Biography of Michael-Ryan Kruger

my pic


  1. Personal Information
  2. Education
  3. Major
  4. All my travels
  5. Why I'm taking this class
  6. Why do people travel

Personal Information

My first name is Michael-Ryan and I am 31 years old.  My family calls me Michael-Ryan or MR (the letters not mister), but teachers always call me Michael and skip the –Ryan. Most of my friends call me Ryan, so whatever usually works.  I have worked for CM’s Custom Lawn & Landscape in Omaha for 10 years and am currently the operations manager.  My wife Andrea & I have an 8-yr old boy and we will have a baby girl very, very soon!


I grew up in Yutan, NE but graduated from Waterloo High (now Douglas County West) in 1996. I played baseball at Iowa Western and played football at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona.  I have also attended the University of Phoenix (online), Metro Community College and finally UNO. This is my last class for my B.S. in geography.


Again, I will have my B.S. in geography after this class.  I’m considering either a Graduate level GIScience Certificate or a Master of Arts degree in Geography. I’m also considering urban development, planning as a career.

All my travels

Most recently, my wife & I visited Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for honeymoon in January. This was our second trip to Mexico. The year before we took our son to the Cancun-Riviera Maya are. Jadyn really enjoyed the Chichen Itza ruins. I am half way to visiting every state in the U.S.  I would like to visit the Pacific Northwest, the Carolinas, Montana and upstate New York. 

Why I'm taking this class.

GIS is something I’m interested in learning more about as possible career path, but my fascination with Geography comes from looking at maps and learning about other areas of the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Why do people travel?

Business, pleasure, research and volunteering represent major reasons for people to travel.  Business travelers promote ideas, products and relationships from city to city as well as internationally.  Multinational companies that operate in more than one country are examples of how business travel has become part of the international market for major brand names and products. 

People must also travel to research ideas, projects and places.  Archeologists, geographers, climatologists are examples of scientists who travel as part of their profession.  Scientists not only travel for research, but also to collaborate and share ideas and solutions with colleagues around the world.

The Peace Corps Volunteers represent people who travel anywhere in the world to help change the fortunes of those in need.  Hundreds of thousands of people define traveling as working to help make a difference in the lives of other people.  Just in the last two weeks, thousands of relief agencies such as the Peace Corps and the Red Cross have traveled to U.S. cities devastated by tornadoes and to areas in China that were impacted by the earthquake.

For me, traveling is rest and relaxation, but also an opportunity to experience other cultures and physical geography.  A vacation or just a change of scenery is an excellent way to spend time with family, spiritually refresh and go back to work with a renewed sense of purpose.

Interestingly, people in the U.S. use much less vacation time than people in other countries.   “In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, approximately 574 million vacation days go unused by American workers each year.” -

Why don't Americans travel?

Some Americans have no time to travel, too few vacation days available and not enough money.  Americans have not committed themselves to making a habit of taking vacations.  Perhaps people are pressured by job security, financial concerns and the everyday issues of family life. 

A study by Orbitz found a drop in the number of people taking 2-3 week vacations and an increase in shorter vacations under 1 week.  People are busier than ever, staying connected (sometimes while on vacation) to their work and family.  Americans have not been able to find a balance between getting away and regular schedules. We have to learn to be able to disconnect, but more importantly, we need to feel like we deserve and can afford the pleasure of disconnecting for 2-3 weeks at a time.

This quote from clearly states why some Americans don’t travel.


No surprise here. Most hard-working Americans rarely take real vacations. Extended weekends maybe, but real, honest-to-goodness vacations, meaning leaving the homestead completely, is completely out of the question. The reasons vary from job security to financial issues.

People with school age children have additional pressures. Out here in CA they have extended the school year by one month. What with football, soccer, and all of the other activities children are in these days, try coordinating a vacation around that!

Reply#1 - Mon May 11, 2009 4:49 PM EDT


I agree that I will post all assignments for this course on the web for the professor and other students to view.

Submitted by Michael-Ryan Kruger on May 15th 2009.