May 2, 2014

my awesome adventures to the amazing accomplishments of mankind

After binge-watching An Idiot Abroad while I was home sick from work on Monday, I got to thinking about all of the wonderful places I want to visit in the world. This reminded me of a little silliness from my life a couple of years ago.

You know those calendars insurance companies give people with hopes of wooing them into upgrading their packages? At my old job, our insurance company routinely brought us in a selection of calendars to choose from every year. They ranged from things like "America" to "Inspirational Quotes Paired with Pictures from the Animal Kingdom." I loved being one of the first people to check out the calendar options to stake my claim on the best one. I mean, this was going to be the focal point in my cubicles decor for a whole year, so I wanted to make sure the calendar was a winner.

Imagine my delight in 2012 when I stumbled upon "The Amazing Accomplishments of Mankind," a calendar full of pictures of places I've always wanted to see. At that point in my career, I was no longer traveling with as much veracity. This calendar could be my window to the outside world.

To make this calendar even more fun, I came up with a few rules for having this calendar. I would:
  1. Not sneak glimpses of any of the pictures -- aside from the Eiffel Tower on the cover -- to see where I was going. (Because this was an insurance calendar, it had sales info on the back instead of smaller pictures of each month at a glance.)
  2. Move the cut-out photo of myself from my days in the field (hard hat and all) to each of the pages to enhance the illusion that I was traveling to these places, if only in my heart.
  3. I'd post each photo into a special album on my Facebook page called "Laura Awesome Adventures to the Amazing Accomplishments of Mankind" so I'd always have those cherished memories.

Today, I'm sharing those faux memories -- and the captions I wrote -- with you. Quick note, I left my job in September for a new career opportunity. That means the last few months are a bit rushed (I had to pack my desk).

I am so excited.

I began the year visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
According to my calendar the three pyramids were built
during a 20-year period during the 4th Dynasty,
concluding around 2550 BC.

In February, I went to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan.
Completed in 1998, it connects the city of Kobe
to Iwaya over the Akashi Strait.

March took me to Asia to visit the Great Wall of China.
The wall stretches 5,500 miles and was erected
during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

April brought me stateside to see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
The sculptures of the four presidents are 60 feet tall.

In May it's croissants and lattes in Paris. Built for the 1889 World's Fair,
the tower was the tallest structure in the world at the time.

Our guesses are in for June's destination.
Where will the awesome adventures take me next?

(No judgement on the spelling!)

Our office is in confused uproar as my adventure takes me to...
Malaysia to see the Petronas Twin Towers.
They were the world's tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004.
I guess this is cool. I guess.

No telling what kind of kray plans this calendar has in store.

Greetings from the Panama Canal. It sure is hot here.
Fortunately I found this observation deck to take in the view.

Did you know it takes eight to 10 hours for ships to pass through,
being lifted to a height of 85 feet in three sets of locks?

Well this is embarrassing... I forgot to post a photo
from my amazing adventure to India in August.

My last adventure takes me to the Roman Colosseum.
Built around 70-72 under Emperor Vespasian's direction.
Designed for easy crowd control, it could hold between
45,000 to 55,000 spectators. Underneath its floor was a hypogeum,
a two-level network of cages and tunnels.

My News Link career is coming to an end, which means my adventures
to the amazing accomplishments of mankind will also end. That means
I will miss visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Too bad.
It was on the cover of at least two of my German textbooks.

I will also miss visiting the Hoover Dam in Arizona and Nevada.

And the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Pity.

In my novel Hard Hats and Doormats, human resources manager Lexi Burke travels the Gulf Coast training employees, settling disputes and maintaining order for a chemical company. Like Lexi, my first job out of college involved a lot of travel––I visited more than 20 states in four years. In this series, I'll share some of my real life experiences exploring the country.

About Hard Hats and Doormats
Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

Who says nice girls have to finish last?


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