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  • Writer's pictureH. Rick Goff


Updated: Apr 14, 2021

I have been blessed to be able to travel all over the country and the world. I've visited many of the places I dreamed about and saw in encyclopedias as I grew up (encyclopedias were the internet of my day). The Parthenon in Greece, the Coliseum in Rome, the Pyramids in Egypt, Petra in Jordan, the Panama Canal in Panama, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam, Central Park in New York City, and the Grand Canyon are just a few of the bucket list places I have been able to check off, some even have several checks! I have stamps on my passport from over 30 countries and a few from countries that aren't even countries anymore (remember Czechoslovakia? Yugoslavia?East Germany?)

I have skied in the Swiss Alps (fell a lot), sailed down the Nile, fished in Gatun Lake at the east end of the Panama Canal, crossed the English Channel on a ferry, climbed the Bay Bridge and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, swam in a cenote in Mexico, hiked on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, hiked from Oia to Fira on the Greek Island of Santorini, zip-lined over jungle canopies in Thailand and Cancun, kayaked and snorkeled at night in Bio Bay in Puerto Rico. I have felt the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Thailand, Persian Gulf, Sea of Cortez, the Andaman Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea. I have left my footprints on some of the most pristine and exotic beaches in the world including a white sand beach in Destin Florida, a black sand beach in Coronado Panama, a red sand Beach in Santorini Greece, a brown sand beach in Phuket Thailand, and a pink sand beach in Harbor Island Bahamas. But while I thoroughly enjoyed all these places and experiences, I have always made my way back to the unconditional comforts of home.

I still haven't found what I'm looking for when it comes to adventure and travel, but I always know how to find my way back home. With me, it's never been about the destination, but more about the journey and the experiences of travel. I've visited 45 of the 50 states and 10 National Parks. I have watched the first sunrise in the United States from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine, touched the marker for what is called the southernmost point of the continental United States in Key West, Fla, walked across Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada, experienced the midnight sun in Anchorage, Alaska, and most recently got my kicks on old Route 66 in Oklahoma. I've been to many iconic sports venues to include Fenway Park in Boston, the Super Dome in New Orleans, Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium in New York City, and the old Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. I've gone to several major sporting events to include the Super Bowl, the Masters, the NBA All Star Game, the Olympics, and the World Series. But I have always found the best seat in the house to be at home in my "man cave"

No matter how much I travel, experience the events, and see the sites of the world; I always look forward to coming home. I look forward to the familiar of home. No matter how much fun I had on a trip or how exotic the place I visited, I am still drawn to the simplicity of home. The smell and comfort of home is just as exciting as the lure of adventure that constantly tugs on me. Home is my anchor and my compass for all my travels and all roads lead back home. I'm restless by nature and often experience the "call of the wild", but there is nothing like my bed, my shower, and my favorite chair! I totally embrace my spirit of wonder and adventure and will continue to travel the world and check off more places and experiences on my bucket list. But as Dorothy said in the most famous line in The Wizard of Oz; "there is no place like home"

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La-Goge Graham
La-Goge Graham
Nov 21, 2019

I can't wait to read your book. I understand and agree with you %100. I have often told my cadets, I've traveled all over the world but there is no place like home. CONGRATULATIONS!

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