I never really thought about it, but when I look over a list of my hobbies, I enjoy the outdoors. All of my activities are ones that I can have fun doing. I enjoy these activities individually or together.

You may ask how they fit together, so here is how it works. Reading is helpful when waiting for flights or long flights. Flights are the start to travel. Walking and camping are important ways to experience the culture. Coffee mugs are a way to collect souvenirs. Finally, music is helpful when walking.

Reading – I do a lot of reading. I especially like Science Fiction/Fantasy space operas and 17th and 18th-century British sea novels.

Travel — I love to see new things, and I don’t get to travel as much as I would like. Of course, the pandemic placed a hold on travel. I grew up with a global perspective and always have had the itch to travel. I have visited 30 countries and covered 10% of the globe. I have a goal of sending one month a year out of the country.

When asked about my favorite countries, I have difficulty identifying my favorite. I would have to say that Barbados, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia are my favorites and are the countries I spend the most time in through multiple trips.

My last trip overseas was in 2019, when I visited Italy (Rome), Greece, and Iceland. You may guess that the photo is of my son and me in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and yes, we did through a coin in the fountain.

My next trip is in May of 2023, when I plan to visit the United Kingdom.

In the States, I try to spend at least one weekend a month at the Beach. I often visit Jekyll Island, Amelia Island, or St. Augustine. I also am working on seeing the freshwater spring in Northern Florida. I also spend a great deal of time in Orlando, where I like to attend concerts and the theatre.

This past year I started writing trips. I rent a cabin or cottage in a remote location and spend the time writing.

Photography – I have always liked to take pictures. Recently I became serious about it. I have put up a Personal Gallery if you are interested.  

My primary camera is a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor AF-S ED VR II 18-200mm Zoom and Sigma DG APO HSM 50 mm – 500 mm Telephoto zoom lens.

I repeatedly return to the same subjects: sunrise and sunset, children, wildlife, and flowers. I plan to create some coffee table books of the photos and potentially start an online store. This activity may be my retirement income.

The photo to the left is from Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, one of the top beaches in the United States.

I am also working on developing several other themes. The most interesting ones are murals in South Georgia and small towns.

Camping – My newest adventure is to return to camping. I have been camping since I was about 12 years old. I started with camping in Scouts, and then Cate and I camped for many years, transitioning from tent camping to using a trailer.

I am now moving back to camping. Although we sold our trailer, I am moving into “car camping.” Car camping is where you sleep in your vehicle and then have a screen tent for outdoor activities and relaxing. The activity will help me combine several hobbies (travel, walking, photography). I will have more about this experience as it evolves.

Walking – I combine my interests in photography with walking. Although I am just restarting my walking, I have visited most of the freshwater springs and parks in Northern Flordia. I have walked many a mile on the trails and have several exciting photos that I am slowly adding to my collection.

The image to the left is part of St. Decleans’s Walk in Ireland.

Collecting Coffee Mugs — I guess everyone needs to collect something. I decided to collect coffee mugs (you should see my office). They are relatively inexpensive (so if they get broken, it is not the end of the world), and they can reflect the unique characteristics of the place you are visiting. Besides, I like coffee.

The photo to the right is my office collection.