I’m very fortunate that my work takes me from one end of the country to the other on a regular basis. It can sometimes be a real culture shock to be working with a client in the desert culture of Arizona one week and be looking out the window of your hotel room in the heart of Times Square watching tens of thousands of New Yorkers busily maneuvering the masses the following week. I’ve gained such a wonderful education via my travels and developed a true love of studying people everywhere.
Over the years, I’ve grown to know the cities of New York and New Orleans intimately. As a result, the devastation of 9-11 and Katrina affected me in a very personal way, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully recover from either of those tragedies. I’ve been in a unique position that has enabled me to personally observe the constant annual face lift of Las Vegas as it battles the inevitability of constant change. I watched it evolve from “Sin City” to “A Family Destination” and its recent return to “Sin City.” It’s getting to the point that a landmark hotel and casino falls almost monthly to make room for a much larger, much more modern and even more unique structure. Las Vegas is now the 11th fastest growing city in the nation, and Nevada is the 2nd fastest growing state in the nation.
An obvious benefit of constant travel presents itself in the form of being able to learn something new almost every day. When I’m not learning something new through direct observation, I find myself drawn to reading or “Googling” something unique almost daily. What continues to mystify me is the vast amount of information that I continue to discover. In fact, much of it deals with subject matter that I’ve never been exposed to. These discoveries are exciting, informative and almost always inspire me to continue my quest for learning.
On my recent return flight from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, I exchanged magazines with a fellow traveler and discovered a number of startling facts about the Amazon. I’m not certain whether I’ll ever find a use for this information, but I did find it very interesting indeed. What do you think?
The Amazon contains half of the world’s tropical forests, spread over an area the size of the continental United States.
More than 100 types of plants and 1,700 kinds of insects can be found in the branches of a single mature tropical tree.
The Amazon has more than a million interdependent—and exotic—species of plant and animal life, such as:
- trees with 6-foot long leaves
- flowers with 3-foot long petals
- plants that can cradle 10 gallons of water in reservoirs formed by their leaves
- rodents that weigh up to 100 lbs.
- butterflies the size of dinner plates
- bees the size of birds
- tarantulas so big they eat birds
- catfish so big they’ve been known to eat children
I don’t remember learning of these facts in school. On the other hand, it might well have been because I wasn’t listening nor had I developed my current thirst for knowledge. For this reason, I encourage my grandchildren to read and strive to learn something new each and every day. It can do nothing but help them grow and develop in hopes of dealing with the many challenges that await them in a very competitive world. I truly believe it’s one of the best legacies we can leave for them.