Frank Keen

1281    UN    Quality
 

Frank Keen

Age: 67
Member since:  2017-02-02
Overall rank:

137

Scores:
547
NM1281
133
UN
168
UN+
192
TCC
316
WHS
KYE
375
MTP

Bio

I have been interested in travel all my life. Obsessed might be a better word. When I was nine years old my parents took my two brothers and I on a two-month camping trip across the United States, from our home town of Darien, Connecticut on the East Coast to California on the West Coast. After the trip I got a subscription to National Geographic magazine, which I've maintained almost continuously for 56 years. Reading each issue increased my desire to see the world. We took a number of camping trips around the USA and Canada up until I graduated from high school. Upon graduation from college in 1974, I got a job with a Pratt and Whitney, which makes jet engines, for the sole purpose to save money to travel around the world. In eight months I saved $2,500 which I used to travel for a year. I started the journey with Mary, my girl friend at the time, by driving an elderly woman's car from Connecticut to Arizona, where the woman was moving to. Then we hitch-hiked into Mexico. We had a vague goal of reaching the southern tip of South America. After exploring Mexico for three months we continued into Guatemala for two months. At that point we split up and she returned home. I continued my travels south through Central America. Even though I was traveling by local bus and staying in the cheapest accommodations, for as little as $1 a night, I realized that at the pace I was keeping I would run out of money before even reaching South America. So I picked up my pace. I ended up spending four months in Peru where I had relatives and eventually reached Patagonia. Then I retraced my steps back north to Connecticut. It was year full of adventure that I didn't want to end. Upon returning home I was determined to find a job which would enable me to continue to travel the world. I fell in love with a young lady named Sally and convinced her both to marry me and to agree to travel the world together. We decided to become teachers since it would give us the most free-time to travel. We both got jobs in our hometown of Darien. I taught middle school social studies, mostly world studies, which allowed me to share my interest in the wider world with my studies. Sally taught art. Together we continued to travel during two-month summer break and the week-long breaks in December, February, and April. We actually explored the world during almost every school vacation for our 35 year career. We raised two daughters who we brought with us on every journey from the moment they were born. Our youngest daughter had been to about 40 countries and six continents by the time she graduated from high school. In the middle of my career I began to offer chaperoned trips abroad to my students. Being only around thirteen years old many of them did not object to having their parent come along. So two times a year I organized overseas trips to all corners of the world, to every continent except Antarctica. I still hear from students who tell my our school trips were a highlight of their school years. Now retired for five years my wife and I are traveling more than ever. We are away from home 50% of each year. I qualified to join the Century Club around 2004 but let my membership lapse because of the annual fee. I recently rejoined in celebration of reaching their 150 nation/ territory level. I am excited to be listed in The Best Traveled website. I appreciate the way TBT has broken down the world into so many regions within each nation. My preferred style of travel has me spending a lot of time in a country to get to know it more thoroughly. The TBT regions give me credit for exploring areas of a country in a way other lists do not. I think it will encourage others to explore the globe more thoroughly and not just jump from country to country as quickly as possible as if world travel is some kind of competition. When I was hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2012, I noticed how often other hikers, particularly the younger ones, would comment on how many miles they walked each day and how quickly they could finish the trail. It seemed like a type of competition to many of them. Occasionally I would say I wanted to be the person who took the longest to hike the trail, since it allowed me extra time to watch the wildlife and detour off the path to see local sites of interest. Because of my interest in nature I would encourage TBT to include a list of national parks and nature preserves as they do for cities. I'm sure there are other travelers like me who prefer spending time in rural and wilderness areas. I thank TBT for all the time and effort they have put into their project. It's a wonderful website and I look forward to posting my travels and hopefully getting to meet others listed on TBT.

