Ever since he got the traveling bug, this retired man has been unable to let go of his hunger of exploring the world. He has been to a staggering 852 places in 193 countries, including North Korea!
73-year-old Don Parrish has been called the most-traveled man in the world after visiting Conway Reef, off the coast of Fiji. Parrish knows that a lot of sacrifices and hard work have been done to achieve his traveling dreams.
The Chicagoan first got the travel bug after ending up in Germany in 1965. Since then, he has never looked back, traveling to the deepest and darkest corners of the world.
He has been on every continent, visiting countries that many didn’t even know existed. After saving much money from his telecommunications job, Parrish was able to go to all the countries he has desired to visit, which is most of them.
The only places left on Parrish’s bucket list are remote locations, like the many islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Parrish is one of a select few who is part of the Travelers’ Century Club. There are only 23 people in this club, and they are in it because they have been to the 325 countries/territories that are possible to visit.
Parrish actually has secret as to what made this extreme traveling relatively easy. “What made this a transformative experience is that I refused to speak a word of English,” he said. “It is a good way to get over the idea that the world revolves around yourself.”
The retired man has been away for a long time. “I have been outside the US for about 11 years – about 250 trips. I have also traveled for a year or so in the US while I visited all 50 states,” he said. “I travel by myself, with one person, with a few people, small group, large group, with driver, with driver and guide.”
One of the most prominent country music stars of recent times is undoubtedly Blake Shelton. Despite raising his profile after his work on the TV show The Voice, the star has had a string of notable relationships that have not been so clear-cut.
After two marriages that have both ended up in divorce, Shelton remains childless. The closest he got to having a kid was during the time he was married to Miranda Lambert. However, they ended up breaking up instead. What happened?
Shelton’s most recent relationship has been with No Doubt’s very own Gwen Stefani. The pair met while working together on The Voice and for Blake, Gwen was a fantastic addition to the judging panel. They never anticipated that they would fall in love under these circumstances. According to one of their friends, it was love at first sight. “They have spent time together off-set,” the friend said. “They don’t want to label anything or define it, they just really like each other.”
Seeds Of Love
It didn’t take long before fans of the show suspected that Gwen Stefani and Shelton were romantically involved. One evening, the pair went on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and as soon as they engaged in a lip-sync battle, the crowd knew what was up. These two were meant to be together. “The chemistry between them is off the charts. Everyone on set sees that Blake and Gwen are falling for one another,” a source from The Voice claimed.
Tragedy Or Opportunity?
But during this time, neither Blake Shelton nor Gwen Stefani was single. Both were in relationships at the time, meaning that any potential for a relationship was completely off the table. Blake was married to Miranda Lambert, while the No Doubt singer was married to Gavin Rossdale. Then, in 2015, the unthinkable happened. Within the space of a month, both Gwen and Blake divorced from their respective spouses. The public was surprised that three kids and 13 years later Gwen’s marriage was coming to an end.
Gavin’s Outrageous Behavior
Gwen and Gavin’s relationship can be traced all the way back to 1995, which was the year that they first met. They married seven years later. However, controversy soon turned its ugly head when Gavin found out that Daisy Lowe, his goddaughter, was actually his biological daughter, who he had with designer Pearl Lowe. Despite this, Gwen didn’t let the news get to her. The couple ended up having three children. Their third child, Apollo Bowie Flynn Rossdale, was born in 2014.
Gavin Denied This Relationship
One piece of rumored news that came between Gavin and Gwen back in 2003 was that the former was believed to have been in a relationship with androgynous star Marilyn. Apparently, the couple had a long history going back to the mid-90s. It was around the time that Gavin met Gwen that he was still connected to Marilyn. She actually wrote a song dedicated to Gavin, who was forced to share the truth behind his relationship. According to him, it was “part of growing up.”
The Last Straw
Like most traditional couples, celebrities who are in love also have nannies to help care for their children while they are on the road. However, one of Gavin and Gwen’s nannies caused a huge rift between the two. Australian Mindy Mann actually had an affair with Gavin for many years, and Gwen eventually found out about it. When asked about how she felt after finding out about the shocking revelation, Gwen called it “a year that was so full of horror – the worst, worst.”
Cutting All Ties
Naturally, Gwen Stefani was completely and utterly shocked after finding out about Gavin’s affair and was determined to get away from him. Their home would never be the same, and everything about it haunted Gwen. The entire home, including the pool, the kitchen and of course, their bedroom, just felt wrong. Many didn’t actually know that Stefani had changed her name to Rossdale after getting married. Now was the time to change her name back to Stefani.
