As we are lounging in the comfy chairs, Indy 500 on the TV in the background, an odd sensation washed over me. This will be the last Memorial weekend we’ll spend in this house.
While anticipating the necessary chopping and dicing in order to prepare the shish kabob dinner we’ll cook on the grill tonight, my mind is not so much on the race and chopping as it is on the realities facing us moving forward.
Today is Day #7 with no coffee for me. Our Miele coffee machine died last week requiring a $1000 repair. We decided to quit drinking coffee rather than invest in the repairs or purchase a new coffee machine at this late a date.
I love coffee. Tom is ambivalent. For me, a proper cup of coffee requires the requisite two tablespoons of real cream, two packs of Stevia and two drops of liquid Splenda (my vice) to ensure it is tasteful and also low carb. Tom prefers powdered cream and real sugar, which he forfeited nine months ago when we committed to the gluten free, low carb, sugar free, wheat, grain and starch free lifestyle.
The question becomes: “Is it worth continuing to drink coffee when we each require specific “add-ins” that may not be readily available throughout the world.” So seven days ago, I said: “Bye, bye coffee” and “Hello, tea.” Tom doesn’t drink tea, except when iced. Tom also gave it up. Luckily, no headaches or cravings for either of us.
Many of these situations arise, causing us to question the continuation of a particular habit by using products that may be impossible to find abroad. Do we really want to haul large quantities of certain items in our overloaded bags? Probably not.
So, I started making a list (how unusual of me!), of the items we have used and loved all these years. Here are only a few of the many habits we must break:
- US TV: We currently have three multi-room DVRs. We have dozens of shows taping around the clock (many we never have an opportunity to watch) to ensure we are entertained upon deciding to lounge in these comfy chairs in the evening or on a weekend. No more watching!
- US Radio: We each have our favorite radio shows we enjoy while driving. No more listening! It uses too much data to listen on our laptops.
- Smart Phones: We’ve had unlimited service for talk, text and internet. In the middle of any night, when I can’t sleep, I listen to Dr. Joy Brown‘s most recent podcast to lull me back to sleep. And, what about talking freely to family and friends on the phone? It will be Skype in the future.
- eBay Shopping. Want to buy something? I look online at retail stores and buy it from eBay or Amazon, or through a multitude of other discount sellers. We won’t be able to receive packages along the way considering the delivery time and shipping fees to wherever we may be. No more online shopping!
- No Cars: It would be foolish to bear the expense of owning cars, paying for insurance, licensing and storage. We calculated this expense at about $1500 a month. We will rent OPC (other people’s cars). No more driving one’s own car!
- King-sized Sleep Number Bed: We have the over-sized Sleep Number California King Sleep Number bed whereby the head and foot rises upon command from a remote. Oh, we sure will miss our bed when sleeping in OPB (other people’s beds) with possible bed bugs, dust mites, uncomfortable mattresses and who know what else? Yikes! We will be packing our own hypo-allergenic mattress and box springs covers. No more comfy bed!
- Fresh Produce: We have salad every night with dinner. It’s often my favorite part of dinner with our limited diet; adding low carb veggies, nuts, grated cheeses and fresh bacon bits. Marcia, the travel nurse at Park Nicollet Travel Clinic advised against consuming any fresh produce, except in the US, Canada and Europe. The risk of disease is high. Salads, fresh fruit, raw veggies? No more raw veggies or salad!
- Toiletries, Sonic Toothbrush (too heavy) and Cosmetics: Oh, no! This is tricky for me as a daily user of a wide array of cosmetic items, all paraben-free and mostly organic products (when possible). Many of these items will not be readily available and, many of which I usually purchase online. I’ll pack as much as possible purchasing whatever is available in other countries.
- Favorite Foods: Will they have sugar free items, almond meal, coconut flour (gluten free flour we can use), coconut oil, unsweetened Greek yogurt, Crystal Lite Iced Tea, Himalayan Salt, unsweetened coconut milk, protein powder? Grass fed meat? Free range eggs? No more familiar foods!
- English: Will anyone understand us? Or will we understand them? Perhaps, no English in some countries!
- Newspaper: Tom reads the StarTribune newspaper seven days a week from front to back, practically memorizing every word that he reads. He is my go-to person for local and world news updates. I always joke that he reads the paper so thoroughly that he even reads the page numbers! No more paper, Tom!
- Working Out: It’s highly unlikely there will be a health club within the three familiar miles I have traveled several times a week for many years. It appears there are no health clubs within an hour’s drive of many of our vacation rental homes. I guess I will start doing lunges and pushups at home. No more health clubs!
Without a doubt, we will say “goodbye” to many of the familiar items and rituals we’ve enjoyed over the years. But then, we’ll be saying “hello” over and over and over again!