|Next Country: Iran! May 2013 -|
|January 2013||October 2012||July 2012|
|Welcome to my website! My name is George and I'm someone with a huge passion for adventure and world travel. My website currently has 6,298 pictures (yes I keep exact track) taken in over 50 countries from all 7 continents, including five of the Seven Summits I climbed. I have a dream of visiting every country in the world and will try my best to share my travels through photos and personal experiences. I'm also trying to raise money for future expeditions and have put up a few photos of my for sale, see my sponsor section for more details. I ope to one day do a long trip lasting six months or more. While this will require planning everything from backpacking travel insurance, to saving up for the next few years and returning back to a normal life, it's something I hope to make a reality before I settle down.|
|Next Three Possible Trips|
|Iran - Iran is one of the largest countries in the greater middle east. It's a place I would really love to visit and I'm considering a trip there, possibly in the spring time. I'll be sure to give myself plenty of time for a visa and depending on how long my trip is I have lots of time to spend in a nearby country such as Turkey, Lebanon, or even Iraq.
Central Asia - After my successful trip to West Africa, Central Africa and Central Asia remain the only two major regions of the world I haven't visited yet. Since I just was in Africa mixing it up and going to Asia is more appealing. Basically I'd be interested in doing some of the Stans such as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. I'd rather go to Iran first, so a trip to Central Asia would be likely in the fall time. Unlike my past trip to Africa which had regions of high crime and banditry I can relax a bit on this trip. Things like Designer Travel Bags for Men or other travel luxuries minus my camera will still have to leave behind!The States - I've been putting a lot of my resources into knocking out the 50 states. I'm proud to say that as of 2012 I have added 48 to my website! Although I've been to Michigan and Ohio before, those are the only two states that I haven't photographed. I will do my best to knock this out by the end of the year. While traveling through the states I'm able to stay with friends, go camping, or book hotels through www.booked.net. This will continue for the rest of my life since there is still an infinite number of things to see and do before I truly conquer my own country. As an example I've been to Florida more times than I can remember, but never to the Everglades or Miami! Likewise in every state there is probably something very important I haven't experienced yet.
|News & Updates|
3/7/13 - Iran is looking good. I expect to be there the first or second week of May and have a lot to look forward to! I have also been doing things to raise money for another of the Seven Summits, I dream of going to Vinson next year but the $40,000 for the entire expedition is way beyond what I can afford. I wll be posting updates on this soon.
10/21/12 - Well I really did want to have all 50 states up on my website by now but that won't work out, I put more details in my blog section. So its looking more and more likely that my next trip will in fact be to West Africa this coming January or February at the very latest. No country has been confirmed yet, I'm still doing the research!
8/19/12 - Here I am back in Texas for work. I'd much rather be back home in Virginia but while I'm out here I'm going to do my best to continue seeing places in the mid west and took advantage to visit Kansas! That leaves only four states left to add to my website. At this point I want to finish the 50 states and return to Nigeria by the end of the year.
7/15/12 - Last weekend I was able to visit Glacier National Park and the weekend before that other parts of Montana. I'm interested in how the high altitude scenery there will compare to mountains of Pakistan which I'll be in next weekend. Of course as far as altitude goes they are incomparable, but snow capped dry peaks with lots of wildlife is what I got in Montana and what I'd expect in Pakistan, just much more dramatic.
5/15/12 - New summer travel updates! First off it turns out my job is keeping me in Idaho for most of the summer. While out west nothing is exactly close, relative to my house in Virginia places such as Portland Oregon, the state of Montana, Lake Tahoe Nevada are drivable and all on my list of places to visit. I'll likely go to Montana on Memorial Day weekend and finally add a new state to my site after two long years. Now for the real traveling, as of now I plan to visit Pakistan sometime in July or August along with parts of India. I've already started the visa process and have a lot of interesting things I'd like to see and do in Pakistan. My next update will probably be purchase of airfare confirming my dates.
4/3/12 - A trip to Europe for work is now officially impossible leaving me back to square one for my travel plans. I never really was too optimistic but nevertheless admitting I can't go is certainly disappointing. In march I was sent to Texas where I got a long weekend and was able to visit Big Bend National Park. I'm eyeing a trip to Pakistan for my next vacation sometime this summer. Before that, I'll almost certainly be spending a lot of time in Idaho for work, and from there I hope to do some road trips on the side such as eastern Oregon, norther Nevada, and all of Montana.
3/2/12 - The Europe trip for work which I mentioned above is possible for some time in May and is said to last a few months. If this works I'll take it, otherwise I'll still be looking at going to West Africa for my next adventurous trip.
