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by Paul Kiser

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Paul Kiser

For the past week I have been distracted by two things. The first was replacing a starter on a 1994 Toyota Previa, which will be the topic of my next blog since it was almost impossible to find good information on the Internet. The second was the launch of a new blog. The new blog will not replace this blog; however, it does involve a significant amount of research, so I have to make some adjustments in my time management.

My five year-old boy, Alexander, has an exceptionally curious mind and I wanted him to be able to understand that the world is a big, fascinating, amazing place filled with people and cultures that are different from what he is familiar. If I had Bill Gates bank account I would take him around the world several times to learn and appreciate how our culture relates (or fails to relate) to other cultures.

Lacking an unlimited financial resource I have decided to take him on a virtual tour of the world. The blog, called Alexander’s Virtual World Tour, is an attempt to use the resources of the Internet and create a realistic travel log of a fictional trip around the world. Launched last Tuesday, (February 8th) we flew to Mazatlan, Mexico where we spent a few days learning about the area, followed by the next leg to Cancun, which is where we are now. Tomorrow we fly to Costa Rica, where we will take a bus to Jaco and stay a few nights in a small town on the Pacific Ocean.

All the flights and hotels are real and the cost is based on actual rates I found through Expedia, Priceline.com, and other sources. In many large cities I can use Google Street View to help Alexander (and myself) see the place as if we were actually there. I have and will be contacting real people (usually hotel staff) to find out more specific information, like meal costs and taxi rates, when possible.

This blog is teaching me a lot about geography and the history of places I have never been before. Alexander is also learning where Reno is in relation to these places and critical, mind-boggling concepts like why it’s not day everywhere in the world at the same time. He won’t be an expert on geography when we are through, but he should have a better understanding of how we are only one very small part of a very big world.

Please feel free to join us on our trip around the world.