A priest, a lawyer and a traveler: What sounds like the opening line to an often-told joke is actually the description of James Macie's life.
A family law attorney for 35 years, Macie was a Roman Catholic priest for nine years before heading to law school. During his time as a priest and later as an attorney with Meadows and Macie Law Firm, one thing has remained constant for Macie: his love of travel. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have visited 59 countries across all seven continents, as well as all 50 states in the United States.
Macie shares some insights from his adventures and explains how his travels have affected him as an attorney.
What is your favorite trip and why?
Antarctica. No place offers the vastness, the solitude, the peace, and you get so up close… with such a variety of penguins and seals. The blue skies are bluer there than anywhere in the world. You get a sense … of creation. It's hard to explain.
How often do you travel?
We go at various times, but we try to travel often. We try to travel to places where we can encounter wildlife. I've been up close and personal with the gorillas in Rwanda, been all through Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nepal and India.
Where and when was your first trip outside the U.S.?
When I was still a priestthat would have been about 1970. I went to Israel on a trip sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and B'nai B'rith. That really got me going.
If you could share one story from your travels, what story would you tell?
The one I've been sharing lately. It was so interesting to visit Iran a couple of months ago because it's so big in the news right now. It was really a mind-bending experience. They love to talk about their Persian ancestry and the fact that they are not Arabs. They stress that.
The kindness of the Iranians was just incredible. They may have political leadership that is crazy, but the common, ordinary Iranians are really very nice people. In fact, I would say they were probably the nicest people we've ever encountered on any trip with the possible exception of the people in Bhutan and the people in Bali.