Saturday, October 13, 2012

Not Once In A Lifetime

Before I joined the Service, I truly thought of overseas travel as a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

And I'd had my once in a lifetime trip before I met my wife. I had gone to Germany for a week. I had loved it, but I had no expectation I would ever go overseas again.

And then I met my wife, and together we went to London so she could do some research for her dissertation.

And then she joined the Service, and I went out to Azerbaijan three times to see her.

And then I joined the Service, and just like that, travel shifted from the thing other people get to do to the thing we get to do. From the once in a lifetime to the plan for a long weekend.

Since joining the Service, I have been served in Jerusalem and Estonia. And I have visited Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany again, and Russia. And just this weekend, I added Hungary to the list.

This is one of the things I love about being in the Service. I always suspected I would love to travel. Now I KNOW I love it. The trip to Hungary was just an overnighter. My wife had a conference there and while I couldn't join her for the whole week (alas, work interfered!), I could take off Thursday and Friday and fly out to join her.

I didn't get to do a lot of sightseeing while I was there, but I did get to spend an evening with good friends from A-100 and another friend who also serves in the Baltics. And the view from our hotel, plus pictures my wife took on a river cruise that was part of her conference, give me a good idea of where to visit when we go back.

When. Not if.

Because travel isn't once in a lifetime for me anymore.

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