Divorce was one big thing that Gwen and Blake could relate to each other on a lot. Just like Gwen, Blake’s divorce took a huge emotional toll on him, and he needed to work hard to get over it. When he went on America’s Morning Show, the public understood how he felt. One thing that Blake did after getting divorced was lose a lot of weight. However, according to him, he didn’t consciously choose to. “I just stopped eating,” he said.
Turning Things Around
Although he struggled a lot after his divorce, Blake has bounced back in a big way. Despite the raw emotions he felt initially, it was only a matter of months before he claimed to be back in a “good place.” In an interview on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown he said, “It’s amazing how quickly life can turn around for you.” However, he followed up by saying that he “had some pretty cool things in recent times that’ve happened and I’m loving it.”
Letting It Slip
When it comes to Blake and Gwen’s chemistry, it was easy for the public to figure out. There were clues all over social media that something was bubbling between the two. One day, when Blake entered New York City’s Four Seasons hotel, Gwen followed him in a few minutes later. It was just a matter of days later that the two went to a Halloween party organized by Jared Leto. In the very same week, the pair were seen holding hands at Adam Levine’s party.
Making It Official
When the time was right to go public, Blake and Gwen knew exactly when and where to do it. When the Country Music Awards in Nashville came around, the couple decided to go together. It was incredibly short notice, and Gwen was worried that she wouldn’t look prepared for her appearance. So when she attended just the after-party with Blake, the public got the wrong end of the stick and assumed that she was trying to avoid his ex, Miranda.
Not Everyone Was Happy
Despite the early public scrutiny, Gwen didn’t really care. She was having an awesome time with her new love, claiming that he “made her feel good again.” However, not everyone came out of this completely change happy; most notably, Gavin. It was clear that Gwen still felt bitter after what happened, referring to Gavin as a “control freak.” According to Gavin, the new couple treated him poorly, with one reporter claiming that Gwen “just didn’t let [Gavin] work.”
Christina Aguilera: No, Doubt
Blake knew that he would need advice to make sure that his new relationship didn’t end up going the same way as his previous one. Therefore, he turned to Christina Aguilera, who he had worked with on The Voice. However, Christina laughed when he mentioned Gwen, believing that he was joking. Then, when he proved to her that they were seeing each other, she turned around and said the following: “Everyone deserves to be happy, and I’m glad we’re keeping it in the family [of Voice co-stars]!”
Country Music Reactions
Life under the public microscope can be tough, but it gets even worse when you start dating again. After his messy divorce from Miranda, many people wondered what Blake’s friends thought of his new love – a decidedly un-country songstress. Blake’s friend Rich, the frontman for the band Lonestar, made things clear. “I love Gwen Stefani,” Rich said, “we all love her… happiness reigns at the end of the day.” This must have been a major relief for Blake!
The torrid love affair quickly turned serious – enough so that rumors began swirling about upcoming nuptials. Although the pair still isn’t officially engaged (meaning they haven’t posted anything on social media), apparently Gwen has already added celebrity wedding planner Jerri Woolworth to the Stefani payroll. But sometimes art imitates life, so Blake’s song about an older couple marrying later in life, called “I’ll Name The Dogs” seems to be hinting at some serious commitment in the near future.
Adam Levine Feels Sick
The Voice co-judge Adam Levine had quite a mouthful about the happy couple’s day to day antics on the show’s set. “I see it every day. I have a pretty unique perspective on it, and it’s real, man. I’m so affectionate and gross with my wife- this is a whole other level of…vomit.” Adam also said, “They’re so in love it’s disgusting.” But as the expression goes: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby…?
Instead of taking time off to nurture their newly blossoming romance, the music power couple has kept up with their careers. They’ve channeled their love into creative projects, like when Blake sang duets on many of Gwen’s holiday album songs, including the smash hit single “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” However, sometimes career isn’t satisfying enough. Despite the fact that Gwen is just a stone’s throw away from 50 years old, a source said she’s “hyper-focused on getting pregnant.”
Never Too Old To Be A Mom
According to In Touch Weekly, Gwen’s ready to continue growing her brood with Blake by using medical intervention. Even though she has money for the best doctors available, Gwen is still up against some pretty stiff odds by trying to conceive at her age. However, a source close to the couple said that “they believe that God has a bigger plan for her, and that includes getting pregnant.” Only time will tell if we see some more Shelton kids!
Marriage In Jeopardy?
