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I'm Todd VerBeek, and among the things I have in common with Walt Whitman (nudge, wink), "I contradict myself; I am large, I contain multitudes."
I've been a life-long resident of just two cities in West Michigan, and currently live less than a mile from where I was born... but I've traveled to 17 countries on three continents and lived roughly half a year (combined) outside of the U.S.
I've been to Iceland and East Germany (back when) and Aruba... but not the standard American tourism destination of California.
I'm cautious and shy to the point of neurosis... but I like to go to places that no one (at least no one I know) has ever been.
I'm afraid of heights... but I love panoramic lookouts.
I don't care for sit-in-the-sun resorts... but I go to them with my extended family (parents, sisters, and their families).
I am the descendant of Dutch immigrants in a community where Dutch surnames are ubiquitous and second-nature to pronounce, and I'm pretty good with languages... but I speak hardly a word of Dutch.
I have a degree in computer science and math (left-brained, logical, literal)... but another degree in illustration and graphic design (right-brained, intuitive, metaphorical).
Between my day job and other projects, I sometimes don't have much time to spend here on Wikitravel on a regular basis. So you may see little of me for stretches of them, separated by seeing more of me than you might want.
I've wasted spent a great deal of time on countless Wikitravel articles, but that's nothing special. However, there are certain articles that I pretty much created from scratch, or was one of a couple major collaborators on: Isle Royale (because I couldn't wait to go back there), Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pitcairn Islands (because it fascinated me), Wake Island (because someone had scoffed that no one would – or even could – write an article for it), Cruise ships (because I wanted to share what I'd learned from being dragged onto a couple), Leave-no-trace camping (because I believe in it), Wilderness backpacking, Travel photography, Wikitravel:Welcome, business owners, and overhauling Packing list and Wikitravel:Help (because they needed it). I replaced most of the last 100-something country/territory articles that were still based on "CIA Factbook" imports, with standard Wikitravel outlines (none of them made "usable" in the process, but it's a start). I'm currently working on making sure that every country (and any other governmental unit drawn on my US-made globe) has a reasonable set of regions defined. And I'm honored to be an admin, which means I get to waste spend a lot of time dealing with administrative matters instead of reading and writing articles.
cruise, with extended family: Galveston/Houston, Texas; Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico (the ship also stopped at Mahahual, Quintana Roo; Belize City; and Roatan, Honduras... but I was quarantined in my cabin)
There are innumerable places I'd like to visit, and I'm sure I'll never get to most of them, especially since I'm past the young-and-free-to-travel phase of my life, and the retired-and-free-to-travel phase doesn't usually lend itself well to the kinds of independent, physically challenging travel I prefer. Plus I probably won't ever have the money. But here are a few items from the wish list, both practical and not: