My journaling began on my first visit to Europe in 1980 when I wrote of my overwhelming first impressions in a descriptive letter to my in-laws. Several more trips followed to magical places. It wasn't until I traveled through Southeast Asia in 1986 that more extensive writing began. Capturing the essence of the places I visited in words became a passion and I continued to journal each overseas trip. Sharing them with fellow travelers let to lasting friendships.
Growing up in a small town in Michigan as the oldest of six in a middle-class family, travel consisted of an occasional summer vacation in a nearby cabin on a lake. My maternal grandparents lived on the north side of Chicago and I stayed with them on several occasions. Those visits seemed exotic. The thought of international travel never crossed my mind.
That all changed when my husband accepted a position in a company in the Los Angeles area in 1979. Frequent overseas travel became his routine and I occasionally accompanied him. Our first joint trip in 1980 took us to Holland, Paris and London. I was captivated and the travel seed was planted.
This book covers sixteen trips I took with my husband, our daughters, and friends or on my own. In more recent years, you'll notice a gap. Having traveled through so much of the world, my husband and I opted for two extensive tours of the western United States, visiting many National Parks and significant landmarks. Although I wrote about these trips, this book concentrates solely on international destinations. Rounding out my forty years of travel would have included a few days in Denmark followed by a Baltic cruise from August 26th to September 9th, 2020, but the trip was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Africa and India remain on my bucket list.
I've included many positive experiences along with some that were less satisfying. Each adventure offered something new and exciting and added to my understanding of the fascinating world in which we are so fortunate to live.