Day #188 in lockdown in Mumbai, India…Handling stress…

 

This appealing view enticed us to make Madafoo’s in Diani Beach, Kenya, a regular spot to visit.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

The idea that within a few weeks I will be done with the work associated with the development of our new site, gives me goosebumps with excitement. To be able to do a new post each day along with an hour of edits on past posts, will leave me with some much-needed free time.

This is where we’ll lounge in the chaises at Madafoo’s in a guarded area, overlooking the Indian Ocean each Wednesday going forward. If it rains, we’ll either wait until it stops or go the next day.

With the loss of my dear sister Susan, in August, the health of our dear daughter-in-law, three family members with COVID-19 (now on the mend), all of which were foremost in our minds, our site went live. Add the requirements of me writing those five 2000 word posts for search engine optimization (SEO), and the editing of the 3000 past posts over my head, it’s been a challenge.

In a lesser vein, the fact of the daily handling of our two month’s overdue arrival of the two items from FedEx, requiring tons of paperwork, still yet to arrive, along with the daily research on when borders will open in India, let alone anywhere else in the world, it’s been a busy and trying time.

The swing that visitors are welcome to use. Guards hovered in this area patrolling both the resort and the beach.

How do we handle stress? Both of us may have a few angst-ridden moments here and there. But, overall, we strive to maintain an even keel as much as possible. Knowing how dangerous stress is for health, we continue to steer ourselves into a place of quiet and mindfulness.

Fortunately, we both are good at soothing one another when situations beyond our control seem to spiral. We’re firm with each other to say, “Get a grip,” “Settle down” or simply, “Let’s figure it out.” This has been our saving grace. Neither of us needs to be coddled. Instead, we both prefer a distinct action plan. Whether we get the plan from one another or create it on our own, we have the strength and support of each other to find our way to the other side.

Stepping onto the beach, we were ready to tackle the soft sand for the long trek back to our holiday home.

We have no doubt as to how much easier this is for us as a happy couple when tackling difficult scenarios. If one is alone in life, the magnitude of such challenges is only exacerbated by not having a loved one at their side to help work through the issues. Many of our readers who have written to us over the years are single, divorced, or have lost their beloved partner and now live alone. Children have grown and left home or in many cases, moved away.

In many other cases, the parents have moved to a warmer climate or elsewhere (like us), leaving siblings, children, and grandchildren in their wake. In these times of COVID-19, they find themselves alone in their house, condo, or apartment, trying to work their way through the challenges of the pandemic.

The local fisherman, working in the sea to earn a living, catching fish they sell to the restaurants.

Many of our readers are divorced, single, or widowed with children to care for and have lost their source of income due to the worldwide lockdowns. The financial burdens on these single-parent households have left them reeling with fear and uncertainty. Many have lost their insurance benefits in accordance with losing their jobs.

Another common scenario is the couple, alone or with children, who have lost their income and are dealing with the financial and emotional stresses as a result of COVID-19. And yet, another stressful and sad situation is the millions of seniors in retirement homes, assisted living, and nursing care facilities that haven’t been allowed to see their families all these months.

Once again we were walking on the long pathway from the sea.

Then, of course, are the almost 1,000,000 people worldwide who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19 and the horrific loss for their loved ones. Over 33,000,000 have been tested positive worldwide. I have no doubt, every one of those people experienced a degree of stress in wondering if they’d become one of the death statistics.

All the naysayers can say what they want about “conspiracy theories” about COVID-19 being a scam or a hoax. But the reality remains that almost 1,000,000 people have died from this pandemic. Ask those family members, if they think the virus was a hoax.

This pod baffled us.

So when we look at our stress of being “stuck in a safe and clean environment” with food, although boring and repetitive, with our income intact and a roof over our heads, we have little to complain about. The loss of my sister and the concerns for our daughter-in-law has been at the forefront of stress-inducing during this time, along with the worry over family members’ health and well-being, especially those who’ve had COVID-19.

None of us are exempt from stress and worry during these challenging times. For us, we remind ourselves of what we do have as opposed to what we don’t. In the realm of things, when we get out of here and where we’ll go in order to continue on our world journey is infinitesimal compared to the situation of others.

Back at our entrance, we were grateful for our time away. But we were also glad to return to strip down to our bathing suits, drink more water, and relax after the long strenuous walk in the heat. I couldn’t wait to download the photos to see how they came out!

We hope and pray for the health, safety, and well-being for you and your loved ones, as we all work our way through this outrageous time in our history. Once this has ended, may we all remember this time and appreciate our lives in times to come.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 27, 2019:

Visitor! This chicken on the farm in Devon, England was waiting at our door for the possibility of some morsel. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Day #187 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Lockdown weight gain?…

At long last, we reached the end of the path. We were thrilled to have the sea in front of us once again. We didn’t take the time to take photos of each other. Pouring sweat in the outrageous humidity and heat, neither of us was “photo-ready.”

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

It’s Saturday morning, We didn’t wake up until 9:00 am which is unusual for us. With breakfast out of the way and 2 of 5 miles already tackled from walking the corridors, we’re both ready to take on another day. What the day holds remains to be seen.

As we approached the exit gate from our neighborhood, Nancy, the daytime guard greeted us both with a warm hug. At night security is beefed up when more security risks were prevalent.

Today, I’ll spend more time working on the third 2000 word post which I promised our web developer I’d have done by Monday. After that, there’s only two more to go. This next post is revolving around how we’ve traveled the world living a low carb/ketogenic diet, a request from many readers who’ve written over the past year.

For our long term readers, you will have read this information over and over again. But, over the years, we’ve acquired countless new readers many of whom are curious about this way of eating in regard to their own health and well-being and if this may work for them. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifetime commitment.

On the walk to the beach access, these two women were carrying what appeared to be heavy loads atop their heads, a common site in Kenya.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I’d been eating too many carbs with the red sauces I was ordering on my chicken. With boredom at the forefront, the supposed sauces were gluten-free, starch-free, grain-free, and sugar-free. But I was deluding myself. The excess carbs were causing the very inflammation and high blood sugar that not only caused the pain to return but also caused me to gain weight, a sure-fire way to determine my blood sugar was high. I could barely walk.

Now, three weeks later by avoiding the thick red sauces, the pain is diminished by 65% but I still have a way to go. I feel confident that in time, maybe a month or more, I’ll continue to notice an improvement. In the interim, I’ve lost the extra pounds I’d gained from eating the curry and makhani sauces over a period of five months, both of which must have had ingredients I cannot eat.

Reaching the beginning of the beach access, it was impossible to see how far we’d have to walk to reach the sea. This lonely stretch would be dangerous to travel at night, which of course, we won’t do, always took a cab to dine at any of the restaurants along the coast.

With the language barrier, it’s been difficult to explain my way of eating to the cooks. The only solution has been to change my food orders, the past few weeks to the following:

  • Breakfast: two hard-boiled eggs, two pieces crispy bacon
  • Dinner: two pieces of grilled, boneless, skinless chicken, basted with butter and sauteed mushrooms and broccoli (I change the vegetables I select every few days)
  • In places, the path to the beach was filled with flowers.

