Here’s the obligatory section where you get to learn a little about me…
Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs, I’m a Midwesterner by birth and now a Californian by choice.
A Navy ROTC scholarship took me out of the big city to Iowa State University in rural Ames, Iowa for a much different Midwestern experience. “De-tasseling? What’s that??”
Once commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy, I was paid to live in Newport, RI; Honolulu, HI; Yokosuka, Japan; Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; San Diego, CA; and Seoul, Korea. The navy decided to send me to Newport and Honolulu not once, but twice each.
After bouncing around the world to places like Hong Kong (when it was still a British colony), Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Australia (plus a few others), I opted to leave the navy after 12 years of service.
I landed back in the Midwest pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
On graduation, work took me to Batesville, IN, a small town of 6,000 people in southeastern Indiana known for its casket company. (How’s that for a claim to fame?) I worked for the sister company that made hospital beds and stayed there for 17 years.
San Diego had always been a favorite of mine, and when the navy sent me away from it, I vowed I would make a one-way trip back someday. That trip happened in April 2012, and that’s where I call home now (and forever, if I have anything to do with it).
How I Came to Love Travel
It’s genetic. Perhaps with a little greater influence from my mother’s genes than my father’s.
Both of our parents enjoyed traveling and took us on some pretty spectacular road trips as children. Long before the days of mandatory car seats and seat belt laws, I would lean over the back of the front seat of the car, peering at the world going by over my dad’s shoulder, as my sister slept soundly beside me. I never slept as we drove. Too much to miss.
One of our first trips was in 1965 (yes, that makes me older than dirt) to Clearwater, Florida. I can recall standing on the beach, foolishly feeding the sea gulls stale bread, and one swooped down from behind me, striking my head with its feet, as it snatched the bread from my upraised hand.
The next year, we were on a dude ranch in Colorado, riding full-sized horses up to a camp for a barbecue lunch. Mine refused to cross an eight-foot wide stream and started rearing up on its hind legs with me hanging on for dear life.
A few years later in 1972, we bought a new International Travelall and a Holiday Rambler 21-foot travel trailer and did a five week long trip through the Canadian Maritimes. Watching the world’s largest tidal range at the Bay of Fundy was impressive.
Fast forward to 1976 and we’re tooling around the Great Lakes in our new 25-foot motor home, with me behind the wheel playing chauffeur for dad. It was great.
When I travel, I can be both a planner and a free-lancer. But some of my most enjoyable trips have been done on the fly. I once literally left my house in Batesville, got to the interstate, and while sitting at the stoplight, flipped a coin. Heads, I was going west; tails I was going east. I had a great time in southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico!
I still bring along a travel journal that I jot notes into as I’m going. (Gasp! Someone still uses pen and paper??) Of course, my camera comes along as well to capture some of the special places and moments. And my GPS unit, maps, and atlases. (Put an atlas in front of me and I’m entertained for hours. Seriously.)
Enjoy reading about my travels.
P.S. I never asked, “Are we there yet?” That was always my sister. 🙂 Really.
Where I’ve Been
Zoom out on the map and drag to see where I’ve been in the world.