2/4/12 - It's been almost exactly four short years since I last went to South America. I was trying to do a trip to somewhere in Central America and suppose I still could, but the amount of time I have works out better for a single larger country rather than one or two smaller countries. I've also looked into a possibility of Turkey, only because the flight was the same price as Colombia, but after I saw the weather report included freezing temperatures and possibly snow Turkey lost all chances of earning my tourist dollars and currently Colombia is the #1 candidate. There is a 90% chance I'll be traveling some where by the end of this month and I should have it all figured out in the next few days.
12/8/11 - Now that my 5th of the 7 Summits has been conquered, I can recover from this incredibly expensive trip and look forward to some much cheaper and casual trips ahead. An excursion to Central America sounds reasonable since flights and travel there is cheap and it's always nice to escape the winters and go to a warmer climate. As far as a real trip goes, I'm really itching to step foot into West or Central Africa, but this could be some time away since I'm seriously going to be counting pennies for a while. I'd also like to focus on the United States and finish my goal of visiting all 50. During the winter time though, I don't feel like the north or mid-west would be interesting, maybe Colorado would be the only state I haven't added yet that would be worth a winter visit. No plans for any of these states anytime soon, I hope that by February or so I'll at least do a short road trip somewhere.
10/8/11 - Hard to believe I'm writing this, but I'm going to be attempting my 5th Seven Summit in just two weeks from today! Like my most recent major mountain climbs, I'm feeling a mix of every emotion; excitement, stress, joy, etc. I'll be departing to Indonesia on Oct. 21st and will be without internet for about 3 weeks while I'm on the mountain. Hopefully if I have a successful climb I'll be able to post my story about it around mid November. After the mountain I'm going to have extra time and might even make it to one of the newest countries in the world, East Timor!
7/23/11 - Long time since I've had an update! So, the past year, or has it been two years already? I've been thinking & trying to attempt Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. At this point such a major trip is still surreal to me and hard to believe that it's possible, but I think this very well might be my next challenge. I plan to go at the end of October and as of now have nothing significant that may hold me back.
5/8/11 - I've gotten a ticket to Ukraine now and will be flying into Kiev on May 20th now. Some new plans ideas came up that suddenly allowed me to visit Ukraine, where I hope to visit and see some very interesting places, see my blog for more details.
4/7/11 - Alright it looks like the eastern Europe trip is a go, I'll be leaving on May 20th and coming back in June. My flight will be going to Hungary, from there I plan to probably head south and explore some other countries.
4/13/11 - I'm eyeing a trip to Eastern Europe next month, but not too confident it will happen. My job has been keeping me super busy the past year, but the good news is that I have a lot of vacation saved up! Ideally I'd like to take a trip to places in former Yugoslavia in May and then in October take all my vacation days, join the next Carstensz pyramid, and explore parts of Indonesia, East Timor or Papua New Guinea. I will update the status of this in a week or two!
2/4/11 - With Yemen checked off my list, I'm eyeing Carstensz Pyramid again, this time possibly in the coming summer. I hate to sound pessimistic, but for some reason I don't feel like I'll be packing my bags and flying out to Indonesia this summer for that mountain, whatever the reason might be. If that turns out to be true, then as of now I don't have any pack up plan. I realized recently that my next country is going to be #50 for me, I think maybe I should make it a special place, and take a break from the more adventurous countries.
3/21/10 - I've successfully completed my nearly month long trip to Africa which has pushed my website to over 3,000 photos! The main focus was Somalia, but I used Ethiopia as a base country and did an unplanned trip to Djibouti in order to get to Somalia. My next international stop is probably going to be North Korea in September. I want to plan this as soon as possible so maybe I'll know in the next month or so. In the mean time I don't have any plans but will try to hit up at least 1 or 2 new states.
1/25/10 - January 2010, been 3 long years since I've had this website! So as far as goals this year, it looks like Iraq will probably not work out because they don't want to issue a visa during the elections. I'll know in the next week where I'm going!
12/18/09 - I've returned to Texas for the second time in the past few months, this time going to Dallas for work. Since I was there for 3 weeks I also visited Oklahoma for a weekend. I now have 16 states left to add to my site and five left in need of some work. So as far as real adventures, I'll definitely be going somewhere in March. My two options are Iraq and Somalia, but I think Iraq is the better choice since it may descend into chaos after US forces completely leave. I have less than 90 days!
