Monday, June 30, 2008

How has travel changed me

Treaures of the Louvre, the three muses, Venus de Milo, dinner plates ( these must be banquet plates, probably not for every day use, or maybe they have a different set for the kids).

It has made me more appreciative of the US. I would like to take longer trips instead of the 2 weeks every 6 months,and rather than wanting to move to Europe and forsaking the US. A friend suggested I take 6 months off to backpack around the world. I'm thinking about it. Right now I'll just be happy with the 2 weeks every 6 months.
I love the history and the historical sights in Europe, I haven't been anywhere yet but next year, things will change slightly. I'll expand my horizons next year. I love the food, French, Italian and Spanish food does not taste the same in the US, for sure. Basically traveling means vacation and that accounts for a more relaxed and more pleasant attitude. My nephew said when he grows up, his vacations will be his vocation.
We were asked (Sophie and I) by a German tourist, whom we met in Sicily why we liked living in the US (neither of us are native born). I said, because this country gives women, especially minority women, the opportunities not extended by the rest of the world with a few exceptions. Certainly not in Malaysia where I was from, nor in Hong Kong where Sophie was from and where her father was a pastor .It is not an easy life here but if we are prepared to work hard, the rewards are there. Today, Sophie, also a pharmacist is a VP with a big Health Maintenance Organization in the US.
While it is a long while between trips (a whole 6 months) it is a good thing. I can attend to the mundane details of life, like funding for retirement- funding my social security and 401K contributions (I can live on my social security, it's big enough!), paying off my mortgage, taking care of the business at work, growing the business for a bigger paycheck and a fatter bonus check!
When I first came to this country, I was laughed at because of the funny way I spoke. Even my then husband (now ex) said, 'I didn't speak English'. Today I'm living a life beyond my wildest imagination. While I love sipping coffee in Europe, it only reinforces how great the US is and how tremendous the opportunities are in this country.

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