About Me

My name is Erik Smith and I’m a 40 year old travel addict and aspiring travel blogger.

 

Grandma & Grandpa in 2004

I was born and raised just outside of Detroit, Michigan. I am a proud Michigander and Detroiter and I do believe that my hometown will make a comeback, eventually. I was educated in Lutheran schools from the first grade all the way through college. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and after college I had the good fortune of teaching two years in Houston, Texas, and one year in Chicago, Illinois. Upon leaving teaching, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in an amazing travel bookstore in Downtown Chicago, The Savvy Traveller. I used this opportunity to further my love of travel, both by conversing with many experienced travelers, and well as reading books from the store’s huge offering. In early 2002, I moved from Chicago to the college town of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where I was blessed enough to serve as caretaker for my grandparents during the last few years of their lives. In 2006 I met my wife, and we were married in 2007, prompting a return to the Detroit area I had grown up in. I currently work as a Service Manager for a friend’s company which contracts seven routes with Fed Ex Ground. I mostly enjoy this work, and am proud to of our group of employees, who make my job easier with their professionalism.

My hobbies and interests, other than traveling, of course, are sports, running & social networking. I am a die hard Michigan State University fan, especially of Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Izzo. I follow and nominally root for my hometown Detroit area sports teams, although my interest in professional sports has been waining for many years. I (with my boss and friend, Ken) enjoy European Soccer, specifically the European Championship (the EURO) and the English Premier League. I also enjoy the World Cup, but not as much as the EURO. I have recently taken up running, completing my first 5k on July 4th, 2010. I have since run two more, and hope to continue to do this, knowing it will get easier and more enjoyable the more I train and get in shape. I’m involved in a little too much social networking, as my poor wife will attest to, especially now that I’ve gotten into Twitter. I know a lot of people criticize Facebook, but I have enjoyed using it to re-connect with many people who I had previously lost touch with, especially my former students from Houston. I used to watch quite a bit of television, but now I’ve trimmed that down to being a loyal fan of only three shows; Parks & Recreation, Community and The Office.

The Smith Family in 2008

 

Bear, Gizzmo & Fluffy- Gone but not forgotten

I am blessed to have a wonderful family. My wife and I are big animal lovers, currently having two dogs, who we rescued, and two cats, who more-or-less adopted us. We sorely miss our three furry kids who have passed on since we have been married. I am lucky to have a close relationship with both my parents and in-laws, who have been friends for over 25 years. My wife and I have been married for 4 years in October of 2011, and despite our parents having been friends for so long, we hadn’t met until a chance meeting at a craft show in December of 2006. We love spending time with my brother (the world’s best best man) & (wonderful) sister-in-law and their three awesome boys. Our nephews are a constant source of pride for us. They are wonderful kids. I am also very proud of my sister, who lives with her smart & witty husband in Florida. I miss having her closer, but am extremely proud of all she has accomplished. I inherited my travel obsession from my mom. Her and my dad (who likes travel but isn’t obsessed with it like us) have been to all seven continents, and all but Antarctica at least three times. My dad often travels with me on my National Park trips, and I am grateful & have been blessed to have such an outstandingly kind role model in my life.

My Groomsmen in October 2007

I am also blessed with great friends, who are too numerous to all mention here (as if anyone is still reading this). They have all added something to the quality of my life.

7 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Noam Avishay says:

    Thank You, Erik 🙂

  2. Hi Erik, just discovered you. I am also a die-hard Michigan State fan. It’s a great time to be a Spartan! You can discover me at: http://journeyswithstephen.com Best of luck and safe travels!

  3. Dr. Morrow says:

    Dear Erik, Kindly contact me concerning my copyright requests.

  4. Travel Bug says:

    Hi Erik,
    I found you via your Amateur Traveler interview – which I loved. I’ve listened to the interview at least 3 times. You’ve inspired my own National Parks quest. I’m not as ambitious as you are – I’m working on visiting the 59 National Parks and adding National Historical Sites, Monuments, Recreation Areas, etc. in my region.
    Anyway, do you know of a website or app for tracking National Park visits? Like a virtual National Parks Passport. I like the visited states map (http://www.visitedstatesmap.com/) for tracking the states I’ve been to (half of them so far), and I’m looking for something similar for the National Parks.
    Thanks!

    • Erik says:

      You know, I don’t know of an app or website for that, but it certainly is a great idea. I think you should e-mail the NPS and suggest such a thing. I certainly would be aboard for that. I keep track of mine on a page (now outdated) on my old website- http://www.eriksmith.com/Travel/NPSpage.htm .

      Thanks for the comments on The Amateur Traveler podcast. That was my first of 5 appearances, and Chris, the host, has become a good friend. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever known- a great blogger & podcaster, and even a better person. Check out the rest of the episodes, with over 300 to choose from, there is something for everyone.

      • Travel Bug says:

        I love his podcast. I’ve listened to all the episodes, and now I’m doing another round. I’m going to Tampa next weekend, mainly because I was inspired by the Tampa Bay podcast.

  5. Hey Erik…I’m leaving a comment here because I can’t find a “contact” page. (I really like your new look..very classy.) Check out this post with a kiwi them on the Bloggess. I thought it was hilarious and compelling. http://thebloggess.com/2011/02/i-blame-the-earthquake/

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