In all honesty, I'm a country boy.
I grew up in a small community and have never lived -- for an extended period of time -- anywhere other than small communities.
Like a lot of people from small communities, I haven't made time to go on trips.
While writing sports for The Brazil Times (for approximately five years) any vacation I took meant spending time on the couch at home. For lack of a better term, I spent that time refueling the tank, so to speak, getting ready for the next sports season.
When I made the switch from writing sports to writing news, vacation time didn't change. I would work until the "tank" was empty and spend a week refueling.
But in the past year, things have changed in my life.
And those changes have been for the better.
I met someone more than a year ago. She is my fiancÚ.
Unlike myself, she has taken trips to places. She's had the need for a passport.
She's even been on a plane, for that matter.
Sure, I've taken trips to places. I've been to Virginia, Florida, etc. I've spent time with my family on the road, patiently waiting to make it to the destination, which really wasn't that far away.
But since I've been with my fiancÚ, we've gone to places I really didn't think about.
We've made weekend trips to Cleveland, Knoxville and Canton.
But on April 11, I'll be finally using that passport!
My fiancÚ and I will be head to Greece that day. We'll join others through an educational trip at the collegiate institution she works at for the weeklong venture to Greece, the birthplace of Democracy. Needless to say, this trip cost a lot of money, but we both believe it's well worth it.
Like my fiancÚ, I have always wanted to experience Greece. Set my feet in the Mediterranean Sea.
I would be lying if I didn't share with you my excitement.
We'll fly out of Chicago to Munich, Germany. From there, we'll head to Athens. While in Greece, we'll also spend time in Patras and Tolo.
Am I excited? Of course. I can't wait to see Greece.
But there's a little bit of reservation there as well. I don't know, I can't help but think back to that episode of the Twilight Zone with William Shatner. Or the movie with John Lithgow. Remember those plane trips?
Shatner, or course, starred in arguably the most memorable episode of the series, when, while taking a plane trip, he witnessed a troll on the wing of the plane, ripping it to part.
Lithgow played the same role on the big screen.
As I stated before, my fiancÚ has been on a plane. I have not.
I have never even stepped foot on a plane.
So needless to say, I am a little nervous.
Hopefully, I'll have enough reading material for this long trip!
A lot of people find it hard to believe that here I am, 35-years-old, and I've never taken flight.
Well, it's true.
Once again, as stated above, I'm a country boy.
When I was younger and took vacation trips with my family, we always drove to our destination. That destination, mind you, was always in the United States.
By the way, I forgot to mention I've never been west of the Mississippi River, unless you include a few stops in St. Louis. But I'm not sure if that's really something that should count.
When I think about it, it really is amazing how much of our country I have not seen.
My fiancÚ, on the other hand, she's been on several plane trips. She's been to Mexico, Canada. Her last trip took place before I even met her, when she traveled to Seattle, Wash., to visit a friend for Thanksgiving.
Neither of us have ever traveled beyond that, however.
I'm quite certain she doesn't have the trepidation regarding the trip that I have.
It's much easier to get on a plane, sit down, flip on the Ipod and read something if you've done it before.
As for me? Well, I've seen the Atlantic Ocean. But beginning April 11, I'll actually be flying over it. For eight hours! Or was it 12? To be honest, I really haven't paid much attention to the itinerary.
As I said before, I'm a little nervous. But this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And I'm looking forward to it. Even if she has to knock me out on our way there.