So who is this Eric Wessman character and why does he travel so much?
My love of the outdoors was developed over the years I spent in the Boy Scouts. I worked for several summers at Scout Camp, earned the rank of Eagle, and then stayed in the program for 16 years as an Assistant Scoutmaster.
I served for 3 years as the President of the Outing Club at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I got my first taste of international travel as a student of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) on their Semester in Kenya. We hiked and camped for 3 weeks on Mount Kenya, went on safari in the Maasai Mara and Lake Nakuru, hiked in small groups through the backcountry, and spent some time on the coast studying marine biology. I was hooked on travel and on Africa!
That ended up being the first of 6 major expeditions to Africa. So far, I have spent about 18 months on the continent.
I also went on to do 3 more NOLS courses in various parts of North America.
On the top of Point Lenana
(16,355 ft / 4,985 M), the third
highest summit of Mount Kenya,
at dawn. We bivouacked here
on my course with the National
Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
This was also during my NOLS
semester in Kenya in February 1981.
We were on our small group hike
(unarmed) through the wilds of the
Nguruman Escarpment. The 6 of us
made a great team. It was one of the
best hikes of my life.
Snorkeling and exploring a
porcupine fish up close off
the Baja Peninsula in the Sea of
Cortez, Mexico in 1984.
Photo by Sue Berch.
This was on my trans-Africa
expedition in 1986. Here I am
covered up to attempt to keep out
the sand from entering every
orefice. This was taken in Algeria,
in the Sahara Desert. Photo by Pete
On this expedition, we took 3 weeks
to cross the Sahara Desert. We camped
at the base of this sand dune, a few
hundred feet below. This place in
the middle of nowhere is called
Tiguentourine, Algeria, and is only a
few miles from the Libyan border.
Photo by Debbie Halliday.
Some of my travel mates on a trans-
Africa expedition in 1986. I'm on the
far right in the front row. This was in
our camp in Bangui, Central African
A few of us spent a week on a cargo
boat on the Zaire (Congo) River. It was
about 3 days of waiting, then 4 days of
travel. I am holding manioc, a tasteless
staple that is mixed with other food to
get its flavor.
A cleaned-up and better-fed Eric poses
at the Cape of Good Hope, Land's End
at the southern tip of Africa. It took me
6 months to get here from Morocco,
working my way down the continent first
with the expedition, and then traveling
independently. It took another month
to return to Nairobi to finish the trip,
for a total of 16 countries in 7 months.
Photo by Debbie Halliday.
Here I am by my sea kayak in the
Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
in the summer of 1987.
On the summit of the Breithorn in
the Swiss Alps in 1987. Photo by
With my good friend and frequent
travel buddy, Roy Feinzig. We visited
the Pyramids at Giza, Egypt towards
the end of a 7-month adventure in 1989.
In the summer of 1990, my brother Chris and
I did a whirlwind trip across the US. We had a
great time in the amazing parks of Utah and
Arizona. Here we are at the North Rim of
the Grand Canyon.
On a break in camp with Roy during a
2-month safari in 2002. Kruger National
Park, South Africa. Photo by Anderson
A little later on the same safari in 2002
with wildlife artist Anderson Yang in
camp in Quiver Tree Rest Camp,
In 2003 I was part of a canoe expedition
on the Horton River in Canada's
Northwest Territories. We paddled 400
miles to finish at the Arctic Ocean.
That's me in the blue shirt.
Captured doing my regular swim workout,
this time in a beautiful pool in the Dominican
Republic in 2010. Photo by Johnny Araujo.
In April of 2012 I had the opportunity to travel
to Andalucía, in southern Spain, with my mother,
Jane. One of the highlights of the trip was to visit
with my niece, Kate, who was studying in Seville
for the semester. Here are the 3 of us in the Plaza
de España, built for the 1929 Ibero-American
Hard at work photographing the exciting architecture
around Marina Bay, Singapore in February 2014. Photo
by Kam Kayhan.