An Explorer is Born
It began in Colon Panama, on the Caribbean mouth of the Panama Canal. With ships traveling through on their way around the world, it is no wonder that I had the wanderlust right from the beginning. Growing up in Panama, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Cuba set the pace and I haven’t slowed down.
When Castro decided that Americans were no longer allowed on his island, I was exiled to Connecticut to finish high school. As you can imagine the weather did not agree with me so….I moved to California and I went to college at USC (go Trojans!) and I got two things; an MBA and a wife (Betsy). We joined the Coca-Cola Export Corporation and went to Latin America. My first job took us to Suriname which is better known by the old name of Dutch Guiana. It did not take long before Betsy and I drove to Devil’s Island in French Guiana where the French exiled their most disturbing political prisoners. Travel between the Guyana’s by car was difficult but we were able to get to all three.
Our next assignment was to Colombia, where we spent the next 7 years. While in Colombia we adopted our first two children, Eric and Thalia. From Colombia we moved on to Ecuador for 5 years and had another child, Devon. This time we did it the old fashion way. Living in the Andean region is very special and allowed for much exploration. From the Amazon basin to the peaks of Andes and out to the Galapagos Islands, there was always a side trip or a week of discovery to be had.
When I was finally transferred to Mexico, where I became the manager of the Company, I realized that because of work load I was not going to be able to wander with the freedom that I had had before, so I left my beloved Coca-Cola behind. We moved to San Diego, where Betsy and I started a business of our own and again found the time to travel. Along with trips to Asia, Europe and Africa we made the decision to go back to Cuba.
It was in Cuba, on December 10, 1998, that I broke my neck, leading us to choose our new life path. If you would like to read more about that incident, please read the History section on “You tried to save a chicken?”.