Trip of a Lifetime

After a full month outside America, it was a bit of a relief, sadness and a reverse culture shift (we got used to narrow roads and smaller cars) returning, especially to busy NYC. When my lovely wife of 35 years unexpectedly passed away a year ago, I received her life insurance benefit.  I asked myself "What would Sherri want me to do with this?"  In my mind it WAS her money in a way.

We had always wanted our two children, Harrison (23) and Sophia (19), to experience the pleasure of travel that we did when we were young and I worked for United Airlines.  Sherri and I enjoyed Hawaii, the Bahamas, Australia and New Zealand, Israel, Greece, French Polynesia, the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, France, Portugal, Madeira and Egypt.

After we had kids, we did travel to the San Juans' and Victoria BC, LA, SFO, Wyoming, Lake Tahoe and her hometown of Monterey California but due to her body issues, going outside Oregon ended in 2005.  I think that is why she liked Pacific City so much.  It was drivable and similar to the views of Carmel Beach she grew up with.

Carmel Beach, California sandy area by the Pacific and 17 mile drive, Pebble Beach golf course, Monterey Penisula
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Travel is both a pain in the butt and a glorious experience.  It pushes you. And as humans, its good to be pushed on occasion.  Living out of a suitcase, getting lost, not understanding the language and eating food that doesn't agree with your palate isn't typically classified as "fun" but on the other hand-----

Experiencing a new unique culture, exploring structures that are thousands of years old, understanding in depth, the history of places you've heard of but never seen, feasting on unique dishes and seeing stunning natural beauty in a land far away is exhilarating. (To me at least.)  You can't do that on the internet.

After going to Bora Bora in November,  (Sherri's 2nd favorite place in the world.), our 38 day trip to places Sherri liked was set: Israel, Santorini (Greece), Switzerland, Venice, Austria, New York and New England in addition to two places I've always wanted to see: Prague and Ireland.

In the coming weeks, I'll post images, a trailer video and info about each major chronological stop.  Next week:  Israel, then 4-5 days later Santorini and so on.

Here are a few images to set the stage:

castle ireland

We all not only experienced a great deal, but healed a bit from our loss, bonded as a new family and learned a lot about history, culture and ourselves.

THAT is what travel can do.  I once read that travel (like a quality portrait), is one of the few things where you get your investment paid back over time.

True, that.