|Mon:||12:00 pm – 7:00 pm|
|Tue:||9:00 am – 8:00 pm|
|Wed:||2:00 pm – 8:00 pm|
|Thu – Fri:||11:00 am – 7:00 pm|
|Sat:||9:00 am – 1:00 am|
|Sun:||12:00 pm – 7:00 pm|
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From corporate America to World Traveler – Over the past few years I’ve gone swimming in shark infested waters, ziplining in a cloud forest, been arms-length from orangutans, hiked up a volcano, gone snorkeling with whale sharks that were massive, hiked to the top of Machu Picchu, had a monkey literally jump on my back, climbed The Great Wall of China, visited the real Tomb Raider locations in Cambodia, eaten brains in a hotpot Chengdu, explored the pyramids in Teotihuacan, and photographed animals in the wild that I had never even heard of (tarsiers, macaques, hornbills, proboscis monkeys). I wasn’t always this adventurous.
I’ve now been to 31* countries, but I didn’t even have my own passport for the first two decades of my life. My first job after college came with a sweet perk – a trip Sydney, Australia, to work at the Paralympic Games. It opened my eyes to so much. My first experience abroad was in the opposite hemisphere. I was working with people from around the world and it opened my eyes to a new passion. After spending a month and a half in Australia after college (working for most of it), I came back with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for new travel experiences, new cultures, and new sights around the world. It’s addictive!
I’ve always been really curious, but now that carried over into travel. At the time Australia sounded like the most exotic place I could possibly visit, but on hindsight it’s not that different of a culture from the one I grew up in New York. I took baby steps – my next trip was a cruise around the Caribbean, and decided that while I could see how cruises are great for some people, they’re not right for me. A vacation at an all-inclusive resort with a relaxing beach was nice (and importantly, as a recent college graduate with loans, within my price range), but I didn’t get to truly experience that country. I had a thirst to really explore, but felt a little inner conflict since that meant getting out of my comfort zone.
That all changed a few years later – my comfort zone would be vastly expanded with my trip to Costa Rica. It was a little scary at the time. After years of academic spanish, I was still hopeless at communicating with native speakers of that language (this is still on my to-do list). My Lonely Planet didn’t tell me if the roads were well-paved (they weren’t), or if it would it be safe (it was!). I went and loved it. It was incredible, and my Costa Rica experience was the next giant leap in my transition from vacationer to traveler.
I started dreaming of different things I wanted to do, and places I wanted to visit. I made bucket lists with specific travel goals, and one of them felt particularly ambitious.
I want to visit all 50 states, and 50 countries, by age 50. Each and every state and every country in the world probably has something fascinating about them that make them worth visiting. Most people that hear this think I’m crazy. “50 States and 50 countries by age 50? Is that even possible?” It’s become a game among my friends that travel and they keep track. When fellow travelers first hear of my goal, they immediately start counting. [I'll give you a moment to count how many you've visited...]
Most trips were short, week-long trips, but in my most recent trip, I traveled for 5 months, covering 13* countries! My family and friends at home and around the world were very curious – many hadn’t met anyone that had traveled that long on the other side of the globe. They had LOTS of questions. How can you afford a trip like this? Were you scared to travel alone? Did you really go swimming with sharks?? What was it like to see baby elephants in the wild? Do you miss home? What was it like the first time you were surrounded by monkeys? I love your photos – what camera do you use? What’s a proboscis monkey? Did you learn their language? What crazy things did you eat? Where in the world are you now??
Hence the birth of this travel and photo blog, at Visit50.com, for people to follow my travels and to showcase my travel photography. I’ll chronicle my trips around the world, starting with my 2011 trip (mostly through Asia). Along the way I’ll post little anecdotes, observations, stories, and of course photos, and eventually answer questions that provide travel tips for your own adventures.
Do remember the never-ending stream of “why” questions that kids ask? I never lost that curiosity, so when I visit a new destination, I want to learn everything I can. So in addition to stories of my journeys and photography from my adventures, I’ll post about the best things I learn. If you felt a brief moment of ignorance when you learned about something in my adventures, fear not – I probably felt the same thing, and want to make it easy for you to learn what I just learned. I didn’t know what a tarsier was either, so this site will provide a quick primer on each species I found interesting, each aspect of culture I found surprising, and each piece of architecture that caught my eye.
