Even if you have no interest in traveling, Jennie Parker's excitement for what she has seen in the world is infectious.
Her eyes sparkle. She starts to talk a little faster, and she can't stop smiling. Before you know it, you're smiling, too.
Talk to her for too long, and you'll be online buying a plane ticket to Cairo.
Parker went to Egypt in February 2004. Now retired, she had dreamed of traveling her entire life. She got the bug at age 5 when her civilian parents moved to Brazil during World War II to collect rubber for the war effort.
"That's another story," she said.
Parker received her undergraduate degree in social anthropology studying Nepal, China and Tibet. (That's her next trip, she said.)
She did some graduate work but dropped out early to follow her husband to Laramie, Wyo., where he took a professorship.
The years passed, and Parker stayed stateside, looking at maps and imagining faraway places. She had been to Europe, but that wasn't the adventure travel she longed for.
When Parker and her husband retired, he focused on mountain biking and skiing. She bought a ticket to Turkey.
"My idea was to begin my travels with the oldest civilizations," she said. "And I couldn't go to Iraq or Iran."
Going to Egypt was her second trip after Turkey.
People ask her whether she was scared to go to the Middle East during these strange times and her brow furrows.
"Frankly, I'm closer to 70 than 60," she said. "I've lived my life, and this is what I want to do. I'm not going to worry about that."
On Wednesday, as part of Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Enrichment Program, Parker will be giving a slideshow and lecture about what she saw and learned during her three weeks in Egypt.
Before arriving in Egypt, Parker spent a week in Berlin, Germany, and visited the Egyptian museum there.
She will discuss what she learned of the country's history, economy, ecology and people as well as give tips to anyone who is planning to travel to Egypt.
Her descriptions of Egypt are always full of sand. The desert, she said, is coming in from all sides, filling streets and blocking doorways.
Parker took a three-week tour of the country, hitting all the major sites, but her own curiosity led her down alleyways and side streets. Instead of enjoying the safety and isolation of an air conditioned tour bus, Parker made sure she met as many people as possible.
There weren't any Americans on her trip. Before Sept. 11, 2001, half of all tourists to Egypt were American. The economy has suffered since Americans stopped visiting in droves. In many of Parker's photographs, you can see a nearby guard with a machine gun protecting her group.
An anthropologist at heart, Parker refused to develop a preconceived idea of Egypt before she went.
"I just wanted to absorb what was there," she said.