At the controls of United Airlines 747-400 N117UA
San Francisco International Airport
My parents met on a ski lift in Crested Butte, Colorado, and I think that that kind of chance meeting imbued a certain genetic wanderlust in me. I flew for the first time two months after I was born — Newark to Denver-Stapleton on a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 — to show me off to their friends. From there, it’s never really stopped.
I’ve always been interested in the world in general, always a bit of a polymath. I’ve always loved travelling, whether it was our frequent family trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina growing up, or some kind of world-spanning offbeat adventure. Sometimes I went on these trips, and sometimes I just got lost in my head threading together brochures and websites and maps to create fantasy vacations.
I’ve always had an inclination towards “different” kinds of travelling, and this has gotten even more intense as we live in this Instagram-fuelled time; my goal is to go where the “influencers” are not, and I tend to eschew cities in my travels. Often I build trips around an obscure goal, something tied to a hobby of mine, or some kind of obscure “pilgrimage.” I also love linking disparate elements and locations into one trip, which makes them more interesting and helps them feel longer. I love travel by all modes, and can find something equally exciting in rail, sea, air, and motor vehicle adventures.
Right now, one of my priorities has been roadtrips and off-road adventures with my Land Rovers. My mother bought a Land Rover Discovery in 1994 when they came out in North America, and I’ve been in love with the marque ever since. I have a 1994 Discovery, a 1994 Range Rover Classic, and a project Range Rover Classic/Series IIA “Hybrid”, and they’re the primary drivers of my domestic adventures. In addition, I’ve built some tech advice into this site for Land Rover owners, and some of my Land Rover-focused blogs feature the trials and tribulations of daily driving quarter-century-old vehicles.
When it comes to transit, I love all three major modes: sea, rail, and air. Some of my favourite adventures have included crossing the Atlantic on the QE2 at the end of her career, taking Amtrak across the country in a coach seat on my spring break, and going upper deck on one of United’s final 747 flights. These articles can get into gloriously geeky esoterica, and expect airplane registration numbers and safety card reviews among the more mainstream content.
I also have a strong passion for lighthouses, and over the past 19 years I’ve seen over 470 around the world, including over half of the 715 lights in the United States. I’ve got a great network of lighthouse friends I travel around the country with. We’re part of a few hundred extremely hardcore lighthouse enthusiasts, who will spare no effort and almost no expense to see a light. Since I hit the tipping point of American lights, I’ve been focusing my travelling a bit more on what I call “The Quest,” and my vacations are planned a little more now to incorporate new lights when I can.
On the home front, I live in exurban central New Jersey and work in New York City. Both places are very important to me, and I feel some kind of ownership over both…a Homegrown Jersey Boy and Bridge-and-Tunnel New Yorker. My family has been tied to this area since the 1630s; as each branch came to America over the centuries, they never left the region. This connection has given me a commitment to historic preservation at the local level at home as a volunteer on my town’s Historic Sites Committee.
My goal through this site is to create a hub for quality content. There was a glorious transition period in the middle of the 2000s, between Web 1.0 and the social media era, where blogs took off, and everyone was able to have their own little column on the web. This mindset created a lot of amazing content — content that has now Balkanized itself across millions of private social feeds. My goal is that this site and its content will stick around on the Internet as a resource for the long haul.
So, welcome to my little corner of the Internet. I hope I’ve made it an interesting place.