A couple of my friends have asked about my grandma after seeing her comments to some of my posts.

Today is her birthday so we can wish her happy birthday together.

She and my grandpa took my brother and me to London for a week 16 years ago. She wanted to know if you really can backpack across Europe like Rick Steves promised (I’d say we’ve proven his claims are true). That was my first trip out of the country, navigating city streets, touring famous sites, and staying in hostels. And while I remember feeling very jetlagged at the beginning of the trip and being annoyed that my grandma was freaked out that someone was going to “steal” me, I was hooked on having new adventures.

Since that trip, she has done a lot of traveling nationally and internationally. Her trips are usually around adventure and genealogy. (The latter she has long wished I would get interested in, to no avail.)

While most of my friends knew I was trying to get into international work, I got a lot of different responses when I told people I was going to Afghanistan. My grandma is the only person whose first thought was “Can I come, too?”