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Without a doubt, the “travel bug” bit me in my teenage years; the first infection might have been my first flight at 15 years old from California to Massachusetts to visit family. But then I had the opportunity to study at Tel Aviv University in Israel for a year (1969-1970), and my fate was sealed.
Fortunately, I married a man who not only loved to travel, too, but also enjoyed going to the same countries I wanted to see. When he was in the Navy (before we’d met) and in his work as a consulting engineer, he saw a number of countries that I’ve never seen. Then again, on my return trip from Israel I had six weeks to see parts of Europe that he has never seen. Everywhere we’ve been together, we’ve been fascinated by the various cultures; both of us loved to learn and have new experiences. I would study up on each country’s culture before we left and share with him those parts I thought he would enjoy. It has been a great partnership.
Our favorite part of the world was Southeast Asia. For me, I appreciated the connection to my Buddhist practice (at that time). I think that Jerry enjoyed how exotic these countries were compared to the Western countries. The beauty, color, and extravagance of traditional costumes and temples compared to Western mores were captivating. And often the people were charming, too. By the time we went to Australia, Jerry was a bit put off by how “ordinary” it was (except for the indigenous community); I needed to remind him that there was much to see and enjoy, in spite of the many similarities to our own country.