Schmeer atop a motor bike in Costa Rica in 2011.

(Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Schmeer)
Tomorrow Sarah Schmeer is going on vacation. She earned it. She just finished her master’s degree at Colorado State University and is going abroad. But Schmeer’s journey will be far from average.

She’s planning a 14-month trek through Asia, North Africa and Europe to retrace the footsteps of adventure writer Richard Halliburton. In his day, Halliburton was as famous as Amelia Earhart, Schmeer says, but recollections of his journeys are largely lost to history.

Halliburton went on wild adventures, climbing the Matterhorn, sleeping in the Taj Majal and swimming the Panama Canal. He died in 1939 while trying to cross the Pacific in a replica of an ancient Chinese sailboat. 

He wrote several books and made headlines throughout his life. Halliburton even inspired a headline writer, Walter Cronkite, who said that hearing Halliburton speak convinced him that journalism could be glamorous. 

Schmeer plans to blog her journey at her website, Uneven Tenor, and to write a book about the journey when she returns. She also plans to take photographs in the same places Halliburton did, to compare how those places have changed in almost a century.

The name "Uneven Tenor" comes from a letter Halliburton wrote to his father. "Dad, you hit the wrong target when you write that you wish I were at Princeton living 'in the even tenor of my way.'  I hate that expression and as far as I am able I intend to avoid that condition... No, there's going to be no even tenor with me. The more uneven it is the happier I shall be."

Schmeer spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about her journey.