This webpage is a testament to my love of — primarily international — traveling. While I have put some of the more artistic shots in the Photography section of my Graphic Art page, this page may eventually house more of the generalized travel photos as proof of my well-rounded upbringing. When seeking locations to visit I am usually motivated by two factors.
One, where can I see evidence of ancient cultures, and two, where can I see remarkably rich ecosystems. For these reasons I often find myself visiting the tropics of Central America, for this area is rich in both ancient Mayan culture, and not one, but two of the my most favorite kinds of ecosystems on the planet, rainforests and coral reefs. Both evoke almost spiritual feelings for me, whatever the hell "spiritual" means.
I have traveled into the eastern part of Canada in at least two places. My parents would go to a little island in the Bay of Fundi to do research and my sister and I went along for three summers I think. I have also been to Toronto a couple of times. Very nice city. On the west coast, I have visited Vancouver and the Whistler area some, both summer and winter. Lovely drive, nice rock-climbing.
Continental United States
The continental U.S. is a tricky one. Some locations feel like places I've visited, others feel like places I've lived, and yet others feel like places I've breezed through but have not really visited in any sense of the word. While most of the "travel" stuff included here is from the south-west, don't be confused about my origins. I'm an easterner, but I didn't do a lot of "site-seeing" on the east coast. I saw plenty of stuff there too, but I don't have too many groovy pictures of that half of the country. While living in the south-west I took numerous road trips around New Mexico and one such trip around Arizona, which I believe classifies them as true "travel", sorta kinda...I have also done some basic camping and back-packing since moving to Seattle, namely around the Olympic rainforest and Mt. Rainier.
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
El Mal Pais National Monument, New Mexico
Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, New Mexico
Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Aztec Ruins National Park New Mexico
Valley of Fires, New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Arches National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Olympic National Park, Washington
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Key Largo, Key West, Florida
I'm not sure how to geographically group Hawaii. Have you ever seen it on a map? Talk about remote!
I went to Kauai the first week of 2010. Sketchy weather ruined virtually all diving prospects, although I admit that on the single brief dive I did, I got my closest look at a Green Sea Turtle yet. I could have reached out and touched him. Had one good day of snorkeling. Did some hiking on the north side and drove up Waimea Canyon on the west side, but again, weather was nonideal. Heavy cloud-cover obscured the most promising views. We'll just have to go back!
I went to Maui Thanksgiving 2012. Good diving in the famous Molokini Crater (a blown out and mostly submerged volcanic crater). Explored lava tube caves, drove over miles of rugged lava flats (similar to those in New Mexico), drove the road to Hana (and the other road back from Hana, both the northern and southern routes are cinematic and worth the time). We also went to a luau, yay! Desperate to go back at the first opportunity.
I went to Belize to do some worrld-class snorkeling in May, 2003 with Angie. We spent about five days on Caye Caulker which is a beautiful little island. It is the downscale, affordable place to stay and is a deeply relaxing place to spend a week. We went snorkeling at all the hot spots including Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye. At the end of the same trip we caught a bus to Tikal in Guatemala for a day or two. It was a really fantastic trip. We returned to Caye Caulker in January, 2004, on a group trip with a few friends and my sister. By then, Angie and I were scuba-divers. Traveling with a group of friends was fun. We hope to do it again in the future. Belize holds a special place for Angie and I. It was our first trip together and we absolutely loved it. It is one of the most serene places I have ever been. We need to explore the Southern and Western regions at some point though.
As part of a foreign exchange in my high school, I, along with about ten other students, went to Costa Rica for several weeks in the summer of 1992. Costa Rica is an incredible country. I am somewhat dismayed that it has virtually nothing in the way of MesoAmerican ancient culture: no ruins and no present-day indigenous population. However it has some beautiful cloudforest and you can see seaturtles laying eggs on the beach at night.
I have been to Gautemala on two seperate occasions. The first was with my family in December of 1987 when we spent a few weeks traveling around the whole country, including, of course Tikal. Then later, with a much deeper sense of recollection, Angie and I hit Tikal for a day or two in May of 2003. Tikal is one of the most magical place I have ever been in my life.
