Traveling the World Through Jobs: My Dad’s Story Part 2 of 2

Map of Japan

Traveling while serving in the military allows for multiple opportunities to explore a certain culture. Someone may wish to settle down in a country they were stationed in after they retire.

Or, there is a chance someone may continue to travel the world after leaving the military, knowing there is an entire world to explore still. They learn about multiple cultures and may take up mannerisms due to still being in contact with people from a culture.

In yesterday’s article, I explored the brief story on my mother’s time in the military. In this one, I’ll talk about my dad serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for 12 years. He fought in the Gulf War and spent time touring in Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea. He retired as a staff sergeant and loves to tell stories about exploring different countries and cultures.

My dad knew some conversational Japanese from touring Japan, but unfortunately, he has not been up to practice with speaking or understanding the language. I asked him what it was like living in Japan and wondered if he ever wanted to stay there permanently.

traveling through Japan

Yes, I enjoyed the culture, people, language, history. They have strict discipline, but are very open and caring.

I always wondered if he wanted to stay in one of the countries he toured. I know he took up residence with my mom in Southern California and Arizona shortly after retiring from the military. He was familiar with staying in the desert from his time in Kuwait. My dad was only familiar with Colorado and Texas growing up, so he took the leap to explore the world by joining the military.

Seeing the stars and Milky Way at night in the desert is amazing. Being away from the city is nice.

travel -- night sky

Then it came to moving to Washington State with my mom to settle down and have a family.

To be honest, I would not enjoy the sweltering hot weather of Southern California if my family decided to settle there. Living out my younger years in Washington State, I did learn a little more about my dad as he took me around Asian markets around Seattle.

There was a small Chinese restaurant I visited with my family frequently and my dad would tell stories about his time touring Asia with the family who owned the restaurant. They grew close immediately based around their shared experiences.

My dad continued traveling the world even after retiring from the military. He traveled to Ukraine spontaneously to scratch that itch:

I wanted to go to Russia, but they couldn’t give me a visa. Ukraine was the next best thing. Very old culture which I enjoy since I learn about the history. I went to Kiev, the capital, it’s a very beautiful city. The people have pride in keeping their city clean, it’s very nice and pleasant. Very giving and nice people.

In turn, I learn about other cultures through the experiences of my dad. Hopefully there will be a day where I am able to travel the world and experience different cultures firsthand.

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