That’s all I eat each day. Not much food. I should be losing weight like crazy but after the heart surgery, I gained 20 pounds and have struggled to lose it. Now, I have hope that I’ll lose it. Walking 5 miles, 8 km, a day hasn’t attributed to any weight loss whatsoever. This doesn’t surprise me. I never lost weight from working out alone.

My goal is to be able to fit into the few items of clothing I have left and to feel more fit and healthy. Now with only 15 pounds to go, I feel more confident I can accomplish this while continuing to reduce the degree of pain while walking, over the next few months, while still in lockdown.

The sea, the clouds, and the mystery of ominous clouds rolling in left us in awe with our mouths agape.

Of course, when we are able to get out of India and cook for ourselves, I’ll have more options and control over what I’m eating. Here, it’s been difficult with so few appropriate options. Tom has been eating a relatively unhealthy dinner each evening and he too looks forward to some home-cooked meals sometime in the future.

I’ve read over and over again, many people have struggled to maintain, or improve, their health while in lockdown. Thank goodness, we have had no access to snacks or treats during these six months in lockdown. It sure is easy to overeat while bored.

Miles of sandy beach stretched in front of us on the Indian Ocean. The white sand was the softest sand we’d ever walked, our feet sinking in several inches with each step. As a result, walking was laborious, especially in the heat and humidity. This didn’t deter us. We forged ahead.

Now, as I wrap this up, I’ll head to walk my next mile, and then when back in the room get back to continue working on that tricky 2000 word post.

Have a pleasant Saturday and weekend!

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Photos from one year ago today, September 26, 2019:

In the rain, Tom was using the wheelbarrow to bring the wood to Pond Cottage in Devon, England. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Day #186 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Recap of our situation…

Mom appeared to be showing her offspring how to drink from the river.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2018, while we were living in Marloth Park, South Africa. For more on this date, please click here.

We spent 15 months in Marloth Park from February 2018 to May 2019, the last three months of which I was recovering from open-heart surgery and was unable to fly. We’d overstayed our visa by those last three necessary months, leaving us described as “undesirables” based on South Africa’s immigration department with a five-year ban on returning.

Mom was standing by the river’s edge waiting for her baby to join her who was a short distance away.

We hired a South African attorney at quite an expense, to allow us to return anytime, removing the five-year ban, and then, COVID-19 happened. On March 20, 2020, we arrived at the Mumbai Airport at 3:00 am, with tickets to fly to South Africa and were turned away when checking in. South Africa had yet to close their borders, but they didn’t want anyone entering with a US passport. The next day they closed their borders.

From the airport, we returned to our former hotel in Mumbai, the SunNSand. A few days later, they closed the hotel, literally kicking us out on the street. We spent several stressful hours trying to find a place to stay and finally, we were directed to this hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport on March 24, 2020. We’ve been here since in utter lockdown for the past 186 days and nights.

The word was out! Little birds stopped by our vacation home for seeds.

As our long term readers know, we were determined to return to South Africa. A year ago, we’d booked a cruise for April 3, 2020, sailing from Mumbai, India to Greenwich, England, spending several months in Europe, then sail out of Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa on November 10, 2020. Our plan was to spend a few days in Cape Town and then fly to Marloth Park. All of these plans have been canceled months ago.

Well, the best-laid plans…were totally changed by COVID-19 and here we sit over six months later with nary a plan on the horizon. It looks as if South Africa may be opening its borders very soon, but excluding US passport holders and recent visitors to India. And, India certainly doesn’t have flights from Mumbai to South Africa, even if they would let us in. So, here we sit. Six months later.

Down they went, in an awkward pose, to drink from the river.

Daily, we’re checking updates on when India’s borders will open, going anywhere that may appeal to us. But right now, the only flights available are these listed at this link. None of these work for us. We’re not interested in returning to Dubai, having been there for two weeks, in 2013. It was interesting for that period but not appealing for us to return. There would be no benefit for us to sit in a hotel room in Dubai, as opposed to doing so here in India.

Also, it makes no sense for us to fly to another big city in India. We’d be risking unnecessary time at the airport and would still be stuck in a hotel room. So, much to our chagrin, we stay put.

The baby tried it on her own while mom watched. Giraffes are vulnerable to predators in this position.

We continued to work on receiving our two FedEx items. A few days ago, we were “kicked out” of their system when attempting to upload the necessary documents including; passport bio page and back page; letter from the hotel authorizing them to deliver the items; along with our e-visa document. We weren’t allowed to try again for another 24 hours.

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to get the documents uploaded and this morning received an email that we’ll hear from them as to “custom fees” we may owe. After that process, we’ll receive the items. Good grief. I’ve never heard of so much hoopla to receive FedEx packages.

A few zebras meandered down the hill to the water, but mom didn’t seem concerned. Giraffes and zebras seem to commingle well in the wild.

Most likely, in the future, we won’t be ordering anything from the US, as more and more countries are adding products to their online websites. We’ve had awful problems receiving international packages all over the world.

Today? Status quo. We’re hanging in there, both of us with a good attitude, coupled with hope for the future for all of us, all over the world.

Stay safe.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 25, 2019:

Sheep grazing near Pond Cottage, our farm rental in Devon, England. This paddock is where the older rams reside to live out their lives. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day #185 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Six months in confinement…Package hell…

Sunset reddened clouds reflecting in the pool at our Bali villa.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2016, while we were living in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia. For more on this date, please click here.

When there was no post on this date in 2013 in Kenya, I scoured each year on this date and landed on our time spent in Bali in 2016. Seeing the above photo of the exquisite infinity pool in the villa overlooking the sea sent my mind into a tailspin. Oh, would we appreciate that now!

Many passersby carry needed supplies along the beach.

The total four months we spent at this villa were divided into two separate stays;  after the first two months we left and headed to Singapore to visit three embassies to acquire much-needed visas;  then from Singapore to Vietnam and Cambodia on a Mekong River cruise and land tour. From there, we spent 42 days in Phuket, Thailand, returning to Bali for the second two months.

We loved the villa in Bali, especially the veranda, pool, and cabana where we spent the majority of our days, lounging, talking, laughing, swimming, and watching a wide array of activities transpiring on the beach. Each new day presented unique and interesting scenes, unlike anything we’d seen on any beach in the world.

Gede explained that these plastic coverings are to protect watermelon from the hot sun.

Whether it was buffalo walking along the shore guided by a child with rope, no more than 10 years old; white horses on a walk; locals dressed in local garb walking along the shore; people bathing in the sand and rinsing in the sea; and children playing naked in a river that meets the sea only a short distance from us;  We were amused, entertained and motivated to take photos.

Today is the six-month anniversary of the date we checked into this hotel on March 24, 2020. During the first month, we were able to have our meals in the hotel’s dining room. But, in no time at all, India’s government banned dining in restaurants and room service was our only option for our two daily meals which has continued through today.

