Why I started this website and blog...
I have always enjoyed traveling. Even as a young boy I remember many wonderful family vacations we took across America. It wasn't until I had the opportunity to travel some for work that I started to make traveling a priority for me and my family. I have felt that visiting new places and experiencing new cultures and people has given me a better perspective of the world as a whole.
One thing I really enjoy about traveling is the planning process for putting together a trip itinerary. I love discovering and learning about new places and cultures. As soon as I identify a country or place I want to visit, I begin to gather as many ideas as I can related to places and things to see. And while I would love to see and experience everything, I also enjoy the process of prioritizing the options into an itinerary that is manageable and that will have the greatest impact on me and those I am traveling with. Every trip comes with regrets of missed places or opportunities, but I remind myself that if I had taken time to do the thing I regretted missing I would have missed something else. Ultimately, these regrets serve as a positive driver for returning to that place again. Even during my most recent trip to England, my wife often commented half-jokingly to the group, "well, we will have to catch that on the reunion trip".
Why the name 510 Million?
The Earth has 510 million square kilometers of surface area to explore.
One third of this area is land, two thirds is water.
Where do you want to go?
This was a unique way to identify the vast traveling opportunities we have as inhabitants of this planet. I also wanted to encourage others to make traveling a priority and help them as they determine places they want to visit... and then: Get Traveling™
The Travel Map
Over the years I have taken hundreds of thousands of photos and collected travel information about places of the world. My intent was to use this information to help me plan future trips and also share this with others. About five years ago I started using an online mapping tool where I could place map markers to identify places of interest. The markers where color-coded and categorized based on similar attributes, i.e., hotels, restaurants, points of interest, etc. Anytime I visit a place or come across a recommendation in a travel article or view a photo that represents a place of unique beauty or interest, I would add a map marker to the map. Often this lead me to seek additional research about the surrounding location. For example, it is great to see a picture of the Valle Verzasca in the Italian section of Switzerland (see below) and mark it on the map, however, if I am going to visit that place on a future trip, wouldn't it be great to also have additional ideas for recommended hotels, restaurants and other points of interest in the area? This map has become my central database for my travel information.
A few years back on a trip to Switzerland and a cruise leaving from Venice, I decided to include an overnight stay along the Valle Verzasca to experience its unique natural beauty. We stayed at a cozy hotel with spectacular views of the crystal clear river and the old village of slate/rock roofed houses and buildings. Truly a memorable place.
The Travel Map has now grown to include almost 11,000 map markers, across many areas of the world. I will continue to add locations and places of interest as I learn about new areas to visit. I hope this blog and Travel Map inspires you to visit places that you've wanted to and that you find the information and suggestions are a positive contribution to your memorable journey.
St George, Utah Vacation Rental
Additionally, I want this website to share information about a vacation rental my wife and I own in beautiful St George, Utah. I will share more about this next month as it is being completed and will be available for nightly rentals early in 2019. We have come to love St George, with all its beauty and outdoor activities this area provides. There are many places to hike and bike. The weather is usually sunny and warm. The vacation rental has close proximity to the major National Parks of Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon. And if you just want to relax by the pool and take in the local amenities, it's a great way to spend the week or extended weekend. For more information about the Southern Hills Escape vacation home click here: Southern Hills Escape