Those of you who know me know that besides my family I have three great passions:  History, travel and technology.

I have always been an amateur student of history, reading and learning as much as I can.  But reading only gets you so far.  I think it was Mark Twain who said, “You can’t understand a country until you smell it.”  Smell it?  I think by that he meant that you can’t smell a country unless you are there, which is really the only way to begin to truly understand it.  He was right, of course, and travel is the perfect complement to my love of history.

Technology has always fascinated me, which is of course why I made it my career.  Today, that passion keeps me up until the wee hours of the morning, watching the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel on television (and also the History Channel, of course).

I’m very fortunate that my job enables me to pursue all three of my passions.  I’ve traveled around the world for at least the past 25 years, and the places, the cultures and the people that I experience make the history I’ve studied come to life.  And I deal day in and day out with technology – not only the technology that my company creates, but the wonderful and fascinating technologies that our customers create.

Very few people traveled far from their homes in my parents’ generation.  My generation traveled a bit more, but not really that much and usually to a small list of “non-challenging” destinations.  I’m very happy that global travel is the norm among my children and many of their generation – studying abroad during college and traveling for both business and pleasure thereafter.

My daughter is getting married next summer – a “destination wedding” in Europe, of course.  She and her fiancé decided to pick a location for their honeymoon that neither of them had been to before.  That was quite a difficult task!  They chose Tanzania.

There’s an old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt”.  I think that the opposite is true, and that ignorance breeds misunderstanding, fear and mistrust.  My great hope is that by traveling and learning about other countries, cultures and people, today’s generation will create a friendlier, safer and more peaceful world.

More about that in my next blog post…

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