By Joseph Werner
Things that run through my mind… Proceed with caution or stop reading now.
I joined the Navy in 1975. After training, I was stationed in Hawaii and then deployed to Asia. As an 18-year-old, I loved to wander the streets and towns of Asia. My home port soon became Yokosuka Japan. What an adventure for an 18-year-old. I quickly found out there was some really cool stuff outside NY. I stayed in Asia until 1986, often visiting places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Ceylon, Iran, Oman, UAE, and once in a while, sailing over to Africa.
After the Navy sent me back to the States, I sought out commands that would deploy me back to Asia. I only did one tour in Europe – stationed in Iceland; the good thing about this was I could visit other countries easily. I was able to see Germany, England, Spain, and Norway.
Once I retired from the Navy, my love of travel did not go away. Just luck I married a woman who loves to travel. The difference is now, it costs money. Beth and I seek ways to travel. Always in search of those WOW moments.
The metric I use to grade places visited is whether I look at something and say WOW! This has happened only a few times. My first day in Japan, first trip to Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, first time I saw a redwood tree (it was at this point when I realized God is true and good, and religion is nothing more than man’s commentary), Yosemite Valley, Kilgobinet Ireland – the church parish of my Irish ancestors, having breakfast on the roof of our hotel in Venice, Italy – the view was surreal, first trip to a Navy reunion in Branson, MO, looking around the room and saying these guys walked in many of the same places I did. I wonder if they also said holy shit WOW.
These trips are much better with great food, outstanding beer, whiskey blessed by God, and my partner, my beautiful wife, Beth Kallman Werner.
My bucket list is long and still growing.