When your job requires you to travel, you tend to pick-up trends. Sometimes the trends are obvious — like when I worked in Alaska, all my suppliers were on the North Slope … cause that’s where the work was at (duh!). Sometimes, it’s the nature of the beast — like when I first got into auditing and a majority of the suppliers that were on our list were in Southern California. Sometimes, it truly is a trend, bad or good — like ‘My Year of Cleveland’ … five visits, and it snowed every time (including the one in April). Sometimes it is just dumb luck — like the time I fell onto the one supplier who had a couple of issues, then got selected to be reviewed on a separate program needing a couple more visits … but that was cool, they were in Newcastle, England, so there’s that.
Okay … to be fair … where I am going with this is a little more forced by my own hand than normal.
2018 is turning into the ‘The Reunion Tour’. Partially by my own hand, partially by work need, and partially by other means I seem to be hitting all the old stomping grounds of yesteryear.
In January, I made an icy snowy visit to Prairie du Chien, WI – the town I was born and raised in. I was in the area for work, made a run up there intending to give a chat to my old high school, then got snowed out. Now granted, I visit there every year for Thanksgiving, but this was a non-normal trip. As a result … Stop 1
In March, I made the well blogged about first ever return to Anchorage, AK – my home for most of 2012-2014. That was strictly for fun … and beer … and the sweet sweet swag Laura Sherman gave me. With that … Stop 2
Last week, I was in none other than Wichita, KS – where I lived for 11-1/2 years from 2001-2012. I’d been back before, even showed the pup my old house on one drive through. This time was for work (and coffee … and whiskey), which is surprising to know that space stuff is made in Wichitawesome… at Stop 3.
The rest are in the works.
Next week, I get a day and a half in Boston, where I lived 2014-2016. I’ve been back a couple of times for work, but this is the first time I am really in the city. Get this … I’m visiting MIT … so I can say “listen here nerds” to actually top level nerds. That looks good to be Stop 4.
In a couple of weeks, I am scheduled to be in Iowa, flying through Dubuque where I was a part of a drum corps for three years. Again, work, and an excuse to hit up a drum corps show, but still … Stop 5.
There is a chance I will be in Milwaukee in late July. Sadly, we lost my Aunt Sue earlier this year. To say goodbye, there is a memorial at her son’s place in the Milwaukee area. I lived in Milwaukee for five beer soaked years from 1996-2000. While I visited back in 2003, I haven’t since … not even breathed the air there. So, part of me is wondering what it would be like these days … and part of me wonders where I will find the time/money to go. Yet if I can make it … Stop 6.
That isn’t everywhere I lived. I could say that there was those two years marching corps out of New Jersey. I did live in Watertown, WI for one really boring summer/fall. Arguably every time I grab coffee and/or a movie in Burbank that could count as one. Yet I am okay if they don’t.
Honestly … that only leaves one place off the reunion tour … Houghton, Michigan where I spent 5-1/2 years getting my 4 year degree from Michigan Tech. I graduated on November 18, 1995 — drove out of town on November 19, 1995, and have never returned. Sure, it would be interesting to see the old Alma Mater, but it’s still a good 8 hour drive from civilization to get there. It takes a lot of time, and lots of good reason to return. But the way this year has gone … who knows, I could get a call from them saying “you’re a former 2.73 GPA student who was crazy/drunk enough to play in the pep band almost got kicked out four times yet some how got a job at a NASA center, would you like to come up here and inspire other idoits as well?” You know if they did … I would jump on it in a second. (That’s right MTU … I am dropping a subtle hint .. you know you want me, don’t you).
Maybe this reunion tour is just a trend. Maybe it’s just coincidence. Maybe I’m just now ready to go back to places I once called home. Maybe since I do work for a NASA center, I like feeling important to old friends. Or maybe I just like getting sweet sweet Laura Sherman-esq swag.
Regardless of why – it’s the year of the Reunion Tour, and I should just embrace it.
Footnote: if you are counting at home, this is Bear Feed Post #499 … watch for the big milestone this weekend