I’ve always loved to travel. Growing up in Troutman, North Carolina USA, we were lucky. We had the beach 4 hours to the east and the mountains 2 hours to the west. The ‘big city’ for me was Charlotte, NC. And, for awhile, that was the world in which my travels lived.
My first real trip outside of NC happened in the 10th Grade, when I visited Washington, D.C. for a week-long school event. Seeing the monuments and landmarks of our capital was very fascinating to me, and was the first time that I began to see things outside of ‘my home’.
When it came time to choose a college, I wanted to go somewhere far away. At that time, Raleigh NC seemed a million miles away (2.5 hours from home). I attended North Carolina State University and majored in Industrial Engineering. While in college, my roommates (Aaron, Kelton, & I) drove to Florida to experience Spring Break our senior year. We didn’t do the typical college spring break, however….instead we wanted to travel to see Spring Training baseball games. We got to see Michael Jordan’s attempt to play with the Chicago White Sox. We also drove to Atlanta for a New Year’s Peach Bowl game. For those 4 (err 5) years, travel was limited. I would later go on and get an MBA from Queens University in Charlotte.
Since college, I have had the wonderful opportunities to work in positions that allowed me to travel for work. I quickly learned that the best way to travel is when someone else pays for it!! When I do travel on business, if time allows, I try to see some of the sights. Some of these travels include…
- Austin, Texas for a trade show (we finished early and drove to the Alamo in San Antonio)
- Montreal, Canada – spent 13 weeks there working with a critical supplier and learning a little French (with a Southern English accent)
- Medford, Oregon – spent 9 weeks there with another supplier & got to see Northern California and western Oregon & Washington (Crater Lake, Oregon – spectacular!)
- Small towns in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin to visit customer sites
- Drove from Chicago to Green Bay, Wisconsin to visit suppliers – stopping along the way to see Lake Michigan & Lambeau Field
- Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmo, Sweden – multiple visits to our sister company
- Amsterdam, Belgium, & Paris to learn about our parent operating company
- Boston, Mass for several visits to one of my most-challenging customer project sites
- Florida multiple times to visit suppliers, our company offices, or customers
Since meeting my wife Amanda from Bath, New York, she & I have gotten to travel together either for vacation, for work, or in our move from Raleigh, NC to New Jersey. Some of the travels include…
- Disney World in Orlando, FL for my 30th birthday
- Denver, Colorado to attend a friend’s wedding party
- Key West & the Dry Tortugas on our honeymoon
- Caribbean Cruise on the Eurodam to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos, & the Bahamas (1st cruise ever!)
- San Francisco, Monterrey, Napa Valley, & Big Sur California for work/vacation
- Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon for work/vacation
- All the New England States for an Autumn trip to Maine (made it a point to visit each state)
- Germany, Switzerland, & Austria for work/vacation
- New York City as part of our move to New Jersey seeing NYC in the Fall & Christmas, watching Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, as well as taking my family to Times Square and to see Wicked
So far as of this post, I have traveled to 37 US States, 13 Countries, and who knows how many airports. I have tons of pictures of my travels, which helps to remind me of our adventures. But, what is missing are some of the written stories behind them to help me really remember. It wasn’t until 2008 or so with Facebook that I began to document these travels….but, going forward this blog will give me that space to do so.
Those are my/our travels so far….many, many more to come…..stay tuned!