Home and Away
I started blogging on Travelblog in 2009, entering trips beginning in 2007. However, my intention has always been to document my years of travel. Most bloggers write about their trips away from home. Mine, and eventually Linda's, homes have usually been where people travel to. So the idea eventually percolated to rename our blog "Home and Away."
The blog is not intended to be an autobiography, although I spent my entire life traveling, with Linda joining me after college, it may appear to be that way. As this is a travel blog the entries concentrate mostly on the travel aspects of our lives. The blogs about our homes (see the links below) necessarily provide the setting, with an abbreviated description of what brought us to that place, our local travel, and some of the significant events, many of which intersected with history, that might be of general interest to readers. These "home" blogs are followed by blogs about the extended trips we took while living in each place.
To start at the beginning in 1949 just go to The Beginning
. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and lived in Thailand for a total of 8 years, Dalat, Vietnam for 5 years, and the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia for 2 years; returning to the States for college in 1968. I met Linda at Geneva College; me a senior and she a freshman. We were married in December 1972, and that's when Linda was also infected with the travel bug.
In February 1973 we moved to Thailand for 2 1/2 years (see blogs beginning with Back to Thailand with Linda - our home in Bangkok
In July 1975, at the end of the Vietnam War, we returned to the States; living in the Washington DC area for 2 years (see blogs starting with Home for a couple years in the DC area
In August 1977 we moved back overseas to Germany; living in Ramstein for 2 1/2 years (see blogs starting with Three Years in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
), and Boblingen for 4 1/2 years (see blogs starting with Home in Boblingen, Germany
In July 1984 we moved to Belgium; living in Overijse (outskirts of Brussels) for 11 years (see blogs starting with Home in Overijse, Belgium from July 1984 to November 1995
). Our three children, Tamara, Rosanna, and Will were born in Belgium.
In November 1995 we finished our overseas assignments and moved to Falls Church, Virginia (see blogs starting with Home in Falls Church, Virginia from November 1995 to August 2005
). While living there for ten years, we took road trips to all 50 states and several U.S. territories looking for a place to retire.
In August 2005 we retired in Colorado (see blogs starting with Retirement in Woodland Park Colorado
), which gives us even more time to travel. However, Linda is tiring of traveling, so is very selective about when she joins me on trips, but our three children are hooked on travel for life.
On December 31, 2011 I completed all blog entries covering the period from 1949 to 2011, including travel to 65 countries. Discovering that, I set a goal of traveling to 100 countries.
So in September 2012 (see blogs starting with Our 40th Anniversary Trip Begins!
) rather than flying directly to Sydney for our 40th Anniversary, we flew to Honolulu and cruised to American Samoa (66), Samoa (67), Fiji, Vanuatu (68), French Caledonia (69), to Sydney, Australia; then flew to New Zealand (70) for several weeks of touring on the South and North Islands.
In March 2013 (see blogs starting with Planning my Silk Road and Baltics RTW
), I flew to Beijing, China where I met up with my son Will who flew in from Bangkok. We traveled the Silk Road by train, first to Lanzhou, where we took a side trip to Xiahe (Labrang where my parents we married in 1949), then to Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Turpan, and Urumqi in China. We flew from there via Almaty, Kazakhstan (71) to finish the Silk Road in Uzbekistan (72); visiting the sights of Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. We then flew from Tashkent to Riga, Latvia (73) and took buses to Vilnius, Lithuania (74), and Tallinn, Estonia (75); and a ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, Finland (76). We then took our separate ways with Will flying to Rome and I headed home via a stopover in London.
In May 2014 Linda and I explored the Pre-Colombian civilizations on our first visit to South America; first the Inca civilization exemplified by Machu Picchu in Peru (77) and Tiwanaku in Bolivia (78). We had a brief stopover in Colombia (79) and Panama (80), enough time to see the Panama Canal and the old city, before continuing to Cancun, Mexico to see the Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula (see blogs starting with Planning our Pre-Colombian Civilizations Trip
In April 2015 I flew to Dubrovnik, Croatia (81) where I took a side trip to Kotor, Montenegro (82) and Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina (83), and then headed north along the Croatian coast to Split, Trogir, Sebinek, and Zadar, before heading inland to Plitvici Lakes National Park, and back to the Istrian Peninsula, before finishing my trip at Lake Bled and Ljubljana, Slovenia (84). Linda decided to skip this trip, so we will go to the Big Island of Hawaii in October 2015.
In April/May or September/October 2016 I plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, and am getting ready now by hiking almost everyday and hoping to reach 10 miles/day by October 2015, reading the experiences of others including Travelbloggers, and devouring guidebooks. I'm currently on Plan D...flying to Barcelona, driving a rental car to Andorra (85) St Jean de Pied de Port, Roncesvalles, and returning the rental car at Pamplona. There I will begin my walk to Burgos, then by bus across the meseta to Leon, and then walking to Santiago de Compostelo...a total of 300 miles out of the 500 miles for the Camino Frances. Linda isn't going and thinks I'm nuts!
Originally, I had planned for Linda and I to cruise in 2016 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (85) to Montevideo, Uruguay (86), to Buenos Aires, Argentina (87), to the Falkland Islands (88), to Ushuaia and the Chilean Fjords, to Valparaiso, Chile (89) or vice verse. And then in 2017 cruise the Eastern Caribbean to include Martinique (90), Guadeloupe (91), St Lucia (92), Barbados (93), Trinidad/Tobago (94), Venezuela (95), Grenada (96), the British Virgin Islands (97), St Maarten, the Netherlands Antilles (98) and the French Saint Martin (99), Antigua and Barbuda (100), St Kitts and Nevis (101), and Dominica (102), to exceed my goal of 100 countries.
But I'm in no hurry to meet my goal of having traveled to 100 countries, and am reevaluating my goals. I have no doubt that by continuing to travel I will eventually reach that goal. Just doing the cruises when I'm older will achieve that goal. But for now there may be higher priorities depending upon what I learn walking the Way.