NEW UPDATED ITINERARY!…September 7, 2015 to May 15, 2017…Includes two gaps yet to fill…

The house is surrounded by lush vegetation, including many large coconut and palm trees and endless varieties of shrubs and plants.

With considerable enthusiasm, we share our upcoming itinerary for the next 617 days from the time we leave Trinity Beach, Australia beginning on September 7, 2017:

 Location or Ship  Days  Address or Ship  Dates
 Sydney Hotel   1   9/7/2015 – 9/8/2015
 Fiji Rental  88    9/8/2015 – 12/6/2015 
 Fiji Rental #2  29    12/6/2015 – 1/4/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    1/4/2016 – 1/5/2016 
 Sydney to Auckland – Cruise  14  Celebrity Solstice   1/5/2016 – 1/19/2016 
 New Zealand Farm  87    1/19/2016 – 4/15/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    4/15/2016 –
 Sydney to Singapore – Cruise  14  RC Voyager of Seas   4/16/2016 – 4/30/2016 
 Bali House  59    4/30/2016 – 6/28/2016 
 Hanoi Hotel – to be booked  10    6/28/2016 – 7/8/2016 
 Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City – Cruise  15  Viking Mekong    7/8/2016 – 7/22/2016 
 Phuket House  41    7/22/2016 – 9/1/2016 
 Bali House  59    9/1/2016 – 10/30/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    10/30/2016 – 10/31/2016 
 Sydney to Perth – Cruise  16  RC Radiance of the
 10/31/2016 – 11/16/2016 
 Perth to Sydney – Cruise  17  RC Radiance of the Seas   11/16/2016 – 12/3/2016 
 GAP 12/3/2016 – 3/1/2017  88    12/3/2016 – 3/1/2017 
 Sydney to Sydney – Cruise  12  Celebrity Solstice   3/1/2017 – 3/13/2017 
 GAP 3/13/2017 – 4/22/1017  40    3/13/2017 – 4/22/2017 
 Sydney to Seattle – Cruise  24  RC Explorer of the
 4/22/2017 – 5/15/2017 
Total number
of days

With 128 days in gaps to fill, we still have our work cut out for us. However, the options are many with both gaps beginning in Sydney. With our visas only allowing 90 days in Australia at any one time, we surely can find places to stay in the outlying areas of Sydney.

This colorful plant is eye-catching.

Although Sydney is an amazing city which left us breathless when our ship arrived at the amazing port of Sydney Harbour, it’s expensive to stay in or near the city. There are suburban areas an hour’s drive from the city or more that may be less expensive for longer-term visits.

Also, we’re considering other island countries in the South Pacific.  Soon, we’ll begin looking at our options, especially due to the fact that the first gap falls over the Christmas season

In Hawaii, these red  leaves were growing on Tiki plants. Here, they are called Cordyline.

For now, we’re taking a short break from spending money on deposits and searching for vacation homes online. The cost of the wifi for our “borrowed” hotspots is running around USD $103, AUD $140 every three weeks for 16 gigs which I use almost exclusively. Not one to do much browsing when not preparing for a post, I end up using half of a gigabyte a day for research and uploading each day’s post.

Without the separate hotspot, we wouldn’t be able to post with the poor connection here or, it would take all day to upload the photos. When we’re busy looking for vacation homes, I can easily use a gig or more in a single day.

In the interim, we’re awaiting the posting of new cruises by the cruise lines. Generally, they aren’t available online until 18 months from sail dates. Thus, we’re not too far away from seeing new listings.

Back steps leading to the owner’s area of the house. We’re on the ground level while they are above us.

When we have gaps as indicated about, we enter an estimate on our spreadsheet of how much we anticipate we’ll spend during the gaps, based on our current cost per day. 

Yesterday, we entered all of the important data on the spreadsheet for the three new cruises, three of which we’d yet to enter. It’s a time-consuming process that, if it is for only one cruise, is less intimidating.

With no chaise lounges down by the pool, we’ve yet to use it.  This steep stairway prevents us from hauling chairs down these steps and back up each day.  We’ve been able to get a short stint in the sun on our veranda where there are two chairs.

There are three separate worksheets in the Excel workbook where we log all of our travel and expenses;

  1. The itinerary with booked rental costs and estimated other expenses (based on history)
  2. A record on a separate tab for deposits paid, how paid and balances due with due dates
  3. Another separate tab (worksheet) for cruises only, which includes such items as cost, cabin number and cabin size, tips included or paid separately, name of the ship, and any cabin credits that may be included.

Those of you who are experts in the accounting industry may argue with our record keeping but for us, it works. (We keep a special tab for tax deductible items). We’ve investigated possible travel related apps that may make our record keeping a little less time consuming but at this time we haven’t found one that attributes to the vast amount of travels we’re doing.

A tiny blue flower.

Are there any aspects to this itinerary that we’d change if we could? Our only hesitations have been staying in Fiji for a total of four months, at two different properties which lessen the long period.

And, we also have hesitated over the two separate stays at the same exquisite Bali house broken up into two segments partly due to visa restrictions. However, at certain points, staying put for awhile greatly supports our budget. We’d have loved to spend the entire four months at the Bali house at one time.  

This gulley runs off the side of the property. Situated into a hill/mountain, the runoff is good as we observed with it raining during our first month in Trinity Beach.

However, in Bali, we were able to negotiate an extremely reasonable rate by leaving the property over the expensive “high season” enabling the owner to collect higher rates during the middle three months. Its these kinds of decisions, that may be seen as illogical to some, that allow us to stay in much nicer, higher priced properties that we may have otherwise avoided.

In every case, there’s a motivation to our decisions, none of which we expect to regret in the future provided each of the properties we’ve book meet our expectations based on the online representation. 

More colorful Cordyline.

There’s been only one experience, our very first in Belize, our first vacation home outside the US, that we felt wasn’t fairly represented from which we moved after the first week. There was no running water other than for a few hours a day and the screens (holes too large) didn’t keep out the no-see-ums, making staying there utterly impossible when I had no less than 100 raging, itching bites all over my body.

At that point we lost our prepaid first month. A week later we found a condo directly on the ocean in a fabulous resort for our remaining two months in Belize turning a less than desirable situation into a wonderful memory.  If you haven’t read about that experience, check our archives from January 30, 2013 to February 6, 2013 during that difficult experience, right out of the chute.

A sunny day in Trinity Beach inspired me to take photos in the yard.

Overall, we’ve had our fair share of “safari luck” which we feel continues today while we thoroughly enjoy our Trinity Beach home and our thoughtful and gracious property owners, Sylvie and Andy.

Today, we’re off to explore a little, staying in the north part of town as opposed to the south where the “show” holiday is packed with locals and tourists who are attending the local Cairns carnival and craft shows.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 18, 2014:

The pier is Funchal where we boarded the Sea Born catamaran for the whale and dolphin watching. Please click here for details.

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