Diplomas I have Earned While Traveling

I travel because I  love to travel. I love planes and trains. I even love airports.

I am a travel blogger because I love to write. Hopefully you love to read what I write. That is the only reason I have a blog at all, because I really like the idea that someone, somewhere is reading what I write. I do not sell ads on my blog and never will. If you want commercials, go watch TV.

In the course of my travels, some of the adventures I have been on were so unusual, or so adventurous, that I actually earned a “diploma” for taking the trip. I was cleaning up my office for the first time since the invention of the internet and I ran across these four diplomas. I want to share them with my faithful readers, and of course tell you a short story about each one. So grab a beer and read on, please.

I earned this diploma the first time I crossed the Arctic circle. I had just been assigned to work in Prudhoe Bay, ALaska

I earned this diploma the first time I crossed the Arctic Circle. I had just been assigned to work in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Prudhoe Bay is 250 miles above the Arctic Circle. I spent 13 wildly prosperous months there. Yes, I was working for an oil company. I was young, I was greedy and I needed to make money to pay for my University education. It was a place of extremes. Not only an extreme salary, but depending on the season, either 24 hours of complete darkness or complete sunlight. I worked  84 hour weeks, 40 at my normally high wage, 40 at time and a half and 4 at double time. I lived in a construction camp where every thing was provided and I had no expenses. The money in my savings account piled up like the snow drifts in January. In the summer, after work, I fished the Sagavanirtok river and caught very large Arctic Char. In the winter I saw wild polar bears. In the spring I watched a three day migration of caribou. The tundra was alive with birds and flowers, or dead with ice and snow. And the Aurora Borealis, wow. When you are 250 miles inside the arctic, the northern lights do not appear on the horizon oh no. They are right above your head and they fill the sky. They make special patterns and the colors seem to chase each other across the your complete field of vision.

But the most amazing thing I saw there was TWO SUNS. One spring morning I was driving between sites when the sun rose about 10:30. I was pleased to see it, because there had been no sun for months that winter. Then, slightly to the west, rose a second sun. I was flabbergasted enough to come to a quick stop and stare. Just to be sure I was not completely losing my mind, I got on the radio and asked “ahh, does anyone else see two suns right now?” The answer I got was “Get off the radio Cheechako, that is a sundog” A cheechako is not nice term for a tenderfoot in the arctic, and a sundog is an atmospheric phenomenon that reflects the sunlight. But for a brief moment, I thought the world had changed forever.

In short it was a great choice I made to go there.

nazca

It took 30 years before I earned my next diploma, this one for a flight over the Nasca Lines in Peru.

The Nasca lines are, as far as I am concerned, proof that ancient civilizations were visited by extra-terrestrials. These lines cannot be seen from ground level. They are very large. The only way ancients could have made them is if they were guided from the air. The only reason to make them is to guide or welcome ETs upon arrival.

If you are skeptical about what I said, then explain to me why the ancients would carve what is obviously an astronaut, in a helmet, wearing a life support system, and waving hello. (This photo taken from alaudan.blogspot.com, which does a great job of explaining the Nasca lines

If you are skeptical about what I said, then explain to me why the ancients would carve what is obviously an astronaut, in a helmet, wearing a life support system, and waving hello. (This photo taken from discover-peru.org. The astronaut can be seen on the bottom  of my diploma, second from the right. Nasca has many depictions of  “earthly” animals, most of which are of a fantasy variety. There is even a whale, something just not found in the Andes.

At the time I was working in Peru. I went on a tour of places like Machu Pichu and  the fortress of Sacsayhuaman which is right outside of Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman is a very large complex put together with stones which are huge and weigh tons. On top of that they are cut from extremely hard rock, whch today we would have to use diamond saws to carve from the quarry. The ancients did not have diamond saws. Plus, they did not have the machinery to move them. On top of that they are articulated  to match the adjoining stones with extreme precision, and put together with no mortar? How? Ask ET, he did it!

Sacsayhuaman is a very large complex put together with stones which are huge and weigh tons. On top of that they are cut from extremely hard rock, which today we would have to use diamond saws to carve from the quarry. The ancients did not have diamond saws. Plus, they did not have the machinery to move them. On top of that they are articulated to match the adjoining stones with extreme precision, and put together with no mortar! How? Ask ET, he did it! (Photo courtesy of Andeantravelweb.net)

Another five yers passed before I earned this diploma for flying over Mount Everest

Another five yers passed before I earned this diploma for flying over Mount Everest.

This was an extremely magnificent experience. It is the first one I was able to blog about, and if you go back in my blog and choose Nepal, (or just clickhere) you can find many photos of this flight. I will forgo any further descriptions here. Go back and read the post. Suffice to say the flight is worth the trip to Kathmandu!

My last (so far) travel doploma was earned this year by making a tough trek thru the jungle in Rawanda to see the endangered mountain gorillas.

My last (so far) travel diploma was earned this year by making a tough trek through the jungle in Rwanda to see the endangered mountain gorillas.

Again, I covered this adventure in my blog. In fact, I made 7 posts and put up many photos. You can see them here. So, no need to say more here, navigate to the proper posts and get as good a vicarious experience as you can.

Thanks for reading and letting me brag. These diplomas mean more to me than My University degree. Tell a freind, and share on FB!

About forrestwalker

An expat living overseas, traveling with my wife extensively and sharing the experiences with you!.

Posted on December 30, 2012, in Africa, Kathmandu, Nepal, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi Forrest, thanks for this! I’m fascinated by Everest and your account is a great read. Also enjoyed learning about the sundog phenomenon, it sounds amazing. I hope you and Mary-Ann are well.

  2. 300708 740206Thanks for providing such a fantastic write-up, it was superb and really informative. It is my very first time that I pay a visit to here. I located plenty of informative stuff inside your write-up. Maintain it up. Thank you. 976425

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