Kelly's Travels

Kelly Johnson’s travels around the United States and the world, including her favorite Turkey.

Greifswald, Germany church steeple

Loving this return trip to Greifswald, Germany

While it is a worthwhile destination in its own right, Greifswald also is near a variety of other beautiful places, including the gorgeous port city of Straslund with one cathedral dating back to 1276, the quaint fishing village of Wieck, the spiritually moving abbey ruins in Eldena, and Sassnitz, known for its stunning white cliffs.

Observing decorum and playfulness in Germany

While Germans are known for liking precision, order and decorum, they do know how to let their hair down in ways that might surprise Americans.
Stralsund, Germany market

During Germany vacation, I consider: Convenience, at what price?

Visiting here in Germany, I’m reminded of how much Americans are slave to convenience. We expect to be able to buy practically anything at any time of day and night. In Germany stores close on Sundays and most close at 5 p.m. through the week. I wonder if Germany might be onto something.

Learning about career and personal life goals from Texan pride

All this pride in Texas got me thinking. How much is too much pride or blind faith in one’s community, one’s own professional pursuits, or a relationship? When should we hold on, believing that there’s nothing better out there? And when do we give up on our dream of what’s possible?

An immigrant succeeds through his support of the military

When my friend described Jackson Huang and his restaurant, I thought she was aggrandizing for storytelling effect. Upon meeting Jackson, as everyone calls him, I realized that the Killeen, Texas, icon lives up to his over-the-top reputation.

The journey to a new life is fraught with bumps

The journey to a new life is not straight, especially emotionally. On Day 5 of my cross-country trip to my new life and career in North Carolina, I felt exhilarated to the degree of "pinch me, I'm dreaming."

Bad drivers, horrendous singing & an 80th birthday

On this, only my second day of my cross-country journey to a new life in North Carolina, I already have learned a few things — about bad drivers and my own singing that stings my ears — and I reaffirmed my decision to quit my job for this self-funded sabbatical.

Exotic foreign travel or summer family vacation stateside?

Most of us at some point feel the lure of foreign travel. But I was reminded last week while sharing with lifelong friends an oceanfront beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks of the value of another kind of vacation — simple times with friends and family, playing cards, swimming in the ocean, enjoying good wine and food, laughing over childhood memories, and relaxing in front of a beach bonfire as the sound of the crashing waves makes all seem right in the world.

At long last, learning to appreciate wine

A month ago, at age 46, I uncorked my first bottle of wine. As an adult, I had always stuck to beer. As my 30s eased into my 40s, my beverage of choice became a point of consternation with some of my girlfriends. Thanks to the tutelage of patient friends, I'm happy to report that I have developed a friendship with wine and more recently, also with mead.

Vacationing in Carolina offers dogwoods, sweet tea & smiles

As I settle into vacation mode here in North Carolina, I want to share some of my favorite things about the Tar Heel State. For starters, you have real pre-sweetened tea, equally sugary sweet Southern drawls welcoming you, cole slaw and blooming dogwoods.
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