I attended a wedding over the weekend. The father of the bride noted that guests travelled from 12 states and three countries to attend the wedding.
My daughter is leaving next week to study in Italy.
I’m going to Japan again for business soon. It’s the 20th time I’m going to Japan.
My father drove to the wedding with my family. He noted that his parents (my paternal grandparents) were never on an airplane. When his parents were growing up, “airports” weren’t created yet. The Wright Brothers first flight took place only two years before my grandmother was born.
We have become a mobile society. I didn’t know anyone who studied abroad when I went to college. My daughter knows dozens of people who have studied abroad. When I was young, I didn’t know anyone who travelled outside of the United States, except for those who had served in the military. The first time I travelled abroad, I was in my late twenties. My wife and I had to scrimp and save for the trip. It seemed so exotic at the time.
My older daughter has been to 20 countries, my younger daughter to 15. They collect passport stamps like I used to collect baseball cards. Many of their friends are fortunate enough to do the same thing.
Both of my daughters have friends who have moved to other countries because their parents now work outside of the U.S. I know two people who have purchased second homes in other countries. And I thought it was exotic to vacation in Atlantic City when I was young.
Twice this year we have mistakenly handed someone the wrong currency. If you hand someone euros, and they are expecting pounds, be prepared for a terse “that’s not my currency”. Anytime someone makes a mistake in my house, the fastest way make them laugh is to say “that’s not my currency”.
I was invited to a dinner in Japan about a year ago. The host of the dinner invited three of his friends to the dinner. The host and his three friends all joined the same company 35 years ago. They still work for the same company 35 years later.
I tried explaining to him that I don’t know anyone who has worked for the same company for 35 years. I also tried explaining to him that I don’t know anyone who knows four people who have worked together at the same company for 35 years. It is almost impossible for that to happen anymore. The average person who graduates from college will now have 14 jobs. That means he/she will change jobs, on average, every 3 years between graduation and retirement. That is a lot of movement.
I think of the changes in transportation and society that have occurred between the time of my grandparents and me. I wonder what types of changes will happen between now and the time of my grandchildren? I wonder if they will be space tourists?