In my life I’ve had three passions: traveling, the law, and writing. The travel bug bit me at 8 years old when I saw a picture of a statue of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Something about that picture haunted me and made me want to go all the way to France to see it in person. All through grade school I’d plan trips around France and the rest of Europe using old atlases and maps. Finally, when I was 17, I made my first trip when I became a foreign exchange student for a year in Denmark (France was not available). I lived with a wonderful Danish family just outside of Copenhagen and had the time of my life. However, my travel bug kept biting.
A few years later, I attended Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service. And this time, I made it to France. I spent my junior year studying at the University in Nice. That was the best year of my life. I learned French, fell in love with France and a young Frenchman. I did very little actual studying, but I did do a lot learning through my travels. That year, I visited Denmark, Italy, North Africa, England and Germany. But my heart belonged to France, and to the Frenchman, so after my year in Nice I returned to DC, completed my degree at Georgetown, and returned for another year to the south of France. That was ”my year in Marseilles.”
My love of travel never left me, but my desire to become a lawyer began to gnaw at me right about this time. So back I went to the US to study law at the American University in DC. After I got my Juris Doctor, I began working with the Federal Government in our nation’s capital, and later transferred to the Chicago Regional office, where I spent over a decade. All in all, it was a great job and a pretty great life. I worked with some extraordinary, bright, dedicated people who believed in public service. So my dream of becoming a lawyer, which I’d had since I was 12, came true, but I still wanted to travel.
During my years in Chicago, I made several trips to Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Life was pretty good. Then, in November of 1995, my world suddenly and tragically collapsed.
In my next post I’ll share with you how my life took a dramatic turn in “Life Ends and Begins.”