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She’s traveled all the continents of the world, with the exception of Antarctica. “It started when I took my 21-year old daughter to France, and then the following year, my 23-year old son to England. Those were my first overseas trips, and then I was hooked,” said Marilyn Kouba, a resident of Friendship Village in Schaumburg. The retired chemistry and physical science professor from Harold Washington College, has lived in the senior living community since 2010. “There are many teachers living here and teachers love to travel more than anything else. They have their summers off and make good use of that time by traveling,” she said. Last month, Kouba and other avid explorers who live at Friendship Village, shared their love for voyages with their fellow residents in the first Travel Around the World with Friends exhibit.
Kouba who is on the lifelong learning committee at Friendship Village said that the group was looking for an interesting display to host. “Many of the residents here have traveled the world, and the committee thought it would be interesting for them to display memorabilia and photos and share the stories of their adventures,” she said.
Twenty-five exhibitors signed up to show their souvenirs from fabulous destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Australia and more. “One gentleman had been the communications clerk with the army in WWII. Another person had been born and raised in Egypt and had a fantastic amount of stuff. Another had been to Ethiopia and Kenya. There was very little overlap in destinations,” Kouba said.
She believes that over the course of two hours, approximately 150 residents visited the exhibit. “It seemed to be a combination of people who had traveled themselves, and others who really hadn’t and wanted to learn about different countries. There seems to have been a lot of interest. I don’t think any of us have exhausted all of the places we’ve wanted to see,” Kouba said.
While cherishing foreign adventures, Kouba said that she also treasures Friendship Village, her home of eight years. She said that it was love at first sight when she first walked through the doors of the senior living community in 2010. She recalled that she was immediately enamored by the bright, beautiful community. “And the people were so friendly. I think it’s well-named,” she said. “It lives up to its name.”