I’m very lucky to have been able to travel the world for the past 20 years. Ruth & I traveled before that, but it was usually with children on board and in the United States. We managed to go to 48 States, Canada, and Mexico. Since then we have been to Alaska and Hawaii several times each and more than 50 countries. For the first 10 years of wider travel, I often went alone because Ruth was still working full-time. I sold about 100 articles about my travels and began working for newspapers.
My first 3 big trips by myself were to Hungary, Finland, and Iceland. I literally shut my eyes and put a finger on a globe to decide where to go. I loved all 3 destinations, but a problem developed. As soon as I got home, I wanted to return to all 3, which I did. I was able to go back because Ruth, a perfect travel companion who had encouraged me to go alone, wanted to see what I was writing and raving about. It was fun to show her much of what I had experienced, and returning reinforced our love of traveling together. Soon we were planning a lot of international trips as a couple. Having entire summers to travel helped us plan better. One memorable year we went from one Scandinavian country to the next for 2 months. After 10 years of this, we moved.
Moving to the State of Washington helped. We had access to different airlines and other destinations that were easier to get to from the West Coast. We explored Western Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and started going to Australia every other year, but destinations like Toronto, London, and Montreal saw far less of us. I was lucky to work for a newspaper that encouraged me to learn as much as I could about Washington and Oregon. Over time we began to return to favorite European countries we had not been to for a while.
On a couple of occasions, I traveled alone for great distances. One year I went to Unalaska by myself. Another year I drove from Missouri to Montana unaccompanied. This had definite advantages. I traveled differently alone because I was the only one responsible for what I saw and I paid more attention. Now Ruth and I are able to travel everywhere together, and we will continue as long as we are able. We love what we do and I hope it shows. So there are advantages to both solo and couple’s travel that I will further explore on another day.