Thanks for visiting – we are excited about working with educators, schools and parents to raise geography awareness by sharing a variety of information on the places that we visit and providing updates from the road. The Press is an important partner in getting our message out to as many people as possible.

As seen on…

Press Releases

Apr 8, 2013California Couple Completes Ultimate Around the World Journey using Princess Cruises
Mar 4, 2013California Couple Completes Twelfth and Final Trek of the Trekking the Planet Expedition
Feb 5, 2013California Couple Completes Expedition to Remote Amazon Reserve
Dec 14, 2012California Couple Pass 50,000 Mile Mark as they Trek the Planet
Jan 28, 2012Reality to Boost 21st Century Education.docx


Date Title
May 23, 2013Matador Network: Teaching Geography from a Traveler’s Perspective
Oct 4, 2012Travel Link Sites: Around the World Travel: Darren & Sandy of Trekking The Planet
Jul 10, 2012Career Break Secrets: Who’s Out There Now? Darren and Sandy
Jun 14, 2012Dangerous Business: Thursday Traveler(s): Trekking the Planet

About the Van Soye’s

After 25 years in the IT industry, we took an early retirement with the twin goals of seeing the world and giving back. In 2012 we embarked on a 424-day around-the-world journey (TTP RTW) to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students. Prior to this trip, we traveled to over 40 countries on six continents, most of it using independently organized itineraries. Learn more about Darren and Sandy here.

After our around-the-world journey, we decided to select something closer to home. In 2016, we hiked 1,825 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (TTP PCT), ending our journey at the Columbia River (which borders Oregon and Washington). Though we didn’t complete the entire trek in one summer as we planned, our hope is to return to complete those sections that we missed at a later date.

We just completed a tour of the United States National Parks. Over 4 1/2 months we visited 27 National Parks and many more State Parks and National Resources. We hiked 402 miles in the parks and focused on what makes these public lands unique and thus, worthy for continued Federal government protection.

What was your latest Adventure?

We yook a 136-day, 17,000 mile journey around the United States, visiting 27 U.S. National Parks and many more State Parks and National Monuments. The name of our expedition is “Trekking the Planet – National Park Service” or TTP NPS.

What was Your Mission?

Our mission was to instill a greater awareness and curiosity about the world – its people, culture and our fragile planet – to as many people as possible. Studies have shown that American knowledge of geography is among the worst in the world. By following the progress of our expeditions, kids gain greater knowledge of world’s people, culture and nature.

When did your Journey Begin?

Our trip began on March 13, 2017.

How was Your Journey Unique?

We visited many of the little-known parks in the United States. Everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but there are many other parks that don’t have the same crowds and are unique and special in some way or another.

Which National Parks did you visit?

  1. Joshua Tree NP
  2. Saguaro NP
  3. Petrified Forest NP
  4. Canyonlands NP
  5. Arches NP
  6. Great Sand Dunes NP
  7. Carlsbad Caverns NP
  8. Guadalupe Mountains NP
  9. Big Bend NP
  10. Hot Springs NP
  11. Mammoth Cave NP
  12. Everglades NP
  13. Biscayne NP
  14. Dry Tortugas NP
  15. Congaree NP
  16. Great Smoky Mountains NP
  17. Shenandoah NP
  18. Acadia NP
  19. Cuyahoga Valley NP
  20. Isle Royale NP
  21. Voyageurs NP
  22. Badlands NP
  23. Wind Cave NP
  24. Theodore Roosevelt NP
  25. Mount Rainier NP
  26. Pinnacles NP
  27. Channel Islands NP

In addition, we visited the following State Parks and National Resources:

  • Myakka River SP, Florida
  • Big Cypress NR, Florida
  • Jonathan Dickinson SP, Florida
  • Blue Spring SP, Florida
  • Mills Norrie State Park SP, New York
  • Cayuga State Park, New York
  • Seven Lakes SP, Michigan
  • Tahquamenon Falls SP, Michigan
  • Custer SP, South Dakota
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Finally, we visited the following historic cities/towns:

  • San Antonio, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Key West, FL
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Hyde Park, NY
  • Albany, NY
  • Cape Cod, MA
  • Montpelier, VT
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Seattle, WA

Press Release Photos

Darren and Sandy Van Soye (Click for hi-res photo)
Sandy visiting school in American Samoa
Sandy visiting classroom in Northern Laos
Darren visiting school in Gheling, Mustang, Nepal
Sandy and Darren on the Kungsleden Trail, Sweden
Sandy and Darren on Walking Safari in Kenya
Sandy Speaking at School in Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
Sandy and Darren in Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
Sandy and Darren Trekking in Jordan