Several years ago, Ed Herzig, MD, and his wife, Andrea (Andi), spent one week on a Smithsonian cruise that traveled along the western part of the Amazon river, the world’s second longest river, which cuts across seven South American countries. They actually swam in the river, fished for piranha and spotted primitive Peruvian river villages.
Still, that doesn’t come close to their current adventure. As of this writing, the couple is 54 days into a 141-day ocean cruise that will visit 67 ports in 48 different countries. At the age of 72, the retired internist and rheumatologist explains that he and his wife are enjoying their good health by visiting the remaining places on their bucket list. Because this cruise checks off about 80% of countries they wanted to visit, they climbed aboard.
He says this voyage is first class and especially appreciates the free laundry service. Dr. Herzig and Andi are sharing a 220 sq. ft. cabin.
“We only had to unpack once, and we don’t have to worry about sitting in airports for hours, waiting for flights,” says Dr. Herzig. “We sail into harbors. The crew lowers the gangplank. We get off and are on our way.”
Throughout the decades, Dr. Herzig and his family have visited 48 U.S. states, excluding Arkansas and Alaska, and traipsed through Israel, Peru, Hong Kong and Western Europe.
But extensive traveling wasn’t always part of Dr. Herzig’s lifestyle. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1971, he was grounded for the next two years while completing his internship and junior residency at Boston City Hospital. In 1973, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a captain, spent two years in Taiwan and Texas as a general medical officer, and completed his service with the rank of major.
He returned to the University of Cincinnati in 1975 to complete four more years of medical training as a senior resident, chief medical resident and fellow.
During the next 30 years, he accomplished many goals. He formed the Internists of Fairfield, Ohio, which grew to a 10-person practice, and joined Mercy Health in Cincinnati 2009, where he continued practicing as a rheumatologist, was named chair of Mercy Health Physicians and Mercy Select and later chaired the organization’s physician group. He also served on the ACR’s Board of Directors, chaired RheumPAC and was recognized by the ACR as a Master for his outstanding contributions to the association and rheumatology field.