Counting down the days earlier than usual…Has boredom set in?…More photos from Phuket Seashell Museum…

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this vacation home. It’s clean, well organized, properly managed, secure, in excellent condition and has most of the amenities we find useful when we’re staying for a month or more.

For any travelers preferring a home as opposed to a hotel, this villa is ideal.  Although it’s a short drive to the beach, it has a lovely pool kept meticulous, cleaned three-times-a-week by the pool staff. 

The owner whom we’ve yet to meet remains quietly in the background answering any questions we may have in a prompt and efficient manner. The four person cleaning crew arriving Wednesdays and Saturdays are equally helpful with one speaking good English.

But, I’m anxious to continue on, a feeling I’ve only had a few times in our world travels. Why is that? Tom says it’s been due to the fact that I haven’t been feeling like myself and I’m associating it with this location. 

I suppose, in part, I agree with him. In carefully analyzing other possible reasons I’m looking forward to moving on, I can only add that I’m feeling a bit like a caged animal when I don’t have access to views of scenery and wildlife from inside the house. There’s literally no view behind the stone walls of our “compound.”

Tom is perfectly content as he often is when he’ll easily entertain himself on his laptop for an entire day. Once I’ve completed the daily post, worked with our photos, completed any necessary research, record keeping and banking, I can easily put down my laptop except perhaps for watching a few favorite shows we’ve downloaded.

Lately, I’ve even downloaded a few shows Tom may not care to watch to entertain myself during the day, something I’ve never done in these past 46 months. Oh, I guess it sounds as if I’m a bit bored.

It’s a rare occasion for me to be bored.  As a generally active person with many interests its always been easy to entertain myself. Take away my ability to be flitting about the house engaged in a wide array of activities, unable to stop and enjoy the view, unable to go out whenever I’d like and in this case to explore the area to take endless photos, I find myself at a loss.

How many books can I read? As a speed reader, I can easily consume a book in a day. But, over these past years I’ve reserved my reading for bedtime or for mornings when I awake too early to get up, reading becomes my go-to activity. 

During the day, I have little interest in reading a book, a habit I never took time to develop after I retired. I’ve always kept myself so busy during daylight hours I rarely considered sitting down with a book. 

Another important aspect affecting my sense of boredom is my inability to go out for a walk in the neighborhood. The dirt road to the right is uneven, with many potholes making walking too much of a risk at this point. 

The dirt road to the left has a huge hole covering the entire roadway which is always completely filled with water from frequent rains. Also, I’m not sure I’m ready for long walks quite yet.

I must clarify that by no means am I feeling sad or depressed. That’s not me. Even with my recent injury, now heading into the third month, I still remain my “overly bubbly” self, hopeful for the future and optimistic that in time I will fully recover. 

However, a sense of boredom doesn’t necessarily connote sadness or a feeling of malcontent. For me, its almost as if a few times a day, I find myself in a room, asking myself with a flippant air, “What shall I do now?”

Pestering Tom in hopes of him alleviating my peculiar-to-me feeling is not something I’d do. It’s my own thing. He’s perfectly content managing our investments, reading online, checking Facebook, watching short videos and researching for the future. 

I’ve never seen Tom exhibit a moment of boredom, not in the past 46 months nor at anytime in the 25 years we’ve been together. In our old lives, he could spend an entire Sunday reading the newspaper from cover to cover. I often teased him that he even read the page numbers!

Why will Bali be any different than here if I’m still recovering when we arrive? A few things come to mind; one, the ocean view; two, the smooth level road outside the door where I’ll be able to begin taking walks; three, the daily flurry of activity at the house with the wonderful staff in and out; four, the ability to go out and about with a driver whenever we’d like; five, the endless interesting activity on the beach with the buffaloes, the dogs, the colorful boats, and the fascinating array of people. 

Never once, was I bored in Bali even after I’d injured myself. Somehow, I was distracted enough to remain engaged in our daily lives even though we didn’t cook, clean or grocery shop.

Of course, prior to Bali we lived on the alpaca farm in New Zealand and I’d only need to walk outdoors or look out the window for a dose of paradise. We’ve learned a valuable lesson for future bookings, I need a view, plain and simple. Or, at least the ability to walk outside and find myself in somewhat of a wonderland of one sort or another.

