During the months of July and August 2019, I will be traveling around the world — going full circle and touching both hemispheres. I keep telling my friends: “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” Yet it is real, a dream come true.
To describe how it feels, recall the moment in the movie Field of Dreams when James Earl Jones as Terence Mann tentatively approaches the cornfield leading to paradise: he hesitates, leans over for a closer look, turns back toward his friends with a questioning expression, and then he just keeps going. You can see the moment when he takes a leap of faith and becomes filled with joy, laughing and moving forward with great strides.
I can’t explain how I transitioned from the “just keeps going” mode to taking that leap of faith, but I can definitely attest to the feeling of great joy once the leap has been taken.
Over these next few weeks, I will post news and photographs on this website in order to share the experience with friends and family. There are some themed pages which will cover universal topics (like the Foodie Page), as well as pages dedicated to each country for the more unique experiences.
Thank you so very much to those who are opening their hearts and homes and welcoming me as I tour their countries. I will be visiting:
- Alumni from the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program, a Fulbright program that invites hundreds of people from developing nations to the US for a year of study and professional affiliation. I have been a host family to Humphrey Fellows for eleven years, and look forward to seeing many of my past Fellows on this trip.
- A friend from college, who studied at University of Dundee where I was an exchange student. Karen and I were the only two female mechanical engineering students in the university at that time.
- A friend I met 40 years ago through the International Youth Service, an organization which arranged “pen pal” friendships between students in different countries with the aim of helping schoolchildren to improve their language skills while experiencing new cultures.
- A museum on the island of North Uist in Scotland, which is displaying photographs taken by fans at “The Last Dance” — the final concert appearance by the band Runrig who retired in 2018 after 45 years of making wonderful music. I happened to photograph a rainbow over the concert venue that day, so my final destination before heading home will be a museum called Taigh Chearsabhagh in the town of Lochmaddy on North Uist.