Curiosity about our lives from many passengers we meet…How could this life come to a quick end?

Knox Church is a notable building in Dunedin, New Zealand. It houses the city’s second Presbyterian congregation and is the city’s largest church of any denomination.

As we’ve mentioned many times, people are exceedingly friendly on cruises, to a point that one would have to be a total recluse not to frequently engage in conversation with other passengers on a consistent basis.

There are countless areas where sharing a table is necessary, if not encouraged, which in doing so results in conversation no more than seconds after we’re seated. 

The only time of day we’re seated by ourselves is in the Café al Bacio, drinking coffee and tea, sitting at an ergonomically correct table and chairs for two while we prepare the day’s post.

A view of the village.

That’s not to say we avoid socializing while working on the post.  Many people we’ve met and others that have seen us seated at this table, morning after morning, have stopped to talk inquiring as to what we’re doing here each day. 

We never mind stopping what we’re doing to chat.  As a result, we’ve uploaded most posts later in the day than when we’re living somewhere for a period of time. 

Need I say how much fun it has been to interact so freely with many passengers from all over the world aboard this ship?  We’ve handed out dozens of our business cards and look forward to hearing from them with suggestions for our travels when we visit places where they reside and places they’ve traveled.

Homes close to the ocean in Dunedin, New Zealand.

During these delightful conversations as we all share our stories, Tom often interjects that when my health returned after changing my diet, we decided to travel while we can.  Who knows?  It could change in a day.  I could wake up tomorrow morning and not be able to walk and be in excruciating pain as I was, almost five years ago. 

After all, my dear sister Susan with the same inflammatory disease, four years my senior, has been lying in bed unable to walk for the past 10 years.  That could be me and would have been had I not made this huge change in 2011. 

It was three months after changing my diet, the awful pain subsided and only a few months later, we decided to travel the world.  Who knew how long we’d have before it returned, making it impossible for me to carry on, putting a fast end to our world travels? 

Early morning view to Akaroa, New Zealand.  We’ll return on our own to many of these quaint towns over the next three months.  At present we’re planning a few overnight trips to tour both the North and South islands.

This single fact has motivated us to travel, Tom’s idea, not mine.  I’d have never asked him to do this, although many of our family and friend’s assume it was my idea.  We never dreamed of traveling the world. 

All Tom cared to experience was traversing through the Panama Canal which we accomplished in January, 2013 on a cruise from Sand Diego to Belize.  My dream was Africa.  Now with these glorious experiences behind us, we hunger for more, as the good health continues, for as long as we’re gifted with this blessing. 

See how easy it is for me to avoid taking a single bite of food not allowed on my way of eating?  The motivation is powerful and unwavering…food or happiness?  I choose happiness over food every single day and have yet since 2011, taken one bite of any item not included in my way of eating.  Why take the risk? 

Reflection of the ship on the sea as we anchored in Akaroa.  A 20 minute tender boat ride is required to go ashore.

As Tom often explains, “Touch a hot stove, burn yourself and you’ll never touch that hot stove again!”  A simple premise but it easily explains it all. 

Thus, as we continue to meet people who usually inquiry as to what motivated us to leave everything we knew and loved behind, he jumps in with this explanation which often precipitates many questions as to what I eat and don’t eat and ultimately what conditions I have.

When I explain the condition is not gone but that I simply don’t experience the accompanying pain they get it.  We never forget for one hour, one day how fortunate we are and how humbled we are for the gift of having this opportunity to see the world for as long as we can.

While many passengers were off the ship on tours, we stayed onboard when the crew had a mandatory emergency drill as shown in this photos

Now, 39 months later, we’ve seen so much.  On the other hand, we’ve seem so little with oceans of opportunities facing us in the near and distant future.  We don’t worry about what we’ll do if the pain returns and we can’t carry on.  We have no doubt, we’ll figure it out when the time comes.

Yes, dear readers, one day, you’ll open this post and you’ll see we can no longer continue.  But, for now, we’re like two 20 year olds, having the time of our lives, feeling wonderful, tightly wrapped in each other’s arms, hoping and praying for one more day.  This is the story we share.

Be well.


Photo from one year ago today, January 14, 2015:

This photo of the snorkeler was somewhat confusing.  Could they have been conducting some type of research?  For details, please click here.

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