Please click this link to see a fun video we made: https://youtu.be/UeLx1ZmKLLk
It was a pleasant Saturday evening. Our friend and author, Alan Holmes, again spent the evening with us on a hot and “buggie” night on the veranda. After all the rain these past few weeks, the vegetation pond in the garden with puddles of water everywhere, the “mozzies” were on a rampage. I couldn’t load up on enough repellent. Amid the swarms of bugs, we enjoyed yet another evening on the veranda with our new friend.
On top of that, the stink bugs have infested the area, soon to disappear, and they, too, were underfoot, on our clothing, and in our faces from time to time. We were thrilled to spot a few dung beetles on the table on the veranda, but without their massive ball of dung, we didn’t attempt any photos in the dark.
As hot and humid as it was, few animals came to call. From what we’ve seen, most of the wildlife is terrified of thunder and lightning. With the prospect of rainstorms on the horizon, they tend to hunker down undercover in the parkland and other more sheltered areas. Only us crazy humans stay outdoors until wind-driven rain impairs our comfort on the veranda until we wander indoors.
Yesterday, according to their readers, Tom forwarded an article to me from Conde Nast Traveler magazine about the best countries to visit in 2020. We carefully perused this article to discover how many of these countries we’ve seen on the list as shown listed below, in order of preference by their readers. We’ve placed a checkmark next to those we have been to over the past eight-plus years of world travel.
1. Italy √
2. Sri Lanka
3. Portugal √
5. Greece √
6. Indonesia √
7. Thailand √
8. South Africa √
9. Vietnam √
10 Mexico √
11. Ireland √
14. Peru √
15. Malaysia √
16. Columbia √
18. Turkey √
19. New Zealand √
20. India √
In carefully reviewing this list, we found we have been to 15 of the 20 countries, except for Sri Lanka, Japan, Bhutan, Jamaica, and Israel. We hope to visit sometime in the future, depending on the degree to which Covid-19 impedes future travel. We’re scheduled to sail on a few cruises around Japan in 2022, but who knows if they’ll sail by that time?
We have no idea what the future holds. Besides the obvious restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, our age and ongoing ability to travel will be a primary factor. Based on how we feel now, it’s entirely possible we can continue for years to come. However, as we have learned, regardless of how hard we work at achieving optimum health, health issues may arise over which we have little control.
Recently, a kind reader wrote and asked if we had a complete itinerary of our travels since the onset. I felt terrible explaining that based on variables at any given time, our itineraries are piecemeal at this point, often grouped into one or two-year itineraries.
I’d like to have put that together for him, but based on all the time I have spent working on my laptop over the past year, I don’t have it in me to begin such a lofty goal at this point. If we are fortunate to make it to the 10-year mark, I plan to tackle such a project at that time.
In the interim, our travel map on the right side of our home page, under the heading “Map Our Travels,” only requires a single click to see when and where we’ve traveled since 2012. Tom has been diligent in keeping this map updated regularly, which will be highly instrumental when the time comes to map out the entire ten years.
In October 2022, the 10th anniversary of our world travels, we’ll tackle that project a mere 20 months from now how the time has flown. We would never have imagined traveling. We’d travel for such an extended period. But, now, after wasting, albeit safely, almost 10% of our travel time in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, we have an entirely different perspective of how precious every day was, is, and will be in the future.
We’re grateful for each day of life, each day spent together, each day of exploring the world, its people, its cultures, and its wildlife and nature. Without a doubt, it’s been a gift, one we will joyfully treasure for as long as we can continue.
Stay safe, wear a mask, social distance, and wash and sanitize your hands. May your life and the lives of your loved ones be long and fruitful in this fantastic world.
Photo from one year ago today, February 7, 2020: