The early travels of my life were a result of my mother owning a trucking company. I remember many summers traveling from Nebraska via the semi. This was a result of my mom giving her drivers time off, but still need to cover the business. So, my sister and I would take a week or two in the semi with my mother. Usually, it wasn’t eventful, and we’d seen every state from Nebraska to California and up the west coast. I don’t recall all the things we did in each state. Most often, we would stop and spend time with family. So, memories that I recall most was a time when we stayed a Motel near the Hollywood sign. At the time, my sister had a tracheotomy and never wanted to learn to swim. So, most often she would sit by the pool and play with her Barbie dolls. Well, one time she fell in, and I grabbed her. From that point on, I think she realized that the water wouldn’t hurt her trachea and swimming was a new adventure for her and swimming was all we did in the summers from there on out.
The most recent trip to LA was a work-related trip with my husband. We stayed right in the heart of Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hills Hilton. They very hotel that Whitney Houston took her life in. We spent one full day visiting the Santa Monica Pierre, and riding bikes down the beach front towards Venice Beach. In Venice Beach, there is a strip of boutiques and high-end craft restaurants. We stopped at a donut shop, and each donut was $4. While they were very pricy, they were amazingly delicious. We spent one day touring Sony Studios. We got to see the stages of many of our favorite shows such as, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, The Goldberg’s, and many others. In fact, we got to meet Adam Goldberg. On our last day in LA, we did a walking trip thru Beverly Hills. Lots of shops. It does have several shops you wouldn’t find here in Omaha or even in Kansas City. I have to say it was similar to the Plaza in Kansas City. If you are a car junkie, like me, you will see all the high end cars. We had tons of great food, while it was all delicious, it was expensive. If there was one thing I could bring back to Nebraska, the public transportation. It made getting around so easy.
As a couple, my husband and I took our first real trip to Colorado for our honeymoon in 1998. We decided that we wanted to do something outdoors and not just sit on a beach somewhere. We did a three-night water rafting trip down the Royal Gorge. We had to camp at designated sights, and they packed our gear and prepared our meals. So, this was the most effortless trip. I can relate this trip to the first day of Long Way Around, episode 1. The first day on the river, our guide told us a story about a rafter that got his leg caught in the rocks and punctured his femoral artery and bleed to death. This was not what I wanted to hear on my first rafting trip, especially when the water was only 54 degrees. I was scared every time I almost fell out and when I did fall out, I was so scared and would panic inside. Looking back, it was a trip of a lifetime, but would I do three nights, no. We as a family visited in 2016. We did a full day trip down the Royal Gorge and all class 4 rapids down Clear Creek in Idaho Springs. Clear Creek proved to be scary. Let me just say… you were in the water half the time because the water was fast, and we hit a few class 5 rapids. Overall our favorite part of the trip, the pizza at Bouges.
Our dearest friends from our old neighborhood live in Punta Gorda, Florida. They left Bellevue in 2013 and we went to visit for our first time as family in 2014. We flew direct into Orland, which is 2 ˝ hours north of Punta Gorda. At that time, I spent $679 for 4 round trip tickets from Omaha to Orlando. Since they joined us in Orlando for three nights and four days. I booked our rooms at the Holiday Inn resort near the east main gate with a discount travel site we use and got two family rooms for $79 per night. Our room had a king bed, and a wall that separated set of bunk beds for our boys. Their room had a king bed, and two sets of bunks. It was a nice location, for being off property and there was an Applebee’s attached which was convenient for late night meals. We were able to drive our cars, and park hop with the Disney shuttles. At the end of the 4 days with our friends, drove down to Clearwater beach for two nights. I had Hilton points and we stayed at their private beach front property. The best time ever! We did parasail, boat rides to watch the dolphins and even jet skiing. Unfortunately, our oldest son took a stinger to the inside of his heel and pretty much took him out the remainder of the day. Thankfully we were on this private property, and I was able to get help. I wouldn’t have known what to do. They came and picked him up on the ATV and administered the first aid for us. He bled all day. So, we took a nice pirate tour and watched the dolphins. On our last night in Clearwater, the weather was beautiful! We were able sit beach side and you could see the dolphins jumping out of the water.
Anyone that has traveled to Nebraska, they likely know that a trip to Des Moines is only about two hours from Omaha. We make this trip about every 2-3 months. My dad lives in Vinton, Iowa, which is 2 hours north of Des Moines. When the weather allows, we could spend a day in Des Moines and visit Adventureland. Usually these trips involve eating and visits to the amusement park.
Kansas City, Kansas is a nice weekend getaway. We will usually hit Worlds of Fun once a year. However, my husband and I will go down in October and watch the water/fire show that is put on in the Plaza. There are several tasty restaurants and unique shops to wonder thru.
The Dells. The Dells are located in Wisconsin is a whole town developed for tourists. There are boat tours, amusement parks, water parks and Paul Bunyan restaurant. It isn’t the only restaurant, but it is the most worth it family style restaurant. I would make the 9 hour drive just to have the cinnamon sugar donuts.
The reasons that I travel, is to have time with my family and get to experience different foods, outdoor fun and time away from home and work. I need this time to unplug.
The benefits of traveling for me are about the moments and most cherished moments. I often find that the best trips I have taken have less photos to show proof. These moments symbolize that I am having the best time and freed of all the things that may hold me back from really exploring. Another benefit of traveling makes me more tolerant; the first time I visited Venice Beach when I was in LA, California in 2015. On this trip, it was the first realization that mental health was a problem that our country was not going to overcome. It saddened me. I was shocked by the number of those dealing with drug issues, multiple personalities and other forms of mental illness. My most favorite reason for traveling is the stories the stories that I get to share with my children, and someday sharing the trips their parents once took with us. My husband and I have only taken one trip without our children. I cannot imagine sharing these experiences with our kids. My husband and I will have plenty of opportunity in these next years before retirement to travel without our children. We didn’t want to waste this precious time and not take advantage of these moments.
1. We get out of comfort zone: facing challenges they might not otherwise face in a familiar location.
2. Traveling builds confidence: getting to meet new people and discuss topics you might not otherwise your usual location.
3. Develop cultural sensitivity: as defined in our reading, being aware of how the culture is
4. Be immersed in another language: My son took German in Jr. High and Highschool. This has afforded him the opportunity to interact with those in German club and when he travels next spring, he will have the ability to communicate while visiting a new city.
5. Opportunities to network: I know that when taking trips that are work related, I spend about 75% of my time networking with other employees of the dental colleges.
6. Money management: only if they plan and budget. This might encourage a young individual to save more and budget for the experiences of life.
you will not regret: there isn’t a trip I have had regrets on taking. It is good to get out and experience
It comes down to time and money. When you calculate what it costs one person to travel, and then you add your spouse and children, that number quadruples. Most American’s are in debt and the cost isn’t practical. Taking off time from work is another issue. While most earn 2-3 weeks of leave time, there is the need to save work time to be with children or family when needed. Now, there are some who can take several weeks a year off and still have a significant balance of time off.
My best description of self-imposed isolation is one who is a hermit, but not for religious reasons. They tend to isolate themselves. Imagine a hermit crab. While they change shells, they are alone in each new house they take. What I have learned about this term, is that it can be driven by depression and another form of isolation. Most are comfortable doing the same thing every day, very routine and not much out of their comfort zone. This could easily be mistaken for being lazy, but they are comfortable in what they do and often are afraid to travel or try something new. I think of the youngest school age generation today. Many fill their days with watching YouTube videos, playing video games, always involved with technology or even binge watching on Netflix. As the numbers for depression and social anxiety continues to rise, we will not see this trend decline until we reduce the amount of screen time.
In Long way round, in episode 7, they were trying to cross the roads in Mega dan. The terrain certainly was a challenge. My knowledge with motorcycles certainly will keep me from making an educated guess on if they should or could cross the rivers. Afterall, I thought BMW is supposed to be a good bike. I feel that the terrain would keep most people from getting across. I often wondered if they planned to have bikes that weren’t built to handle this type of terrain. As he explained in the article, the BMW bikes were not enough for this trip. Honestly, the bikes an issue in more ways than terrain, even Charley had hurt his shoulder in episode 7 from lifting the bike.
In Long Way Round, episode 1 preparation, they were going over ambush type exercises and scenarios they could cross in checkpoints. I wondered is that really what happens, and can you really pay off these officers. In this preparation, they were practicing CPR skills, and related physical exercised for life saving technics. Their medical training in this episode does prove the dangers associated with this trip. I learned things about CPR that I wouldn’t have known. Even though they do not have an extensive geographical knowledge, certainly their staff would assist them thru the next steps. I believe this route was well thought out, maybe the worst terrain to make this show interesting? This episode made me think of the time my son had a stinger from a ray in his foot. Yes, even he was doing the shuffle, but took one to the heel. I’d never seen someone bleed so badly. Little did I know when the emergency crew came and got him, the stinger has an anticoagulant in it. Like Charley and Ewan, you have to be prepared for the worst when traveling in any area that is foreign to you.
Submitted by Katina Winters on 01/30/2019.