One now forgotten day around August 1971 I noticed that our household AM/FM radio had a third band labeled SW for shortwave. I started tuning around on it and discovered that I could hear stations from around the world. There were English broadcasts from the Netherlands, Sweden, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, and Egypt. I listened to music from Peru, Cuba, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, China and Nigeria. I learned a lot about the world and its cultures. If you are under 40 just think of shortwave as an early version of the Internet.
Shortwave radio (DXing) became a very serious hobby and fostered my interest in other cultures. After college I served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Honduras from 1982-84. I then spent six months wandering through South Ameica. And in 1985 I came back to the USA to become a responsible productive grown-up member of society. I got married. I earned two more degrees and had two careers - first as a university ESL teacher and then as an I.T. professional. I bought two houses and raised two wonderful children. I was elected board president at my Unitarian church. I had an orchard and a huge garden where I raised heirloom vegetables. I got divorced. After over two decades in Iowa I moved to Chicago and enjoyed big city life for five years. And occasionally I made short trips to places in Latin America and Europe.
It's been a good life and I've been very fortunate. But now it's time to stop being that responsible productive grown-up member of society. A few treasured possessions will be packed in boxes and stored in family members' basements. Everything else will be sold or given away. A mid-sized suitcase and a knapsack is all I need. I'm going back to where I left off in 1985. It's time to see the world again.
I don't know where I'm going. But I'm on my way.
Currently living in the Chicago suburbs with plans to spend time in Pennsylvania near Penn State University in mid-summer.
In October 2017 I'll start my first journey with eight months in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. I always enjoy meeting fellow travelers, radio hobbyists, and RPCVs. Here is my tentative intinerary.