10/19/09 - I spent 3 weeks in New York with my job and was able to do some weekend trips to Connecticut and Vermont as well as add a few more pictures to Massachusetts. I've also just finished a short trip to Arizona and visited Phoenix, the grand canyons and some other random places along the way. It looks like I will return to New York in November with work, this time I hope to explore the Adirondacks and the outdoor parts of the state.
7/7/09 - July 4th was spent with some friends down in South Carolina. I felt like I took some horrible photos honestly but I had a lot of fun which is what's most important. I returned to Charleston and Myrtle Beach and despite having a long holiday weekend I felt like I saw very little of all there is to offer. Next state: maybe something up north like the Dakotas, I need something different and new. Next country: I'll probably return to Canada and visit Quebec just because it's close and cheap. Next major trip: This is a ways out, but looks like I have the opportunity to visit Iraq in March, I'll post updates as they come in.
6/10/09 - I climbed the coldest mountain in the world!!! (Outside Antarctica). It took almost a month to climb Denali, not reaching the summit until day 22! Out of the 7 summits, one of my main goals in life, Denali is considered the second hardest, some are even bold enough to say it is harder than Mt. Everest. I experienced some horrible weather on the mountain and for almost a week straight it seemed a summit attempt was impossible. With all the extra time spent on Denali I did nothing else at all but do a day trip in Anchorage due to the lack of time. My plans for Catmai National Park, Kodiak and Fairbanks all fell through but they were worth the price. With the current world economy and the end of this huge trip, it will be some time until my next big adventure. For the mean time, I'll continue to knock out local states and enjoy summer!
5/15/09 - I've made it to Alaska and will start my Denali expedition on the 17th, this coming Sunday! It looks like I'll have clear weather on the 17th so we should have no delays getting flown onto the glacier and setting up base camp. Afterwards it seems that we'll have some storms beginning on Tuesday going all the way through Saturday. I knew someone from Elbrus who had bad weather on Denali and was stuck for 13 days at advanced base camp. While I'd definitely be willing to stay as long as it takes that choice is up to the expedition and not me. Sometimes bad weather ruins chances to try to summit the mountain and people never have an opportunity to try. Tomorrow I will do a gear check and final preps and then do some exploring in Anchorage before I leave Sunday. My next update will be when I get off the mountain which should be the second week of June.
3/15/09 - I have completed the week long Denali prep course so I'm all set for the mountain this May. I can't believe I'm going to Denali 9 weeks from today! Unless I ever set foot on Mt. Everest, climbing Denali will be the hardest thing I ever do in my life. I feel more confident after the prep course, and my main concern is no longer the physical challenge but instead dealing with the cold. Unfortunately because of the economy and all it is doubtful I'll do anything in the next 2 months other than train for the climb. By the way, I have added a ton of new photos to my Washington page. It went from 9 photos to 80.
2/20/09 - Finally I have a decent page about a state in the west on my site! I completed almost all of my goals in New Mexico which included the Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, White Sands and hiking in the Sangre De Christo Mountains. In only two weeks I'm going to Washington State for a climbing class that is a prep for Denali. My Denali attempt is going to be done in May. With the current economy, I feel like this climbing course and Denali is putting more stress on me rather than offering any excitement. After these trips I will definitely have to cut back on some traveling for my first since I came up with my mission.
2/9/09 - Been another month since I updated anything again! At least now some adventures are coming up. I'm going to New Mexico this week for fun with a friend. Tickets were pretty damn cheap and I'll put a tent in the desert for free and eat when I get back home to save money! Recession has hit pretty hard at my job, I think maybe 50/50 chance I'll get laid off. Denali is putting a lot of stress on me and it's too late to turn back so I can only keep training and hope everything works out well.
1/7/09 - Well I can't believe its been well over a month since I updated this. I did make it out to Haiti and at the last minute found someone to help me. After the first few days I backpacked by myself until it was time to go home. I found Haiti to be both easy and a difficult place to travel at the same time. Finding a driver or someone to help you out takes little time, but negotiating a fair price or avoiding a scam can be hard. Sometimes I found people were difficult to trust there, but overall I completed what I went to do and had no significant problems on the trip. I had some interesting experiences there, read my Haiti page for details.
9/20/08 - My mission to Afghanistan was completed, I visited the capital Kabul, the city of Herat in the west and the city of Mazar e Sharif in the north. Some things I'd still like to see in Afghanistan are Bamiyan, the Band I Amir lakes, the Hindu-Kush Mountains, and Minaret of Jam. I was very impressed with how much the country has to offer, I'd probably need at least a full month to see everything. I added 126 photos of Afghanistan to my site, plus the countries UAE and the Netherlands. No idea when my next trip out of the country will be since I will now need to focus on climbing Denali also known as Mt. McKinley in May 09. I have my eyes on a short trip to Mexico to see Mexico City, the Mayan pyramids, and to climb Pico de Orizaba for more Denali experience. Another option is to do a trip to Haiti, the western hemisphere's most dangerous destination.
