Travel is an essential part of learning about the world. There is a lot of information that can be picked up from books, and more and more basic information that is available online. But to really get a sense of what a place is like, how it fits together as a scene, it really makes the most sense to experience that place firsthand. Nothing gives you a sense of an invasion route like actually standing in the valley that the soldiers marched down, or the possibilities of intrigue at a bus station like sitting on a waiting bench while the man in the suit checks his watch and gives the eye to the teenaged beggar, who then jumps up and carries out some pre-determined course of espionage.
But travel also gives a sense of what people are like. The values of the caballero emphasized in the gallantry of a man giving up his seat for a tired housewife carrying home a week’s worth of groceries on the bus, the complete lack of hesitation with which people squeeze onto an overloaded trolley because there won’t be another for at least a half-hour, and it too will be as full, and the habits of big city subway riders to move as far away from the doors to avoid pickpockets and thieves – these all are learned by observation, and doing.
My work background includes positions of writing, page design, construction monitoring, environmental consulting, and geotechnical engineering, but I have also a number of countries under my belt. It is my belief that this gives me the right to say that I’m culturally aware, which adds value to most international endeavors. Below, I have listed the most recent list of countries to which I have been, some only as short as the time it takes to transfer planes, some for months. I will highlight the countries in which I have actually lived and worked.
I hope that in viewing this table, I do leave the impression that I value the opportunities I’ve had to see the world, and I hope to encourage others (especially my little one) to do the same.
|1.||United States||Born in this country, visited all 50 states.||– WA, OR, and CA by 1968
– ID, UT, WY, CO, NM, TX, and KS by 1972
– AZ by 1974
– VA and DC during the 1981 Boy Scout Jamboree
– NV by summer of 1984- LA, MS, AL, TN, AR, FL, GA, SC, NC, MD, and MO by Inauguration Day 1985.
– MT, ND, MN, WS, IL, MI, IN, OH, PA, NY, CT, MA, NH, ME, NJ, WV, KY, IA, NE, and SD by April 1985 (entrance into the Marine Corps)
– AK by August 1991
– RI and VT in 1993
– HI and Guam in December 2007.
Lived or was stationed in: WA (1965-85, 1987-89, 1991-93, 1995-99, 2004-05), CA (1985), TN (1985), FL (1986), NC (1986-87), MI (1989-91), MA (1993-94), AK (1999-2003, 2005-06), and NM (2007).
|2.||Canada||Visited most provinces and territories||– BC in the 1970s and 1980s (several visits on the Princess Marguerite to Victoria, marching band competitions during teenage years)- NB, NS, NF in February 1985
– ON, MB, SK, AB in 1986
– YT in Aug-Sept. 1991
A number of road trips taken up the Alaska Highway during my stay in that state (including one road trip through Yukon held as a publicity stunt to raise funds for the university from the Alaska state budget in 2002).
Interned at a radio station in Windsor, Ontario, in early 1991.
|3.||Mexico||As far south as Acapulco||Hitchhiked in summer 1984, visited Juarez briefly in November 1987.|
|45.||JapanSouth Korea||Marine Corps deployment||Based from Okinawa for six months in the latter half of 1986, further deployed to South Korean, in the cities of Pohang and Uncheon, in early fall. Was part of regiment that became the first Americans exposed to Hantavirus during Korean deployment (took place on opposite side of camp – my company and platoon was unaffected). Departure from Incheon Harbor marked farthest westward travel until first personal circumnavigation (completed aboard the Trans-Siberian in 2007).|
|6.||United Kingdom||Two visits||During 1987 flight back, saw Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland from the air.In 1991 visit, hitchhiked through England, Wales, and southern Scotland.|
|The 1991 first trip to Europe||After 10 years of trying, finally succeeded in reaching the European continent. Travel through Poland was in support of a Detroit all-woman rock band whose distinction was being the second such band to tour the country after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hitchhiking experiences included being picked up by a barge and taken across the Belgian-French border while on board (this was shortly after the advent of the European Union removed border controls between the two countries).|
|14.||Ukraine||Visited in 1992, lived there in 1994-1995, further visits in 2004 and 2007.||Met first wife while traveling through country in 1992.When I went there in 1994, I got married and worked as a production manager for an English-language publication in Kiev through 1995.
