World travel armchair style: Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., Nov. 20th edition of the Devils Lake Journal where I am a reporter/writer. For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit World travel armchair style)

I lay out the obit page here at the Journal. You can tell family members who write obituaries for their loved ones put a lot of thought and care into them. One of the obits last week was for an obviously beloved woman who had led a very full life, including traveling all over the world. Reading about all the places she lived and traveled to awakened my world travel wanderlust.

By the time I was a teenager I was chomping at the bit to get out of Devils Lake, as well North Dakota. Little did I know that I would do that and then some. After I graduated from UND with a degree in journalism, the logical job for me would have been to work for a small town newspaper. However, I was ready for Big City Life, and several college friends and I decided to move to Denver. After working for temp agencies for a few months doing clerical work, I landed a job as a communications assistant for an international market development firm. The organization had offices all over the world, and at the ripe young age of 23 I took my second ever plane trip and my first ever trip to Japan. I still remember shortly after landing being extremely jet lagged and having to attend a business dinner, where I used chop sticks for the very first time. The food was actually one of the most memorable parts of the trip and also involved lots of firsts, including eating sushi for the first time. Another vivid memory is attending another business dinner, where we sat on the floor and were waited on by Japanese ladies dressed as geishas. Or maybe they were actually real geishas. I’m not sure. I was the only woman at the dinner, and one of the geisha ladies commented on that fact in her halting English. During my five years with that organization, I returned to Japan again and also made trips to Singapore, Hong Kong and parts of Europe. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had several jobs that involved both international and domestic travel. I’ve also done traveling on my own, one memorable journey being a three-week trip to the land down under – Australia.

Sadly I haven’t been out of the country for more than 10 years now. My passport expired long ago, however it doesn’t really matter as my budget hasn’t allowed for that kind of travel for some time. I do still traverse the world arm chair style via shows like “The Amazing Race” and “House Hunters International” where I’m able to experience some of the places I’ve visited and also dream about where else I’d like to go.

It’s kind of ironic that a girl who couldn’t wait to exit her town and state all those years ago has returned all these years later, and to work at her hometown newspaper no less! And this is precisely where I need to be right now. However I’m not ready to throw in the travel towel yet, so stay tuned!



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