A typical small business building found in a village.

Purchasing and serving alcohol was banned for several months. Now, alcohol may be purchased and delivered, but with taxes at 38% plus delivery fees, the cost is outrageous. The hotel cannot serve alcohol and, with their upcharges on drinks plus taxes and tips, it makes no sense for us to imbibe at all. Also, neither of us has ever enjoyed having drinks in a hotel room. We’ll wait until we get to our next location, wherever that may be.

On another note, we ordered a package of supplies from our mailing service in Nevada, which includes our new passports, contact lenses, snail-mail, and odds and ends we can’t get in India. The package, along with a second item, a replacement credit card (due to fraud) was shipped at the end of July 2020 and we’ve yet to receive either item.

Rice is a huge staple in the Balinese people’s diet and is exported to many parts of the world.

I desperately tried to reach a human at FedEx India’s multiple phone numbers, but either the line was busy or no one answered. We each sent no less than a dozen email messages asking for assistance, always including the two tracking numbers and the urgency of receiving these two items. The replies always stated the same thing, “We’re working on it” or some variation thereof.

Finally, a few days ago, Tom received a reply from an upper management person with instructions as to how to receive the packages. It required that we send in copies of our passports, both bio pages and back pages, and our e-visas.

Not so quick. The trick was to get their website to work in order to be able to upload the documents. Once I did everything as they suggested, the photos in small-sized jpegs wouldn’t upload. Only a few would. I kept having to take the photos over and over again, to finally get them to upload.

Crossing a bridge over a river.

A few hours later, we received two emails stating we hadn’t sent incomplete files. They needed two letters, signed and sealed by the hotel manager, one for each item, stating we are staying here and can receive the items. That became quite a challenge when by human error, the tracking numbers and “case” numbers somehow got mixed up. The letters had to be redone.

After spending the entire afternoon on this, the system wouldn’t let me in when entering the “captcha.” Actually, the captcha was easy, only four clear jiggly letters but their system wouldn’t accept the login after I entered it. After five tries I was kicked out for 24 hours. Today, at 4:00 pm, I will have to start over once again. Ah, frustrating. We’ll report back on how this goes.

A Muslim holiday celebrated on the beach.

Based on the above circumstances, yesterday I never finished my walking, only accomplishing 5000 steps instead of 10000. I hope to do better today. Also, I hope to get back to work on the 2000 word post #3 sometime today. Our entire routine has been turned topsy-turvy by this package business.

OK. That’s all there is today, folks! Have a good day!

Minutes before the sun descended from view. Before dark, the security guy visits our villa turning on outdoor lights, returning at sunrise to turn them off.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 24, 2019:

This was our holiday rental, Pond Cottage in Devon, England at night. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

Why did we decide to include home-free retirees world travel tips?

 

The Golden Temple Amritsar, India as seen through a decorative archway on the religious grounds of the historic Sikh location. Please click here to see more photos from Amritsar.

Note: This post is the second of the 2000 word posts required for SEO. Some of the verbiage may sound repetitive. We’ll be back to our usual post tomorrow. Only three more of these to go. Thanks for your patience. Feel free to read.

As Tom’s retirement was fast approaching and we’d made the outrageous decision to travel full-time, we searched online for travel tips that possibly could point us in the right direction, especially those applying to retirees. When many young people travel the world, even with children, they often stay in hostels, camp, rent or buy campers or caravans and may live very different lifestyles than we were seeking.

At that time in 2012, considerably fewer retirees had “given it all up” to do what we’d chosen to do, travel the world for years to come with minimal possessions with us, no storage facility anywhere in our home state or country, and find a way to make it work being totally home-free. We considered no condo, apartment, or studio-type living quarters as a base to return to should we so desire. We chose to make the “BIG commitment” and for us, that only came when we sold everything we owned, leaving us little opportunity to change our minds if something went wrong, especially in the early days. Always a part of our mission was to include home-free retirees world travel tips.

Our friends and relatives bombarded us with suggestions and travel tips, amid a plethora of travel warnings on all the potentially horrible situations we could encounter along the way, some even life-threatening. We chose not to take heed of their warnings when instead, we chose to do research on our own.

Searching online was little help. We found countless travel tips from travelers who’d been “out there” on their own, as a couple of a family of three or more. But, few were retirees, and most had a place to call home to return to for a break or respite. Of course, today, eight years later, we’ve encountered other retirees, home-free, and traveling the world. But after a fashion, most acquiesced and returned to their home country, recovered their belongings from storage, and began again. Not us. We wanted to do it differently, to truly experience the challenges and benefits of living life on the move, as retirees, with no safety net.

What are the potential challenges facing home-free retirees world travel tips?…

The most frequent travel tip/question most travelers tossed our way revolved around these two topics:

1. What will you do if one of you becomes very ill, when, retirees, due to an advanced age are more likely to encounter health problems?
2. What will you do if something goes wrong or you tire of traveling?

In the first over six years of our home-free world travel lifestyle, neither of these potential issues had any impact on our lives. As retirees, we were healthy, fit, and relatively active. We’d had extensive medical tests before we embarked on our journey, all required dental work completed. As we traveled the world, every few years, we each had basic health checks, blood tests, and dental appointments. All was well until…

The “worse case” scenarios transpired…

While living in a holiday home in the bush in South Africa, in February 2019, I had to have emergency triple cardiac bypass surgery, which resulted in four total surgeries (due to complications) and over the US $150,000 in medical expenses which our then international health the insurance company refused to pay, claiming I had a preexisting condition (I had no idea).

The question many other retirees had asked, “Should such an event occur, what would you possibly do?” Would being home-free prevent us from quality medical care and a place to recover after such a frightening event? It did not. We simply extended our rental period for the holiday home or would have moved to another while I recovered.

At the time, many home-free retirees world travel tips came our way with suggestions for us to return to the US but that tip was preposterous. I couldn’t travel on an airplane for at least three months. We stayed in the wonderful bush house while I recovered sufficiently to again begin our world travel journey. Nothing was holding us back. We continued on for three months in an oceanfront house in Connemara, Ireland as my convalescence continued.

The second question above asks, “What will we do if something goes wrong or you tire of traveling?

Tom and I made a pact when we began traveling the world, as home-free retirees. If either of us ever became tired or bored with traveling the world, we would stop. Even amid the challenges facing us these past few years, neither of us has suggested ending our journey to the other.

Another huge challenge that tested our durability and commitment as home-free retirees, was the pandemic that hit the world in January and February 2020. At the time, we’d just completed a weeklong tour on the renowned Maharajas Express Train from Mumbai to Delhi. After the train, we embarked on a 55-night tour of India, which we had to cut short when COVID-19 presented us with a huge risk of continuing on. Most temples and tourist sites were packed with people, often crowding in small spaces. More, we considered home-free retirees world travel tips from other readers with similar experiences.