9/1/08 - I added another state, New Jersey, to my site. The main reason for this trip was so I could get some travel practice with my new camera before my trip to the middle east and Afghanistan. Those will be separate adventures, but New Jersey itself was definitely a unique state to me, and not necessarily in a good way! I came across many of the nasty cities that I have always heard of, but was also impressed with some of the state's nicer areas, mostly in the south such as Atlantic City. In any case I have to go to all 50 states and New Jersey is no exception. I have only 3 states remaining in the northeast to add to my site.
8/6/08 - The past couple weeks I have added a few photos to Maryland and Washington DC. Nothing special just mostly normal weekend stuff, but I did get a photo of a fight in DC! I'm mostly writing to confirm that my trip to Afghanistan is a go and I will be leaving on Sept 3rd, actually 4 weeks from today. Recently violence in Afghanistan has been higher than Iraq, so I consider Afghanistan to be the second most dangerous country in the world after Somalia. If I can knock out this country it will be a huge step forward in my mission, checking off one of the most deadly and least traveled countries in the world.
7/8/08 - My trip to North Carolina and Virginia beach for July 4th is at an end. I stayed in Virginia for the fireworks and then spent the rest of the time in the outer banks at the beach. For my next trip it looks like my opportunity to go to Afghanistan has come back and this time it looks more promising than before. As of now I do expect to go, time off work has been approved and I am in the visa process. The only thing to stop me right now is the Taliban, if they continue to be evil I am worried my contact in the country will call off the trip. A few days ago they put a big bomb at the Indian embassy that was the worst attack in the past 5 years. Hopefully things won't get worse and I won't have to cancel. I will also visit the UAE on this trip in Sept.
5/28/08 - Tennessee, has been added to my site. I wish the weather had been better; I had many overcast days and some of the hardest thunderstorms I've seen in years. When I did get some clear days I enjoyed Nashville and met up with an old friend in Memphis. On future trips to Tennessee I'll make a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains my next priority. Now about new trips, I know I've been doing a lot of talk about evil countries but I think I'll likely go to a normal destination like Germany or somewhere else in western Europe. My main motivation is to make my Europe page worth visiting, since I have only a few pictures and have never taken a trip there other than when I was in the military or to climb Mt. Elbrus. I think this will happen in the summer or early fall. I hope to do a lot of traveling to other countries once I get my vacation time by up around the summer.
3/30/08 - Coming back to reality wasn't as hard as I had expected. I've been home for almost two weeks already and working again after my one month hiatus. Since I was gone for so long I imagine it will be a few months until my next overseas trip. I must use my canceled Iran flight's credit before the end of April, which means I have to decide where I'm going pretty soon, even though I can purchase the flight for later this year. Right now my eyes are set on Algeria, but it seems difficult to go there as there aren't many tourist facilities or guides so it will be difficult to organize. On my last trip I was able to visit new places in Argentina, Chile and spent some time in Bolivia. I think Bolivia is my favorite country in South America. Traveling in Chile & Argentina has a European or American feel to it, when began exploring La Paz I thought to myself now I'm back in South America.
3/5/08 - The top of the western hemisphere was reached! I climbed Aconcagua and have checked off another one of the 7 summits off my list. At 22,841 feet this is the second highest of the 7 summits, which means the only higher mountain I have is Mt. Everest. I still have some days off until I have to return to home, so I will visit Bolivia or some new local country before heading back. From now on, I will continue to make updates daily to my website until its time to work again.
1/23/08 - I went to Sudan for vacation and survived! Of all the countries I've been to, Sudan had the most strict laws regarding photography, and ironically I put more photos of Sudan than any other country on my website. I didn't meet any travelers in Sudan except for those by the Red Sea. Other Westerners I saw in the capital where all there for humanitarian work or business. One man I met congratulated me for going out, as he said everyone else he knew only stayed at their hotel after work. I saw many parts of Sudan, from the center, the north and a road trip I did to the east as well.
1/5/08 - Georgia, Florida and a few more pictures of South Carolina have been added to my website. I did a trip for New Years and went to Savannah, Georgia camping on Cumberland Island, St. Augustine and Disney World in Florida, then to Hilton Head South Carolina. I still have much more to do and see in all 3 states, such as Miami, Florida Keys, and the city Atlanta.
