About The Writer
My name is Gary Taylor. I am a Tour Guide for Tours Northwest in Seattle and a Substitute Teacher in the Edmonds School District of Washington State. I graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Middle Grade Education, which led to my becoming a middle school social studies teacher in Eastern North Carolina. Since then, I lived in the Orlando area for a few years where I worked for Walt Disney World, until I decided to return to my native land in the Pacific Northwest.
Ever since high school, I had a love for traveling to different places. I took various social studies classes with passionate teachers and professors throughout high school and college, which led to my own love of history, geography and culture. I became incredibly fascinated by the stories that have come about from our past. I enjoyed learning about how people from different parts of the world interact with one another, and about how their customs compared to ours. I am always in awe of being in a place of historical significance and reflecting on how the events that took place there shaped the world that we live in.
When I was a kid, I also developed a love of visiting theme parks and riding roller coasters. While I had been to a few parks when I was younger, I truly became a fan when my family and I first visited Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio back in 1996. It was after taking my first ride on the inverted roller coaster, Raptor, that I became hooked hooked!
This love for theme parks would lead a variety of experiences in life from traveling for visiting them to working in the industry between two summers during college at Cedar Point and three years as a Walt Disney World Cast Member. Both visiting theme parks and working in them have provided with many opportunities to meet a lot of people with similar passions and interests, and many of them are among some of my closest and dearest friends!
Places Gary has visited:
* - Only in Austria when riding through by bus, so I don't count it as a country visited, but have physically been in the country for a short time.
** - While Hong Kong is a part of China, I count it like it's a separate place because of it's Special Administrative Region status.
About Coasting with culture
After graduating from college, most of my travels would come in the form of road trips up and down the East Coast of the United States, and an occasional theme park group tour. Upon moving to Orlando, I had about a year off from traveling in part because of adjusting to a new home, but mainly from falling into a state of contentment, as I was pretty happy with just going to the local theme parks when I wasn't working and joining friends for an occasional evening out.
Then one day I joined a friend at EPCOT and we watched Reflections of China. Upon seeing the film, one thought crossed my mind, and that was "I need to start traveling again!" My love of history and culture had sparked again, and I wanted to see more. When I joined Theme Park Review's 2013 Mexico Tour and 2014 Scandinavia Tour, these would greatly influence my future travels, as both of them would include several amazing cultural experiences, either as part of the tour itself or in spending free time outside of the organized times to explore and sight-see. Since that time, while some trips are primarily about the different amusement parks, I have made more of an effort to include more cultural experiences in my adventures, especially as I add more countries to my list of places visited.
Taking such trips that combine my love of theme parks and roller coasters with my fascination for history and culture has served as inspiration for the creation of Coasting with Culture. With this site, I'll share with you my experiences as well as ideas or suggestions of places that may be of interest that I hope will inspire your future travels.