SILVER SPRING, MD---While a yearly beach getaway or a weekend jaunt to the mountains is an ideal vacation for many, it's just the tip of the iceberg for Bill Boyd.
In fact, Mr. Boyd has seen icebergs, as well as lions, Jeju Island and bread lines in the former Soviet Union.
A resident of Riderwood retirement community, Mr. Boyd has visited 301 of the 321 major travel destinations as compiled by the Traveler's Century List...and designated on a world map hanging on a wall of his apartment home, completely coded with colored pins.
"International travel is a world-class education," stated Mr. Boyd, a retired physical education teacher who spent twenty-eight years with the Prince George's County Public School system.
His passion for globe-trotting began as a member of the National Education Association (NEA) when he flew to Japan in 1977 for a conference. Subsequent trips to Canada and Mexico further piqued his interest.
"I took advantage of some tremendous and affordable opportunities to see places I'd only read about," described Mr. Boyd.
He crossed off #100 on the list, a cruise to Barbados, in 1997. He lists Switzerland as one of his favorite destinations due to "hiking trips in the Swiss Alps, beautiful scenery and great food."
But not all of his trips are about fun in the sun. There is an element of adventure, and some would say danger, in his travel career. Consider these destinations:
• Soviet Union in 1978 when tensions between the Cold War superpowers were nearing their peak. • Iran in 2007 as Middle East hostilities continued. • Iraq in 2009 following the American surge and sectarian violence. • North Korea in 2012 as the new Kim Jong-un regime set to make its mark on the world stage.
"You definitely have to be aware of your surroundings when traveling in unfamiliar territory," advised Mr. Boyd. "But there are incredible moments to speak with people who are interested in the United States and western culture."
Mr. Boyd shares those encounters with his fellow residents through periodic interviews on the Erickson Living retirement community's in-house television station.
While he does not collect knick-knacks or expensive souvenirs, Mr. Boyd uses his camera, now a digital one, to capture the memories. In fact, he has 68 albums that house an amazing 22,329 photos.
As summer travel season begins, Mr. Boyd tells friends "not to be afraid to pursue your dreams. Set goals, budget wisely and certainly do your research to find respected travel agencies, the method I use to book most of my trips."
Retirement has not slowed him down; in fact, it provides Mr. Boyd the opportunity to schedule even more excursions such as India in March, 2012, where he rode through dusty back roads to see tigers and other wildlife.
Mr. Boyd has a mere twenty stops to complete the Traveler's Century List 321, including challenging world-hot spots such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.
About Erickson Living: Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Erickson Living is a nation-leading developer and manager of continuing care retirement communities. The Erickson Living network currently comprises sixteen campuses in Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, which together are home to more than 22,000 residents and employ more than 12,000 people. Further information regarding Erickson Living is available at: www.ericksonliving.com.