"Why do I travel?" OiKnow's Profile


2011 went by in a flash, 2012 will be another good travel year
New Orleans - February
Kentucky - February
Kentucky - April (maybe Seattle)
Florida - May
Florida - November


I have had the pleasure of many wonderful experiences in my travel. A few things stand out.

American Military Cemetery

I have to admit that stopping at the American Military Cemetery at Colleville in France was not on my must see list while touring Normandy. I was driving from Bayeux to St. Mere Iglise when I saw the signs and felt compelled to pull in; telling myself that I would just stop of a moment and move one. I wandered among the markers for well over an hour and was struck by the enormity of the human sacrifice that was expended to free Normandy from the occupying army. The experience touched my inner being in a way that few experiences ever will. There was hardly a dry eye on the grounds. This is an experience all Americans should .

Flying the Ruth Glacier on Mt McKinley

A few years ago I had a business trip to Anchorage, Alaska. This was the kind of trip that can be real grind of nearly 9,000 miles of travel and a long dinner meeting followed by a day of very intense work; out and back without much time to spare. Because my flight would not arrive until late in the evening, I was allowed to fly in a day early and had a day to rest before a dinner meeting the evening before the full day of work. I decided I wanted to see as much of the wilds of Alaska as I could in the few hours I had free on the rest day, so I arranged a tour on a float plane. Anchorage is home to the largest seaplane base in the world. There are several operators available, I choose Rusts because the tour sounded like a good fit for what I wanted, and they offered shuttle service from area hotels. http://www.flyrusts.com/index.htmlThe scenery was spectacular from the moment we taxied out. Within minutes of leaving the lake in Anchorage we were out over wild countryside without a road or power line in sight. I grew up in and around small planes was thrilled to be able to sit up front in the co-pilot seat (no controls on that side in this plane.) It is about an hours flight out of Anchorage to Denali National Park and Mt McKinley. We flew a course up the gorge of the Ruth Glacier. The sheer granite cliffs are over a mile high on each side with a couple thousand feel of glacial ice below. The rock faces soared above the wing tips into a nearly perfect blue sky. The pilot flew slow circles so that everyone on board had a spectacular view of the glacier and the mountain. Then we made a left turn and went around to the back side of the glacier. The pilot picked a small lake formed by water from the melting glacier and set the plane down so smoothly that I had to look down to see if we were on the water or not (he caught me looking and joked about the landing.) We tied off at the back of the lake and spent a few minutes taking pictures and collecting memories. The sheer size and wildness surprised me. I was surprised that this much wilderness exists and convinced that we need to preserve it. Everyone who visits Alaska and is healthy and hearty enough to climb in and out of the plane should make this trip. We will protect what we love; we will love what we know.

Philosophy of travel

Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived. . . I wanted to live deep and suck out all of the marrow of life.” In a nut shell this describes how and why I travel. When I travel I want to learn about living so that I have lived deeply and fully and learned what life and travel have to teach. I hope to die with few regrets about the things that I have not done. We regret most, what we have not done, I hope to have few regrets. OiKnow is short for “Oh, I know.” When I think about life, travel and the world I usually know what I am looking for. If not I go in search and I know it when I see it.

Who am I?

My name is David and I live and work in the Washington DC area. I was born in rural Michigan and spent most of my childhood living in a farming area of Michigan. I went to most of the first grade in Phoenix, Arizona (that is a long story.) I spent half of high school in Michigan and half of high school in Florida. I spent a great deal of my teenage years in the right front seat of a single engine airplane with my father at the controls. After high school I moved to Florida. I tried to make a living as a photographer for a couple of years and then I tried to sell real estate for a couple of years. From there I went to work for home building and land development companies in central Florida and worked in that field for 15 years. Along the way I earned a bachelors degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, shed an ex and met J, my partner. In 1995 we moved to Lexington, Kentucky where J teaches at a University. Moving there allowed me to take three years off from life and go to law school. I worked for a small non-profit organization providing programs for seniors for 9 1/2 years. In December of 2008 I started a new job with a major national professional organization in Washington DC. My office is two blocks from the White House. I live in extreme northern Virginia and commute by Metro on a daily basis. It will take me years to explore the sites in the DC area. Every weekend is another advanture.

Where have I been?

I have been to 43 states; I still need to make it to Hawaii, Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. I should pick up a couple of those this year – I have a conference in Boston in November. I have been to 11 other countries, including seven trips to Europe (with an eighth trip scheduled for this summer.)

What have I seen and done along the way?

What have I seen and done along the way? Watched the last Apollo launch and the first space-shuttle launch (and long ago lost track of all of the launches that I have seen.) Seen the Magna Carta (twice, once in Florida and once in England.) Both houses of Congress in session. Toured EPCOT before it opened to the public. Had Christmas dinner on the Eiffel Tower. Witnessed one plane crash. Experienced one emergency landing. Watched a bald eagle pluck a sea gull from the flock across the street from my office. Saw the last dusky seaside sparrow. Photographed Ronald Regan. Competed in the National Sprint Triathlon Championship (60 pounds ago.) Finished two half marathons. Visited 43 states and 11 countries.Navigated around labor protests in Rome and Athens. Seen the Grand Canyon (4 times), the Golden Gate, the Gateway Arch, Mt. Rushmore, and the Pope, a moose and a herd of elk in Glacier National Park

  • Intro Updated Dec 23, 2011
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