Gentle musings on a cloudy day while living on the fascinating continent of Australia…

Peek through the vegetation to Reef Beach Bay.

A few days ago, I sat on a short stone wall at the Manly Wharf, our bags of groceries at my side. Tom left me alone with the heavy bags of groceries while he went into the nearby Aldi store to purchase pods for the coffee machine.

Ferries were coming across the bay to Manly.

The sun was shining. Busy locals and tourists were making their way through the determined crowds, each with a distinct purpose in mind to fulfill their expectations for the day. 

My lips curled in an unprovoked smile as I perused my surroundings, suddenly contemplative over the fact that I was sitting on a wall, people all around me while living in Australia. How did I get here?

Brick homes are commonly found in Australia.

Sure, there’s the “couple” aspect of our world travels; the team-person-ship, the camaraderie, the ease of sharing decisions, and the handling of unanticipated events and challenges. 

Contemporary style home.

But, over this past year, since my injury in the pool in Bali last June taking five months to heal, to the intestinal bacterial infection I acquired in Fiji over 15 months ago for which I’m still on the mend, I’m still here, aren’t I?

Life as a devoted couple isn’t always about the partnership. Tom empathized and assisted during this tough past year, but it was me who lie awake in the middle of the night worrying that my health would require a sooner-than-later end to our world travels.

White sand beach at low tide in the Clontarf Reserve area.

It was me who “bit-the-bullet day after day to attempt to live as normal a life as possible within the context of our unique lifestyle. Rarely did I complain to Tom. Most likely, I mentioned it more here than I did to him while I remained plagued with at-times negative thoughts about what life would be like if this were to end.

Boats moored near the shore.

One of the most challenging periods was the Mekong River Cruise last July, when I could not participate in every tour and participated in most, struggling more than I can say. 

One gets no “points” for being brave, toughing it out, or keeping their trap shut about the difficulty of a situation. In essence, my goal was to avoid annoying Tom and others by whining and complaining. There’s no “heroism” in that. 

Sailing is popular in the Sydney area with excellent conditions.

It was mere self-preservation to ensure that Tom and those around me would happily engage with me, which ultimately got my mind off my troubles, giving me a reprieve for a while.

And now? As my intestinal thing improves a little more each day and my recent re-test for Helicobactor Pyloris proved “negative,” I’m reveling in returning to my former sense of adventure when the future holds so much in store for us.

And you, our dear readers, who stuck with us through this long period with my occasional mumblings on these two health issues, one after the other, I thank you profoundly. Your kind email messages and comments were highly instrumental in my determination never to give up.

Unique bottlebrush plant.

As I sat on that stone wall, I contemplated the past 54 months since we left Minnesota to begin this journey.  In many ways, we’ve just started. We’ve learned so much from our mistakes, and we’ve redefined what truly matters to us.

Above all, as time marches on, we’ve accepted our limitations, finding that within that framework, we’re capable of continuing with love, hope, and joy in our hearts and minds as we live life to the fullness throughout this magical world.

Please stay beside us. Our unyielding reach for the horizon drives us on to give you more.

Photo from one year ago today, April 13, 2016:

The alpaca in the middle tended to hog the food from my hand, never giving the others a chance. For more photos of our last few days in New Zealand on the alpaca farm, please click here.

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