We decided the risk of being at crowded venues was too high and started self-isolation on or about March 12, 2020, when we were notified that our upcoming cruise on April 3, 2020 had been canceled due to the COVID-19. As of this writing, we have officially been in India’s government-mandated lockdown which began on March 24, 2020, for a full six months. More and more of our readers write to us each day with tips and suggestions as to what we should do at this point. But, it is our special circumstances and home-free lifestyle that has guided us as to what works well for us.

Considering home-free retirees world travel tips weren’t a factor in preventing us from heading back to the US to hunker down in lockdown. Where would we stay? Ultimately, we decided to stay put in a lovely Marriott hotel until such time as we can continue on our travels. At this point, the pandemic has reached such proportions in the US, we have no desire or plan to return. Also, without a home, it would be difficult to decide where to stay while we waited it out. We’ve been safe in this hotel, although India has been hard hit as well. Only time will tell when we can continue on.

During this period, we’ve received hundreds of tips geared toward our home-free status, as to what we should do. We’ve appreciated all the tips, suggestions, and updates sent by readers, family, and friends. Most of the retiree’s circumstances are very different from ours and what they would choose to do in these circumstances may be very different from our choices.

What do we do as home-free retirees if the lockdown/pandemic continues for more months to come?…

We are safe. This hotel has exercised diligent efforts to avoid a single case of COVID-19 since we arrived. All staff is required to wear face masks and gloves. All staff members live within the walls of the hotel. No one is allowed to clean our room or serve our meals, via room service, unless they’ve been living here for a minimum of three weeks. We are confined to the fourth floor except for those few times we’ll head downstairs to the reception desk to pay our bill. We haven’t been outdoors in six months.

But, when we think of retirees living in a retirement community, most likely they haven’t been outdoors much either. Perhaps, our situation isn’t so unique after all. We’re safe. We have everything we need. We’re relatively comfortable. We do miss socializing and often think of how enjoyable it would be to get-together with other retirees and commiserate over this challenging situation.

But, it appears, as retirees, we’re the oldest people in the entire hotel. The staff and any other guests appear to be mostly in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, at most. Every few days, we receive tips in our email with movies and TV series, we should binge-watch and games we should play to allay the boredom we’re experiencing now. We take many of these tips to heart and find ourselves streaming many fun new series suggested by our readers. This means a lot to us.

How are we emotionally impacted by home-free living?…

Often, we’re asked, don’t you feel lost without “roots?” Our answer is simple from an old adage, “Home is where the heart is.” And, although our hearts are filled with love for family and friends back in the US, as a couple, we have made anywhere we may be living, at any given time, our “home.” That premise prevents us from ever feeling lost and lonely in a home-free lifestyle.

Most home-free retirees world travel tips include comments from those who spent their lives and careers in Minnesota, often leaving to spend their retirement in warmer climates. In most cases, they’ll purchase or rent a condo, house, or apartment in such states as Arizona, Florida, Texas, or Hawaii. Often, they’ll keep their original home and deal with the maintenance of having two homes. This didn’t appeal to us at all.

Instead, as retirees, we chose to be totally home-free; no apartment somewhere; no bedroom in one of our adult kids’ homes with a closet full of clothes; no lease on a storage facility as a safety-net to enable us to “set up housekeeping” once again. This was it, just the two of us and our luggage, the size of which has diminished greatly over the years.

In the beginning, Christmas was a time we had to make adjustments. We’d no longer have a Christmas tree, nor did we have decorations, or a need to bake endless cookies and baked goods. We no longer sent Christmas cards and gifts, instead of sending gift cards to our grandchildren. This commitment required a lot of emotional changes experienced by many retirees who become ex-pats and world travelers.

The hardest time we’ve experienced has been during my recovery from open-heart surgery and now, six months in lockdown in a single hotel room. But, somehow, these two home-free retirees have managed to maintain emotional strength and resilience in the knowledge that in time, we’ll be on the move again.

Will we ever settle down?…

This question has been asked of us over and over again. And, the reality is, we’ll have to at some point. With advancing age and potential health conditions, it may be necessary for us to return to the US and find a place to live. Does this worry us? Not at this point. We’ve survived so much, we both feel confident that when the time comes, as has been the case in every other situation, we’ll figure it out.

Home-free retirees world travel tips often include ways to figure out major life changes at some point or another. We are no exception. The fact we’ll have lived a home-free existence for so many years, makes those decisions only a little harder, mainly revolving around: Where will we choose to live?

We’ve considered the possibility of continuing to live in holiday homes in several parts of the US for three to six months, giving us a further opportunity to see more of our own country in our waning years. There’s also the possibility that in the next few years we may find a country besides the USA where we’d like to live as retirees, again with the principle of renting various, fully-equipped holiday/vacation homes.

In conclusion…

A home-free lifestyle is not for everyone, whether they are a young person starting their lives, a young family, couple, or retirees. We each have our own unique desires and emotional needs when it comes to our chosen lifestyle. If and when we have a need and a desire to be “rooted” to one location, we’ll do so.

World travel is not on everyone’s radar or in their dreams of what will ultimately be fulfilled and purpose-driven. We never knew we had a dream to travel the world as retirees, living a home-free lifestyle. It came upon us in a happenstance manner which is described in our first few posts and many more to come over the years.

As we’re fast approaching our eight-year anniversary since we became home-free on October 31, 2012, we have no regrets from the most exciting adventures to this most recent mundane period, spending over six-months in lockdown in Mumbai, India.

We’re hopeful for the future that in time we’ll be able to continue on our home-free journey to see the world. In the interim, we’ll continue to offer home-free retirees world travel tips as well as hearing from other world travelers. The world is a big place. We all have much more to see and to say.. Stay with us, dear reader. There’s definitely more to come.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 23, 2019:

The pond next to our house, Pond Cottage, in Witheridge, Devon, UK,  with a few ducks and geese. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Day #183 lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…It’s a whining day!…

Prior to sunset these flowers in their yard caught my eye. The combination of the pink and peach coloration is truly a gift from Mother Nature, whom we dearly appreciate.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

I am struggling to make myself sit down and write those 2000 word posts using keyword phrases as required by our web developers. Not a procrastinator, generally I attend to tasks in a timely fashion. But, I’m not sure what’s keeping me immobilized in regard to these three remaining posts.

Only moments before we left for Hans’ and Jeri’s home, we were finally able to snap a photo of the female to the little yellow birds that are so shy and quick that we’ve had trouble getting a shot. Apparently, their reticence is due to the frequent attacks by viscous blackbirds. Only a few days ago, Hans showed us where a blackbird had snatched baby birds out of a nest.

Could it be that doing so requires me to break away from our usual afternoon respite where we escape by binge-watching some favorite shows? When preparing these long posts, on top of the usual daily posts, my motivation is literally non-existent. Also, I’m still trying to work on the corrections on the past 3000 posts. I started in 2012, working my way forward beginning on page #148, and today, I’ll start with page #124. I have a long way to go when the most I can do in a day is one full page of 20 posts.

