a unique perspective on this crazy world

38 countries and counting…

I recently met someone barely into his twenties who I thought seemed really well traveled but he proclaimed, “I have only been to 10 countries!” I have never done a count but this inspired me so I decided to count… 38 I think… with at least another 2 new ones already in the 2012 plan… Have decided I need to see 60 before I turn 60 as apparently I am a bit behind!

As the posts progress, there will be lots about travel and other cultures. I realize for some that will not be part of their life agenda but if you have any interest, DO IT as Nike would say. My mother always wanted to go places and inspired my love of travel and other cultures at a young age.

There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for travel in my youth… but my mom and I would write to the local chambers of commerce for information and plot out the driving strategy on a map laid out on the living room floor. Maybe it was just South Dakota and the badlands… but it could involve unplanned encounters with biker festivals and sarsaparilla. Or one of my fondest childhood memories, when my Monty-Python-esque mother told a scared six year old, “yeah, those shadows on the hills are attacking Apaches ready to take our scalps”… they were just trees – but it meant my childhood was never boring 🙂

And I developed a slightly wacked sense of humour that has helped me survive all the bad moments in life. The sun may no longer set on the British Empire but having someone with a British sense of humour by your side during a tragedy can be very helpful. I always say, “if things get really bad, I just start cracking bad jokes and laughing.”

Not all of the travels to the 38 countries reached that level of excitement – but there have been a lot of incredible memories that will be described in more detail as this discourse continues… the story about riding a runaway elephant near the Cambodian border when the Khmer Rouge were still roaming around is over 20 years old but still entertains…

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