Sunday, March 31, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Oh, the places you'll go!

For the first time ever, I'm participating in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. We are encouraged to choose a theme to make it easier, and also make our posts more interesting, so I have chosen:

Oh, the places you'll go!

I didn't get on an airplane until I was 20 years old and flew to the Bay Area with college friends to visit another friend. Even though my family had traveled extensively through the United States by car and camping, the only time I'd ever been outside the country was to see Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) when I was 16.

At the airport, getting ready to board the plane
 (my travel buddy, Debbie, is in the red skirt)
When I was younger, my parents considered taking our family overseas to live for a few years, and my sister and brother and I protested vociferously. (I can't believe my parents let us sway their decision. What an experience that would have been!) They had lived in Germany before I was born and traveled throughout Europe...but from the time my mom got pregnant with me (1964) through 1988, they did not travel overseas either. Airfare was expensive, and we didn't have a lot of disposable income when I was younger. Camping and car trips were much more affordable.
Getting ready for my adventure!

At the age of 21 after I graduated from college, I got on a plane and flew to Japan, where I ended up living for three years. I had only one month to prepare for my first year abroad, and I did not speak a word of Japanese. Fortunately I convinced my college roommate and friend Debbie to come along. I'm so grateful that we could take that adventure together--getting from Tokyo to Osaka the first night would have been terrifying and traumatic if I had been alone. In the next month you'll see photos of Debbie and other adventurous friends.

When I met another travel bug in Japan, my British husband, I found a compatible and fun traveling companion to last me for life! During the three years we lived in Japan, and for a few months after we left, I was able to visit many Asian countries. I'm glad I got to travel so much before having children, as now we are not able to travel abroad nearly as often as I would like.

My blogging challenge will focus on the places I've traveled to outside of the United States. Each day (with the exception of Sundays), I will take you through different destinations from A to Z. I hope you enjoy the journey!

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