I would love to travel more. I would love to spend my entire life visiting new places, learning new things, having new experiences, and coming home again. Because coming home again is just as important as leaving, I think. It’s what makes it so much fun–by the time you’ve had enough, you get to return to the familiar and the comfortable.
I’ve been blessed to have a few fantastic travel opportunities. Ten years ago I decided to max out my credit cards and go visit my brother for two weeks while he was stationed in Pyeongtaek at Camp Humphreys. I left three days after a hurricane hit my town and everyone was without power. (In fact, my home had no power for twelve days, so I lucked out timing wise. Very weird to be in Korea and seeing footage of my hometown on the Armed Services TV) It was the most amazing vacation. Armed with my own personal interpreter (little brother was a linguist in the Army, speaks Korean), we set off for an adventure. Spent time in his base town, but off base because they were on a security lockdown and while I could visit I could not spend the night. I learned how cheap public transportation truly is in other countries, and rode the train across the country for about $3.50. Gyeongju has a ton of ancient history touristy sites, and after two days there we went back to the base. Then several days in Seoul. Then back to base to do laundry again. Then several days in Jejudo in the middle of the Yellow Sea. Then back to base. Then Incheon for my return trip home. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and one I’ll always treasure.
My first experience overseas was in 1997. I had moved home after college two years prior, and my old music director had asked me to help out periodically on a substitute basis for projects that he had going on. Then he decided to get a group together for a musical mission to perform at the Mozart Music Festival in Salzburg, Austria. I spent 12 days in Salzburg with a side trip to Munich. We performed almost daily, essentially on street corners in some of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen. The gardens at Mirabell. The center of Mozartplatz. The cathedral at Mondsee (where Maria von Trapp got married in the movie!). Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life. Some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen. And the first trip across the ocean!