If you don’t see the answer, drop me a note in the comments (bottom of each post) or contact me.
Using this site: at the top, mouse over “countries visited” and you’ll see a cascading drop-down menu of the countries that I’ve written about and posted my photos from so far. More to come! Hover your mouse over top section “Posts with…” if you want to skip right to the posts with the best photography, just the posts withwildlife, sharks and SCUBA diving, stunning architecture, impressive sunsets, mouth-watering food, or just photos of me from my trips.
Note: The 50 and 50 by 50 game is just a fun way to keep track, but some of my friends have become fiercely competitive. What counts as a visit? What counts as a country? Curious how many countries and states I’ve been to?
* Total amount of countries visited depends on if you count Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as the same country as mainland China or as separate unique countries. There’s much debate and support for both sides. Explained here: What counts as a country?
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Why You’ll Love It
Long before the 9–5 grind, you spent the day expanding your mind. Reignite that intellectual curiosity at One Day U, where Ivy League professors tackle subjects from the music of Gershwin to modern medical ethics.
Explore the science behind ESP. Catch up on the current presidential race. Or discover the art in architecture. One Day U gathers the nation’s top professors to share their expertise with you. After, you’ll have dinner conversation (and food for thought) that lasts for months. And unlike “regular” college, there are no tests, grades, or homework—phew!
When: Sunday October 14, 2012 from 9:30AM–4:30PM
Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
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Where do YOU want to go? Escape for an incredible week to an adventure of your choice! With over 1000 resorts and hotels available year round – the sky is the limit! From sun soaked beaches to crisp cool mountains – from red hot deserts to snowy ski slopes – this package has a destination for everyone! Make this a once in a lifetime vacation and fill your suitcase with unforgettable memories!
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You can choose to take a full 8 day 7 nights vacation to any destination listed here: MEXICO, CARIBBEAN, UNITED STATES, SOUTH AMERICA,CENTRAL AMERICA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, EUROPE, CANADA. Go ahead & enjoy! Swim in the turquoise waters, explore the beaches, and experience excellent cuisine! Mexico is cherished by her natives, and wants to share her beauty and adventure with you! Choose your dream destination & begin your incredible vacation adventure today!
You will have the opportunity to choose accommodations ranging from a studio up to a three bedroom based on availability – many of which are self-catering. Whether you are traveling with family or friends, we have accommodations that will suit your vacation needs. Rooms range in size from studios to three bedrooms and may feature: large living rooms; dining rooms; fully-equipped kitchens; laundry facilities. Many of our accommodations feature sought-after amenities that may include: spas and fitness centers; beachfront activities including windsurfing, para sailing and water skiing; championship golf courses; pools, hot tubs and saunas.
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To Book: When ready to book, Click Here! and choose your resort and destination and simply submit online form with requested destination and travel dates. Offer is valid for up to 6 guests. Pay Nightly taxes and fees of $42 per room. We will email you confirmation promptly. Fine Print/ Terms and Conditions: To finalize the reservation nightly taxes and fees of $42 per room, not per person, are required. Deal includes accommodation for up to 6 people for 7 nights stay. Reservations may be confirmed with Visa, Master Card and PayPal after customer approval. You may check out earlier, but still need to pay taxes and fees for the whole week. Additional resorts fees may be required at check in and usually do not exceed $7 per night. We will let you know if fees at check in are to exceed $50 per week per room. Destinations and travel times are subject to availability. Reservations must be made at least 4 days prior to the check-in date. Travel is not available or may be limited during most holiday weeks, spring break weeks and peak summer weeks. Offer includes only accommodations and specifically excludes taxes, travel costs and other expenses that may be incurred. Transportation and meals are not provided. Other restrictions may apply. Offer void where prohibited by law. All confirmations (i.e., bookings of accommodations using the Certificate) are final and non-refundable, except as required by law. No changes may be made after confirmation. Attendance at a sales presentation is not required. Only the person booking the resort may check in at the resort. Must be 21 years of age or older. Guests under 21 must be accompanied by parent, relative or guardian age 25 or older.
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