Contemplating continuing a life of world travel….

In the past almost five months, we’ve only seen one wildebeest run through the garden. Last night two visitors were quite a thrill.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

What a pose!  What was she thinking?  Females’ feathers are brown, and males are black.

In the past several days, after celebrating our 27 years together, we’ve found ourselves reviewing the time we’ve spent together. Like most couples, some of it was easy, and other times were challenging. But, the one constant has been our love for one another.

Elephant viewing from the fence between Marloth Park and Kruger National Park.

Yesterday, while driving through Marloth Park, we raised several questions regarding “what ifs” and how we handled them at this point in our lives. Most likely, this is a conversation some couples dare to discuss from time to time, especially as we age.

While in Kruger, it would be impossible to see these elephants by the Crocodile River based on the terrain. But, from Marloth Park, we often spot these magnificent beasts.
One may ask, “What if I became ill and couldn’t take care of the day-to-day tasks I’ve so easily handled in the past? Would we expect that I’d go to a nursing home or assisted living facility? Would you go with me if that was possible?”
Almost every time we’re out driving through Marloth Park, we spot elephants beyond the fence.

These are tough questions none of us likes to contemplate. The answers don’t come easily if one is honest with their partner. And sure, it’s essential to have a plan in mind as we age, as to what our best options may be in these difficult situations.

There may be one elephant or 40. However many there may be, we’re always thrilled to see them.

Since we have no home, answers to these questions become all the more difficult to answer. Of course, we’ve discussed many possible scenarios and, like you, have ideas in mind what we may do in such a situation or the case of an unforeseen emergency; injury, surgery, or debilitating illness.

An ostrich on a leisurely walk in the park.
But, yesterday Tom brought up a point we’ve never discussed to the degree we did in the car, which we continued once back at the house: What would we “really” do if one of us wanted to stop traveling, not as a result of a medical situation but instead, simply due to being tired of living this peculiar life on the move?
When we initially decided to travel the world in January 2012, we made a pact: That if one of us grew tired or bored with this life, the other would agree to stop. Plain and simple.
This flock of ostriches is often found in a particular area near the river we often visit when on daily drives.  Note the chick on the far left.

Tom’s question, posed with the utmost of love and concern, was, “What if one of us wanted to stop and the other did not want to?” Wow! That would be a challenge, wouldn’t it? We recalled our pact. 

Tom is feeding kudu girls and boys from the veranda. 

However, a lot has transpired in the past number of years, and we both are so committed and dedicated to this blissful life, we can’t imagine ever changing our lifestyle unless we physically could carry on no more (which in the realm of things, most likely will eventually happen).

So let’s assume for clarity, what if I wanted to stop, get a permanent home, stock it with stuff, to live out our remaining years in a warm climate somewhere in the US or elsewhere?

A group of kudus is a “forkl” and often females and males are together in a family unit referred to as a “harem.”

At this point, we were situated on the veranda setting up for the evening’s wildlife watching, a glass of wine or cocktail, and eventually the fabulous dinner I’d spent the better part of the day preparing before we embarked on the late afternoon drive.

We were both perplexed about how we’d answer this difficult question, now with so much experience behind us and our acquired passion for world travel. We never dreamed this would be us, now or ever, for that matter.

He ate a few pellets, looked at us, and was on his way, the other following close behind.

We agreed that the next possible question would be, “Could we talk the “disenchanted” into changing their mind?” At that point, we both decided that we’d be open to discussion as the next logical step.

Tom always says, “It’s a good thing we found each other. Otherwise, we’d be screwing up two other innocent people.” 

In other words, neither of us can imagine, now or at any time in the future, ever become bored or disenchanted with our lives together as it is now. We even laughed at the incredible nature of this concept.

And so…we carry on, fulfilled, content, and hopeful for the future, together as a determined team to see the world, on our terms, in our own time for however long we’ll be blessed to do so.

May your dreams be fulfilled as well. 

Photo from one year ago today, July 2, 2017:

Tom and I dined here in our old lives. Dining here while we were in Minnesota last year didn’t fit into the budget in this life. For more details, please click here.

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