Mike Cooney loves to travel. In fact, there are few things he enjoys more. Mike refers to himself as a generalist. He likes to say that he doesn't know a lot about any one thing, but a little about a lot of things, and credits his generalist background to his extensive travels, which includes nearly 50 countries.
In his early twenties, Mike worked on a ship in the merchant marines and traveled the world. It was not only a great adventure, but the experience peeked his appetite for wanting to learn more about different places and cultures. It was just the beginning of a lifelong travel odyssey that continues to this day.
Following his two-year stint on an old dilapidated World War II vintage tanker, Mike returned home to North Florida where he sold real estate and photographed weddings. In the mid-'80s, Mike became the executive director of his hometown chamber of commerce, which launched his career in economic development.
Cooney worked for several economic development organizations in Florida including the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC), headquartered in Orlando where he helped recruit companies to the region between 1989 and 1999. In the late '90s he was the Executive Director of the Metro Orlando International Affairs Commission, the international arm of the EDC and hosted delegations from all over the world. He also participated in a business mission to China and organized a similar mission to South Africa.
After leaving the EDC, Mike became senior project manager for a purchasing management company and traveled throughout North America and Northern Europe. In 2003 he started his own consulting firm specializing in project management, mostly for educational institutions. He has also assisted companies and organizations with government and community relations and strategic planning.
In 2008 Mike undertook the most challenging project of his life. He and his wife decided to sell virtually everything they owned to take their three teenage sons on an around the world trek. His previous travel experience coupled with his project management skills were put to the test. Their aim was for their sons to experience the world before beginning college, and in the process make them better global citizens by immersing them in various cultures around the world.
Their odyssey began in August 2008 when they traveled through Central and South America for four months, almost exclusively by bus. They returned to Orlando in December of 2008 and started the second leg of their journey in March 2009. They traveled for seven months through Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji before returning to Florida in September 2009. They visited more than 20 countries and logged over 61,000 miles during the entire trek.
During and after their trek, they maintained a very active web site where thousands of people have logged on to follow their adventures. Mike has joined the prestigious list of featured columnist at the Real Estate Channel and will be posting articles about their travel experiences about their 12-month trek.
The Cooneys now live in Cape Canaveral, Florida where they are trying to adjust to a "normal life". They insist this is only temporary and will always be planning their next adventure. Mike's motto is "Once a traveler, always a traveler."
Mike holds an active Florida Broker's license and received the Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute. You can contact Mike at email@example.com or visit the Cooney World Adventure web site by going to www.cooneyworldadventure.com.