World traveler ‘protégé’ to present on Shelburne man’s trips

  • Shelburne resident Robert “Bo” Warren has traveled to all 195 countries in the world. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2019 5:51:07 PM
Modified: 9/27/2019 5:50:57 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — Robert “Bo” Warren has been traveling for 37 years, and on March 10, Warren crossed the border into Andorra and completed his goal: to travel to all 195 countries in the world.

For Warren’s “protégé,” 12-year-old Silas Muzzy, planning a trip to Andorra was the first time he had even heard of the country. Though Muzzy didn’t travel with Warren in reality, he travels vicariously.

Now, on Saturday at 5 p.m., Muzzy will present on Warren’s travels from this year. The event will take place at The Old Red Barn at 38 Bardwells Ferry Road. The event is open to the public and guests are encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share.

Muzzy will focus on the locations where Warren traveled: primarily islands in the South Pacific, North and South Korea, and Andorra.

“(Warren) goes to countries that not as many people go to,” Muzzy said. “It’s cool to learn about those things.”

For the months that Warren traveled, he was on the move every three days, he said. Stateside, Muzzy stepped into the role of a master planner: coordinating the logistics of travel, lodging, eating, currency exchange, as well as where to visit and what to see.

“My mom really helped me the first few times because I had no idea what to do,” Muzzy said, although he quickly learned the skills of a protégé.

Another skill that Muzzy learned was balancing time and money. Once, Muzzy asked Warren if he would rather take a 54-hour flight and save money, or take a shorter but more expensive flight.

Although Warren’s travels happened during last school year, Muzzy said that he was able to balance his sixth-grade coursework with the assignments required of a protégé.

Muzzy himself is no stranger to travel: his family visits to California every year and they have visited Germany, Italy and Sweden, where Muzzy was born.

Muzzy has been afraid to travel to some places, especially cities, he said, “because I’m afraid of totally irrational things.” But his experience with Warren is slowly changing his view.

“(Warren) has never been threatened in any place he’s been,” Muzzy said. “It definitely gave me more confidence.”

Warren’s 21st century “postcards” — emails with pictures — showed Warren surrounded by children in the South Pacific Islands. Moments like these have inspired Muzzy to mark such geographic locations — some of which he didn’t know existed before — on his travel list.

“(The) thought of swimming in a crystal-clear ocean, that would be so cool,” Muzzy said.

The classroom has been a launching point for both Muzzy and Warren.

Muzzy first heard of Warren and his travels when an older classmate presented on Warren’s journeys from another year. This inspired Muzzy to apply to become a protégé.

Warren’s interest in traveling was sparked in his second-grade classroom, where his teacher would read one chapter of “Robinson Crusoe” every day. Now, as an experienced traveler, Warren has a special relationship with the children of the world.

“I’m constantly drawn to kids,” Warren said, in part because of their English language ability.

“Language is never a problem for me because children of the world speak English,” Warren said, adding that in his experience, children under 14 or so are often able to speak enough English to communicate. Additionally, “you can tell whether the country is doing well given how the children are treated.”

Relationships with the people of the world is what has motivated Warren on his decades-long journey.

“I got templed- and tombed-out a long time ago. It’s the people of the world that motivate me to go out there,” Warren said. “They’re far more complex and informative than any temple or tomb.”

Despite having finished his global “walkabout,” Warren will travel next winter to Portugal, Morocco and Italy, visiting friends and family in the process.

“It will be a much more gentle sort of traveling,” he said.

Maureen O’Reilly can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 280.


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