Lions and tigers, Africa and India: we are taking a great-cat-sized bite out of a great swath of two continents. And, we will also experience parts of the Middle East and the Indian Ocean. Our itinerary promises lands and luxuries, coasts and comforts, lions and tigers and maybe even bears. Quite a trip.
All of us will experience some parts of the world that we’ve never before visited. For some, I imagine each stop will be new. Certainly they’ll be different! I’ve worked on all continents and written about wildlife ranging from albatrosses to zebras and in environments ranging from the polar to deep tropical rain forests. Nonetheless, many of the places we’ll be touching will be new to me and my wife Patricia, as well. I look forward to sharing with you that sense of discovery.
My work has mainly centered on wild lands and wildlife, animal behavior and conservation. Ultimately this entails trying to understand the human relationship with the living world. It’s a big suite of topics encompassing wildlife ecology and human ecology, animal behavior and human behavior. We will be going to some of the world’s most iconic refuges for wildlife. Besides the headliners—lions and tigers—there will be much to see.
We will also meet new kinds of people. Nature proliferates because life responds to the range of environmental challenges and opportunities. Much the same can be said of human cultures. Culture does not develop in a vacuum. Analogous with natural diversity—but also distinctly human—cultural diversity is a product of the environment, history, and social forces. At each stop we will be in a different environment that has given rise to different species and different cultures.
This is an itinerary for the curious, for the seeker, for those willing to get the greatest view of all—a view at ourselves not in the mirror but from the outside, looking in. In short, we will gain the most valuable thing travel can give us: perspective. And we will help provide a reason to keep wild lands wild: the economic incentive brought by travelers who come in peace. So there will be an enormity of concepts to explore, and things to see and enjoy. I hope to see you at boarding!