February 2024
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From Admin: Why You Won’t See Me Around Here Much Anymore

Over the past couple years I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and pondering about how I want to spend the rest of my life.

I’ve concluded I’m the happiest when I’m traveling from place to place.

Perhaps it’s because I spent most of my youth and formative years always moving around as a Military Brat and a DIP Kid – 6 months here, a year there, 2 years someplace else – that I’m a restless soul. Or, perhaps it’s because I’ve always been extremely rebellious, independent and free spirited by nature. Whatever the reasons, all my life I’ve found that after I’ve lived in a place for a couple years – I start getting restless. While because of family, business, responsibilities and all those things that seem to tie us down to a particular place, I haven’t always been able to just pack up and move on to some place else that suits my fancy at a particular moment in time. But, would as soon as circumstances permitted. I suppose being an entrepreneur most of my adult life has given me greater flexibility to pretty much go where I wanted and do what I wanted to do, instead of being tied down by a career as an employee.

I guess I can thank my grandfather for my entrepreneur spirit. He always used to tell me, “You are the captain of your own ship of life. When you wake up each day, you have to decide where to sail your ship that day. You must create your own destiny, for if you don’t by default others will create your destiny for you; and, you’ll live a life of bondage to others never knowing true freedom.”

And, I suppose, I’m like most people who grew up living a nomadic life style (3rd Culture Kids as they call us now) – always moving around because of our parents careers – seeing and experiencing places, people and cultures that others only dreamt about. Yet, always longing for a place to call home, a place where I have roots – a place I can say I’m *from* when people ask, “Where are you from?”. But, the reality is, unless a person is born, raised and grows up in the same community – they’ll never have *roots*, and will always be a *transplant* from some place else.

The older I get the more I’ve come to realize I’m a person who was *born to wander*. There are just too many places and people I’ve not seen yet, along with many I’d like to revisit. There are still a lot of places I want to explore in the world and adventures I want to experience before I reach the point in life when my health starts to fail.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t encounter people who have dreamed and planned, for years sometimes, about things they wanted to do in life – but, then never got to do for various reasons. Then one day their health starts to fail and they never get to do all the things they wanted to do. So, now they just sit around talking about what they never got to do – because, because, because … Personally, I don’t want to end up like them.

So over the next 8 to 12 months I’ll be reorganizing my life and putting my affairs in order to allow me to spend most of my time as a *wanderer* traveling for as long as I desire or my health gives out, whichever comes first. Of course, I’ll maintain a couple of home bases to retreat to between adventures for some rest and relaxation while I plan my next adventure.

I’ll still maintain our Saigon Kids blog site, but I’ll not be as active on here as I’ve been over the past 3 years since I created it for us.

Hopefully, some of you will pick up the torch, so to speak, and start contributing relevant content to the blog by writing and posting articles to the blog, as Bruce Thomas, Ken Yeager and a few other Saigon Kids have done in the past and still do. After all the reason I created the blog in the first place was to give us all a place to reconnect, stay connected, share our memories and experiences past, present and future.

Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful and joyous holiday season and a fantastic New Year.

Rock Onnnnn … Saigon Kids


10 comments to From Admin: Why You Won’t See Me Around Here Much Anymore

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Bob, I understand your wander-lust, but I, for one, do not envy you. My wander-lust has been extinguished and I am now happy to stay in one place. The idea of packing up, having to go through the idiotic security measures at airports, flying cramped on airplanes, staying in hotels and always having eat restaurant food is just a major turn-off to me. I do enjoy the two weeks we spend on Sylt but venturing off to unknown spots, nahhhh, not for me anymore. Moving every two, three or four years over my 32 year span with the Foreign Service cured me of any wander-lust.

    I have to admit, I was fearful of retirement and the idea of staying in one place for years but it has been an easy adaptation. Perhaps my six summers of TDY in Frankfurt and the occasional travel associated with my work also eased the pain of being in one place, but I am settled, comfortable and I like it.

    Still, I wish you enjoyable times wherever you may roam…just be safe, stay healthy and keep us informed on you adventures. Ken

  • Mike McNally

    Bob, thanks for posting your grandfather’s advice about being the captain of your own ship. I’m passing those words on to a couple of my kids who have parked their ship at the port of video games, and show no signs of pulling up anchor. Mother Nature will tell you when it’s time to settle down for good. Bon Voyage…Mike

  • brooks toland kasson

    bob, i am so glad you are creating and realizing your dream. there are many more adventures for you out there, i’m sure. i hope they are, every one, rich and rewarding.
    i’ve found it quite incredible that, after the first 21 years of my life moving every two years, to have settled in the same house here in south austin.
    this month will be my 40th year here. same house! imagine that!
    i am just beginning to feel the pull to move. not too far, though. the city and i are changing, and in opposing directions. maybe in 2 or three years we’ll leave. for now, i am literally having foundation work done on the house. good to have that in place so i can launch in any direction.