11/26/07 - This past weekend I visited New York City and added the photos to my site, staying mostly in Manhattan. New York City was an impressive place, its hard to believe its only 4 hours away and I've never been there before!
11/6/07 - Another two countries have been knocked out, I visited Malaysia and Brunei plus some new parts of Japan. The photos have all been uploaded already. I actually have only 4 weeks until I'm supposed to go to Sudan. The visa process started in mid October before I did this trip to Asia so I'll check on the embassy when I return.
9/24/07 - I think I've been visiting too many states in the US. My next place will definitely be out of the country other than a local weekend road trips like the one I did to Pennsylvania last weekend. As of now I plan to visit Japan, Malaysia and Brunei again in late October early November. Unfortunately it will be the rainy season in southeast Asia but it seems like the best trip to do logistically. I've been to Japan many times so I'll do better this time at exploring Tokyo while in Malaysia and Brunei I'll have a lot of new places to explore.
9/10/07 - The state of Missouri has been conquered! I went to Missouri and hiked in the Ozarks, visited St. Louis and Kansas city as well as other places of interest. I also visited parts of Illinois even though that wasn't the focus of my trip. I'll have to return there later to see Chicago and the capital.
9/1/07 - It seems I have over trained for my next mountain climb and I have somehow hurt my hip. It really worries me since I'm afraid it will get worse or delay my training so I won't be in shape come this winter. I plan to rest for a few weeks and hope it gets better. If I can't climb Aconcagua this winter I have no idea what I'll do instead.
8/22/07 - Some old friends from the Marines got together in Wisconsin for a small VMFA-115 reunion. I hadn't seen either of them in a few years so it was good catching up. I also was able to see most of the state so I added Wisconsin to my site.
8/13/07 - The Mt. Garibaldi climb I had set out for was met with defeat because of poor weather near the summit. We got within a few hours of the summit but terrible visibility forced us to turn back around. The next day I had pretty good weather and I returned to Vancouver and also explored some of the wilderness of British Columbia, Canada.
7/9/07 - Finally after growing up and seeing Yellowstone in both cartoons and all over National Geographic, I got to see it in person. Yellowstone was definitely the focus of my trip, but I visited other parts of Wyoming, drove through the eastern part of Idaho, and spent two days in Salt Lake City, Utah. It took me a while, but I created new pages for all three states, as well a separate one dedicated to Yellowstone National Park.
6/26/07 - My friend and I spontaneously decided to do a weekend trip to West Virginia. I didn't expect much but I was pretty surprised with how much fun I had. We mostly went hiking up in the mountains, but we also visited the capital Charleston and the nuclear bunker created by the US government to be a back up location if DC was ever under attack.
6/10/07 - The trip to Iran didn't work out so instead I went to Southern Africa. With only a few days until my trip to Iran and no visa, I was able to cancel my flight for credit and instead went to Africa. I was actually very happy with what I got to do with such short notice. There are always so many more things to see but overall I feel that I experienced a lot. I traveled to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. I definitely have a lot more to see in all places, but in Namibia I accomplished the most. When I got home I found that Iran did give me the visa while I was traveling in Africa. The visa is good for 3 more months, but now that I've used up all of my vacation days I really doubt I'll be able to go.
4/30/07 - I did a short trip to Maryland and Delaware and have added the pictures already for those places. I bought airfare to Turkey on May 19th, so I'll be going there for sure now. If I get the visa to Iran then I'll combine a trip there with Turkey, if that doesn't work out then I'll probably go to Turkey and other places like Lebanon, Syria or countries in eastern Europe. I probably won't know about the visa to Iran until the second week of May so it gives me very little time to make this work.
4/5/07 - I'm back from my trip to Puerto Rico. Unfortunately I didn't get to do everything I had planned on but I did do the majority of it. The Arecibo Observatory was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I didn't make it out to Culebra Island.
3/28/07 - Back in business! I received my new passport today so now I'm able to start planning again for trips. My old passport was damaged during my trip to Russia and had to be returned for a brand new one. I immediately started the visa process for Iran and I hope there will still be time for me to go.
3/9/07 - My trip to New England was 100% successful. I was able to climb Mt. Washington and also visit parts of New Hampshire, and the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The only bad part of this trip was the weather, which was mostly overcast and extremely cold, so some photos didn't come out as well as I had hoped.
2/1/07 - I have made my trip to Egypt and Jordan and did everything I had planned on. The new pages are also up and running.
1/10/07 - Some photos of Washington DC and Virginia have just been added. I didn't take the greatest photos but since DC is so close I'll constantly upgrade it over time. After living here for 25 years I finally visited the area as a tourist!