Original Mission Statement:
North America, the ultimate frontier here on earth. These are the adventures of the Land Yacht "American Odyssey." ***Her five (plus) year mission: To seek out many new adventures and to boldly go to more places in North America than any man has gone before and continue to design database enabled websites. Always staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Please no crowds!
I retired from the U.S. Navy on 1 September 1994 after a 28 plus year career. I began that career as a Seaman Recruit (E-1 for you military types) and over the next 28 years I advanced to Lieutenant Commander (O-4 again for you military types). During that period I did a lot of traveling. I visited or lived in 38 different countries, visited or lived in 45 states and in general developed a severe case of wanderlust and grew myself a set of "itchy feet." I became a regular vagabond.
I retired from the Navy a little before my career would normally have ended because both of my parents (Thurman Stephen Plumlee and Vera Mae (Seay) Plumlee), who lived in Emmett, Idaho, were both ill. After retirement I moved to Emmett to be near by them. Both of whom have subsequently passed away. My Dad within 6 months of my retirement. I'm so glad and privileged to have had that six months with him. I then took on the role of caring for my mother who had cancer until her death in 1999.
As I was retired and had an income that was sufficient for my needs, I had some time on my hands. First I tried going back to school. I took a lot of liberal arts classes (literature, Shakespeare, history, etc.) first from the local, Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon then at Boise State University. I finally amassed 160 semester credits (120 are needed for a Bachelors degree). I guess I would still be going to school had it not been for a back injury for which I had to have surgery for and I had to withdraw from BSU in the middle of the fall semester of 1996.
As I am a person who gets bored easily and I again had a lot of time on my hands I started playing with this new toy called the Internet. It did not take me long at all to realize the potential the Internet had for me as a new adventure. I began building my own web site (the latest version is available here: http://rayplumlee.com Then I designed a web site for a web design business that I named World Wide Web Helper. The business is still going strong and is the parent to this one. You can visit http://wwwhelper.com if you are interested in my web programming services.
I continued growing my business and increasing my Internet skills, then in April 1999 my Mother passed away. It's tough when your last parent goes. There is a little self awareness and realization of your own mortality when you realize you are the senior generation in the family line. After the immediate shock and a grieving period I moved from Emmett to Meridian, Idaho which is a suburb of Boise, Idaho.
In these new circumstances, single, not having to care for someone else (except of course my cats) I started to really dig in to the business. I began expanding into developing dynamically generated web sites that are database enabled. I also took on a personal project of developing a fellowship web site for my favorite Navy duty station, the Submarine Base in Holy Loch, Scotland (which was disestablished in 1992). This web site was for anyone who was ever assigned there and the local residents of the local community of Dunoon, Scotland. I developed this web site with numerous community related resources such as bulletin boards, chat rooms, a database of former Holy Loch alumni, and in general a meeting place for the thousands of people with a love for the place. The web site now averages over 200 unique visitors a day and at last count has had an average of 3,000 visitors a month. Over 2,100 former shipmates have taken the time to register themselves in the "Crews Log" database.
I used the web site to help organize a reunion that was held in Holy Loch, Scotland in May 2001. Over 250 people came from the States to attend this reunion, which is a considerable accomplishment for a first reunion held outside the country. A second reunion was held stateside in Charleston, S.C. in May of 2003 and a third reunion was held again in Dunoon, Scotland in 2005. Then there was a reunion held in Branson MO, in May 2007. The last reunion was held again in Dunoon, Scotland in May 2009. If you would like to see what is happening at the Holy Loch web site you can visit: http://holyloch.com
I guess I have sort of brought you up to the purpose for this web site. After having stayed put in Idaho, longer than any "one" place for any length of time in my life, when I came back from the first Holy Loch, Scotland Reunion, in 2001, I began to feel the old urges. My feet were beginning to itch again. I had realized some time ago that my business was one that had the ability to be mobile. I have made several trips to Washington. D.C., California, Arizona and of course Scotland with my lap top computer continuing to work as I traveled.
This Epiphany was not sudden but developed slowly over time. Any way, I decided it was time to go on the road and travel. My feet were just itching too much. My plan was to depart on or about 1 November 2003 and travel first south then north in the summer and south again in the winter, sort of a "snow bird", if you will. I originally planned to criss cross the states, Canada and Mexico over the next 5, or more, years. Planning to visit all the states and Canadian provinces and most of the Northern Mexico states during that time. If it took longer, so be it.
My original plan had this adventure to last for 5 or so years. Well it lasted 6 years. As of May 2009 I have put my travel adventure on hold. I hope to resume my travel adventure again sometime in the future. But for now I am switching back to being a "land lubber." To read why I came to this decision you can read my blog entry on the decision.
On this web site you will be able to follow my American travel Odyssey which began 4,481 days ago (on 1 November 2003). I used this web site, Have Web Sites will Travel, as a means of showing and recording my travels and exploits and adventure. There was only one rule that guided me throughout these travels: Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
I continuied my web design and programming work, as a traveling webmaster, and workamper, through this web site by interconnecting my parent domain WWWHelper.com with this site. I guess you can say I took telecommuting (aka e-working or an e-worker) to the limit. For additional information you can view the latest "SitRep" (situation report) and/or you can read my most recent Travel Diary's here.
So as you can see this web site was a means for me to continue working, as a Traveling Webmaster, while I traveled around the country.