In my first two books, I included some stories about my travel experiences which encompassed most of my life. As I just finished my third book, which was on my nursing experiences and career, I decided that I should write a book on my travel experiences. While I haven’t circumnavigated the globe yet or visited every continent, I am short Africa and Antarctica as of writing this book, I have experienced a lot of different types of travel in my life. I am hoping to visit Africa in the next couple of years. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on things. I feel that I have a lot to offer to those who are newly dipping their toes in the travel waters.
I know that there are a lot of travel help and guide books in the market today, but I think that my book will be truly unique and therefore, also helpful. It was only after I finished setting up my table of contents that I truly became aware of how varied my travel experiences have been. A lot of people put off travel till they retire, I believe that this is a mistake. By doing this, your are limiting the activities that you can participate in. When I travel to a new location, I try to immerse myself completely in the culture of the region or country, whether that be the food or the history and culture. I spend a lot of time talking to the locals. It is amazing what you can learn from them. My wife and I have experienced a lot of new and amazing things mainly because we talk to these locals.
I do a lot of planning for my trips, as a matter of fact, I am planning just about every day of my life for travel. My cell phone is an integral part of my planning. I have two 3-inch binders which list all of the countries in the world. One of the binders, however, is strictly for the United States. Whenever I come across someplace that is really “eye-popping” I take a photo of it with my phone. When I have time, I write down the location in my binders. I also purchased several 501 places to travel books and I included all of the places that I thought were cool in my binders. So, when I decide on a place to travel to, all I have to do is go to that state or country and look up all the cool places that I have listed. It makes my trip planning a lot easier. I will spend more time discussing these binders and my other planning techniques in some of my subsequent chapters.
I have noticed one thing with people and human nature…people who do not not travel are highly egocentric and they subsequently think that their way is the only and the best way of doing things. One problem with our society is that we only see things from a certain perspective, mainly because there are only a few sources of information out there. We get the impression that certain people and certain places are inherently evil. When in reality only a small number of people are truly evil. Unfortunately, these individuals seem to be the ones who are in power or control the flow of information. That is why I believe travel is so important because it gives you a different perspective on things, it also allows you to get unfiltered information. Case in point is the Lyndon Johnson biography by Robert Caro. He is nearing the last years of his life yet he still went to Vietnam to do research on his fifth and final volume of his seminal work on LBJ. While there is a lot of information here on the president, including his presidential library, he felt that he needed to actually do some leg work in that country. If he feels so adamantly about having “boots on the ground“, who am I to dispute his reasoning?
International travel also helps you to truly appreciate what you have. Even though we have a lot of poverty in the U.S., the level of poverty that the third world countries experience is on a whole new level. We, at least have potable water, sewage disposal and a reliable power grid. While our government leaves a lot to be desired, at least we have adequate food available to feed our families. Our building standards are safe, which the maintenance of these standards is a function of our government as well. In many countries their are no building standards and they are inherently unsafe. This is all too evident when earthquakes hit these third world countries and all of the buildings are virtually leveled by these natural disasters. I believe that if a lot of naysayers out there were to travel to foreign countries they may have not only a greater appreciation for our country but a greater love for our county as well. Especially all those lefties who are in favor of communism. Let them all travel to Venezuela, North Korea, China and Russia and see how they really like the way those people are living. All you have to do is ask why millions of people want to relocate to our country.
So, it is with this in mind that I write this book. I not only want to instill a love of travel into you the reader, I also want to give you the tools to do so safely and enjoyably.