Tire of traveling?…BugsAway clothing?…

The topic of tiring of traveling may become a frequent point of discussion, particularly once we are “on the road.”  We’ve frequently been asked this question by friends and family members.

Traveling for years, as opposed to the usual one or two weeks or, for a retired few, a month or more, may become tiresome after a while. With 949 days booked out from this upcoming Halloween, it is difficult to draw upon any prior experience to use as a reference as to how we will physically and emotionally handle moving from location to location all over the world.

Tom and I often discuss this topic, invariably easing our minds by this simple fact:  We will rarely stay in one location (except for the one week in Las Vegas next December) for less than one month, most often staying for two to three months or more.

After one month or more, we will have had the fine opportunity to become familiar with the area, made friends, forgotten about the burden of our bags (our biggest nemesis) and be excited to move on.  As we peruse our itinerary we can visualize a certain ease we will acquire as we anticipate an upcoming location with enthusiasm and childlike wonder, lessening the burden of packing up and moving on.

There are a few travel burdens that hover in my mind; the required three airplane trips to three of our locations:  Kenya (for three months), South Africa (for three months) and later, the island of Madeira, Portugal (for two and a half months).

We aren’t afraid of flying.  We simply have little tolerance for the commotion at an airport; the waiting, the crowds, the security check and most of all, the baggage restrictions.  
The cruise lines have minimal restrictions on the number of bags that a passenger may bring aboard.  Thus, we can take everything we need for the 949 days and then barely enough to get by, in the above referenced locations when we have no alternative but to fly: one checked bag and one carry-on each.  We are considering some storage options for these ten months to avoid the expense of excess baggage fees which can run upwards of $1000 extra per person, per bag.

Tiring of travel, while living in vacation homes is highly unlikely.  If we do give up along the way, it would most likely be a result of illness, the painstaking process of packing and hauling our bags, or the necessity of more air travel than we’d prefer which may be the final “deal killer.”   Of course, whatever happens, we will post it here.

Tom always reassures me by saying, “We won’t be on vacation. We’ll simply be living life, in a variety of locations.  What will we do if we tire of it?  Take a break for three months and relax??  We will be staying for three months in many locations, sometimes longer, with ample time to regroup and relax, preparing us for the next adventure.  

This morning, with little piles of mostly newly purchased clothes on my bed, I made an assessment of any additional items I may need. We had decided to bear the expense of purchasing new clothing for both of us.  Over the past several months, Tom has lost 25 pounds from our gluten free, sugar free, grain free, starch free and wheat free diet. Nothing fits him.  
There seemed little point in packing older, overly worn and overly washed items, knowing we’d be gone for this extended period. Since these may be the only items I will be wearing over the next three years, plus a few purchases along the way, puts an entirely different spin on  packing.
As an accomplished bargain hunter with little interest in shopping at large malls or strip mall stores, we make 90% of our purchases online, all brand names, quality clothing befitting our travels.  

Often, I will find items at the major retailers and then proceed to make the actual purchases at eBay, all new with tags, at less than half the price.  Whether bidding on items or purchasing with BUY IT NOW, the process is fun and rewarding. Tom and I are both easy to fit, making it a rarity to return an item.  

Most sellers are very willing to handle returns.  Reading the reviews and rankings from past purchasers is a good clue as to how the seller will handle any issues.  We tend to avoid sellers with less than a 95% satisfaction rating, clearly visible on the site.

Another website we have used for years is Amazon.com. In the past week, we purchased a replacement bulb for our LCD TV (wouldn’t you know?), retailing for $125 in local stores, $85 at most websites.  It was only $40 at Amazon with free SUPERSAVER shipping.  They stand behind all purchases offering an easy return policy.  The bulb arrived in two days.
Today it took two large rubber bins to hold my clothes until we actually begin the packing.  This will translate into two large suitcases. This is frightening. It’s time to get to work on Tom’s wardrobe next, an easier proposition.  

While writing this post, I heard a knock at the door.  The UPS driver handed me a large box from Sierra Trading Post. I placed an order with them last Thursday for the following items shown that arrived in the box: two BugsAway baseball caps, four pair BugsAway socks, one pair men’s BugsAway convertible pants (unzips to shorts) and one long (roll-up) sleeve BugsAway men’s shirt, all retailing for a total of $299.  

As shown in the receipt below, I paid $130.25 for everything!  That’s why it pays to search for great prices online.  Sierra Trading Post  included a 20% off coupon for my next purchase. That’s some fun online shopping!  

A start on Tom’s BugsAway clothing for Africa with 2 pairs of socks and a cap for me!
Receipt for $130.25 for all the above clothing, retailing for $299!
Next “buggie” night, Tom and I will put on our BugsAway caps, socks, pants and shirts and see if the mosquitoes will dine elsewhere.  Otherwise, back in the box with the included return shipping label!