Gosh, I tell my usually-motivated self, I did get our tax stuff done and sent to the accountant in plenty of time. Gosh, I worked with the developers on resolving seemingly endless changes over the past 60 days. Gosh, I’ve spent endless hours researching possibilities for us to get out of here, all to no avail, as did Tom. Gosh, I don’t feel like spending an entire afternoon writing a contrived post of 2000 words infiltrating the necessary keyword sequence as frequently as possible.

We arrived at our landlord’s home before sunset to find Hans preparing the fire on which to cook our dinner.

Sorry if I sound like I am whining, whinging, or complaining (whatever such words are used in your locale). But, I am. Each day, after working on and uploading the daily post, which, by the way, I enjoy doing, I am done, done, done. This wasn’t the case in our lives of world travel, in the days before lockdown.

If this project was presented to me then, I would have made my way through it in five days…five 2000 word posts. But, now everything is different. I can’t take a break and escape by jumping up and get the laundry out of the washer to hang outside on the clothesline. I can’t head to the kitchen to chop and dice vegetables for dinner (or for wildlife).

Hans built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate in order to cook a full beef tenderloin without the use of charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us!

In our travels, we never binge-watched shows during the day. That was an after-dinner or bedtime pastime, winding us down after another pleasant and often exciting day. In Marloth Park and most other holiday homes, we rarely turned on the TV or streamed a show during our entire stay, while now, it’s on all day (with the sound off and captioning turned on) to allay the boredom, except for those times Tom is listening to his favorite podcast from Minnesota, Garage Logic. (The sound of the podcast in the background doesn’t bother me at all while I’m busy writing).

Their yard was aglow not only from candles scattered about the lawn, but also by landscape lighting focusing on the exquisite vegetation.

Perhaps, I need these diversions and distractions to help keep me centered when tackling challenging projects. We all have our own way of handling difficult tasks and I’m certainly no exception. Possibly I require more detours than most. Now, as I’m sitting here writing these words for this daily post, the podcast is on, I’ve already walked in the past 30 minutes  (the timer is set for the next 30 minutes) and I’m contemplating making a cup of tea.

Now, with a cup of herbal tea at my side, I’m ready to begin again. (Gee, I’d love some real cream, to add to a cup of coffee-not available here, or a big salad, or a juicy steak on the grill or knowing a glass of red wine is awaiting me at 5:00 pm or, or, or…). It’s a whining day! Please humor me!

The table was set on the well-manicured lawn. With the balmy breeze and the fire roaring, the mosquitoes stayed away, although we were well-armed wearing our BugsAway clothing.

Whew! It’s good to have that off my chest. Many of our readers praise us for being so tough and strong under these dire circumstances. But, we’re no tougher or stronger than any of you who have had to live with the constraints established by your state, your county, or your country during times of COVID-19. It’s been a challenge for all of us in one way or another.

The dinner table for 4 was set on the grass, well lit with candles, beyond their inviting veranda.

The 30-minute timer is about to go off any minute when I’ll head out the door once again to walk the corridors while listening to educational podcasts of my own, mostly centered around health and fitness instead of past episodes of Dr. Phil, 20/20, or Entertainment Tonight which, at one time could entertain me while walking.

That’s all I have to say today. I have to start thinking of what I’ll write for the next keyword phrase with 2000 words for post #3, starting in an hour or so.

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2019:

The acreage on the farm in Devon, England is diverse and beautiful. We were grateful to be able to spend time enjoying the many facets of the farm without doing any work. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Day #182 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Making decisions…

Yes, I know. Photos of us in 2013 often show us wearing the same clothes over and over. After ditching most of our clothing to lighten our load, we have no choice but to do so. We try to wear the same items frequently in order to wear them out for disposal, saving the newer items for the future. So far, nothing has worn out. With no clothes dryers available, the thinnest tee shirts seem to “live” forever.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

We laughed over the night depicted in today’s historic photos of the night on this date seven years ago that we went out to dinner in Kenya and were the only diners in the entire restaurant.

Ah, moonlight!

It was a beautiful moonlit night and we recall it as if it was only yesterday. We made a reservation at the Blue Marlin Restaurant located on the beach on the Indian Ocean. It was a long walk from the security entrance to the actual restaurant on uneven pavers and we were grateful for our LED flashlights to guide us along the way.

This spot was ideal for relaxing after a guest drank too many Margaritas!

We arrived at 7:30 pm at TripAdvisor’s highly rated restaurant, surprised to find we were the only guests on the premises. The staff was plentiful and the service and food was excellent. At the time we couldn’t recall ever being the only guests in a restaurant during dinner hours, but we shrugged it off, assuming sooner or later, other guests would appear. It never happened, much to our surprise after experiencing the delicious meals, drinks and service.

The chalkboard at the Blue Marlin listed the daily specials.

As a result, we had an opportunity to take some photos with the staff who were thrilled to oblige. We handed out several of our business cards knowing full-well they’d be searching for their photos on the next day’s post, perhaps making them feel a little like celebrities. It was endearing.

We had a chance to interact with their two “house dogs” who couldn’t have been more friendly. Of course, when we returned back to our holiday home, Han’s two dogs, Gucci and Jessie, were waiting for our return. It’s always been a treat to be able to adopt a dog or two that resided near our vacation homes at the time.

The Blue Marlin offered a relaxed, comfortable outdoor environment for diners.Notice an actual blue marlin on the wall.

It was hot, humid and windy, when we returned to the house. By the time we reached our outdoor living room, the veranda, we both decided to change into as minimal clothes as possible, covering ourselves with repellent and staying outdoors until bedtime. It was another good night.

Zaa Zaa, our friendly companion for the evening, lying at our feet as we dined.

On another note, yesterday’s post was the first of the five 2000 word posts I wrote, to which our web developers will be editing in the background for purposes of website optimization. Yesterday, I wrote the second of five posts and that should be ready to post tomorrow. I apologize for any redundancy in these long posts since its imperative they contain the content represented in the keywords.

Tom drank two bottles of this local Tusker beer.

There’s only five such posts and we should be done with them within a few weeks. Otherwise, on all other days, our regular less-wordy posts will appear as usual. No worries. No impact on your regular reading. Thanks for your patience.

Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of skuttlebutt online about the possibility of South Africa’s borders opening soon. At this point, it appears US citizens and anyone entering from India will not be allowed to enter. Another reality is that the Kruger Mpumalanga Nelspruit Airport we usually fly to, won’t be open for some time.

The chef insisted we take a photo together!

When we can travel to South Africa, we’ll fly into Johannesburg, rent a car and drive for five hours to make our way to Marloth Park. None of this concerns us. What concerns us is when the borders of both South Africa and India open enabling us to leave.

Tom’s appetizer of bacon wrapped jumbo prawns. I pointed out the bulging eyes. He asked, “Why’d you tell me that?”

Yesterday, we had a much needed discussion, considering these facts and both have agreed we are willing to “wait it out’ here at this hotel in Mumbai, India. There’s no point in adding more COVID-19 exposure in flying to the US to wait it out, nor is hovering around various airports, as they are just beginning to open, many soon.

