When we go back to my childhood (yes again!!) you might or might not be surprised to know that I didn’t go anywhere for vacations. Our family all lived near us except for one uncle who still lived in Arkansas. We did go see him a few times, but not really any other vacations and not anything that I would consider traveling. My high school youth group for church provided me with more traveling in those few years than any of the years before combined. We went to church camp at Glorietta, NM and Panama City Beach, FL. We went on a spring break ski trip to Breckenridge, CO and another spring break trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL. These trips were awesome, but somehow it didn’t feel like traveling. I mean… I’m sure I was a normal, self-absorbed teenage girl who was just loving hanging out with her friends on the bus and terrified of the birds that were allowed to fly willy-nilly all over the Disney Theme Parks!! YIKES!! My senior year, our physics class went to Washington DC on a trip and got there on a train from Meridian, MS to Washington DC. I was a great trip, and one of the ones I remember most easily. Both of my parents went on this trip, so maybe that’s why I like it so much! After graduation, I didn’t want to go on a “senior trip” or anything like that (I told you I had no desire to be rebelious). My parents took me to Branson, MO for a few days. We had a really good time, and I’m surprised by how much of that I remember too… We went to my first Ripley’s Believe it or Not?! museum (these museums – or odditoriums – will for some weird reason continue to pop up in my life and travels!)
I went to college in Arkansas, and spent most of that time just trying to get over my freshman year and graduate. So… no traveling then… I guess that might not be completely true. We did a spring break mission trip to Kentucky with the MBSF to help them start a youth group. I then went back there by myself for the summer to be their youth group leader and try to get it going. I worked for the preacher’s parents at their hardware store, and lived with them while I was there. It was fun, but weird being on my own… sort of! The spring break after I met Ron (maybe I never said his name, but that’s my bald-headed man!!) anyway, we went on an MBSF trip to Washington DC and stopped by the church in Kentucky on our way home.
I wanted to see more of the country. I didn’t really have a desire to leave the United States, but I knew there were cool places out there that I wanted to see… eventually. And some places I wanted to see again.
So Ron told me, when I met him, that he thought he was being called to be a United Methodist minister. I knew some of what the methodist believed, but most of it was just what I had heard other people say. I needed to find out more about this, and maybe my research will be in another post, but this one is about travel! 🙂
I told him that I was ready to go with him anywhere… then excitedly explained how I couldn’t wait to move all around the country with him and see new and awesome things. He informed me that he would be in the Arkansas conference and that we would be moving quite a bit, but only around the state of Arkansas. I pouted… I admit it. I thought this was my chance to get out and see things. I got over it and kept reading books so I could graduate! 😉
After we were married for a few years, and in the midst of infertility angst, He comes home from one annual conference and says he’s been approached about joining the Air Force as a chaplain and he was thinking about giving it a try in the Air Reserves. I followed right along with him. No griping from me about him following God’s call… Nothing really changed very much except he did have to go to training more often.
We moved churches (inside of Arkansas), I finally got pregnant the first time. After Price was born, he went away to another training, and before it was even over he was talking about doing this for real. Joining the Air Force on active duty.
My question “Will we move out of Arkansas?” His answer “We will get to live all over the world!” I was IN!! And it’s been a great adventure…
We spent nearly 3 years in Colorado Springs, Co as our first assignment, then to Ankara, Turkey for nearly 2 years where I was pretty terrified. Next was Fort Meade, Mayland (directly between DC and Baltimore)… I LOVED it!! And now we are in southern Spain for the next 2 years (it’s actually only about 18 months now… we’ve already been here 1/4 of our time. It is flying by over here!! I’ll write more about these individual places and the things we were able to do and see there, so stay tuned for more travel!!
After nearly 10 years on active duty, and now with the number of places I’ve been and places I’ve lived stacking up…. I can honestly say that every single time I drive into Hamburg, Arkansas no matter how long I’ve been gone, it feels like a warm blanket has been draped over my shoulders. There is truly no place like home, and Arkansas is kind of a wonderful place to call home!!
Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!