“Dan had more of the travel bug than I did originally, but I was infected pretty quick,” said Mary Phelan, Wichita Presbyterian Manor resident.
It all started with the couple’s first trip together to Europe where they spent three weeks visiting England, France and Italy. Dan would plan out every detail of their trips and then rent a car and drive them around the country.
“After we got some place, we’d see where we wanted to go, and if there was a local tour group, we went with them. But mostly we traveled on our own since it was so much easier to come and go as we wanted.”
Over the years, Mary and Dan collected stamps in their passports for Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Holland, France (twice), Turkey, China, the Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Morocco and Finland, where they thought they were going to be “carried away by mosquitoes.”
“My husband likes Italy the best. They have lots of art, lots to see and wonderful food. I enjoyed Spain and the Prado Museum. Turkey was interesting, and we had a nice visit in Greece, which is such an interesting country in that it has seashores and mountains. Every country has its unique beauty and piece of history that makes it special,” said Mary.
One of the things that made their travels so special was the time Mary and Dan got to spend together. Mary also enjoyed meeting other people on their trips.
“One thing about being on your own—meeting locals and fellow travelers is easier because they’re more outgoing to you when it’s just the two of you rather than a whole tour group.”
One thing Mary doesn’t miss about traveling is flying. “It used to be a pleasure to fly—airlines were so nice to you. Today they treat you more like cattle being herded.”
Dan and Mary have been married 62 years and have three children, four grandchildren and one great grandson.