My appetizer was a delicious creamy crab salad.

By the time we’re allowed to leave, protocols for COVID-19 will be firmly in place, after more experience, and we’ll have a better chance of avoiding infection. Of course, if India opens to other countries we’d be willing to travel to, and South Africa isn’t open for us, we may opt to head somewhere else to wait, as long as its to a location we’d find worthwhile and interesting. Otherwise, we’ll stay put.

Tom’s dinner consisted of a sizable portion of Swahili Fish, most likely a type of snapper. Bone free and lightly seasoned with a rich buttery coconut sauce, he had no trouble devouring every morsel.

Nothing much has changed around here. The corridors are a little less crowded now. The staff is working on reducing the noise at night from our next door neighbors (ugh!). And, we’re fine. As I write here now, Tom is watching the Minnesota Vikings football game on the TV using the HDMI and his laptop. As usual, they aren’t doing well. So it goes.

Look at the size of these calamari rings! I, too, savored every morsel on my plate.

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2019:

An otter lounging in the sun in Tiverton, Cornwall, UK. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Why write a blog about travel?…. Years Long World Travel Writer’s Story

 

The Treasury in Petra, Jordan! This sight made us gasp with our hearts pounding wildly, less from the  long walk in outrageous heat and more from sheer joy! Please click here for more.

Years Long World Travel Writer:

All of my life, I loved writing. As a student, I used the written word as a means to bypass a certain degree of studying by writing flowery essays and compositions in place of countless mundane and boring assignments. Writing as a profession was not only my dream, whether to write a book to be published someday, hoping to attain a level of success or, to explore vast experiences throughout the world, providing me with ample fodder to inspire the words that so freely flew off my fingers on an old fashioned typewriter.

As we all know so well, life gets in the way of many of our dreams and we find ourselves entrenched in the responsibilities of daily life; working, parenting, and financial obligations. My biggest dream was to travel to the African continent, taking endless numbers of photos of wildlife, culture, and nature as well as seeing the other six continents, the rest of the world. Many years passed before the possibility of writing as a profession would present itself.

The walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Please click here for more.

The segue from a dream to reality…

In the 1980s, for the first time in my life, I had an opportunity to travel to several countries, each leaving me longing to sit down and put pen to paper about my experiences. But, here again, the demands of my life as a business owner and parent left me little time to write about my world travel experiences.

Serendipitously, in 1991, while at a business-type social event, I stumbled across a wealthy gentleman who asked me if I knew a writer who may be interested in an unusual project. He’d written two dozen songs and had a burning desire to incorporate them into a play to eventually be produced at a local playhouse. It was impossible for me to resist saying, “I am a writer and I’d be up for the challenge.”

A few days later I met with him at his office, bringing along the favorite pieces I’d written over the years; essays, poetry, the start of a book, and business-related journals. He hired me on the spot. Within days, he presented me with a years-long contract specifying I could take more than one year to write the play using the accompanying music scores he’d written, I’d receive a bonus if it was, in fact, completed in one year.

The Miraflores Locks in the Panama Canal, as we entered. Please click here for more.

Traveling to learn to write a play…

Part of my contract provided me with an extraordinary benefit. He’d pay all costs incurred for me to travel to New York, for private training sessions with a world-renowned playwright and professor at Northwestern University. I had no clue how to write a play, although I felt confident I could learn the art. In no time at all, I was on my way to New York City, booked into a fabulous historic hotel with every amenity.

An added perk while in New York was to go to as many Broadway plays as I could possibly attend, making notes on verbiage, nuances, and unique writing styles, adding to my repertoire of experience and the use of language in a major production. I traveled to New York three times to meet with my “teacher” and again, watching a Broadway show each evening. I wished Tom had been with me to revel in this unique opportunity. Somehow, on my own, I grasped every morsel of knowledge I could glean along the way.

A reality of this writing assignment was that I was to be a “ghost” writer and I would never get “credit” for the comprehensive and cohesive story I’d written to work cohesively with the wide array of songs that had nothing to do with one another. Somehow, the magic happened and the year-long task came to fruition.

Looking up at the sky, day and night, is a rare treat, from inside the riad we rented in Marrakech, Morocco, which is defined as a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard. It rained inside the house while we stayed in the rooms surrounding the center courtyard. For more, please click here.

Years Long World Travel Writing:

During this period, when I found myself writing each day, on occasion my mind would wander to the prospect of worldwide travel writing, wondering if that dream would ever materialize. This was almost 30 years ago. When the play was finally produced in the theatre district in Minneapolis, Tom, and I attended opening night to delightfully discover, he had included my name in the program as a “consultant.” I was content.

Where did I go from there?

After the lucrative year-long assignment, I was at a loss as to what to do with my career from there. Writing as a career wasn’t a field whereby one could easily earn a living. So, I opted to return to the business world, where I languished for the next 20 years, to finally retire in 2010, hoping I’d have sufficient fodder to begin to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing about world travels. But, how would that transpire?

Tom and I had married in 1995 and lived a full life in Minnesota, USA. He couldn’t retire until 2012. Like many Minnesotans, they often retire to warmer climates such as Arizona, Florida, or Texas than continue to spend the bitter winter months in the Upper Midwest. This type of life, owning two-homes, didn’t appeal to either of us.

On a Thursday morning in Marloth Park in 2013, as I stepped outside onto the veranda, camera in hand, this was the first thing I saw. Quietly alerting Tom, who was still inside the house, he rushed out to witness this same sight. And then, in minutes they were everywhere, a dozen total. No words can describe our elation. For more, click here.

One day, on a whim, 10 months before Tom’s retirement date of October 31, 2012, I asked him, “Honey, what would you like to do when you retire?”

Flippantly, waving a hand in the air, he replied, “Let’s travel the world!” Finally, I’d have an opportunity to a a lifestyle of years long world travel writing.

I was shocked, never thinking for a moment he’d leave everyone and everything he’d known and loved for all of his life, to begin a life of world travel.

World travel, my dream, my fodder!

My first thought, after shaking my head in shocking wonder was “At last, I could fulfill my dream of becoming a world travel writer.” The fact I was already 62 years old at the time was irrelevant.” A lifelong dream was coming to fruition. Instead of trying to write a book about the simple life of a 62-year-old grandmother, living on a lake in Minnesota, I could ride on a safari vehicle, surrounded by lions and elephants in the savannah of Africa.

Over the next 10 months, every waking moment was spent in the planning stages, and the painstaking process of selling everything we owned; house, cars, household goods, while leaving treasured items for our children, and six grandchildren. No, the decision to leave our family, friends, and everything we owned didn’t come easily.

But, once we made the decision, we were committed to seeing the world and, along the way for me to write a very long, seeming never-ending story of our worldwide travels, day after day, month after month, and year after year. The idea of being able to exact  a years long world travel writing philosophy, sent our hearts and minds into a frenzy of incomprehensible joy which neither of us had ever known before.

Alas, we arrived at the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Please click here for more photos.

