Introducing Travelhoppers: Who are we, why are we here?

Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

Travelhoppers is a new venture for an old group of friends.  Most of the writers that form our initial group of contributors have worked with me on previous travel projects, and apparently the fact that I’m a bit of a serial criminal entrepreneur doesn’t fool bother them a bit. That’s fine, I’ll take my friends where I can find them.

That goes for the little green dude at the top of this page, too.

By the way, I like frogs. You may know that they are one of the best gauges of the health of any ecosystem.  If the frogs are healthy, the environment to be found in their vicinity is probably doing OK as well. No frogs? Exit stage left, as quickly as possible, something’s happening you might not be able to see yet.

At some point in our lives, many of us realize that gravity just isn’t enough to hold us down.  Something keeps pulling us over the horizon to take a look.  We become committed travelers. Small collections of odd items begin to pile up in our homes – coins of many nations, paper currency with an amazing number of zero’s printed on them that were not even worth the effort to convert back to dollars, pounds or Euro’s. Figurines, maps, ticket stubs, rail pass and museum stubs that we hang onto like evidence in an alibi. We begin to remember encounters with characters – a tavern owner, a kid on the street, lots of taxi drivers.

When my son was 17 I took him to Tanzania.  We made it most of the way up Kilimanjaro.  He refused to take my recommended precautions with hand washing when we ate. “You have to be one with the dirt, dad.” Soon several porters and I, mostly the porters, were carrying him off the mountain.  He was one with the dirt.  Once he recovered, we went on safari and I cannot think of any time in our lives we were closer to each other.

That was eight years ago.  I remember the trip, the mountain, the elephants, baboons, lions, the porters and our guides.  I remember waking up in tents and going to bed watching amazingly red sunsets.  I came back changed.

I have absolutely no recollection how much the trip cost me. It doesn’t matter.  I would pay it all over again for the privilege of retaining those memories.

Travelhoppers is dedicated to that type of travel.  Travelhoppers is dedicated to that type of traveler.

We want Travelhoppers to be your place to research travel, to locate some brochures, some literature, to work on your travel plans.  Hopefully, you will find some like-minded people who can assist you with your research and planning. Maybe we can introduce you to an expert travel consultant who can make your travel the trip of a lifetime.  Join in, and help us create a community of travelers that respect the road, respect the people we visit and those with whom we travel.

And say “hello” if you see me out there. You’ll know me. I’ll be the one with a smile on my face.

About the author: Richard B. Earls

Richard Earls has spent the last 28 years in the travel industry as an agency owner, a technologist, a publisher and a writer. The publishing credits to Richard’s resume are many, including Weissmann Travel Reports, STAR Service, Intelliguide, BTP24, Voyager Travel Guides and Travel Research Online. He is currently self-unemployed.

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