I love travel; air travel in particular. I have loved it ever since my first flight when I was 11 years old and I flew, by myself, back from Billings, Montana to Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) with a transfer in Minneapolis. I have my Uncle Don and Aunt Margaret to thank for that trip. They had come out to visit our family that summer and my Uncle Don asked if I wanted to drive back, camping on the way, to spend a week in Cody, Wyoming with he and my cousin Lynn. Yes, please, was of course my answer!! – It was my first trip away from home, not being with my Mom and family, and it was an amazing experience. I am sure it has had a big impact on why I like to travel so much today! Thank you for that Uncle Don, Aunt Margaret and Lynn (and Mom for letting me go!).
I continued developing this love for air travel while I lived in different places around the Country and with having chances to get on planes to get back home to see family and friends or meet them in other locations around the country! Also to get to my new home to meet new friends there. I love airports enough that while living in Chicago, when I landed at O’Hara a number of times I would just stop at the airport bar to have a beer to ease into being home and a chance to see all the other travelers, getting home or heading out for the weekend, while I was safely at my home destination. Similarly when I moved to Austin, flying back into town was like a party, where at Austin-Bergtrom they would have a band playing and beers being poured, giving you that same warm welcome being back home again feeling!
Airports have been a meeting place over the years, with picking friends up as they flew in to visit, or just going to meet them at the airport as they flew through town. With a lot of good friends being fellow travelers for work and play, I have also had many times when I have bumped into friends at different airports while we were both on the road and traveling through Memphis, Detroit, New York, Dallas or LA. Bottom line, I live travel!
This positive feeling obviously has continued and this weekend as I arrived in Thailand and with this new philosophy for my last two months of this journey to relax and enjoy, I learned how easy and inexpensive it was to get to Vietnam, so I followed the recommendations of two good friends from Austin, Erin and Paul, and caught a flight to Hanoi and then took a couple of day boat trip out in to HaLong Bay, apparently one of the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and a regular on the Travel and Leisure Mag’s Annual top five destinations in the world. Unlike when I was 11, this time I did not have a flight attendant getting me from gate to gate and no big plastic ticket holder around my neck, but it was again, an amazing experience. I as I arrived at the Bangkok airport it still had all the excitement of the planes and the people going to so many different places around the world and me going to discover a new land myself. Still happy to be on the road, or in the air, to discover a new Country and have a new adventure. I love meeting new people, learning about new cultures and histories, trying new foods and beers and wines as well. Here is a quick photo log of the sights I saw on my long weekend in Vietnam; Hanoi and HaLong Bay: