Story last updated at 8/5/2009 - 12:29 pm
Note: This is the second part of a two-part story about an Alaskan based in Skagway, who, together with his wife, travels each year to different parts of the world.
After losing everything that I had worked 23 years to achieve, my home, my children, and my business, due to an unexpected divorce, I bought a round-the-world airplane ticket and a backpack and took off alone for nearly a year. This voyage was the most exciting and rewarding thing I had ever done. Looking back, I can truthfully say that travel saved my life. It has given my life purpose, sustained me with enthusiasm for a quarter of a century, and provided me with a far richer life than I could have previously imagined. While I once thought I had everything, I now can say honestly that I would rather have a life full of experiences than a house full of furniture!
Upon my return to the States, my inner voice urged me to use my experiences to show people the "real world" and not some Hollywood make-believe distortion. There is a big difference, as we discover by traveling and seeing for ourselves. I also discovered that it's a profoundly personal experience, but rarely portrayed as such, so this has become my presentation style. I immediately threw myself into this monumental task, without capital or expertise.
Meanwhile, during a bus tour in Hawaii, I met Corinne, a beautiful Japanese Canadian. We discovered our mutual interest in travel, married and vowed to see the world together and share our experiences with others.
Using San Diego as a base, I went back to work with a TV/video production company to learn the hard-earned skills of moviemaking. In order to make a living, Corinne and I presented slide shows to travel clubs, libraries and senior centers. During this time, we continued to travel and progressed from film to video. Eight years ago, Corinne came up with the brilliant idea of working the summer cruise ship season in Alaska to fund our travels. A DVD detailing our Alaskan experiences is forthcoming.
Like all worthwhile endeavors, it has not been without its struggles and setbacks. In 2001, during a jarring descent of Mt. Sinai in Egypt, I suffered a detached retina and lost the sight in my right eye. This required an immediate emergency operation in Cairo which saved my sight. Then, four years ago, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer which resulted in surgery to (amazingly!) create a neo-bladder from a section of my intestine.
Last year, Corinne and I celebrated 20 years of world travel together. To fulfill our commitment to share our wealth of experience, we have just completed a series of world travel adventures on DVD. From our original video format, we have progressed into a combination of digital still images and video clips, accompanied by our familiar, conversational narration. Our latest travel adventure was around England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, followed by Israel and Jordan, which we are busy editing and narrating.
To us, each one of our DVD's is a work of art containing countless reminders that the real world we live in is a far cry from Hollywood's glitz or the news media's fear-driven paranoia. Travel, the simple act of letting go of our mindless materialistic obsession and facing the unknown, has rewarded us far greater than you can imagine. We are passionate about this discovery and truly feel compelled to share our sense of happiness and fulfillment through our DVD's.
We want you to learn that as you travel, it opens your eyes to the beauty that surrounds us; this, in turn opens your mind to the wealth our life offers, which in turn opens your heart to the greatest sense of love, peace and happiness, for which we all yearn.
They spend Christmas with Corinne's family in Canada, and the spring in San Diego, California. They are always interested in hearing from fellow travelers, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To order Barry & Corinne's DVD's, you'll find them at www.amazon.com under "Travel with Barry and Corinne DVD's". Most DVD's are 60 minutes, fully narrated with maps, at only $12.95 each.