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  • Melissa Rasberry

Bitten by the travel bug young!

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

The travel bug hit me fairly early in life. I was born and raised in Ohio but I had family that lived in Florida that I spent a lot of time with. I can remember jumping on a plane by myself in elementary school to spend my summers with them. When I was 14 my best friend moved to Eugene, Oregon and the following summer I flew out to visit her. This was the longest solo flight I had been on, but not for a single moment was I afraid or worried, I was so excited for the adventure! Oh, and I absolutely loved Eugene and Portland Oregon! I had officially been bitten by the travel bug!

Spring Breaks through high school usually included a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. My freshman year of college I became friends with a girl from Greenwich Connecticut. Fairly last minute, she said “let’s go to my house and New York City for Spring Break”. Without batting an eye, of course my answer was yes! We hopped in the car and took a road trip to Greenwich. This was all by the age of 18.

When I was 20 a family member was offered a job as a university professor in Miami, Florida and asked if I would be interested in going with her if she took the position. Again, my instant answer was YES! Living in Ft. Lauderdale was amazing! Her students were from all around the world and spending time with them continued to reinforce my plans to travel! I enjoyed hearing stories of their families, home life, culture, food and traditions.

By 21, I visited my brother who was at the time stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. A friend and I hopped on a plane, spent 10 days in Germany and a weekend in Prague. It was an incredible adventure!

At 22, I met my husband while visiting my Ohio friends in Panama City Beach Florida. This was about 8 hours from my house in Ft. Lauderdale. While that doesn’t sound all that adventurous, the panhandle of Florida and South Florida are like two different countries! My husband was Active-Duty Air Force when we met. It was a whirlwind of a romance and we eloped to Las Vegas to get married about 6 months after we met! We had an absolutely amazing experience in Vegas and were treated like royalty!

We spent 20 years in the Air Force and moved on average, every two years! We had our children in three different countries. This list doesn’t include all the temporary assignments and traveling we did during those 20 years but here is the list of the places we were stationed.

· Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, Florida

· Barksdale Air Force Base, Shreveport, Louisiana (1996 & 2004)

· Naval Air Station, Keflavik, Iceland

· Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, Colorado

· Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, Arizona

· Osan Air Force Base, South Korea (2004 & 2007)

· Eglin Air Force Base, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

After his retirement, we chose to raise our family in Ohio. While we are completely in love with our lives here, we still immensely enjoy travel. During the pandemic we had an opportunity to reflect on our priorities, life goals and resilience. What were we missing? What gifts had we indirectly just been given with the uncertainties of the pandemic? The chance to re-evaluate. We knew we wanted to build something together and this is how Rasberry Getaways was created!

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