A  l  a  b  a  m  a     D  a  n

  

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. 
- Augustine (354-430)

Celtic Cross, Rock of Cashel- Irealnd, (March 2003 )

 About Me

Ok, so you want to know who I am and what in the world a guy from Alabama is doing traveling around the world?  As you most likely have figured out, my name is Dan and I am from Alabama.  I have lived here my entire life minus a few months here and there traveling abroad.  I grew up with a very large catholic Italian family, going to catholic schools my entire life and not ever seeing much outside of the Southeastern United States.  I graduated from college in 2001 and am now working as an Architect.  I did not grow up traveling or anything, in fact, at the age of 20 I had never set foot on an airplane.  That year is when something inside of me changed.  I remember watching a movie, kind of a stupid movie to have any sort of life altering effect on me, but never the less, it did.  I took a girl I was dating to see “Six Days and Seven Nights” with Harrison Ford.  I really admired Ford’s character in the movie where he had quit his job, bought a little float plane and moved to Tahiti to lead a better life, or the life that he always dreamed of.  Until that point, it had never really occurred to me that there was more to life and different ways of living than what we as typical Americans know.  I had grown up thinking that the only way in life was to go to high school, follow that with college, hope to get a good job and work in an office every day.  That movie made me realize that there were people out there living a completely different lifestyle than I knew and enjoying every because they were following their dreams.

The following weekend I stepped into my first airplane.  The crazy thing is that I was the one flying it.  I had always wanted to learn to fly so I decided to become a pilot.  Not a bad thing to do, I think it was more of a way of figuring out what the easiest way to see the world was.  I shortly realized that a small plane that I could rent from the airport could not take me everywhere so I decided to pursue a dream that I had in the back of my head since I was in sixth grade.  In sixth grade, each of us in my class of thirty students was assigned a report to do on a specific country.  We also had to make a meal to bring and share with the class from that country.  I was assigned Australia.  If you have ever been there, you are probably aware that the only indigenous cuisine is the Australian meat pie.  Fortunately I was able to find a recipe for these wonderful treats and managed to complete my assignment.  From that day on, I had dreamed of going there and seeing all of the vast landscapes and under sea life.  Two months after becoming a pilot, I took a year off from college, bought a plane ticket for Australia and have been addicted to traveling ever since! 

I spent about five months in Australia and decided to stop off for a month in each  New Zealand and Fiji on the way home.  At this point, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to finish the architecture degree I was pursuing.  Travel and photography became a passion that I carry with me wherever I go.  After deciding to finish my degree I spent some time backpacking through Central America before taking a job.  I decided on central America after turning down a few job offers in Destin, Florida.  It was on my last interview in Destin when I realized that I needed to do some more traveling before settling in on a life long career.  I decided to move back to my home town of Birmingham, Alabama and  save some money  enabling me to see more of the world one day.  While living in Birmingham, I worked for CMH architects and completed my architectural registration.  Throughout this time, I was able to take trips to about a dozen different countries, but they were only short trips.  They never really let me get the feeling or understanding of the place like I had when I was in Australia or Central America.  Now, after five years of saving, I am ready to depart on the trip that I have been dreaming of every day!