Series scores

Rank: 122
Score: 287
Rank: 104
Score: 455
Rank: 32
Score: 288

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SOUTHERN EUROPE

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2016 2016
2016 2016
1983 1983
2007 2016
2016 2016
2007 2007
2007 2016
2007 2007
1992 1992
1992 1992
1992 1992
1992 1992
1992 1992
1992 1992
1983 1983
2002 2002
1983 2011
1983 1983
1983 1983
1983 2011
1999 1999
2014 2014
1983 1983
1999 1999
2011 2011
1983 2014
2007
2003 2003
1983 2007
2016 2016
2014 2014
2016 2016
2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
1986 2004
1986 1986
1986 2004
1986 1986
1983 1983
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
1999 2007
1983 2010
1983 1983
2005 2005
1983 1983
2001 2001
1986 2001
1983 2004
1983 1983
2001 2001
1986 1986
1983 2004
2008 2008
1986 1986
1983 2003

WESTERN EUROPE

Region name First visited in Last visit in
1999 1999
1999 1999
1983 2014
1999 2017
2010 2010
1989
2014 2014
1983 2014
2014 2014
2014 2014
2010 2014
2014 2014
1999 1999
1983 2014
1983 2012
2012 2014
2014 2014
1983 2014
1989 1989
2014 2014
2014 2014
1983 2014
1983 2007
2012 2012
1979 1984
2014
1984
1984 1984
1984 1999
1984 1984
1979 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 1984
2002 2002
2002 2002
2002 2002
1983 1999
1983 1983
1983 2014
2010 2010
2010 2010
1983 1999
1983 1999
1983 2002
2014 2014
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989
2002 2002
2002 2002
1989 1989
1989 1989
1989 1989

NORTHERN EUROPE

Region name First visited in Last visit in
1984 2006
1984 1984
2006 2006
2005 2005
2005 2005
1984 1984
1984 1984
2006
1984 2006
1984 2006
1984 2006
1984 1984
1984 1984
1984 2006

EASTERN EUROPE

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2018 2018
2018 2018
1984 1984
2006 2006
2007 2007
2007 2007
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2018 2018
2018 2018
2009 2009
2009 2009
2010 2010
2010 2010
2008 2008
2008 2008
2008 2008
2017 2017
2007 2007
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018

NORTHERN ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in

CENTRAL ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2011 2011
2011 2011
2011 2011

EASTERN ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2005 2018
2005 2010
2005 2005
1979 2005
2005 2005
2005 2005
2005 2010
2010 2010
1975 1975
2010 2010
2010 2010
2007 2007
2007 2007
2007 2007
2007 2007
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018

WESTERN ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2015 2015
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2016 2016
2010 2010
2010 2010
2010 2010
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
2015 2015
2013 2013
2013 2013
2010 2010
2015 2015
2008 2008
1992 1992
2013 2015
2013 2013
2013 2013

SOUTHERN ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2013 2013
1979 2006
1979 1979
1979 1979
2006 2006
1979 1979
1979 2006
2013 2013
2013 2013
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991
1991 1991

SOUTH-EASTERN ASIA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2004 2013
1979 1979
1979 1979
1979 1979
1979 1979
1979 1979
2015 2015
2015 2015
1979 1979
1979 1979
2019 2019
2019 2019
2019 2019
2019 2019
2019 2019
2019 2019
2015 2015
2015 2015
2015 2015
1979 1979
1979 2013
2004 2004
2004 2004
2017 2017
2013 2013
2013 2013
2013 2013
2013 2013
2013 2013
2013 2013
2013 2013

NORTHERN AFRICA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
1993 1993
1986 1986
1986 1986
1986 1986
1986 2001

WESTERN AFRICA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2017
2017
2018 2018
2018 2018
2017 2017
2017 2017
2017 2017
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2018 2018
2017 2017
2017 2017

CENTRAL AFRICA

Region name First visited in Last visit in

EASTERN AFRICA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
1980 1980
1980 2006
1980 2011
1980 1980
1980 2011
2014 2014
2014 2014
2014 2014
2014 2014
2014 2014
2014 2014
1980 1980
1980 1980
1980 1980
1980 2011
1980 2011
1980 2011

SOUTHERN AFRICA

Region name First visited in Last visit in
2008 2008
2004 2014