I’ve had the great privilege of visiting eighty-five countries on six continents and of experiencing over a hundred different cultures. My reasons for the visits aren’t as diverse as the countries nor the cultures, but they also differ as they range from following the track of Captain Cook across the Pacific to celebrate the bicentennial of his 1769 voyage of discovery, to peace-keeping duties in Southeast Asia following the Vietnam War, or a mountaineering expedition in the remote Hindu Kush during the relative peace in 1975 Afghanistan, or professional wine-buying trips for three decades to more than a dozen countries, and then there were the port visits and inland explorations on a three-year exploratory sailing voyage. During these travels, I’ve seldom been a tourist. Rather I was there either on duty or on business or to interact with the people.
My love of cultural diversity began over half a century…
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