The Armchair Traveler

I not only love traveling, I also like to be the ubiquitous armchair traveler. Interestingly enough, the places I armchair travel to are not exactly the types of places I would particularly like to physically see – the brittle and cold Arctic, the swampy bug-infested Amazon, the dangerous slopes of Everest, and the jungle plateaus of New Guinea.

The allure of reading about these far-off places is viewing them through the eyes of those who tread that ground – explorers, pilots, soldiers, scientists, and reporters – and trying to understand the quest from those who were left behind. Perhaps I will never understand how an English explorer would take his son deep into the Amazon to search for a lost city, or why men return again and again to the Arctic when each time they face the elements that almost killed them the time before. What are the drives and dreams that possesses them?

I love a good adventure, and a good adventure with a mystery is even more fascinating. Did George Mallory summit Everest? What happened to Sir John Franklin’s men off the coast of frozen King William Island? Where is Amelia Earhart? In nearly all cases we are usually left to wonder, but knowing a little allows us to live a lot.