Air Force service may lead to incurable travel bug

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Dale Bruner
  • 39th Services Squadron commander
One of the many benefits of serving your country is seeing the world. Largely because of the Air Force, I've visited all 50 of the United States and 61 foreign countries so far. 

During my tour at Incirlik, I've visited Cappadocia, Istanbul, and Izmir within Turkey, as well as ten other countries. My travel bug is incurable. 

What perplexes me is why others don't take better advantage of this service benefit. I think people miss a golden opportunity when assigned to bases in foreign countries, yet never venture beyond the front gate. I encourage you to take full advantage of opportunities to explore as much of the country as well as the surrounding areas as possible. 

For example, when I was stationed in South Korea, I visited numerous cities, towns, and villages, as well as eight other countries. Same thing in Germany where I was able to travel throughout Germany, as well as seven other countries. 

Since everyone has different means and motives for travel, I realize not everyone necessarily shares my travel bug. Rather, my message is that this opportunity should be seized and if a busy squadron commander can find time to travel, so can you! 

Start small by visiting a site that is down the road; go with friends in a personal vehicle or on a day-tour. Outdoor Recreation and Information, Tickets and Travel offer numerous day trips to get you started. Next, branch out with an overnight trip by airplane or train. Finally, take it further by studying an atlas and selecting the most interesting country neighboring yours. Check out a guidebook from the library, establish a budget and itinerary and get traveling! 

When you do, you will soon find yourself increasingly comfortable with travel and realize people really are the same everywhere. Hmmm ... I wonder if I can squeeze in some more travel during my last two months at Incirlik, and which destinations I will visit during my next assignment to Japan ...