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Trip of a lifetime

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Laurel native is able to spend time exploring the world

LAUREL — The 2009 Pixar movie “UP” has a famous line spoken by character Charles Muntz.

Muntz proclaims, “Adventure is out there!” Two of the characters, Carl and Ellie, adopt that slogan, fall in love, and devote their life to adventure.

Another couple, with ties to Laurel, has also embraced their wild hearts and pursued adventure.

Laurel native, Arik Diediker, along with Alexandra Chang, recently completed a 15-month adventure through Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Diediker and Chang met in Washington state in 2016 while Diediker was stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord with the Army and Chang was a travel nurse from New York on assignment in Centralia.

Over the next year and half the fantasy of travel became more and more plausible. Diediker’s contract with the military was coming to a close and Chang’s travel assignment was ending about the same time. They had both been saving for travel and they didn’t have many belongings.

In August 2018, they took the leap and bought a one-way ticket to Hong Kong.

They had no idea where exactly they were going, how long they would be gone or what was in store.



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