Mysteries Around the World

I am very happy to announce my soon-to-be-released e-book entitled “Wicked Walkabout.” I hope that everyone reading this will buy a copy, due out on the Day After Thanksgiving.

Although I have many favorite activities, one of them is to travel. Another one is to write stories. I’ve been doing both—traveling and writing—for several decades and this book is the glorious combination of both. It’s a great way to share the many wondrous places that exist on this globe…and I have a long list of mysteries and venues to share. The next novel is entitled Sinister Safari and is based in the Serengeti. I am currently writing that and it’s due out sometime in 2013.

Since the world is such a blessedly large place, my partner and I have focused our travel on places where we can find the most wildlife. In 1999 we made a family decision to spend our time and money on traveling the world. Sounds like a simple declaration, and is. But there were many priorities along the way that required deliberation and action (what about kids?, pets?, a big house?). We have tailored our jobs and lifestyle in pursuit of this goal, and we had to close some doors while opening the travel doors.

For instance, when we first made this decision, we had saved up enough money (over ten years) to deposit a sizeable down-payment on our first house. This is not an easy thing to do in the SF Bay Area with high housing costs. Then one day soon after we’d made our Travel-the-World decision, a brochure for an African Safari arrived in the mail. Uh-oh. Within a week we had pirated a large chunk of our house down payment to pay for our first trip to Africa!

We of course had a spectacular time in Africa, and we discovered upon return that a month-long romp in the open grasslands of Africa had changed our lives forever. The main thing, we learned, was that we couldn’t live on a little urban lot anymore; and secondly, we had to go back very soon. We needed space. To roam. Like the wildebeests and the cheetahs. Had we turned into wildebeests without knowing it?

Our first house was purchased, therefore, on a one-lane road several hours outside the Bay Area. Here we had space, wildlife, affordable real estate, and a very modest house. This rural move, however, had a ripple effect on our jobs and lives. Cut to the chase: we have lived here in our little house in the woods for 11 years now, and spend almost everything we make on travelling…and have never for a second regretted any of those decisions.

Our travels have taken us to Africa three times, Australia twice, the Galapagos, several parts of Europe, South America and Central America. In the United States, our home, we really enjoy going to Hawaii as often as possible, and we’ve also explored much of the west coast, where we live. Lots of fun on the east coast, the Gulf coast, and the Rockies; and we visit the Midwest frequently which includes wildlife and family. Sometime I’ll tell you about all of those places and some of the crazy adventures we’ve encountered, either here or in one of my books.

We find chasing after wildlife a really fun thing to do because it keeps us outdoors and active, and we have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and interesting creatures in the world. Fellow wildlife adventurers are also very fun to befriend.

The big cities around the world are where many people like to go, and we always find something interesting to observe when we are there: historical places, museums, restaurants, hotels; all very lovely. The hub-cities are also where we have to fly to in order to take additional transportation out to the boonies. And the handy amenities of a hotel room like a non-dirt floor, flushing toilets, warm and delicious food, and hot, running water are not to be ignored.

But the real fun, for us, begins when we leave the fast-paced, human environments and head for the hills. Hills and mountains, or flat plains and deserts, or rainforests and muddy riverbanks.

The next blog will talk about Australia since that’s where “Wicked Walkabout” is based. Stay tuned for photos and tales of the wild world of Ozzie Land.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. And please tell your friends about my new book. At only $4.99, it will take a lot of book sales to fund another African safari.