Over the course of my 51 years of life, I have been fortunate to travel. As I say to my students, travel is one of life’s greatest gifts, and, once you start, you will be traveling for the rest of your life.
As a child, my family and I traveled to South Carolina each summer. It’s where the extended family resided. I remember one time asking my Dear Parents why we couldn’t go to Disney World. Their response? “When you are an adult, you will be able to go wherever you like. Right now, it’s important to know your relatives.” As I got older, I grew to understand that visiting South Carolina in the summer was really the only opportunity my Dear Parents had to see their own Dear Parents, and, in the case of my Dear Mother, her Dear Sister. Incidentally, my Dear Brother and I visited Disney World in January of 1996. It was his graduate school graduation gift to me. And, in March of 2015, we visited Disneyland.
Those summer trips to South Carolina hold so many wonderful memories for me: the adventure of the 13-hour car ride, the delicious peaches, watermelon, okra and corn, my maternal grandparents’ big and beautiful house, their pet parrot Polly, the train that passed through daily, sitting on the porch and swinging in the glider, and, chili dogs and ice cream from the local dairy bar, and, my maternal grandmother’s homemade ice cream, and the delightful stories of people and events – both present and past. But, perhaps the most important part: I got to know my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles as real people, and not just pictures on tables and walls in the living room.
I was able to visit 25 of the 50 states of the United States via my five-year career as a college admission counselor. My trips to California, Florida, and Minnesota were especially memorable. You’re probably wondering why Minnesota is included in this group of memorable trips. It was the first time I visited a state in the Midwest, and I absolutely fell in love with Minneapolis-St. Paul.
I’ve also traveled outstide of the United States: Canada twice – Toronto and Montreal; Puebla, Mexico, as part of a two-week program for Spanish teachers; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and England and Scotland. What can I say about England and Scotland, other than it was simply magical. We visited: London, Cambridge, northern England, Edinburgh, and the Lake District. A friend and colleague who resides in England said the following to me upon my return to the States following my ten-day trip: “Do you realize that you and your brother saw more of England in ten days than most people native to the country see during their entire lifetime?” This statement astounded me. Wow…
My Dear Brother is my constant travel companion. We both enjoy history, and taking in the local color. So, we have a great time together. With the exception of Mexico, my Dear Brother and I have traveled abroad together to the aforementioned countries, and to Florida and California together stateside. We’re hoping to travel to South Africa one day; we plan to visit a wildlife preserve. We’ve also discussed Germany. My Dear Brother is a military history/World War II enthusiast.
Lord Willing, for my 60th birthday, I plan to visit Fiji, and spend every day on the beach, and every night in a hut on stilts. It’s one of my bucket list items.
Do you like to travel? Where have you visited? What was your most memorable trip? Tell me all about it in the Comments. Thank you!