The Travel Oops Interview: Playing baseball “The Midway Globtrotters” style in Spain

photo courtesy of Ray Glaser

The average civilian might think that while being stationed in the Navy on the Midway, the largest air craft carrier in the US fleet during the 1950’s, playing sports would be next to impossible. Not so for Ray Glaser, my father-in-law, who is an athlete at heart. In fact, sports were an integral part of his military career and contributed to some of his fondest memories.

© Ray Glaser

© Midway yearbook

Ray played baseball on a soccer field in Spain, ran the 220 meter dash in Athens’s Olympic stadium, and learned to ski in Switzerland.

A Quarter Master who plotted visual communication and navigation, Ray served four tours in the Mediterranean on the Midway aircraft carrier from 1949-1953. During that time, he played for the Midway basketball, baseball and track teams.

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The Travel Oops Interview: Laxatives + Bus + Terrorist Turf = Bad Situation

Beddingfield would eventually see Machu Picchu after her Oops.
© Sheree Beddingfield

To Sheree Beddingfield, Latin America means a few different things. It’s a place where she loves the culture and language, and it’s also a place where she has encountered full on adventures as well as episodes of GI distress. However, just because she’s had a few bouts with intestinal issues, do not think this traveler has a weak stomach or is a damsel in distress. Beddingfield is one tough traveler who has taken on Hemorrhagic E. Coli in Honduras and super potent laxatives while on a bus traveling through terrorist territory in Peru.

Beddingfield, a physician assistant originally from Texas, first traveled to Latin American at 19 when she had volunteered to help at a medical clinic in Cayos Cochinos, Honduras.

Sheree inspects a lizard on one of her South American adventures.
© Shree Beddingfield

Living solo in a small village, she befriended the children who helped her fine-tune her Spanish. Because “Sheree” was hard to pronounce, the kids called her “Shitty” (not knowing really what they were saying). The women, who hadn’t yet warmed up to her, called her “Espaguetis” (Spaghetti) because they said she’s skinny and white.

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The Travel Oops Interview: The Great Blurrier Reef

Suzanne and Jason Miller.

Murky, gray water and zero visibility are not the conditions the postcards and the documentaries promise when they feature the Great Barrier Reef. However, the photographers behind the incredible images were probably not shooting during a typhoon.

Interestingly, while the surface of the ocean may be swirling and raging during a typhoon, underneath the water, a certain calm is maintained. Not that the sand isn’t churned up in a messy way. Consequently, Suzanne Miller and her husband, Jason, missed out on the electric colors, crystal blue waters and endless schools of vivid fish while on a dive off the coast of Cairns, Australia, in April 2010. Despite the fact they dove during a tropical storm, the Millers rank this dive high on their list of accomplishments. The dive also happens to be a great Travel Oops.

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The Travel Oops Interview (The Rickshaw Wreck)

For a Westerner, India seems ready made for a Travel Oops. Certainly, at the very least, visitors, inevitably, encounter the unexpected.

Jane Whitmer, a program manager who teachers a Nurturing Parenting class for the Family and Youth Initiative in Salida, CO, says her travel mantra is “Be open to the Possibilities.”

With that attitude, she traveled to India in the summer of 2012, and at one point, she even told one of her traveling companions, “You’re in for a ride now, Helen. This is India.”

A seasoned traveler, Whitmer had wanted to visit India for the past 10 years. After arriving there in June, her adventures included having a cobra rest on her head; meditating and doing yoga at an ashram; staying at a rickshaw driver and his family’s house; walking on a back road that included obstacles like irrigation channels, barbed wire fences and bulldozers; and riding on a bus that traveled via a one-lane road over an 18,000 ft. mountain pass — just to name a few.

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The Travel Oops Interview

Introducing Travel Oops’s new feature: The Travel Oops Interview.

Ed and Judy Schuck, my parents.

Forty years ago this year, Judy Schuck, who happens to be my mom and a prominent figure in Travel Oops, traveled with my dad, Ed, and friends of theirs, Audrey and Harry, to Bulgaria during the Cold War. Engineers for Medtronic, Ed and Harry had been invited to attend a medical conference in Sophia, Bulgaria.

The reminder of Communism was ever present and the feeling of being watched was very real. However, according to Judy, the Bulgarians were lovely people. Ultimately, politics again entered the scene because when the Schucks were leaving Bulgaria, it was right after the tragic shootings at the Munich Olympics. Their flight back to the United States was detained because the pilots of the plane were not going to fly through Syrian airspace.  That, however, was just one of the mishaps.

Where was one of your most memorable Travel Oops?

Bulgaria in 1972.

What happened in Bulgaria?

© Audrey Friedman

This was 1972 and although they were letting tourists in, Bulgaria was still in control of the Communists and the government. And to get there from Yugoslavia, we took the Orient Express. It was the worst [train] you could imagine and the only difference between first class, which we paid for, and coach was that in first class, you had cushions and pads on the wooden benches.

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