The painstaking process…

The concept of eliminating every item one has accumulated over a lifetime, resulting in no storage facility that would leave us with an eventual “out” was earth-shattering. We didn’t want to be in a position whereby we wouldn’t “tough it out” if things became difficult. If we stored our belongings, it would be too easy to return to our old lives, taking our “stuff” out of storage, buying a new house, and setting up housekeeping once again. No, we wanted this to be a serious commitment. The world is a huge place and, it was conceivable we could continue to travel for years to come.

Somehow, we managed to unload all of our personal belongings and physical possessions. In the process, we discovered a newly found sense of freedom, one we’d need to carry with us in our worldwide travels and remains with us today.

Fulfillment of a dream… The writing began…

Less than two months after we’d decided to travel the world, I uploaded our first post on March 15, 2012 while naming our site, WorldWideWaftage.com. We found the word “waftage” in an old English dictionary which means to “travel gently by air, sea or land.” That was our plan, to travel the world gently, leaving a small footprint behind us, one of kindness, consideration, acceptance, respect, with profound reverence for the world surrounding us, its wildlife and its people. That philosophy has served us well, eight years later as we’ve enjoyed years long world travel writing

We held our breath as we approached Highclare Castle, home of the famed BBC TV series, Downton Abbey.  No interior photos were allowed. Please click here for more photos.

That first post, found here, was finally my chance to write while stepping outside the box of my otherwise uncomplicated life into a world I never dreamed possible. Sure, it was a little late in coming, but we were totally committed to writing about our experiences in traveling the world, with no home to return to, no physical possessions other than that we carried with us, and no easy means of “calling it quits.”

Once that first post was uploaded when miraculously, readers from all over the world found us, I was hooked, as was Tom, who. Although he doesn’t write the words in the posts, he is my right hand, constantly researching to ensure we provide concise and accurate information at every turn. Our diligence in sharing “the truth” and not embellishing our experiences has been a vital aspect of our writings and images. We tell it, “like it is,” rather than some fluffed up the notion of what traveling the world is really like. How exciting it was for a years long world travel writing adventure.

In the process over these eight years, we’ve had no haters. Instead, we’ve been blessed with readers who appreciate the opportunity to share in our now daily stories. To date, we’ve written almost 3,000 posts, rarely missing a day since we began posting daily over seven years ago.

At one point while Tom had an opportunity to be a shepherd in Witheridge, Cornwall, the sheep turned and made an incorrect turn (herd mentality) and again, Tom guided them back in the right direction.  Please click here for more photos.

What about writer’s block?

“Writer’s block” doesn’t exist in our world, even after the past over six months we’ve spent living in an average-sized hotel room in Mumbai, India whereby we had to cut short a prepaid 55-day private tour of India when COVID-19 hit and the lockdown began. At the onset of the lockdown, I was worried we’d run out of topics and stories to tell. But, with a commitment for   years long world travel writing, we knew we’d carry on.

Fortunately, our previous almost 3,000 posts provided us with exciting photos from the past eight years of world travel. Each day, we’ve shared some of our new thoughts and experiences while in lockdown, while adding photos from past posts to fulfill our reader’s objectives of staying in touch with us as they, too, remain in lockdown all over the world.

As for the writing of the past posts, I can honestly say, there was never a day in our ongoing eight long years of world travel, where we couldn’t come up with a story to tell, a series of photos to share, or a message from our hearts. We’ve weathered unbelievably stressful and worrisome events to some of the greatest joys of our lives, never failing for a moment to appreciate these gifts we’ve been given of traveling the world for years, not weeks, not months.

Pairs, at night on a dinner cruise on the River Seine. The Assemblee Nationale, the French National Assembly.  Please click here for more photos.

What does the future hold? Will we have more world travel stories to write?

These challenging times of a worldwide pandemic, impacting every man, woman, and child wherever they may be on this vast planet, will eventually waft away. We can only hope and pray that we’ll have enough desire and commitment to manage our way through the upcoming obstacles presented from this disaster, by continuing in our worldwide travels, writing new stories each and every day, sharing a tender, earth-shattering, profound, and jaw-dropping experiences as we continue to strive to fulfill the final stages of our journey.

In conclusion…

We’ve traveled to seven continents. We’ve walked the rough terrain in the islands of Antarctica, witness to millions of penguins. We walked the long and arduous journey to the unearthed city of Petra in Jordan in 110F, 43C, temperatures. We’ve sailed on 27 cruises throughout the world.

In Antarctica, both of us holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign. Please click here for more photos.

We’ve transited the Panama Canal twice. We’ve walked in the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. We’ve dined on a luxury watercraft on the River Seine in Paris. We’ve lived on working farms in the countryside in Cornwall, England. We’ve lived in the bush in South Africa with wild animals wandering about our holiday house, day and night. We’ve felt the spray from Victoria Falls in our faces in both Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa. We lived in a riad in the Souks of The Big Square in Marrakesh, Morocco. We visit the famous castle from Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, in England. Our years long world travel writing was inspired by these exquisite opportunities.

We never imagined we’d see the Taj Mahal. And yet, in February 2020 on a hazy morning, it lay before our eyes in its full splendor. Please click here for more photos.

And, most recently, we’ve traveled India on the world-renowned Maharajas Express luxury train, eventually ending up in Mumbai in a six-month-long lockdown in a hotel near the airport, hoping someday to be able to carry on.

Through it all, we’ve continued to write our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, and our sorrows as we’ve embarked upon years long world travel writing journey to see the world and its treasures, many of which are yet to behold.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2019:

During a visit to the Bodmin Moors in Cornwall, England, Tom wasn’t comfortable in this position for long. From this site: “The pillory is a device made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used for punishment by public humiliation and often further physical abuse.” Please click here for more photos.

 

Day #180 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Frustration over WiFi issues…A cultural experience in Kenya in 2013…

 

This is a rendition of Hans‘, our landlord’s new construction project. (The pool is not illustrated in this rendition.). He was proud to show us the construction phase of his project which proved to be fascinating to us. Construction is done very differently in Kenya and overall in Africa.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

Yesterday, when I was attempting to upload the post I was unable to edit the line and paragraph spacing. I tried everything possible to accomplish this to no avail. I uploaded the post anyway. A few hours later as I was working on editing the archived posts, I ran into more issues, finally giving up for the day.

As we entered the multi-unit building site under construction, we were amazed by all of the handmade ladders, made from materials on the site.

Hanging over my head is the necessity of preparing those 2000 word posts for our website optimization process. One is done with four more to go. It will take me weeks to accomplish this task. The WiFi issues simply added to the stress of having the 2000 word posts on my mind.

Branches, used as supports.

At 3:00 pm, I finally gave up trying, figuring “let’s take a break” and stream a few favorite shows. After trying to stream for almost an hour, I gave up and called the desk to report our WiFi wasn’t working. It was way too slow. Within minutes I was on the phone with the hotel’s tech support person.

The expected completion of the first of four buildings on this particular site was expected to be at the end of 2013.

