First travel 1989
My first real trip outside of the US was to Jamaica. I was working at a restaurant and we had a prep cook who was Jamaican and she asked all of us if anyone would like to come to Jamaica to visit her family. We were like "yeah, ha ha". Then I got to thinking, yeah, I'll do it. So I quit my job and got a one way airline ticket to Jamaica. Well I never did get the address of where we were going, so of course I ended up in the opposite side of the island. A couple of days after I had been there I got the address or at least the road of where I was supposed to go. The guys at the hotel were kind enough to get me on the right bus and across the island I went, not knowing a soul, trusting, well the bus driver. Upon arriving in the Kingston bus stop...ok,if you have ever been to a bus stop anywhere,they are all a little shady, And this was a third world country in, oh the murder capital of the world. I put all of my faith in the bus driver to help me get the right bus transfer and I know that angels exist because he sent me in the right direction. So now on the new bus traveling out of Kingston now and out to the country....an hour passed and I was nervous that the driver did not know the street I needed. Nothing yet. Another hour passed and my nerves started again. Some time later we finally arrived at my street. They dropped me off and as I saw the bus drift out of sight, I looked around and, well it was just me on a desolate road. It was only then that I realized that I had no idea of what my friends last name was or the name of her relatives she was visiting! It had been a Long day of travel, about 8 hours so far and, well there were not a lot of options. So I just walked up this lonely country road in rural Jamaica where, frankly I was the only white guy some of these people have ever seen. Did I mentioned that I did not know her last name or the name of the people she was visiting. So as I walked up this road, I stopped by everyone I met explaining as much as I could who I was here to see. Luckily, being a rural area, pretty much everyone knew each other. Some 20 minutes later, I found my friend in the porch of her sister's house. what a sight for sore eyes! As I spent the next weeks and months with the real jamaicans we became fiends and kindred spirits. I really clicked with one guy in particular and he became like a brother to me. Since 1989, I have made 10 trips over a 20 year period seeing the same people and they are really like extended family. Well that is the story of my first trip outside of the country. As I spent my first weeks there I fell in love with traveling. Meeting new people, discovering what you are really made of,a realizing that even though cultures are different, there are people all over the world that might think just like you. Forever Travel! .