Prior to this adventure, I don't know that I could've found Bonaire on a map. I knew it was in the Caribbean, but how many island nations are there in that part of the world?
In looking for our next home, it must be a place that inspires stories. These are some of the stories from our life’s adventures that have inspired us. They are why we travel. As you learned of my father in Mike's post about our Australia adventure, Dan Smith is a man of action. He is also a man of the world, and his travels began at an early age. So did mine, thanks to his annual training with the U.S. Navy. He is why I first began to travel, and this is his story of a life of adventure. High school just could not hold my attention. I was born in San Diego, California, but I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When I was in high school, I was always daydreaming of traveling to exotic locations. I dropped out of high school to join the U.S. Navy, and my navy boot camp (basic training) was in San Diego. After boot camp, I completed specialized training at Treasure Island in San Francisco. I was transferred to a small ship homeported in Newport, Rhode Island. That ship, the U.S.S. Courtney (DE-1021), was set to circumnavigate South America along with four other ships. Our mission was to conduct naval exercises with most South American navies.
I attended my first destination wedding last weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama. My childhood friend, Kyle Nuckolls, married his best friend, Lisa, in a beachside sunset ceremony, and I couldn't be happier for the two of them. It's fitting that Kyle and Lisa chose to have a destination wedding. They are, after all, marrying adventure, too. They both have that spritely spirit that looks forward to the future, respects the past, and yet stays firmly rooted in appreciation of the beautiful, fleeting present. In spending these few days with them, I came to realize that Kyle and his family had a greater influence on my own wanderlust than I had previously understood.
If you're an avid traveler, it can be difficult to keep up with details on everywhere you've been. You know you went to the United Kingdom, but was the great little pub with the live music in Glasgow or Dublin? Did you take the hike to the tide pools on St. Croix or Bonaire? And what year did you ride the train through Spain? Was it Spain? The more we travel (and the older we get), the more we want to chronicle all of the terrific little details that make each trip so special. To do this, we use Travellerspoint. According to the website, "The goal of Travellerspoint is to create an international meeting point for travellers worldwide, whether they are planning their travels, currently travelling or have returned from their travels and want to stay in touch with (or find) those travel friends they met while travelling in the past." Here's a look at Mike's Travellerspoint map.