Tuesday, March 8, 2022

SOL 8/31: First plane trip at nineteen leads to a love of travel

 What is the farthest you have ever traveled?

My immediate answer to this question was Hong Kong, where I served an 18 month mission for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beginning in July, 1977 after I graduated from college. Distance from my hometown to Hong Kong was 8,016 miles. I flew from Oklahoma to Salt Lake City, Utah and then attended language training for two months in Provo, Utah before boarding another plane with six elders (young men missionaries who had been in my group in Provo) to fly to Hong Kong via San Francisco and Guam.

When I discussed this question with Lance, he pointed out that I should check the mileage from Santiago, Chile to Punta Arenas in the south of Chile. We traveled to Santiago in the fall of 2007 to meet our daughter Sara after her study abroad in Chile. We flew to Punta Arenas so we could see the penguins and visit the Torres Del Paine National Park. The distance from Seattle to Santiago and then to Punta Arenas (not counting the time spent traveling around in a van after we arrived) combined to exceed the mileage of my trip to Hong Kong. I was surprised by this!

And then I started wondering about my trip to Italy. We flew from Seattle to Rome where we spent the next three days and then spent the next six days in Sorrento, the Isle of Capri, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Pisa, Carrara, and then Florence before returning to Rome for our return trip home. When I’m not racing against the slicer’s deadline, I’ll figure out the mileage for that trip. I think it will come in third place.

So, the farthest I’ve ever traveled was to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile with Lance and Sara, followed by my travel to Hong Kong where I lived for sixteen months, and finally to Italy where I toured many sites with my good friends Leslie, Nancy, and Teri. Two other long trips I’ve made were to Paris with the entire family to meet up with our son after his study abroad in Madrid and to London, before Blake’s study abroad at Oxford. Thank goodness my children have had study abroad experiences. They served to broaden my horizons and get their dad to travel (not one of his favorite activities), but he'll do it for the kids.

Those are some trips for a girl from Oklahoma who took her first plane trip from Tulsa to Portland in 1974 to join a boyfriend’s family for a camping trip to Idaho and the Spokane World’s Fair (the first environmentally themed world’s fair). The thing I remember about the World’s Fair was that we had matching shirts for the days we were there so we could spot each other more easily. I remember that one day’s shirts were red gingham. I can’t remember the other day’s shirt design. I wonder now how many of us were in the family group. Too bad that was before I began my first journal in the summer of 1975. I came back from that trip engaged, but that engagement was short lived. However, that travel did provide me with my first ever plane trip and began a lifelong love of travel.


  1. We traveled to Alaska, the bush area south of Nome! This blog brought back some great memories from our time up there! Plus, it painted some great pictures in my mind!!

    Thanks for sharing today! :)

  2. I also love to travel, so this story was a great "trip!"

  3. I also love travel. I think the furthest I’ve traveled is to China. We were a group of 27 on an EF tour so had lots of students w/ us. My husband and I were discussing our recent travels a few days ago and concluded we can’t decide which was our favorite. We loved Ireland, Greece, Costa Rica, eastern Europe (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic) and all the places. I’ve visited every state, too. I’ll be posting photos and stories later this month about our upcoming trip, which includes Amsterdam and stops in France, Germany, and Switzerland. We’re taking a Viking river cruise. I’ve also been to London, Paris, Rome, and several other places in Italy. Morocco and Scotland are on my bucket list. We’re going to Iceland this summer, and I’m taking a road trip w/ a couple friends.

  4. YOu have been lots of really interesting places! I love being places and seeing new thing, but I'm not a good traveler. The idea of having to hang onto your drivers' license and your passport and your ticket feels like way too much organization for me right now!