Since 1998, the couple has traveled extensively throughout each continent on numerous occasions. Their love of travel stems from Cheryl’s childhood when her father, Joel Hunt, instilled the passion in her.
Bill traveled very little before he married Cheryl. He said, “Once I did (travel) in a begrudging manner, I realized that it was pretty darn neat. From that point forward, I was a big advocate for extensive travel.”
His favorite trip was to the beaches of Normandy where he traced his father’s movement as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne during the D-Day invasion of WWII. During summers of the mid-1950s, Cheryl’s father took four to five weeks off from work and ensured that the family — Cheryl, her mother, Billie, and sister, Jolyn — toured all 48 states visiting each capital, significant historical places and national and some state parks.
“This was done in a time of no Internet for planning, no credit cards, no cellphones, no mass reservation systems, etc.,” Cheryl recalled. Her father was a businessman and would have his mail shipped to various post offices in major cities for designated dates.
“Upon arrival in those particular cities, he would collect his mail while us girls went shopping or whatever,” she said. In 1959, the same year that Alaska and Hawaii came into statehood, Cheryl’s father died at 48 years old. In the late 1980s, Cheryl and her mother traveled to Hawaii, and Cheryl traveled to Alaska with a friend.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Cheryl and Bill took travel on at a greater pace, setting out to see all seven continents, starting with Europe and ending with Antarctica.
“Travel to Antarctica is not easy,” Cheryl said. She said most people have to make several attempts before actually getting there because often travel by ship is canceled because of weather or damage to the ship on previous voyages. Then travelers have to rebook for the next year because voyages are already filled.
“People wait literally years to go. We were so fortunate we got to go on our first try,” she said. “Travel is a way for me to envelope myself into different time periods and glean an understanding of different cultures and why people are the way they are. It helps me understand people then and people today.”