Like many Americans, I did not start out as a world traveler....there was too much close to  home to keep me entertained.  Plus foreign steam looked funny!  My first trip abroad was an all expenses paid tour of the Far East courtesy of the U. S. Navy.  I bought a Nikon in Japan and got a few pix of Japanese steam.  But once back in the U.S. I quickly returned my focus to the Rio Grande narrow gauge.  But when that disappeared, what too do? So first I ventured to Mexico and Guatemala, that lead to South America, and eventually South Africa, Europe, and finally China.