As we continue on, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t accomplish this as we book future vacation homes. It’s ironic that after all this time we’re still learning what matters the most. Of course, good health and safety will always be at the top of our list. Might a great view follow?

Have a healthy and safe day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 16, 2015:

Cockatoos visited us daily in our yard in Trinity Beach, wasting no time in announcing their arrival. For more details, please click here.

Part 2…Booked two new vacation homes…Filling an 88 day gap in the itinerary…

The views from the property referred to as Anchorage Waterfront (no relation to Alaska).

We varied from one of our usual criteria in selecting the second property, which is referred to as an apartment.  We’ve always preferred houses, doubles, or condos. 

We’d yet to book a so-called apartment, although we’ve booked several condos. Based on the fact that each of the small number of units is privately owned, it’s comparable to what we’d refer to as a “condo” in the US. The booking is a first floor unit with two bedrooms and two baths, making it particularly appealing to us.

Thus, going forward, I will refer to it as a condo to ensure our readers are aware of the fact that it’s not a single owner apartment building as one may find in many locations throughout the world. 

The living and dining room, although dated décor-wise, will fulfill our needs.

The decision to move halfway through the stay in Tasmania didn’t come without careful thought. Moving isn’t the easiest thing to do.  But this time, it will be different. Between the two locations, we don’t have to worry about the weight of our bags. We can put the less organized luggage into the rental car since we’ll be unpacking later in the day when we arrive at the second property under five hours later.

Here’s the link to the second location we booked in Tasmania.

We’ll pack our big insulated Costco beach bag with ice being able to bring along all perishable food while placing the nonperishable items in a cardboard box. We’ll be certain to rent a car with ample space for an extra box.

The drive across Tasmania in itself will be fun. When we first arrive in Hobart we’ll drive to Penguin from the Hobart International Airport, a 3 hour, 25-minute drive. When we drive to the second house 44 days later, as shown here today which is located beyond Hobart, the drive will be 4 hours 15 minutes.

A fully equipped kitchen. We can’t see the refrigerator but it can’t be much smaller than we’ve had in other locations.

We discovered the following about Huonville from this site:

“Huonville sits on the banks of the tranquil Huon River and is surrounded by fruit orchards, farmland, and the peaks of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The town makes an ideal base for exploring Tasmania’s far south.

Set low in the beautiful Huon Valley, Huonville is wrapped in scenery and close to some of Tasmania’s most amazing natural places. With the Hartz Mountains nearby, it’s easy to see what inspires the local creative community and nature lovers alike.

For those who enjoy fine produce, the surrounding area produces smoked and fresh salmon, honey, mushrooms, apples, apricots, plums, cherries, pears, wines, and cider– a veritable foodie’s paradise. There’s even a museum dedicated to the Huon Valley’s famous apple growing story, one that continues today.

Take a wander along the main street and Wilmot Road and find shops that sell a range of first and second-hand treasures from old books and bric-a-brac to new cakes and crafts.

The Huon River and nearby D’Entrecasteaux Channel are attractions in themselves and are popular for fishing and boating, high-speed jet boat rides, or maybe just a quiet walk along the foreshore. Huonville is the last major town before heading into Tasmania’s south, so stop, take a look around and stock up for the journey or stay for a longer taste of the Huon.

Huonville is a 40-min drive (38 km) south of Hobart.”

The master bedroom with views of the Huon River with an ensuite bathroom plus a second bath.

A part of the enjoyment of the move will be the scenic drive across the entire island. Another aspect we love about these two locations is the first is located in Penguin Beach and the second, located directly on the Huon River each with amazing views of the water. 

Apparently, there’s a pontoon boat on the property for which we’ll find out details later. How fun would that be, cruising the Huon River in a pontoon, reminiscent of years past when we had a pontoon while living on a lake?

It’s not that we’re trying to relive our past lake life. We both prefer close proximity to water; a river, a lake, or an ocean. I’m a Pisces, not that horoscopes mean that much to me, but I’ve always been drawn to views of the water, having grown up by the sea in California and having a pool in our yard. 

This is the second bedroom in the property. Although we always share a bedroom, it’s nice to have a second bedroom to store our luggage.

