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About Me: My grandparents were born in the Indian Territory / Oklahoma. My parents were born in Oklahoma, as was I, my wife, my children and my grandchildren. I was an irresponsbile teenager (it was the 60's, what can I say?) but managed to mature a little. I attend the University of Oklahoma and got a BA in History and went to work for a Fortune 500 company where I was unhappy. Eventually, I went back to OU for my MBA and PhD in MIS (ABD). I became a contract programmer because I programmed much better than I published. I also became a VAR for a firm selling accounting software written in a computer language called dBase that was designed for the Intel 8088 processor. I stayed firmly seated at the grindstone and in the first years of the new millenium I decided I needed a change. I figured that if I was ever going to to do all those things I said that I wanted to do, I'd better get going. In 2005 I sold my house and business and went to truck driving school. I now drive a Big Rig - mine - and I try not to work more than 6 months a year. I make an effort to spend at least 3 months a year outside of the U.S. I'm married. My wife and I have 6 kids and 9 grandchildren. Maybe that's why I like to travel so much.

Postscript: In December, 2010 I hung up my Driver's cap for good. The road had taken its' toll. I was no longer willing to drive 180 days a year, regardless of the money and the ability to work when I wanted. I had seen America. I was tired of being gone from home for 9 months a year. I needed a rest. In 2011 I sold my truck and trailer and was unemployed for the year. However, I wasn't inactive. I traveled overseas to Asia and South America for several months. In the fall I enrolled in an online course to to become certified in Oracle, the world's preeminent database. I want to go back to work sometime in the near future as a software developer or administrator. Even though I programmed for 20+ years, my skills are dated. Fortunately, I have a little flexibility as to my future.

RollingOkie OKC, Jan 1, 2012

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Where To Go - Internet References

When I get ready to travel somewhere or when I need some inspiration to keep on my Path, I turn to my references. My references are for gathering information or for creating inspiration or both. Note that these references are web sites that I use to determine which places in the world are the best ones for me to visit. I also use the references to start to gauge how much time that I might want to dedicate to each place. These web sites may help with transportation or lodging issues, but their primary use to me as a resource is to help me to determine what is worthwhile to see and visit in an area of the world. I use other resources for transportation and lodging issues.

Traveler's Century Club is a list of "countries" of the world or, more specifically, a list of the 319 political entities or those areas that are removed "geographically, politically or ethnologically" from their parent country. I'm not sure that I absolutely know what is meant by that, but it probably doesn't matter. This is the list I use as my "country" list when I'm counting how many countries I have visited. I think the list, or any list for that matter, is somewhat arbitrary. Plus, I have a problem with "travel" being judged by the number of "countries" a person has been to. But, when I want a "number" for the number of countries I've visited, this is the source I use and the source I consult when starting a trip to new "countries" around the world. When people find out that I like to travel, they want to know where I've been. It's always easier to tell them how many countries I've been to. It's the quick and dirty way of letting people know that I've been to a few places. Anyway, I uses the Traveler's Century Club as my official list of "countries" of the world.

UNESCO World Heritage List provides a list of places you may or may not see in guide books. This list isn't for those people who are looking to work on their tans. The World Heritage List "includes 911 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value." Wow! Just the words "universal value" should make this a must see list. Whenever I go somewhere, this is a list I always consult.

Hillman Wonders is a list of wonders of the world. It's a "bucket list" or "wish list" for people who aren't into making decisions about where they should go. It's a great list for the beginning traveler. I've been to the majority of the places on the list and I can say that it's a very good list, but it's not the exact 100 Wonders of the World I would pick. Then again, Hillman is probably a little more qualified than I am to talk about the wonders of the world. This is another list I always consult when I am going to go to a far-away destination.

Famous Wonders of the World has a list of the top one hundred attractions that I feel is really good. It's the best top one hundred list that I know. I consider it to be better than Hillman's list, but I consider the Hillman Web site to be a better site overall. You can also go to various countries that are on the Famous Wonders Web site and see the top attractions by country. All in all, it may have close to one thousand attractions listed. It also has listings for the most visited cities in the countries it covers along with a write-up on each city.

Wikitravel is Wikipedia for travelers. According to the web site they "have 22,568 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers from around the globe." That sounds about right. Wikitravel is a great sight for finding out some basic information on a location. That includes where to stay, how to get around, where to eat and what to do. Wikitravel is also geared towards the budget traveler, which is me.

Trip Advisor claims that "more than 15,000,000 travelers from 190 countries planned trips here this week" and that they have "more than 25 million traveler reviews and opinions" but I'm something of a Doubting Thomas. What I don't doubt it that the web site is worthy of some research time for that next trip that you've been dying to take. Just be cognizant that there's probably a reason that the site appears to be so commercial.

Virtual Tourist is a web site community of over one million individuals. It is The Community that contributes to the web site and it is The Community that makes it such a resource. It's sort of a Facebook for travelers. First, I look at the Popular Destinations in a country to see what the community feels is significant to write about. Then, I look at the Things To Do which will be ordered by the number of reviews. Thius gives me a good starting point on what there is to see and do in a destination.

Lonely Planet is the refuge of the backpacker genre. I've seen it over and over again. I go to a place and what do I find - twenty other tourists with the same guidebook in their hand as I have in mine and that guidebook is Lonely Planet. I've solved that problem, however. I now use the electronic edition. I use the web site and in particular the Destinations section to get an overview of where I think I might want to go.

Rick Steves knows what it's like to sleep in train stations and hitchike because of a lack of funds. Or, at least, he did at one time. Rick does Europe and nowhere else. But, it takes a lot of time to do Europe. There's more than a few sights to see. Plus, it makes an ideal place to start out as a traveler. If I could take one, and one, book only on a trip to Europe, a book written by Rick Steves would be the book I would take.

Fodor's Travel is one of the world's premier publishers of travel guides and has been for decades. That being said, they are a little weak on Africa and Asia. Then again, if you're to the point where you only need help on Africa and Asia, you've probably already reached the status of 'seasoned traveler' and don't need any help from me or Fodor's web site. Some travelers tend to ignore Fodor's Travel because their focus is a more upscale audience and I think that's a mistake.

Frommer's Travel is one of the world's premier publishers of travel guides and has been for decades. That being said, they are a little weak on Africa. Then again, if you're to the point where you only need help on Africa, you've probably already reached the status of 'seasoned traveler' and don't need any help from me or Frommer's web site. Some travelers tend to ignore Frommer's Travel because they tend to have something of a more upscale audience and I think that's a mistake. Yes, I do know the description of Frommer's is much the same as Fodor's but that's because they are so much alike. Do research them both, however. They have some great maps and walking tours and information that you won't find elsewhere.

Travel Pod and Travel Blog are places where I've found myself spending a whole lot of time and not coming away with much in the way of substance. Entertaining, but, for me, a period of time that isn't as productive as it is entertaining.

Travel.State.Gov is a web site sponsored, in part, by my tax dollars. It's a good place to go to find out the government "line" on international travel including entry and exit requirements of other countries.

Travel Health Online can help with those nagging travel questions about health like "Should I eat the dog meat or not?" or "Do I need to get any vaccines before I get to a country and they tell me I can't enter without a vaccination record?" Little picky things like that.