He has earned degrees in archaeology, art history, and ancient civilization, but
Matt Prater '01
says a kinship with Indiana Jones is the real impetus behind his recent global odyssey.
In a cleverly crafted travel blog documenting his adventures, Prater writes, "Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to be Indiana Jones. To explore impenetrable jungles, remote temples, exotic bazaars. To experience the unfamiliar customs of faraway cultures. I even hate snakes."
According to his blog, Prater was working in the marketing field after college and nurturing a passion for travel photography when he decided to "satisfy my wanderlust...and not with a two-week vacation." His goal is to travel to six continents and 40 countries with only a backpack for about a year-and-a-half, following in the footsteps of the great explorers David Livingstone, Marco Polo, and James Cook.
In addition to stunning photography, Prater's blog (aptly named Wanderlust) is a descriptive and enjoyable account of his adventures. Whether it's an encounter with "billions of ants crawling over every square inch of dirt" in Zimbabwe, snorkeling in Bali, dining on blowfish in Cape Town, embarking on a zip-line canopy tour through the ancient Tsitsikamma forest, or bungee jumping "at a vertigo-inducing 708 feet" above a rugged gorge in South Africa, Prater seems to be pushing himself to limits that would make Dr. Jones proud.
"After a terrifying experience at Vic Falls, I vowed never to bungee jump again, but I couldn't resist the challenge of the world's highest jump," he writes. "Maybe jumping out of a plane in Namibia has made me a bit more courageous, or maybe I'm just dedicated to the gung-ho philosophy I have set for myself on this world trip. I am traveling the world because I want to get the most out of my time on this planet. I want to live without regrets. I quit my stable job to go on this trip – surely I can find the courage to jump off a bridge! I've done it once, and even though I didn't like it the first time, most things in life deserve a second chance."
Although attempts to contact Prater were unsuccessful, his former teachers and Baylor friends wish him well on his journey.