It took another hour to get the WiFi working properly on our Chromebooks and Tom’s phone, which finally seemed to be working efficiently. But, my smartphone would not allow the connection to take hold. The tech guy met me outside our door in the hallway to work on my phone. He wore a new pair of rubber gloves and a face mask as I’d requested.

Another hour later, after making several calls to his support team, my phone was working. I was sweating profusely while waiting in the hot, humid corridor that has no air-conditioning and was anxious to get back into our cool room. By then, it was time to order dinner.

Seemingly fearless workers worked atop the highest levels of the building utilizing their handmade ladders.

Thoughts ran through our minds on how awful it would be to be without WiFi while in lockdown in this room. There are few English-speaking TV channels. That would have been one long night. We were grateful everything was up and running, anxious to return to our usual routine.

These coral rocks for both the pool and the buildings were hand-dug on the premises.

The chef sent me a complimentary treat of a side plate of garlic buttered prawns as a possible alternative dinner option. Before I order these, which, by the way, were delicious, I’ll check on the portion size and price. Ordering a tiny 4 oz. filet of salmon runs about US $18, INR 1325. These tasty prawns could easily be US $20, INR 1472 or more. Based on the fact the only side dish I can eat with it, is a half-cup portion of sauteed vegetables, is not worth it to me. It would be the same if I ordered the prawns.

Coral and mortar, placed by hand, to build a swimming pool.

After not eating anything from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm, a tiny portion doesn’t do it for me. Nor is it worth the cost for us to pay US $30, INR 2208, or more for dinner each night. I can easily live with chicken meat, spinach, or mushrooms for dinner occasionally adding two hard boiled eggs I may save from breakfast. This meal will hold me through the evening. Ah, the trials of living in a hotel!

These solid cement blocks were made on site in one of the future bedrooms!

Today’s photo from Diani Beach, Kenya makes us realize how many opportunities we had for adequate fodder for our daily posts, with many accompanying photos. Now, I look around this small room and don’t see a single thing worthy of taking a photo. If you have any suggestions, please do share.

This is the stairway we took, albeit carefully, to the 3rd level to see the penthouse, also still under construction.We were long gone by the time this project was completed.

Not much on the agenda today. Once I upload this post I will get to work on the next 2000 word post. I’m sure happy I got the tax information to our accountant this past week. That’s one less project on my mind. I may be bored but I’m definitely busy.

“Jambo,” yelled the workers as they smiled and waved at us.

Hope your day is filled with pleasant projects. If we had a home of our own now, every drawer, every closet, every cupboard, the attic and the basement would be spotless and organized. Lockdown has certainly inspired me to get things done, even in our life of world travel.

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 19, 2019:

Goats love standing on the highest structure wherever they may be. For more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Day #179 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Hope on the horizon???…

 

Last night as we greeted Jeri and Hans in the yard, Tom took this shot.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2013, while we were living on the island of Diani Beach, Kenya. For more on this date, please click here.

Yesterday, after preparing and uploading the daily post, I spent the entire afternoon, writing, and editing the first of five special 2000 word posts required for our web developers to set up with keywords to increase our web traffic. Doing so will increase our position in Google and other search engines for us to be found more readily by the user searching using specific keywords.

Only moments later he took this shot, but oddly, the sky appeared brighter.

Since our site’s main focus hasn’t been to generate income in the past, we never went through this procedure in the past. Generally, this is a very expensive process since the site must be observed by the developers on a regular basis.  Based on the wonderful relationship we’ve built with Kate, we have been able to secure a reasonable cost of this ongoing process. She can be reached at the following:

Name: Kate Miller
Phone No: +91 8431344070
A baboon shot on our return cab ride from the grocery store. They approach the car when we stop, curious to see what food we may have for them. We had none but a lot of tourists buy bananas to give to them.
Several weeks ago we wrote a detailed post, at this link, about this fine company who has diligently and professionally handled my frequent questions and changes with the utmost patience and ease. I couldn’t recommend them more. The fact they are also in India was merely a fluke, but somehow it provided us with an added level of comfort knowing they were working with us from India.
However, they will work with clients from all over the world. No longer is a face to face meeting needed for web development for small to mid-size sites and businesses. Writing a post with 2000 words was challenging. Our usual posts are 1000 words or less. By the way, recently, we watched a fantastic Australian TV series, entitled “800 Words” about a blog writer, his daily 800 word posts, and his interesting life after his beloved wife passed away.
Our glass table was set and ready for our dinner guests, the landlord, and his wife. With no Windex or glass cleaner in the grocery stores, I’ve had a heck of a time cleaning the glass table top. I asked Hesborn how he is able to clean it so well with no streaks. He said he uses soap and water on a rag, drying it with a dry towel. I tried this method, only to end up with streaks.
If you’re into “binge-watching,” “800 Words” is an easy and entertaining series to keep you engaged for days, if not weeks, with its many episodes. We found it on Amazon Acorn for US $5.99, INR 439, a month. Acorn has many fantastic British, Irish, and Australian series. Please feel free to ask us for suggestions if you decide to give it a try.
On another note, there’s a lot of commotion in the corridors lately, making it difficult for me to walk every 30 minutes. I recently changed my walking schedule from every hour to every half hour still reaching my 10,000 step goal each day. Breaking it up this way has made it less boring, I’ll do anything within reason to break up the boredom.
This is Jessie, who disappeared for 24 hours to later be returned by a kind local man after he’d heard that a small long-haired dog was on the loose. She and I became very close during the three months. She wasn’t allowed indoors but she waited outside our front door all night, excited to see me in the morning.
Lately, busy with the new site and all the changes requiring most of my day, along with the walking, I’ve had little time to watch shows in the late afternoon, instead, saving dinner time and the evenings when we can finally relax. I have never been one to enjoy “working” in the evenings.
But, most recently, the web developers who work well into the night, have asked me questions which couldn’t wait until the next day.
In an attempt to avoid stress and cut into our relaxation times, today, I asked them to save their questions for me for the following day, if possible. It’s a true balancing act for us to maintain a positive attitude in this peculiar situation.
We’ve found that maintaining our comfortable routine helps us avoid “over-thinking” and worrying. Escaping into our shows each evening is an excellent opportunity to escape.
Jeri and Hans, our landlords, neighbors, and new friends joined us for dinner.

Subsequently, we are both holding our own, staying upbeat, and hopeful for the future. News coming out of South Africa states (true or not) they are opening their borders soon, but are restricting travelers from certain countries from entering.

This could easily exclude India and the US. Both have to be allowable for us to be allowed to enter. The wait continues.

Right now, we can’t plan a thing until our FedEx package arrives. It’s still stuck in Delhi, after two full months. We shall see how this goes.
Stay safe.

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Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2019:

An adorable pygora goat on the farm in St. Teath, Cornwall, England, posing for a photo atop the picnic table.  “The pygora goat is a cross between the pygmy goat and the angora goat that produces three distinct kinds of fleece and has the smaller size of the pygmy.” For more photos, please click here.