I recently had the opportunity to read Dr. Olaf Malver’s latest blog post, a story of a remarkable Inuit man whom Olaf befriended in Greenland many years ago. In carefully composed prose, Olaf wove together tales of navigating dangerous pack ice and making authentic northern discoveries. He told of circumnavigating an island by kayak in the world’s largest fjord, surveying herds of muskoxen on the horizon. There was even a death in the story. The tale was inspirational and meaningful…and it made me realize that my blog posts pretty much stink.
In my defense, OIaf is Nat Hab’s CEO (Chief Exploratory Officer), and he has been nearly everywhere on the planet. So naturally, he’s going to have a lot of amazing stories to draw upon. He was the first person to kayak around South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean, he’s hiked across the Caucasus Mountains and climbed countless unnamed peaks around the globe. He’s even been consulted by the Pentagon regarding Russian issues when the “sleeping bear” awoke to invade neighboring Georgia – Olaf’s current home — in 2008.
Along with working for Nat Hab, Olaf is also a wine connoisseur who owns a vineyard in the Republic of Georgia where he and his wife produce their own line of Georgian wines. And if his PhD in biochemistry is not impressive enough, he also has an international law degree, though I have no idea when he would have time to practice law. Quite literally, Olaf may be the most interesting man in the world.
So now, back to my blog column. It’s called “Ben’s Musings,” and if you’ve gotten this far reading this one (which you have, by the way), you can already tell that it is based on my rambling thoughts. I have written about such fascinating subjects as my brother-the-lawyer from New York, my knucklehead sons and their ridiculous iPhone over-use, and my desire to be as cool as one of our guides, Kevin Taylor, who has a really cool beard—way bigger than I can grow. I’ve thrown a few serious subjects in there as well, like my incredulity at Uganda for making homosexuality illegal, and my passion for protecting the planet.
While there’s no clear rhythm to these musings, and they aren’t nearly as riveting as Olaf’s tales, I generally circle back around to the central subject at hand: the importance of travel to our minds, our spirits, and our planet.
And in that, my dedicated (or accidental) reader, you and I share a passion. Thanks for following along.