In my 40s, I found myself at a crossroad. My father had recently passed. The company he founded had been sold. And, my corporate responsibilities were about to ramp up with the sale of Nutrilite Products, Inc. (NPI) to Amway.
Before assuming my new position, I was determined to pursue a dream that had been cut short years earlier. My father had taught me sailing; now, as a somewhat experienced sailor, I decided that I would sail around the world.
Sailing into my future
It was on July 15, 1975 that I sailed out of Newport Harbor, in the company of a friend and his family, in what would turn out to be an odyssey of a lifetime that would help to establish the groundwork for both my future life and that of Nutrilite.
The journey was a combination of world and self-discovery that included elements of adventure, study, father-daughter and father-son bonding, and an extended guys’ night out. I brought all my old science books and revisited all my early science and nutrition studies.
A global vision inspired by adventure
Part of the thing that I really wanted to do was to get back to basics on science. I was also immensely interested in the cultures of the world, so I had a huge library of books about all the places we were going to visit. I had this underlying desire to study the cultures, eating habits, and nutritional patterns of people around the world because one of my dreams was to take the Nutrilite brand around the world.
During our voyage we visited 36 countries. As we made our journey, I was able to see first-hand the differences between people and places, and learn how their governments worked. You can’t learn all that from books, no matter how many you have. Every restaurant meal, visit to someone’s home, or simple shore side trip to pick up supplies was an opportunity to learn something about how people felt about food, health, and nutrition.
A picture is worth a thousand words
I took over 6,000 photos during the Firebird journey with the use of several cameras, specialized lenses and filters and plenty of film. I even brushed up on my skills by taking advanced courses to be technically proficient with the all the photography equipment of the day. Once I had my rolls of film ready, I sent them back home from our next port for processing. The proof sheets were then sent back (snail mail, again!) to meet me at the next port so I could review them and select the best for prints or slides. Looking back, it was a study in delivery logistics.
You can see photo highlights in the Firebird Photo Albums. When I look at these photos, I’m reminded of how this adventure of a lifetime propelled me toward my life’s work. As you look at them, I hope you find inspiration to seek your own adventures and live a healthy life with purpose.
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