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Collecting miles

This adventurous traveler has seen the world—and then some

Created date

October 22nd, 2013
This adventurous traveler has seen the world—and then some

Yemen, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Gibraltar, and Corfu these are just a few of the places Bill Boyd has visited over the years. A retired Prince George s County Public School teacher, Bill began traveling actively during his summers off from work. First, he checked off all 48 of the continental United States, and in 1977, Bill took his first trip overseas, to Japan. Bill was a member of the National Education Association, through which he took many of his journeys abroad. I took advantage of some tremendous and affordable opportunities to see places I d only read about, Bill says. As he began traveling more frequently, Bill decided to use the Travelers Century Club s official list of destinations as a guide. To date, he has visited 301 of the 321 places on the list. Bill cites Switzerland as one of his favorite countries to visit and says he has taken three hiking trips in the Swiss Alps. Switzerland is quite a magnificent place, Bill says. It is beautiful and has very good food. Some of Bill s travels have taken him right to the center of events that would go down in history books. He was in the former Soviet Union in 1978 when the Cold War was escalating. He visited Iran in 2007 and Iraq in 2009, amid sectarian violence. In 2012, Bill took a trip to North Korea, just as the new Kim Jong-un regime was ascending to power. International travel is a world-class education, Bill says.

More time to see the world during retirement

Bill retired about 18 years ago, and with more free time, he is able to travel even more often. . target="_blank">Riderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., now serves as Bill s home base. Previously, he lived in a townhouse in Greenbelt Homes, Inc., a housing cooperative in Greenbelt. Now that he lives at a full-service continuing care retirement community, travel is even easier for Bill because he doesn t have to worry about getting someone to collect the mail or mow the lawn while he s away. And Riderwood has 24-hour security, which means residents who want to travel can simply lock the door and go with the peace of mind that their home is safe while they are gone. Bill particularly enjoys adventure travel. He has gone gorilla tracking in Rwanda and bird watching in the Galapagos Islands. Last year, he went on a tiger safari in India. When he s in the mood for a more relaxing kind of adventure, Bill heads for the seas. Over the years, he has taken 21 cruises, including one to Barbados. In October, Bill was planning a cruise through the Panama Canal.

Home sweet home

When he s not trotting the globe, Bill finds plenty of ways to stay entertained at Riderwood, where he lives with 2,600 other active older adults. He stays fit by working out at the on-site fitness and aquatics center. Once a month, he joins friends and neighbors for an evening of ballroom dancing. Since moving to Riderwood, Bill says he taught himself to play piano on the baby grands located in the community s clubhouses. Now, he entertains his fellow residents by playing show tunes in the clubhouse before dinner. I knew this was the place where I wanted to be because I like being around people, Bill says. Bill also shares tales from his extensive world travels with his neighbors by hosting a show on Riderwood s in-house television station. Sometimes, his show will offer travel tips; other times, he will recount humorous stories from his vacations. And he brings his stories to life with his collection of more than 22,000 photographs from his travels. I don t buy gifts or souvenirs; I take pictures, Bill says. I ve got 69 albums of 22,731 pictures with captions. So, what s next for this adventurous traveler? He says he d like to visit Pakistan and Afghanistan when the political climate makes travel safer in the region. In June, he s planning a trip to the English countryside with a friend. I ve been to England before, but I want to see it a certain way, Bill says. We re going to stay in castles and country inns, and see all of the sights and eat good food.