Tom and I both owned boats as adults, long before we met and eventually married, another commonality alighting our otherwise mismatched connection. As a single mom in the 70’s and 80’s I owned a twin-screw Chris Craft cabin cruiser often taking my kids, my sister Julie and friends to Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka as well as other popular points of interest on the massive lake.

I was able to dock the boat in a choice spot at the pier, maneuvering the boat easily into a fairly tight spot, tying all the lines using crochet knots. In those days, it was uncommon to see a woman maneuvering a good-sized boat on her own. At the time, I even shocked myself with my independence and skill. 

The Huon River will be another ideal location in Tasmania, located in the southern end of Tasmania while Penguin is located in the north.

The property has a pool and possibly a few chaise lounges. 

The Huon River heads out to sea in the south, another ideal placement for our visit to this beautiful island. At this point, I’m amazed we even found these two properties while dealing with an on and off wifi connection, the outrageous heat on the days we found them, and the speedy and generous response from the two owners, more than willing to work with us.

Yesterday afternoon, I busied myself logging all the information into our spreadsheet in a few separate worksheets; one; the “travel Itinerary” basic expense page estimating the total costs for each of these bookings including rent, rental car, transportation to and from, fuel, dining out, groceries, entertainment and miscellaneous and, two; the financial end on the rentals on the “Deposits Paid” tab including total rents (in US $), deposits paid, date paid, balances due and the dates the balances are due.

Once we arrive in Tasmania, we’ll share more details about the island, the properties, the locations, the cost of living again on the island, its people, its customs, and more.

The dock in front of the property. Gee…maybe there are a few fishing rods we can borrow!

It’s one more cog in the wheel of our continuing world travels. Now, with only one gap to fill for March 13, 2017, to April 22, 2017, prior to sailing to the US for a short stay to visit family and friends, arriving in May 2017, we can sit back and relax knowing a substantial portion of planning for the next 20 months is almost complete.

In these next 12 months, we’ll begin to map out plans for the second half of 2017, hopefully stretching out well into 2018 and beyond. It’s a continuous task that fortunately, we both find to be pleasurable, providing us with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and, of course, excitement!

Thanks for sharing the ongoing journey with us!

Photo from one year ago, September 25, 2014:

There were no photos posted on this date after a long and annoying boarding process to get on the ship in Vancouver, the longest we’d experienced to date. Due to all the delays, we had no time or WiFi access early enough in the day to post other than a short blurb. No sooner we were in our cabins, it was time for the muster drill, and then, our 8:00 pm dinner reservation. Rough waters commenced no more than an hour out to sea.  More on that is upcoming. Please click here for details.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…Not really…How much time do we have left?…Reading list…Tom adds a story!

This Marigold was one of the most beautiful we’ve seen. 

Here’s the song from 1971 by the Carpenters that popped into my head first thing this morning when I noticed the cloudy day and the Monday morning. Sorry about the ad which you can push past.  Sure brings us back to the reality that this song was popular 44 years ago. Gee, didn’t I just turn 44?  Ha! Where did the time go?

The days, the weeks, the months are flying by so quickly now, there’s hardly time to stop and reflect upon days passed. The weekend wafted by in a flurried mix of long walks, good movies, good food and speaking to friends on Skype. 

Pink Orchids, common to the Hawaiian Islands.

“They” (whoever “they” are) say as we age and eventually retire, time flies more quickly. Perhaps, as we age, it’s not about time flying faster and more about the fact that we are more resilient and less stressed with the daily activities around working, raising a family (or not), and trying to “make it.”

Once we retire, we let the dreams go of fame, wealth, and prosperity (for those of us who haven’t achieved those levels) and we comfortably settle into a life of reality. Here’s who I am. Here are those who love me.  Here’s how much I can spend to live. Here’s what I can realistically accomplish in the years I have left to live.

The vibrant hot pink in these orchids was breathtaking.

Have you ever counted the years you may have left on this earth using your expected longevity based on your health and heritage? I do every so often, realizing that at 67, my life may end in 20 years. Then I recall back to 20 years ago, trying to get a frame of reference as to how much time I may actually have left.  

Twenty years ago, I married Tom. I was as happy as I could be. Now, these 20 years later, most of which were happy, some of which were wrought with worry and strife, as life often is, I realize that I do have enough time to complete my mission, health and safety providing.