Honduras was on my hit list for a long time but the airfares were always wretched. For our honeymoon, Angie and I finally decided after years of resistance to just ignore the airfares and go already. The trip consisted of two distinct components: scuba diving off Utila (which turned out to be a smoke-infested noisy party island where we didn't have much fun, the diving also stemmed by inclement weather, although I loved night-diving for the first time) and visiting the ruins at Copan (which were fabulous including the modern town of Copan Ruinas which is beautiful and tons of fun). We wanted to get to Quiriguá but were unable to do so. We'll have to go back! Lots to do at Copan a second time around anyway.
Although I have officially been to Jamaica, and not for just a pass through, I was too young to have any specific memories of the place.
Mexico really needs to be broken up into sections. I have been to so many different parts of Mexico on so many different trips, it feels more like describing my travels around the states. To list quickly, I have been to Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Coba, Tulum, Cozumel, Labnah, and many other places, some on more than one occasion. I have also snorkeled and scuba-dived at Cozumel, which was the site of my first scuba vacation. It did not disappoint, I'll say that much.
I have been to Ecuador a few times. In particular, I went to Yassuni in the middle of the Rainforest, where I painted some pictures that can been seen in the Graphic Arts section.
I was quite young when we went to Peru and I have no recollection, but one of my earliest memories comes from Peru. I remember getting sand in my eyes during some sort of picnic. My parents confirm that this did in fact happen.
I was quite young when we went to Venezuela, on multiple occasions I believe. I have a few distinct memories of Venezuela. We had a cool bright yellow jeep for driving all around the ranch where we were staying. I also specifically remember falling off the back of a mule. That was a very long fall at my age. Additionally, I remember that when my parents gallumphed off into the bush to do their daily biology research they would leave me in the care of a woman or girl who I recall would stuff me full of chocolate for most of the day. I like to attribute my life-long love of chocolate to this historical period.
I have been to Europe on three separate trips, one in kindergarten, one in the eighth grade, and just after college (with my girlfriend at the time) in which I only visited Greece and then headed to Egypt. In the two earlier cases my family lived in England for several months and followed with several weeks of traveling around the rest of northern Europe.
We weren't in Belgium very long, but I remember getting a waffle on the street like you buy hot dogs in the states. It was a damn good waffle as I recollect.
Presumably just hit this one briefly driving up to Norway, no specific memories.
I lived here for several months on two separate occasions. The first time leaves me with few memories, but the second time I was older and I have many memories of that trip. We were living in Cambridge which is a really beautiful city. It's one of those "stone" cities that Ivy League universities in the states attempt to replicate, but it's authentic. Also, Stonehenge rocks. Ha ha! In addition, Angie and I traveled around south-eastern England again in 2010.
Been there, done that, no really strong memories.
Passed through Germany twice. Once in a car, probably didn't even stop. Then again on a long plane layover, which afforded me time to spend a few hours seeing downtown Hamburg.
In 1998, I took a two week trip to Greece and Egypt. The first part consisted of a week traveling around Peloponnese and southern Greece visiting sites such as Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, and the gorgeous island of Hydra. Greece is quite simply one of the most serene places I have ever visited, and it is very very green. The people are also extremely friendly.
On the first trip to Europe we went to Iceland for a while. I have very few distinct memories but I remember it was cool. There was some volcano full of bubbling sulfer which my mom lost a shoe in.
Rome, which I remember, and apparantly the Vatican, which I don't. I remember thinking that the ancient Mall next to the Colisseum was at least as neat as the Colisseum itself. I also remember the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I was one of the last people to ascend it before it closed for several years of renevation.
No specific memories. Ah me.
Swung up to Norway on the second trip to meet a friend I had made when he visited the states and came to my junior high school for a while.
Scotland has got some really really cool castles.
Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Barcelona, and Avila.
Camped here overnight driving through to Norway. That's it.
Didn't spend any great length off time here I don't think.
I have only been to Egypt, and not even up the Nile, so I really haven't "done the African thing" yet. Would like to, but there are many other places I want to go as well.
As part of the Greece trip mentioned above, I spent several days in Egypt split between two primary locations: Giza, right next to Cairo, where of course I saw the great pyramids and the Sphynx and the incredible Egyptian Museum, and Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sanai Peninsula of the Red Sea, where I had the good fortune to do some of the most incredible snorkeling I have ever experienced.
My Hit List
The following is a list of places I haven't been to yet but where I intend to go before the tourism business destroys them once and for all: