We had the travel bug and it caused a fever. It’s never gone away.
If you haven’t got much money, you still find ways to travel, if you want to travel badly enough. Television programs, books, day-dreaming. Wherever we lived, we considered ourselves tourists and went out to explore. We didn’t wait for relatives to come to visit before we found the local highlights. Southern California is packed.
Starting a family business expanded our travel horizons. Rick needed to travel to drum up more business, and did so alone or with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He visited Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, England and Italy. I stayed home to tend children and run Rivers Aviation Services in his absence. When Rick could manage it, he arranged for me to join him – once in London, another time in Rome.
As my writing career continued, it involved speaking, which also meant traveling; Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando. Later, we went on a book tour in Europe; the Netherlands, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Norway, England.
It wasn’t until AFTER the Mark of the Lion trilogy came out that we made it to Israel and I finally saw Rome. What a feeling – walking those ancient streets and letting your imagination hummmm. I’ve yet to see Ephesus, but God willing, I’ll get there.
When Rick was diagnosed with Parkinsons, we decided it was time to accelerate our travel plans. Part of that plan was closing down the family business, consigning the inventory and making time and a list of places to visit. Trips also needed to fit into my writing schedule. We’d been saving diligently and it was time to get a move on. Our original goal was one domestic and one international trip a year.
Since the children grew and flew, we’ve traveled with friends through the Southwest (seeing 17 national parks in 15 days). We drove all over the northeastern states and saw the Fall colors with Swedish relatives. We’ve been to the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, the plains and everglades. We’ve ridden buses around England, Scotland and Ireland, and riverboats from Amsterdam to the Black Sea, St. Petersburg to Moscow. Over the years, we’ve taken the family to Hawaii and Alaska (on a Disney cruise) and Chicago (for a family gathering).
To be continued…