Our past has included extensive international travel, from typical tourism, to living in various nations, sometimes staying in homes with new found friends. We have traveled in luxury aboard cruise ships and experienced economy travel with backpacks, camping gear, with an occasional overnight in a hostel.
Careers, family, finances, and life in general now make long-distance travel difficult. Although we hope eventually to resume our continent-hopping world travel, for now and the immediate future, we are focusing on this wonderful region in which we find ourselves.
We live in East Texas (yes, I know the “E” in east should properly be lowercase, but here in the region it is ALWAYS capitalized). This primarily rural region is incorporated in a bigger designation, the ArkLaTex, which consists of northeast Texas, northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, and southeastern Oklahoma. The inclusion of Oklahoma leads to difficulty in designation. Some try to be inclusive by identifying the region as, Arklatexoma, but that collection of syllables does not roll off the tongue with ease. So, Oklahoma is usually slighted and just dumped into the ArkLaTex. To add to the confusion, people often include areas that are geographically detached from the rest of the ArkLaTex. It just seems convenient to sometimes add Dallas, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans to the mix. No one ever said there was an exactly defined boundary to the ArkLaTex!
Our jobs and responsibilities require us to stick pretty close to home (we have 7 animals to care for). Most excursions are weekend only, or just day trips. At least once a year we get away on a longer trip, 2 – 5 weeks! We travel to unique places in our vast nation and enjoy special events. But the ArkLaTex is amazingly conducive to our short trips! A few hours in a car and we can go from the heart of the largest forest in North America, the Piney Woods, to granite mountain ranges, the Ouachita and Ozarks, from modern urban settings to architecture and ambiance that takes us back to the 1800s.