A lecturer since 1999, Wayne has shared his fascinating geological insights and stories with our guests on nearly 20 expeditions and visited several destinations multiple times, including six stops at Machu Picchu and 10 trips to Egypt.
Meet TCS World Travel Lecturer Wayne Ranney
Even on journeys to places he’s been before, Wayne always finds something new, and shares his photos and insights on his blog Earthly Musings. With so many trips under his belt, we asked Wayne to share a few of his favorite places, future travel plans and some travel advice.
What are your favorite destinations?
Any place in South America and Africa is really good. So many of the expeditions involve natural history and cover landscapes that are interesting and appealing. I love Patagonia and Argentina, especially Iguassu Falls. It’s as thunderous and majestic as it’s described in the itinerary. Victoria Falls in South Africa is also a similar experience. All our trips are active, never a dull moment.
What’s your dream trip?
I’d love to do a Ring of Fire trip. It’s similar to a Cape to Cape expedition around the Atlantic Rim but with a focus on geographic marvels along the Pacific Rim. We’d start in New Zealand and see volcanoes, mud pots and geysers. Then we’d travel to Ayers Rock in Australia.
After that we’d visit Mount Fuji in Japan, continuing on to Mount Denali in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America. Then we’d head south to Seattle and Mount Rainier, continuing on to Mexico City, Nicaragua and finish in Patagonia.
On your blog, there are many photos taken from the air. Tell us about that.
Every time I get on the jet I think, “What are we going to fly over today?" The earth from above is beautiful and one of the best parts of the world. I always try to get guests to look out the window.
On the last Around the World trip, the pilot requested permission to do a scenic fly over Easter Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the pyramids of Egypt. I took so many great photos for the blog, and many guests who read the posts after the trip asked, “Did we really fly over that?” And I told them, yes, we sure did. Looking out the window is one of the highlights of the jet experience. It’s a perspective we don’t usually get.
Do you always write about the private jet trips on your blog?
I usually post about five times a month, mostly about my trips around the Southwest. My blog is well known in the geology world, and it has a global reach. But readership increases during jet trips because they are exotic, so people really pay attention. Some readers visit it to learn about geography. Others just love the pictures. So I still try to write a little about geography on each post during the trip. And jet trips are a real boost for your blog!
What travel advice do you have for future guests?
Leave all your judgments behind and look at the places we go with an open mind. The default place for people to go is to immediately compare what they are seeing with what they think of as normal. They are always comparing A to B.
Instead, when you travel try to taste, smell and experience everything in front of you. Then live with it for a while, hold off on judgments until after you leave the country, and you may have a clearer image of what you just saw.
My travel philosophy is, “Happiness is not a station we arrive at but rather a manner of traveling.” To me, that means not waiting for the next stop that’s going to jazz me. It’s the journey to the stop that’s just as important.
When Wayne is not joining us on jet expeditions he can be found in the Southwest, leading Grand Canyon river trips and day hikes throughout Utah and Arizona.