The color of these tiny flowers is almost florescent. We’ve yet to find the name. With the help of our reader, Annie, these are Pentas. Thanks, Annie!

And aren’t we kind of like a company needing our own mission statement to decide what we want to accomplish and how we’ll go about achieving it? Many of us go through life waiting for the “next best thing” to happen to determine our path.

For many years I did this along with a thought that quality of life was based on how hard you worked, how hard you loved, and how kind you were, all of which were thrown into a bucket waiting for “luck” to be thrown into the mix. I’ve learned it doesn’t work that way. It took a long time.

When I turned 50 years old, one day I woke up and got it. I wasn’t going to make the billions I dreamed of and live the life commensurate with those billions. 

Golden tipped Anthurium.

I wasn’t going to be standing at a podium in front of an applauding audience extolling the virtues of hard work and dedication, along with a magic potion of all the insightful morsels of every motivational speaker I’d ever heard.

Nope, this is it. This is the life I chose and the person I chose to live it with. Now 17 years after my revelation, I’m happy. (We’ve been together for 24 years, married for 20). Oh, it’s not jumping up and down happy, although at times we both feel that way. Instead, as I awake each day I hear these words in my head, “Yeah, another day I can have a whack at it!” I’m grateful, to say the least. He is too.

This is Poinsettia in its offseason.  Still lovely.

This life has nothing to do with luck. Happiness has nothing to do with luck. For both of us, it has everything to do with sacrifice, letting go, stepping outside the box, being fearless, strict adherence to health and well being and above all, a determined choice to get along with one another and allow ourselves the privilege of being happy.

So many couples (bear with me, single people) waste years of their lives together in disharmony. How many times have we heard from the one left behind how they wished they’d have been more tolerant, more patient, more loving? Not us, we decided to do that now. If I want to curse him or vise versa, we can save it for when the other is gone in 20 years, 30 years, or who knows?

What a peculiar growing thing!

Ah, enough pontificating. On with the reading list which will not be belabored by any means.

Here’s Tom most recent reading material:
1.  Railroad War by Leon Speroff
2.  Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin
3.  Dial M, The Murder of Carol Thompson by William Swanson
4.  Stolen from the Garden by William Swanson
5.  Vince Flynn, Minnesota author who’s since passed away, having written about a dozen books, all of which Tom’s read since we left.
6.  Why Coolidge Matters by Charles C. Johnson
7.  Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robison
8.  Preposterous Papa by Lewis Meyer (This book was written by friend Richard’s uncle about the life of his grandfather). 

Tiny puffs, miniature Bottle Brush flowers.

Here’s what I’m reading:
1.  Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman
2.  Wheat Belly Total Health by Dr. William Davis
3.  Altered Genes, Twisted Truth by Steven M. Druker
4.  The Big Fat Surprise by Nin Teicholz
5.  The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant

You can copy and paste any of these titles into the amazon link on the right side of the page for more details or email us for assistance or with questions.

Today’s post reminded Tom of a story he wanted to share.  Here it is:

“A successful man was giving a speech about how he achieved his success.
He told the story of losing all his money gambling in Las Vegas and he didn’t have the 10 cents required in those days to use the toilet.

He explained his predicament to the first guy he sees outside the restroom door asking if he’d give him a dime for the toilet. The guy pulled a dime out of his pocket and handed it to him.
As he entered the restroom he notices the last person had left the toilet door open. So he used the toilet.

After exiting the restroom he put the dime into a slot machine and hit a $100.00 jackpot. He took the $100 to play blackjack, winning $1000.
He then played craps and won $10,000.

He used this money to invest in stocks on Wall St. and made tens of millions.

In closing his speech he said if he could find the man who helped him he would give him half of his worldly goods.

A man stood up in the audience and said, “I’m the guy who gave you the dime in Vegas!”
The speaker replied, “Not you, sir. It was the guy who left the toilet door open.”

Thanks for sharing, Honey!

Have a magnificent Monday, rainy day, or not.

This wasn’t our photo that we posted it one year ago. The shop keepers wouldn’t allow photos of their clothing on display. On this date, we discussed gender roles as we perceived them in Marrakech. For more details, please click here.