The Joys of Travel

By Andrew Ward

As I sit writing this story, it is 4:15 am, and I’m sitting in the Reno International Airport headed home, via Salt Lake City, then Atlanta and finally my favorite little regional airport, GSP (Greenville SC Airport) for my journey home to North Georgia. It’s too early, and as I gaze around the gate everyone looks half asleep, like me. I hope to walk in the door at home around 8 pm tonight, although with the time difference that’s just 9 hours from now. I make this trip usually once a month on business and it highlights the relative ease at which we can jet set coast to coast, skipping over time zones and states as if we were in a time warp.
I was able to pick out a brand new Ford Mustang for my rental on this trip. You have to love National Car Rental, you get to pick any car in the aisle and I was spoiled this trip. Based on the awkward way in which I crawled in and out of this car each time I drove it, I am not too sure this road hugging orange two door sports car was the perfect fit for my aging image, but it was fun to drive! As I kill time at the airport, I usually pull out my cell phone and update my trip advisor visits… my family is not at all impressed with the fact that I am one of the top 20 contributors in Atlanta on this customer feedback social site – with over 270 reports written, in over 100 cities in the world, with almost 150,000 people reading my reports – I think that makes me a travel guru of sorts, my kids think that makes me a geek!
My son Ben heads out to Cincinnati for a new job this month. I can picture it now, a U Haul truck, fully loaded with personal effects, a tow bar (if he’s brave enough) pulling his Toyota truck behind him and a soft wave goodbye as he heads out on 75 north leaving Georgia behind and onward to a new life in Ohio – I hope he is ready? I hear they all talk with a funny accent up there, and it snows too – yikes.
It is indeed true what they say, your kids do eventually leave home, become useful members of society and get off your payroll – what is also true, is we as parents never stop worrying about them, and we will not settle until we get a call advising us that he and the truck all arrived in one piece. It would be easy to assume his journey of life travel is only just beginning, but as he’s lived in five different countries and traveled to at least 30 more, we think he is ahead of the game and has the worldly knowledge to survive; and so with his GT degree under his belt, real life experience under his hat, and the clear road ahead we believe he will do absolutely great –
But, if you do see a U Haul truck swaying on the roads of GA, pulling a Toyota truck behind, give it a wide berth and let him go on his way!
He will be back soon since he gets married to his University darling, the effervescent and delightful Melissa in Atlanta, this August – yet another journey ahead, as they then scoot off to Provo’ in the Turks and Caicos Islands for their honeymoon so Ben can show his bride where he went to school.
Talking of travel, I get to Scuba Dive with my 15 year old Harry this month, when we visit Cozumel off the east coast of Mexico. He has studied feverishly on line for the last few weeks to complete that portion of his certification – thus avoiding sitting in the classroom to do it in the Dive shop while on vacation for the first 2 days when we arrive. He will thank me later but he was none too keen at first doing school homework AND “fun” homework in the same spare time slot each evening. We land at 3 pm on a Saturday, and by 4 pm he will be in the Ocean diving, clearly not wanting to waste any time.
Harry has since ordered every go pro accessory known to mankind and it looks like he plans to shoot a movie while also remembering to adjust his buoyancy, check his air, check his depth, clear his ears, and get the sea water out of his mask – kids today think they are invincible and can climb mountains bare foot. We shall see.
Of course, Mom will sit firmly on the beach with a margarita in hand and leave us boys to dive to the depths of the Ocean, as Jayne has seen too many Jaws movies to be so brazen to want to join us.
[suh-bat-i-kuhl] Our Daughter Charlotte announced a few years back that she wanted to go on sabbatical. I asked her promptly if she knew what the word meant, and she said not really, but her friends told her I would be impressed if she asked for one! Now, almost four years on we could not be prouder of her as she resides full time in England. She left Georgia and headed to my home town of Lincoln in England, to spend the summer and see if she liked the UK, a place she was born back in the early 90s, but one in which she left at just 1 year of age in what seems like an eternity ago. She ended up working harder than I thought possible, went to the same College I attended as a young man over 30 years previous, she earned her HR certification, and fell for a charming English boy whom we also adore. Thanks to FaceTime, snap chat, and modern technology, we remain closely in touch. We miss her dearly but are thrilled to see her enjoying life so much – she has, with British Bo tagging along, already visited half a dozen or more different countries throughout Europe, and is self-supportive financially. She has a great job in HR recruiting and is traveling her journey of life in an exciting and thoroughly rewarding way. So, if your kids come and ask you for a Sabbatical after they leave High School, think twice before you say no!
Be safe this summer, I wish you all a Bon Voyage!


Andrew Ward is the President and Managing Partner of The Currahee Club on Lake Hartwell in Toccoa north Georgia. Ward has traveled to over 50 Countries in the World and has been involved in Georgia Golf and Real Estate Communities for the last 16 years. He writes in each issue of Southern Distinction Magazine about Life in the South. Contact him at or visit *National Golf Course Owners Association 2015, #1 Golf Club in Georgia, Top 4 USA*

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