Given that Larry and I both have traveled extensively for work, we bookend a lot of leisure trips along with our business excursions. I have visited 46 states (Larry, a little less), with Hawaii, Alaska, Kansas, and Oklahoma left to visit (as of August 2018). Given my budding interest in photography, I take thousands of pictures. The last time I check our Dropbox has over 5,000 images, almost all taken with our iPhones. Being able to visit different places around the country and eventually the world has always been very important to me.
Aside from books, experiencing different places offers an incessant flow of knowledge. As a child in Alabama, my family and I traveled to limited places. We took family trips to places the typical American family visits, such as Disney World in Orlando Florida, Six Flags over Georgia and the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast in Panama City, Florida. This is no means an indictment on my parents; I know for sure they did the best they could in ensuring my siblings and I visited places beyond the borders of our hometown. I have relatives to this day who have only ventured outside of Alabama and Georgia a limited number of times; who have never ever left the Deep South. I know that my life could have been so much different with far less exposure. Traveling for work and leisure is always seen as an opportunity to never waste, as a chance to learn as much as I possibly can, as using said experiences to positively shape the way I show-up professionally and for my family.
With traveling comes the enjoyment of tasting different regional and/or national cuisines. Some of the best seafood I have ever tasted was in Boston and the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Larry and I have even had some of the savoriest BBQ in New Hampshire during our East Coast Road Trip. The best Asian cuisine Larry and I have ever eaten was at San Francisco’s Fang. Being a southern dessert enthusiast, I have eaten the most delicable banana pudding in New York City, second best in Little Rock, Arkansas. Having never tried a cannoli, Larry and I purchased a box full of them from Mike’s Pastry in Boston, inhaling them as we walked the streets of Massachusetts’s largest city. With Larry’s love for a great Bloody Mary, he had one of the best to date on Georgia’s Tybee Island during a summer weekend getaway. Aside from achieving maximum overload of my olfactory nerves, taste buds and salivary glands; having tried so many different foods act as conversation piece as well as an authentic frame of reference on which sound relationships can be built.