Spending idle time…Two days and counting…Favorite Phuket photos begin today…

Boats anchored in shallower waters.    The owners are welcome to walk to the boat.

Although we rise early most of the time, the thought of setting an alarm is always done with a bit of fear. Having retired in 2011, in my old life, there had been few mornings where I had to get up and be at the door in a rush.

Since beginning our travels in October, 2012, there’s been more mornings than we can count where we’ve had to be up and “at ’em” early in the morning in order to begin a travel day. What time do we consider early? 

Appearing before 5 in the morning is considered early by our standards, especially when we need to be somewhere.  Most mornings, I’m awake that early, but not necessarily preparing to head out. There’s a big difference, isn’t there?

Chalong Beach.

Why I dread those mornings where we must leave early disconcerts me. I find it easy to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. Is this the prospect of another long day on the road? The heavy bags? The long lines? Immigration? Customs? Pay for excess luggage? The tight seats on the flight? Maybe it’s all of those things.

Once we get into the taxi for the ride to the airport, a bit of the angst begins to waft away, escalating further after we’ve checked in for our flight disposing of our three heavy bags, left with only a few carry on bags. 

With international airports requiring arrival two hours prior to a flight’s departure, we’re often left with more than 60 minutes until boarding. In most cases, we find a restaurant, purchase a beverage and get online if the airport has free Wi-Fi, which we find more and more common. Only a few airports charge for WiFi access.

Boats tied to shore at the beach. Life jackets hanging on a post.

The next issue is our laptop batteries discharging. For Thursday’s upcoming flight, we’ll have no less than an hour of waiting time at the airport in Phuket and then another three hour layover in Singapore (our third trip to Singapore in these past four months). 

Some airports have recharging stations, but we’ve seldom needed to use them. In this case, it may be necessary when it seems our laptop batteries are losing life after almost two years of use.

My laptop may indicate I have seven or eight hours on a charge when in fact it’s much less. Tom has a similar laptopm but can function unplugged a few hours less than mine.

Boats in the bay.

These were a time that reading a physical book would have been handy, but there’s no way we’re willing to carry books with us. 

Now that Tom doesn’t have a smart phone until our shipment arrives, he won’t be able to read books on his phone. The charge on my phone may last eight hours if I don’t get online. Good thing, I saved my phone with the rice after dropping it in the toilet, or neither of us would have a working cell phone.

In most cases, I read books on my phone during flights, putting the phone in “flight mode” as required. I usually save the phone for the flight as opposed to reading while waiting in airports. When a flight has individual video screens, a movie is often ideal as opposed to reading.

Entrance to the long pier at the beach.

I suppose we’re not unlike many others who use electronics to whittle away idle time.  Where are the days when we’d sit quietly in an airport reading a People magazine which now holds no interest whatsoever? Where are the days when people watching could occupy two hours of idle time?

We’ve trained ourselves in this digital world to need constant stimulation. Tom and I are no exception. Sure, in Bali again we’ll spend some idle hours staring out at the beach and its wildly interesting activities, which again we’ll continue sharing in our “Sightings on the Beach in Bali” daily feature on the posts.

But, there again, its all about mental stimulation. Neither one of us are inclined toward quiet contemplation without any form of activity for the brain. Maybe to an extent this is good for our aging brains as both of us still possess great memory and recall as we’ve aged. 

Second long pier at the beach.

We can’t believe much of which we read about these topics online when the speculations change week by week. (We’re talking about adults here, not children, which is an entirely different scenario).

What is one to believe? I guess we can leave it to our own devices, figuratively and literally. What gives us the greatest sense of engagement with our surroundings, our world and with each other?  What makes us the most fulfilled?

If spending hours online, on our tablets, computers and phones provides us with a sense of accomplishment and pleasure who’s to argue with this? Then again, perhaps the biggest concern is a lack of physical activity while we’re entertaining ourselves. 

“They” say sitting is bad which may be true. But which group of seniors (or those younger) spends eight to ten hours a day on their feet? Few. Very few.

Fisherman searching for a possible catch.

Off we go in two days, arising at 5:30 am on Thursday to be ready to head out the door by 7 am for our arriving taxi.

 We’ll arrive at our hotel in Bali around 8:30 pm that evening after a very long travel day.  In the morning, we’ll have breakfast at the hotel and begin the four or five hour harrowing drive with a few stops along the way.

I’m a little concerned over how I’ll do over these two extended periods based on my continuing recovery. But, with digital equipment in hand, hopefully, I’ll be able to distract myself well enough to maneuver through the lengthy process.

Be well and stay entertained, however that works for YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, August 30, 2015:

We couldn’t resist taking photos of these Flintstone’s character statues in a nearby yard in Trinity Beach, Australia.  For more photos, please click here.

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