Welcome to Forever Karen. I am, as you might have guessed, Karen. Just a little about me. I was born in Singapore to a Military family; my father is British, and my mother is Asian.
Military life is a life of travel, and we traveled a lot! I moved more in my first fifteen years of life than most people do in a lifetime. I learned how to fly long before I knew how to walk. You could say I developed my travel bug while still in diapers.
My father loved to explore new places, so he requested a posting (a move to a foreign country) numerous times. We lived in one area for a mere 11 months, with hardly time to unpack and settle in, while other countries we enjoyed for 2-1/2 years.
My most vivid memories are of Cyprus, a barren island in the middle of the Mediterranean. I can still recall the day we flew into the island in the middle of a scorching summer. I noted the island was completely brown with no signs of grass. As I stepped off the plane, the stifling heat hit me like a ton of bricks.
In the two years we lived there, and despite the fact, the island was under invasion by the Turkish; I came to love that place. While some consider a nomadic life difficult because family and friends become separated, a new destination brings opportunity to introduce friendships and establish new relationships.
No matter where life takes me in the world, the distance can never separate family. Living abroad as a local is significantly different than visiting as a tourist. I grew up learning to embrace every new country and value each new experience that came with it.
Learning to integrate into another country’s culture teaches you more than you can ever learn from obtaining a University degree. The world is a classroom looking for students. I enrolled as a child. How about you?
A Sagittarius Woman
While my father retired from the military long ago, I still retained the travel bug. Maybe part of that comes from being a Sagittarius woman and the never-ending lust for travel and my inability to sit still.
At the tender age of 19, I left my family in England in search of another adventure in Canada. What was supposed to be a one-year travel plan turned into my new home base? The wide-open spaces of Canada have given me an appreciation for nature and the great outdoors.
While I’m no longer a back-country hiker (due to four leg surgeries) or a camper (been there, done that and I’m sure some of you can relate), I still love the smell of fresh country air and listening to the sound of the ocean.
After 24 years of marriage, I became a single mom, and for a while, travel was put on the back burner. A few years of saving allowed us to sail our first cruise and I fell in love with life on the ocean.
I swear I must have been a sailor or a fish in another life. Cruising allows me to disconnect with the real world entirely and I love the fact that the scenery outside my window changes every day.
Having cruised more than 20 times on multiple lines, I always look forward to a new adventure on another vessel, in a new place. I fell in love with Alaska and now travel there every year.
The Present Years
Somehow my children have inherited my DNA for traveling. My youngest, Amber spent three months in Japan at a young age of 20. My son, Chris, an avid photographer is always off in faraway lands.
Recently a newlywed to the love of my life, Brian, I’m thrilled to have a life partner with which to explore the world. While Brian has not traveled far, he is embracing life with a Sagittarius woman who lives for adventure.
Travel has shown me the generosity of others and has taught me to pay it forward. I have also learned to live a more minimalistic life and not be so caught up on owning “stuff.”
As the famous quote goes “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I’m always looking for a volcano to climb, some aquatic mammals to swim with and a hidden gem to explore.
Wherever I go and whatever I do, I try to live in the moment of spontaneity and savor the experiences. Come along for the ride as we explore this amazing planet together.
Happy travels ~ Karen