844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

.....or am I? (Indonesia to Turkey)

I am but a humble wayward wanderer globetrotting his way across the planet in search of natural wonder and cultural stimulation…..or am I? It has been suggested by some that my feckless circumambulations may be anything but aimless. Perhaps I am gainfully employed after all. Is it conceivable that I would have the audacity to actually suggest what I am about to suggest given the consequences? I am nothing if not insolent…..or am I?

The power of language is undeniable. It is amazing how truly evocative the act of arranging letters in a particular manner can really be. CIA. FBI. NSA. DIA. AIA. ASA. NRO. Betcha you’re not even sure what all of those stand for exactly. Don’t beat yourself up. It does not reflect poorly on your intelligence.

If what I am intimating has even a modicum of veracity I would clearly be out of my f***ing gourd to be writing about it…..or would I? Everyone has a breaking point, the point at which he or she can no longer swallow all the bullpoop and finds themselves compelled to regurgitate. Perhaps I have reached that stage…..or have I?

Who likes timelines? From January to September 2009 I was in Indonesia.  Curious timing wouldn’t you say? On July 17th, 2009 two separate bombs exploded at the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta killing seven and wounding more than 50 others. How frustrating would it be to spend six months trying to identify possible targets only to be one step behind? Ever heard of Noordin Mohammed Top? On September 17, 2009 he was hunted down and killed in the city of Solo on the island of Java, Indonesia. He may or may not have been positively identified as the perpetrator of the aforementioned bombings.

Sri Lanka was lovely in September 2009. This visit was a mere four months after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers and the death of their leader, Prabhakaran. Hmmmmm…. I wonder if this man’s death was of such interest to a certain world power that it would have mounted a covert operation to confirm the authenticity of this claim. Dunno.

October 2009 was an excellent time to be in Northern Vietnam. A motorcycle trip through Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces would be sublime during the fall. Do those provinces border China? I think they do.

And who could deny the allure of the former Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. The word ‘former’ is telling as once the Maoists laid down their arms and became a legitimate part of the government they helped abolish the monarchy. The Maoists are communists. Need I say more?

And on to Bangladesh in January 2010. This predominantly Muslim country has somehow managed to eschew fanatical tendencies. Still, certain elements in the developed world may or may not want to send monitors on occasion (posing as tourists perhaps?) to make sure all is calm.

May to August 2010. Dubai-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Denmark-Germany-Czech Republic. Hmmmm…almost like I was chasing somebody…..or was I? Azerbaijan? Yeah, lots and lots of Americans go there for vacation.

And on to Africa. In August 2010 I arrived in what was to become (three months after my departure) the flashpoint of the Arab world, better known as Tunisia. Nobody could have seen that coming…..or could they? Never hurts to fan the flames of democracy…..or does it?

Next? How about Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali from October to December 2010? Ever heard of the Polisario Front? Or Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb? We might just want to keep an eye on these groups wouldn’t you say? Or would you?

Everyone needs a vacation so it might just be the case that in consideration for two years of clandestine service I was granted two months of vacation in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. Even 007 needs a break now and then…..or does he?

And on to Istanbul. Turkey doesn't border Syria, Iraq, or Iran....or does it?

I returned home four days after the assassination of Osama bin Laden. That is a hell of a coincidence...or is it?

A travel blog would make an interesting cover as would a sweet innocent red-headed companion from Portland, Oregon. Naaahhh…it’s just crazy….or is it?

It’s not like I spent time in the military or ‘worked’ in Baghdad for over two years. Oh wait, actually I did do that. Peculiar. Very peculiar indeed.

And what of blogging about this? Well, it could be: (a) a brazen act of defiance from a recently discharged ex-employee resulting from an ingrained sense of disenchantment with the ‘system’; (b) an ingenious way of throwing folks off the scent; or (c) the mad ravings of  a harmless yet mischievously roguish ignoramus.

Hard to tell…..or is it?

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim