world-wide, I was the planning manager determining the technical development program required to operate in target countries. I also figured out what was most important to customers and became a legendary market-entry strategist.
By chance, I became the first person to retire from Lucent Technologies on October 1, 1996 when Bell Labs was merged with Western Electric to create Lucent. My 30-year career was extended another 5 when I was enticed back as a consultant at Lucent, retiring in 2001.
I studied 4 languages in college, and have spent a total of 8 years outside of the US traveling or working. For example, I have made 60 trips to Japan spending a total of 22 months there.
History is another interest. What a joy to visit places you have read about. What an education to talk to people all over the world.
I have often visited hot spots with the Travelers Century Club, e.g., North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Kashmir, and Cuba. Real travelers understand the wonder of discovery.
Itís been my privilege to meet many of the fascinating people on the MTP website.
My Favorite Places:
Outside of North America and Europe, a partial list of my favorite locations to visit include: Egypt, Easter Island, Galapagos Islands, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Iwo Jima, Cuba, Iceland, Bhutan, Vietnam, Australia and Japan.