I wanted to go to Sydney, Australia, since before I ever left my home state as a kid. Travel books detailing the wonderment of Oceania line a bookshelf in my home. I started watching Australian news programs after college. Something about Australia was nested deeply in my soul calling me to visit.
Thirty-two years into my life I finally adventured to Australia and New Zealand. The trip capped off what has been an amazing — the Merriam-Webster ‘amazing’ — year. The largest event being Leann and I returned as fiancés (to each other)! That’s right. She said ‘yes’ to a lifetime of me. I am working on switching referring to Leann as my fiancé, but I am beyond ebullient to continue our adventures together as spouses. For those who have met Leann, you know how lucky I am to be with someone as smart, giving, kind, beautiful and far better than I deserve. Many friends claimed they knew it was going to happen on this trip. I’m pretty sure there was a Superbowl Squares board with proposal countries or dates that family and friends were wagering. If not, I should’ve set that up to raise wedding money. Hindsight! I’m still figuring out how to best share the proposal story with you. We’re currently on a multi-city, Chicago suburb speaking tour. Comment for details on when we’ll be in a town near you.
I lament after each trip that I may never have enough time to share the experiences, photos and stories here. And this year was full of trips so I am full of laments. Pending any last-minute changes, I was on 21 flights this year! Not long ago I considered myself lucky to be on two flights a year.
Traveling is one of my biggest catalysts. Next to meeting and conversing with new people, traveling is my fuel. Through new places and new people, I learn about cultures, traditions, food and largely about myself.
Reflections on this stupendous year will be a departure from previous ruminations (2016, 2014). Instead, I’ll start with areas for improvement and then share some of my favorite experiences and photos in another post. Continue reading …and away we go | Reflections on 2017