While the rumors of expanding their family heat up, the actual nuptials seem to be on the back burner. We think this might be because Blake is still doing damage control after his second divorce. A friend of the couple said to In Touch Weekly that “Blake had hoped that time would ease the pain of the divorce…but sadly, it just hasn’t.” Two years have already passed since the marriage ended, but “Blake admits he’s still devastated.”
There’s nothing quite like getting kicked when you’re already down, and unfortunately for poor Blake, the tabloids seized the opportunity to make his tough time even tougher. In Touch magazine crowed that it was “Rehab for Blake.” The article claimed that Blake’s drinking had spiraled out of control and that he had even started drinking before 11 in the morning. Shelton took the yellow journalists to court and nailed them! The judge said the magazine was guilty of libel.
Blake’s First Big Love
Kaynette Gern was the original Mrs. Shelton, having been Blake’s hometown high school sweetheart. Blake swore to Kaynette and her parents that “Kaynette was the one.” Kaynette felt like she had the world on her shoulders, performing both the duties of a wife and a country music super star’s manager and personal assistant. Their split came only three years after the nuptials, and Kaynette stated on the record that Blake had engaged in “inappropriate marital conduct.”
Kaynette Picks Up The Pieces
Kaynette high-tailed it back to her home state of Oklahoma and was devastated to see Blake around town with his new paramour. Kaynette lamented, “It just felt like Oklahoma wasn’t big enough for all of us.” Kaynette needed time and space to heal, and ended up auctioning off her wedding dress on eBay! That’s one way to get rid of the memories. She’s resumed a fairly normal life, working at an elementary school and remarrying a non-famous man.
Blake was married when he and Miranda started their love affair, which might explain the crash and burn. When they sang a duet at the CMT awards, Blake had an epiphany, saying “I was falling in love with her right there onstage.” Blake felt guilty, knowing that he was violating his wedding vows. He said in an interview that he “was a married guy… standing up there going, ‘Man, this shouldn’t be happening.'” But the heart wants what the heart wants.
The Second Mrs. Shelton
At heart, despite all of the fame, Blake Shelton is still a good old country boy at heart. So naturally, he asked Miranda’s father for her hand in marriage before proposing. He happily agreed, and just one year after getting engaged, the two got hitched in a down-home Texas wedding. Even though it was a star-studded event, with Kelly Clarkson, CeeLo Green, and Reba McEntire in attendance, Miranda kept it simple and wore her mom’s wedding dress.
Missing Each Other
Maybe warning bells should have started ringing once the couple understood exactly how much time they’d be spending away from each other. Miranda was touring internationally, and Blake stayed at home, recording in the studio. Initially, Miranda believed that absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s always good to have some space to miss each other, the popular reasoning goes. When she’d visit the studio, Blake’s musicians would tell her that “Blake’s been talking about you so much.”
He Changed His Ways
When you’re a celebrity power couple, sometimes work takes you to entirely different corners of the country. But Blake decided to prioritize being physically near his wife, even if it meant missing out. “Early on in my career I wouldn’t say no to anything, because any little opportunity I got I thought might be the last one,” Blake said in an interview. “I got a wife now. I say no to the things that might not matter as much.”
A Bun In The Oven?
After Blake and Miranda had been together for two full years, rumors began to emerge regarding when the music power-couple would announce a baby on the way. When Blake was asked directly about the matter, he responded by saying that the couple, “[didn’t] have any plans on it. That’s kinda how [they] live [their lives]. If it happens one day, then it happens and we’re not trying to make it happen or avoid it.” This didn’t mean that the country star didn’t want kids.
Divorce Is Not An Option
Blake and Miranda have always found themselves dealing with some kind of tabloid rumors. In 2013, Life & Style magazine started releasing false reports of Shelton’s infidelity to Miranda. Luckily, Blake and Miranda always knew to trust each other far more than any magazine headline. When asked about the magazine, Blake stated, “I have an album coming out! Put my album right next to it and pick it up.” Meanwhile, Lambert said, “My mom said to my dad, ‘Divorce is not an option.'”
Something Clearly Wrong
Back in July 2015, Miranda was playing a show at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming. While she was in the middle of her powerful hit “The House That Built Me,” Miranda found herself overcome with emotion and unable to finish the song, so she requested from her fans to help her get through it. Blake had given the song to Miranda, and with the final steps of their divorce just two days away, Miranda felt everything hit her at once.
As the news spread about Blake and Miranda’s split, fans and tabloid magazines began to speculate what could have gone wrong. One of the biggest theories involved Blake’s role on The Voice. Because he had been spending so much time filming the singing competition in Los Angeles, a city which Miranda despises, the couple had been spending less and less time together. Miranda felt that Blake wasn’t putting in enough effort to visit her. There was more to the story than meets the eye, however.
Fans would soon learn that in the end, the divorce was actually filed by Blake. According to TMZ, Blake had discovered that Miranda was involved in numerous affairs behind his back. Once Blake found out about Miranda’s indiscretions, he decided the time had come to get a divorce. Because the couple had agreed to sign a prenup before tying the knot, the divorce was easy from a legal standpoint. Unfortunately, Miranda would soon go public with her own allegations against Blake.
Turn It Around
According to Miranda, Blake had only filed for divorce as an attempt to cover up his own infidelities. After hearing rumors that her cheating led to the couple’s divorce, Miranda fired back, claiming that, in reality, Blake was the unfaithful one, and that the only reason he came out unscathed in the public eye was that he managed to hire a solid PR team. As time went on, the drama would only intensify as both sides continued to slander the other.
Kicking Her (Stuff) To The Curb
Despite having signed a prenup, dividing up their belongings was a messy and challenging task for the divorced couple. Miranda began collecting all of her things from Blake’s Oklahoma house and filling up boxes. Things got so bad that at one point, Blake threatened Miranda that if she didn’t get rid of all of her stuff, he would bring it all to the dump for her. In addition, Miranda needed to figure out what to do with her animals who were still on Blake’s property.
Miranda’s New Guy
After the divorce, both parties were quick to find themselves rebounds. It was only a matter of time before the beautiful and talented Miranda Lambert found herself a new man. A few months after saying goodbye to Shelton, Miranda met Anderson East, a talented up-and-coming R&B singer. Even though East is four years younger than Miranda, the two look awfully comfortable together, especially in this photo she shared of the couple cuddling up together in Aspen with the tagline “The snuggle is real.”
Her Side Of The Story
Meanwhile, Blake moved on to pop sensation, and former No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani. Despite Blake’s poor track record with women and relationships, his new relationship with Gwen was off to a great start. A couple of years after the big breakup, Miranda came out with an album titled The Weight of These Wings. Upon the record’s release, Lambert explained that her fans should “want to hear [her] side of the story or my opinion of what happened, it’s all on there.”
For most people, running into an ex can be particularly awkward and unnerving. For Miranda and Blake, the two were bound to face each other eventually, mainly because both exes are famous country artists. While many fans were anticipating a confrontation between Blake and Anderson at the Academy of Country Music Awards, the two couples never met face to face. Miranda even went on to follow Gwen Stefani on Twitter, showing the world that she was over Blake at last.
Adventures Of Blake And Gwen
Any parent who goes through a divorce understands that, no matter what, kids need to come first. Gwen has undoubtedly appreciated Blake’s willingness to partake in family activities and get involved in her boys’ lives. One of the family’s go-to destinations is Lake Arrowhead. In addition, Disneyland is one of their favorites. Surprisingly, before meeting Gwen, Blake had never been to the Happiest Place on Earth! To get into the spirit, he even wore a “1st Visit” button on his shirt!
Miranda’s Magical Birthday
Ever since her dramatic breakup with Blake Shelton, Miranda has been investing time in herself and finding new ways to have fun and enjoy herself. On her 32nd birthday, Miranda decided to create her own fairy tale. While she has always been a lover of animals, she knew she would never be able to fulfill her dream of riding a real-life unicorn. Instead, she did the next best thing and stuck a pink horn onto a white horse named Sophie.
Trouble On The Horizon?
Unfortunately, Miranda and Anderson’s fairytale romance came to an end in February 2018. Meanwhile, things between Blake and Gwen may also be on the rocks. While everything seems to be going well between the couple, new issues could change things. With Blake’s history of divorces and Gwen’s recent legal problems which resulted from an injured concert-goer who followed her instructions to charge towards the stage at one of her shows, only time will tell if they can weather the storm.
Wash Away The Negative
The world was eagerly waiting for Blake Shelton’s reaction to some big news that Miranda had recently revealed, but rather than take the bite, one of Shelton’s friends only had this to say, “He put Miranda in his rear view mirror long ago. Miranda brings nothing positive to his life. Their marriage ended and he moved on. Ever since, he is grateful every day.” In the meantime, he is as focused as ever on his romance with Gwen.
A New Ring
Since this past November, Miranda Lambert has been linked with a police officer from New York City named Brendan McLoughlin. Rather than heeding the warning signs that he might have some baggage left to deal with, Miranda jumped into the romance head first. As she revealed on Valentine’s Day on her Instagram, the two married in secret at the end of January, which they’d been hiding from the world until now. We hope it works out for them!