  • Maile Doyle

    I can echo so much of what you all are saying in response to Bob’s comments. First, I want to thank Bob so much for creating this blog for us. I love reconnecting with my friends from the past. Second, I also moved on average every three years even into my married life. However, we just celebrated 20 years in this house!! We may move east in a few years to fully retire where most of my family lives…we’ll see. My daughter and 4 of her 6 children live up the road in Toledo and my son is a college soccer coach who lives a wander lust life right now, part of the career he has chosen. Again, thank you Bob for this blog. I do hope someone with time and knowledge will pick up your torch…Ken? 🙂
    Christmas blessings to all the Saigon Kids and best wishes for a wonderful 2011!!

  • Cay Drachnik

    Sorry to see you go.

  • Peter Brownell

    Bob – can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to keep us all connected and in touch. Really hoping you will be able to keep this site going as you travel. Fair winds. Best – Peter
    Peter Brownell
    Williston, Vermont

  • mimi

    Well, dear Bob, wishing you happy trips and happy encounters! I am like Ken, feeling better in my house than anywhere else, and exasperated by the procedures and incomfort of plane travels. Too bad we won’t live long enough to be “beamed up” somewhere -lol- that would be my kind of travelling.
    I hope your wandering will take you to the frozen north, which is frozen only on the outside, people here are gentle and warm. And I would be delighted to see you again and show you our little northern Paris with its good food, little cafés, and last but of course not least, its many many pretty women.lol.
    Whatever you do, and wherever you go, please keep in touch and take care.
    xxxx mimi

  • Ralph Johnston

    Rock onnnnn – whereever your wonderlust takes you. Thanks for all your work on this site. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

  • Mike Dunn

    Bob, thanks for all you do to keep the dialogue going. My computer has not crashed since you’ve been handling the mail. It’s amazing, but maybe I just have better hardware and software since you’ve been keeping us in the blog. I guess I’m like Ken. My Dad once told me that I had wanderlust when I drove out to Fort Bliss to sign in, after returning from Vietnam (25th Div; then CMAC), and then drove back to San Antonio to spend the weekend with my parents. My brand new wife, Yen, was still in Vietnam, trying to convince the government to let her go so she could join her husband. As it turned out, Fort Bliss was in the process of closing its Basic Training Center, so they lost about 45 company-grade infantry officer positions. That happenstance got me redirected to Fort Hood shortly after I signed in, so I have to say it all worked out for the best for our family. Three of our children were born in Darnall Army Hospital, and the youngest was born in Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston. So, we spent a lot of our time in Texas. As an Army brat, I had not spent more than 4 years in one place, and many of them were one or two years. At 4 years, you start to get attached to your surroundings and don’t want to give up the security they afford. But, most of all, you make many friends and don’t want to leave them behind. I idolized my father and wanted to follow in his footsteps. Hence, I applied, attended, and graduated from West Point, and was commissioned in the Infantry (Dad was a Cavalry officer). Then I took my family on the same trek I had been taken on during my childhood. We were always told that travel broadens the mind, and I believe it’s true, and I don’t know how the other side feels, because I have not been in that life. I’ve been in the journey of moving every few years to new neighborhoods, new communities, new friends. Our latest adventure: after retiring from the Army in 1992, and living in the same house in San Antonio for 20 years (1990-2009), we have moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We like it here, and the only trips we have taken have been back to San Antonio, to see our sons, and also to Hillsborough, NC, to visit our daughter and two of our granddaughters. But I do treasure all those communities of memory, and the Saigon experience and all of you who were there in the 1960-61 time frame are at the top of my list. I married Yen, whom I first met during that time, and we have spent the last 40 years together. I know that if we could do what you’re going to be doing, Bob, we certainly would. So, don’t give it a second thought. Get out there and visit all those places you’ve been dreaming about or have been to and want to go back and hang out. If you come by this way, be sure and stop in and see us.

    Mike Dunn
    165 Daisy St
    Biloxi, MS 39531

  • Mike Gutter

    I can certainly understand than inner longing to get out and move on. Unlike my younger sisters, I was just old enough to realize the grand adventure I was living and the bug to move on every few years. Dad’s tours were all in the Orient and Middle East which left me with the great desire to one day see and live in Europe from which our family has emigrated. But luck and money never seemed to cross my path and allow me to accomplish my dream. Men seem to have a little more control over this endeavor then women in those days. Even having married two Army officers didn’t do the trick. I will admit I moved around a lot but never got to visit Europe except as a finish to Dad’s tour in Vietnam. So you you might say I am a bit jealous of your freedom to pick up and do as you wish. I am so glad for you and will take a little vicarious pleasure out of it if you don’t mind. This 64 year old grandmother’s only big dream now is to visit Alaska so she might say that she has visited all 50 states before she dies.

    But has it occurred to you that don’t have to give up anything. These new 4G telehones will allow you to logon to the webpage from anywhere with a simple satellite hookup. No wires needed. They are pretty darn good. All you need is the right apps.

    And if you are in my part of the country (Carson City, NV) there is always a free room and some food for you. We are just 30 mile from Reno and 25 miles from Lake Tahoe. You are always welcome to come and make a new friend.

    Michael Ann Gutter (Sterner)
    2533 Waterford Place
    Carson City, NV 89703

    Lived in Vietnam from 1957-1959

    Have a very Merry Christmas and A Glorious New Year

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