Category Archives: New Zealand

Broadening Horizons

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI would like to take you back in time; probably before some of you reading this were even born. But if you indulge me, I will tell you what set me off on this path of world exploration. I’m sure my reasons back then are probably not that different from your reasons today.

It’s 1985, keep that in mind. I have a job at the investment firm “Broadbank”, where I worked as a loan officer.  I had a cubicle but by today’s standards it was an office. Plush ruby-red carpet, dark wood furniture, five-line intercom, and a lion pawed coat rack standing guard in the corner; right next to the entrance.

Along the right side, from floor to ceiling, was a bank of windows that looked out onto the historic Strand Arcade. The arcade acted as a pedestrian artery through which pedestrians could walk from Queen to Elliott Streets. It was lined on both sides by shops lending themselves to nostalgia; in appearance only.

My desk was a place for writing then organizing paperwork and forms. It was a place where clients would sign documents and I would double-check the amortization results of my calculator.  Continue reading Broadening Horizons

July 1969

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  Dr. Seuss

1969 Leabank Primary SchoolTo ponder why we travel and from where the passion to explore is derived is a complex question; often not determined by one quick answer. For me, and I would guess for many, it would be easy to give all credit in the direction of one or both parents however just as often influences can be found in a multitude of experiences occupied by our youth.

In primary school I had a teacher, Mr. Tooze, who introduced me to the life and culture of Hong Kong’s Junk Boat citizenry.  For a couple of weeks Mr. Tooze worked our imaginations into a frenzy as we drew pictures, crafted stories, encouraged our study, and read about life in the harbor of Hong Kong.

I was mesmerized. I still have vivid memories of my romantic and innocent imagination as I envisioned my own life on board a junk boat. Never setting foot on land and living in tune with the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. Walking with buoyancy to allow my knees the ability to bend and flex along with the rolling of the sea.  Continue reading July 1969


Ocean Beach TotemThe last few years have been something of a whirlwind for me. I left behind the Midwest and the great city of Chicago and headed west; all the way to the coast.  Chicago had been a good place for me to land when I first arrived in the US.

For most of my time there it had proven itself to be a worthy companion and occasional adversary; pushing me to accept challenges head on.  Instilling in me a strength and sense of never say never.  Carrying me on its shoulders until the true meaning of perseverance settled deep into my psyche.

Chicago had provided me with a home away from home.  

It was a place I could be proud of, a city to root for, and a geographic location that for most of the year beats you down with a harsh arctic back-hand. The city conjures up an image synonymous with hard work, adversity, and adaptation.

For the first few years of my residence I had lived with youthful exuberance in this city that embraces the energy of the young. I bellied up to bars and ate Continue reading Grateful