Was robbed for the first time outside of Lviv in 1992, and hospitalized during a robbery attack in Kiev in March 2004.
|15.||Slovakia||Visa run in 1994.||Spent an afternoon in country before returning to Uzhorod in October 1994.|
|Went to work for TFI International in Bishkek||First international travel following divorce from first wife. Arrived in Greece and Bulgaria in October 2003, and went to work in Bishkek after flying out from Istanbul in November 2003. Hired prematurely while business was being developed, and the job lasted only three months before I finally attempted to find other work.|
|20.21.||AzerbaijanRepublic of Georgia||Visited after leaving Central Asia in 2004, and returned to work in 2006||Arrived in Azerbaijan in February 2004 with the intent of working in Afghanistan. Was warned against pursuing the opportunity, which I had left Kyrgyzstan to pursue, and deciding the warning was credible, instead continued westward to search for work while based in Ukraine, arriving there by March. Travel included a boat journey across the Black Sea from Poti to Odessa.Later worked in Azerbaijan and Georgia for URS Corporation, Ltd., as an environmental consultant.|
|22.||Russia||Three visits.||Visited Moscow in a research visit in summer 2004 (collecting copies of building codes and standards) during trip also made to recover possessions stolen in Ukraine earlier in the year.Second trip was to St. Petersburg in June 2006, where I met my current wife.
Third trip was taking the Trans-Siberian with my current wife from Moscow to Irkutsk to Vladivostok around New Years 2007.
|United Arab EmiratesQatar
|Work deployment to Qatar during Asian Games 2006 and early 2007.||Toward end of work assignment in Azerbaijan, was deployed to Qatar office to serve as an environmental consultant and become acquainted with the office there for possible longer deployment there. Decided against working in Qatar as it seemed not to be advantageous to my career.Travel allowed me to see Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia from the air.|
|FinlandChina (Hong Kong)
|Work deployment to Philippines in 2007-2008. Married in Hong Kong in March 2008.||Went to work for VIAP, a division of Versar, in late 2007 after leaving URS. Served as a management representative for the division’s headquarters during its effort to certify under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (Quality and Environmental Management). Married my current wife in civil ceremony in Sha Tin, New Territories of Hong Kong, after bringing her to the region from Belarus shortly after start of the year. Conceived daughter during wife’s second visit to Manila.|
|29.||Belarus||Lived in country 2008-2010.||Married in a Catholic church wedding with my wife at a historical Carmelite church in Gudogai, and upon hearing news that VIAP was not going to pursue a second one-year contract with me during the economic downswing, I stayed and supported my wife in her late pregnancy and first months of raising our daughter.Left Belarus in search of work in South America when funds appeared to be running out.Flight into country allowed me to see the lights of Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as the moon reflected off the Ganges from 30,000 feet.|
|30.||Lithuania||Three visits in 2009 and 2010.||First visit was to see a Mummy Troll concert in Vilnius with my wife around the start of 2009.Second was to introduce daughter to her Grammy Ro in Vilnius in late 2009.
Third was to leave Belarus for South America in January 2010.
|Travel to South America in early 2010.||Went by train from Lithuania to Poland, then from Warsaw to Rome. Air flight to South America allowed me to see Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, and Gambia (identified the lights of Nouakchott and Dakar), as well as Brazil and Uruguay.Worked in Buenos Aires for Liquid Designers, a marketing firm with a contract to edit study material for the Cramster website. Left Argentina in April 2010 shortly after catastrophic earthquake hit Chile, in search of civil engineering work.|
|Return to Europe in 2012.||After failing to find work as a civil engineer in Chile after two years of searching (the result of Spanish language issues; spent much of the time writing at Valparaiso during the search), I decided it was time to try to find work in Europe instead, where it would be financially possible to move my family. The flight across the Atlantic allowed me to see the lights of the Venezuelan coast and the coastline of Portugal from the window of the plane as it passed overhead.Currently located in Hungary, attempting to help a friend sell property in the western part of that country.|