About

Daniel Cronk - Uhuru Peak - Mt. Kilimanjaro
The Traveler at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The highest point on the African continent, at 19,341 ft / 5,895 m above sea level [02-oct-2015]

I have always had a passion for the people and places of our earth. My interest in the world started as a young child with a vivid imagination. I always imagined myself hiking through the jungle stumbling upon some ancient temple, long forgotten.

It wasn't until my middle school years where my passion exploded. I was introduced to the world of travel by my social studies teacher, Mrs. Sandra Scott. Always encouraging students to explore the world, Sandra would often bring back her memories and share them in class. Any trip she went on she would always bring her students back paper money. Sharing her interests further she would compile her trips into hilarious photo albums, which were sure to entice anyone's interests. To entice us further, she offered her classes an "exchange game" of sorts. If you sent her a post card, from anywhere, she would return the favor by sending you one. Well, here we are some 26 years later and we're still exchanging post cards.

In January 2001 I made the conscious decision that I was going to finally set off on my own and made arrangements to travel to Venezuela. The thoughts of exploring the jungle and hiking to the base of Angel Falls were just too much for me. I set off in October, just one month after the horrific 9/11 attacks on the United States. Although I was a little afraid, I was also exhilarated and I arrived in Caracas. I made my way to Merida a couple of days later and immediately fell in love with the people and the mountains and here I choose to spend my entire two weeks vacation, never making it to the jungle I so longed to explore.

Since this first solo adventure I have traveled to 48 different countries, some of which I have returned to a couple of times.

People frequently ask me the unavoidable question, "Where's your favorite place you've been?" I find this an annoying question, because in truth, I've loved every place that I've been to. But if pressed, and I really had to choose, I would say that my top 3 places have been a.) Myanmar - for the people and the culture, b.) Jordan - also for the people and the culture and c.) for the beautiful landscapes. If I had to choose further, my fourth favorite would come in at a tie between Chile & Argentina - mostly because of the beauty of the country & friendliness of the people.

But of the hundreds of experiences over the years, the one that I will always remember comes from the tiny village of San Rafael de Mucuchies (S.R.M.) in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela. I had traveled by local bus to this tiny town, deep into the mountains to see a tiny little church built by the hands of one man, completely out of stones. As it was the wet season, the weather had been prone to change quite rapidly. As I was walking back to the bus stop, in S.R.M. (which wasn't expected to arrive for another 2-hours) it began to rain quite hard. As I was approaching the area a young kid (of about 16 years of age) motioned to me to come to his house. It was here I found a family of great warmth and curiosity, offering me a warm sheltered house and hot drinks and treats to go around. We talked about where it was I came from, why it was I traveled to Venezuela. We talked of the great destruction which had occurred not to long ago and we talked of life in the Mountains. I learned a lot from this family, including some of the local traditions of this region. It turned out that this family performed traditional music, dance and told of local folklore; which they were happy to share with me. Even dressing me up as a devil and having me play the violin. It was this kindness that shows me that there are still those who care for others, unconditionally.

Thank you for visiting my little piece of the internet and many happy travels (whether in real life or as arm chair travelers)!

Daniel



To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.

William Blake

Just a small list of some of the more interesting things I have done.
  • Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro [reaching Uhuru Peak 02-Oct-2015 06:00]
  • Paragliding [Queenstown, New Zealand; Ölüdeniz, Turkey; & Mérida, Venezuela]
  • Hiked the Inca Trail in Peru
  • Hiked the "W+ Trek" in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Trekked through the Guatemalan jungle to the remote ruins of El Mirador
  • Canoed down the Zambezi River in Zambia
  • Helicopter: over Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe), Iguazu Falls (Brazil), Katherine Gorge (Australia)
  • Gone on Safari in Botswana, Namibia & Zambia
  • Celebrated Easter in Rome, Turkey & England
  • Celebrated my birthday in Egypt (2007), Israel (2010), Burma (2013), London (2015)
  • Hot Air Balloon rides over Valley of the Kings (Egypt), Cappadocia (Turkey), Angkor Wat (Cambodia)