I grew up in Germany, born in 1954 and moved to Oklahoma in 1972. I have two grown daughters and LOVE riding a bicycle.
My first tour was with my daughter and some friends. Lori and I rode a crestline (blue, LOL) tandem. We used B&B's on this 3 day tour. My daughter and I did another tour on the same bike later, that time totally self contained.
My next few tours were on a hybrid bicycle by giant, a prodigy, and I now tour on a Myata touring bike. I use panniers on all my tours. I started out with Performance panniers. When my daughter grew up and moved out, she got the front panniers (we split the cost, and now split the gear). Thus, I upgraded to front panniers from Ortlieb and now own rear panniers from Arkel. I have detailed packlists in most of my journals.