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Details about the in-laws visit coming soon. In the meantime...
I'm obsessed with keeping my travel map up-to-date. I love seeing where I've been and I love even more thinking about where I'm going.
If you click on the map, you can zoom in closer and see much more. If you zoom into Oregon, it will look like I've already been a lot of places in Oregon, but I don't feel like I have been. I haven't been to Bend yet, or to the area around Crater Lake, or anywhere in the Eastern part of the state. In fact, since we've been largely underwhelmed by Oregon, we're setting our sites on traveling in Washington State, Idaho, Montana and Canada. And, as I have mentioned more than once, I really want to do a motorcycle trip through Chile in the next five years.
I feel so sorry for people who don't travel, particularly those who not only have never traveled outside the USA, but see no reason to. This is a comment today on Yahoo on an article about the importance of getting medical evacuation insurance:
"Stay in America. The rest of the world is jealous of us and want to hurt us. Only stupid people would travel abroad. If you go and anything happens to you, SHUT THE HELL UP. You knew the risk and you ignored them. Help save OUR economy. Spend your travel money here in the US."
This person is beyond sad. And I'm sorry to say I've heard statements like this from Americans more than a few times here since moving back to the USA. To me, this represents exactly why it's so important for more Americans to go abroad. It's also the reason why CNN International needs to be a part of every basic cable/satellite TV package in the USA.
We're really looking forward to getting together with fellow travelers at an upcoming Horizons Unlimited Travelers meeting (the one in Petrolia, California -- maybe Stefan can get his photo with Ted Simon autographed!). And Stefan's subscribed to RoadRUNNER magazine, which is focused on travel by motorcycle -- and showed us not only a lot of great potential trips in the USA and abroad (like we needed more ideas!), but that there are a LOT of people in the USA that think like we do (we just need to get together with them more!).
Oh, and I've reached my goal of putting more than 1500 miles on my motorcycle within the first year! I crossed my first state line on the motorcycle last month as well, riding 257 miles total in one day, my longest ride in a day ever. We road to Astoria, had lunch at the Wet Dog Cafe & Astoria Brewing Company (no brewskies though -- no drinking and riding!) and said hello to a group of women motorcycle rides -- the P.O.W.R. women whom I hope to ride with soon. I was NOT crazy about the oh-so-high Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River -- and I'm sure the people driving behind me weren't thrilled at my slow speed.
Getting to ride a motorcycle of my own has been the one really awesome thing about moving back to the USA. No ride is ever perfect or easy -- there are times it's downright scary and I feel like I'm in over my head -- just like I do when I travel! And I recently almost had a spill because I stopped too fast using the back wheel break. But so far it's always turned into a worthwhile ride, and at the end of a ride, I want to start planning immediately for another ride.
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I've been living in the USA for a year now. How's it been? I wish I could say wonderful. I wish I could say I'm so glad I came back. But, as you know, it's been rough, and shows little sign of improving. We moved back to the USA because I couldn't find steady work in Europe, and I really didn't want to go into the field for months at a time anymore. And since we've moved back, more than 90% of what little income I've been able to generate has come from jobs outside the USA. I couldn't even get a temp job with the Census Bureau. We're so lucky that Stefan found a job. So extremely lucky.
So, what now? I've all but given up on the Pacific Northwest. I'll keep applying for jobs in the area, but I'm now also applying for elsewhere in the USA again. We're ready to move anywhere in the USA where we can both work, where Stefan can be a volunteer firemen, where it's good to ride motorcycles and where there is a feeling of community -- and that's turned out NOT to be Canby, Oregon. We also don't want to move anywhere that has ridiculously hot summers (sorry, Texas).
Here's Stefan's professional profile. Here's mine. Job suggestions always welcomed (just make sure you read our profiles first).
And if I don't find anything? Well... maybe we go back to Germany. It's a great place to be unemployed.
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Twin Peaks is 20 years old! Geesh but I loved this show (at least the first season). I was living in NYC at the time and it was like the whole city was watching it. And then I moved to Williamstown, Massachusetts and it was like I was living it. In NYC, everyone was talking about it the next day after it was on. It was eerie.
If I ever go to a WKU baseball game, I may have to hope for a rain delay.
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No, President Obama did NOT cancel the National Day of Prayer. Quit reading forwarded emails and watching Fox News and, instead, get the FACTS before you put something silly in your status update. You can still pray all you want to on that day or any day. Geesh. (and, for the record, as a secularist and an athiest, I wish he WOULD cancel the day, but as President Obama is a devout Christian, and always has been, that's not going to happen).