To borrow the words of Author Susan Sontag, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” This famous quote could be Pfizer Retiree George Kerner’s personal anthem.
It was George’s military service that first filled him with a profound love for travel. In 1965, he was deployed to Vietnam in one of the first Calvary divisions – a long way from his hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. During his 21-year military service, he had been transferred to destinations around the world.
“If it wasn’t for the military, I would have happily stayed in my hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. My travel opportunities opened up and my adventures unfolded,” said George.
When his military service ended in 1985, his travels didn’t. That same year, George became a Wyeth Sales Representative in Southern California – it suited him well. He was on the road driving to new places in hopes of selling products. “I enjoyed the travel and always had a great working relationship with the nurses and hospitals I visited,” said George. He worked at Pfizer for 25 years and retired in 2010.
Traveling with Love
George met his favorite travel partner when he was 18 in Charleston, West Virginia.
How’d he get the girl?
“I asked her to dance,” said George. And they haven’t stopped since. Together, his wife Alice and two children, George Jr. and Penelope, have traveled the world. “My wife has a great attitude about travel. She never says, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to leave everyone.’ She would exclaim, ’Where to next?’”
The couple has been to more than 25 countries around the world, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. They lived in Germany for a few years during George’s military time. They loved it there and enjoyed taking in the scenery of rustic castles and historic architecture. “If I wasn’t transferred out of Germany, we would probably still be there.”
Alaska. Barcelona. Hawaii. Italy – Not even the sky’s the limit!
The adventurous couple has bared the extreme cold of Alaska, to the warmth of a volcano helicopter tour in Hawaii.
Most recently they went to Barcelona, Spain, for a week. They joined in on the excitement in the midst of the hectic bull-fighting in Tarragona. Other activities included a tour of famous Barcelona sights including the Picasso museum, Gaudi church and a bustling pier with small storefronts.
“My favorite destination is Hawaii,” said George. “There’s a lot to do and the weather is gorgeous.” The couple visits Hawaii every year. They’ve been swimming with the sharks, sightseeing in a helicopter over a volcano rim and white water rafting. Not to mention, skydiving.
“No matter where I’ve gone, the people were friendly,” said George. They travel with open minds and giving hearts – the couple bags their leftovers after eating out and give it to the needy around the island of Hawaii.
A New Perspective
“There’s nothing like it,” said George. “Travel gives you a whole new perspective on life. There are so many beautiful things to see around the world.”
George’s favorite travel moment is getting to his destination, sitting down and talking to the locals. His least favorite part — the long flights. He looks forward to every adventure and is planning their next trip to Hawaii.
“If you’re not traveling and you’re able to, you should just go. You don’t know what you’re missing.”