I think that it was sometime around 9th grade, 1976 or so. I was taking Spanish. The school had arranged a trip to Mexico, or perhaps Spain. I don’t really remember the details. I wanted to go, but my parents said no. Looking back, I can understand why they said that. I was in the Spanish class but not engaged at all. I was going through the motions. I just wanted to go on the trip because I thought it would be cool to go. Speaking Spanish would just be a hardship that I’d have to endure! 😀

As a family, we didn’t travel much. No one in my family had a passport. In those carefree, pre-9/11 days, one could go to Mexico or Canada with only a birth certificate and perhaps a drivers license. We went to Niagara Falls many times with the church.
I went to Mexico on my first adult trip, Cancun, around 1988. I got my first passport in 1996, before a trip to Brazil. Almost time for my third renewal!

As far as I know, I was the first person in my family to obtain a passport; however, I am in third place as far as most traveled. My nephew, Justin, who was a wrestler for the army has been to nearly every country that you can think of, including a stop in England for the last Summer Olympics. His dad, my brother Fred, has been to so many countries, saving souls. He’s the preacher man of the family.

Both of them found ways to get other people to pay for their travels, Justin, the army, Fred, his church. I need to investigate that. Traveling under your own steam is expensive. 🙂

My brother and I have talked about our various travels and things that we’ve seen and how much appreciation and gratitude we have for living where we live. It’s an eye-opening experience, to say the least, at least it has been for me.

I have plans for a few out of country trips this year, but one need not travel outside of the country to experience different cultures. One only needs to head out to New York or San Francisco to explore a completely different culture, or perhaps the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or the Mississippi Delta region – there are lots of variations to be seen.

Gun ownership?
Spreading the travel bug