Our family and friends are asking, why so long? Why 880 days (so far)?
There are only a few answers to this question. Aging is one. By the time we leave the US, I will be 65 years old and although physically fit as a result of healthy eating, healthy living, and daily exercise, the ravages of “old man time” (darn him!) can be felt every morning as I step out of bed.
Tom will be 60 years old (“They,” say I robbed the cradle!), but after 42 years on the railroad, his knees and other joints are worn to the bone and he too feels the aches and pains upon awakening.
There is no doubt that down the road, when and if we tire of traveling, we’ll hunker down to a warm climate and into the predictable senior citizen condo complex. We’ll get a little dog, play some bingo, hang out with guys whose pants are pulled up six inches above their waists, and with the ladies with the purple permanents wearing silky flowered print blouses. That will be us, as well.
We have traveled very little these past years, always preferring to stay home to enjoy Minnesota’s short summers and our lake home. It often felt as if we were on a vacation on the warm summer days with the fish jumpin’ and the birds’ singin’, while we lounged in the comfy white lawn chairs.
We didn’t have a care in the world other than to fire up the grill, pour ourselves a cold glass of something good, or to haul some wood to the fire pit for a roaring fire when the sunset (and the mosquitoes came out to indulge in our tasty flesh).
We had traveled in our minds, a few years ago when we recorded every episode of the TV show, House Hunters International. We dreamed while we discussed the possibility of owning a home in an exotic location. As time has neared, (7 months and 2 days), we knew that staying in one place was the opposite of what we really wanted. We want to be “free” to explore the world.
Tom believes that the state of the economy and that hyperinflation will take hold in the entire world. We will travel before the effects of such inflation will prevent us from being able to do so.
Our last reason is simple. Tom and I both had our children when we were teenagers. We spent our 20’s making every effort, with a certain level of immaturity, to be responsible parents. In some ways we were successful. In other ways, we weren’t.
As our family has grown with the addition of significant others, and six precious grandchildren, we feel their lives and their traditions are established and we can let go, with the love, with the hope and, the dream to share a piece of our adventure with all of them in times to come and to build new memories to cherish together, forever