Why blog?…Why not blog?…

While at a party last weekend, a guest asked me, after hearing that I’m writing a blog, “What could you possibly write about before leaving to travel the world?”  
In the beginning, I was concerned I would run out of ideas, writing every other day. So far, so good. Readership is in the 1000’s, growing rapidly, much to my surprise from all over the world.

As time marched on, it became therapeutic, as in writing a journal. In the near future, it would serve as a means of updating family and friends as we saunter from place to place about the world, living “life” as Tom says, not vacationing. (Vacations are for leaving one’s home to enjoy visiting other surroundings, relieve stress, experience new cultures and adventures to ultimately return home to “the real world”).

We won’t have a “home”.  That explains the therapeutic element. Having no home is an emotional adjustment, is not for everyone and was inconceivable to us only a few years ago. Of course, in no way do I mean to imply it is comparable to being “homeless,” a sorrowful fate for many without the love, support and emotional freedom to escape poverty.   

In our case, choosing to be without a home defies all traditional convention and social mores. Many are shocked by our willingness to do this, some amused and others annoyed, saying, “They won’t last.”  Maybe we won’t.  If we don’t, we will write about it here, baring our souls for those interested.

In the next few months, with the help of a highly professional web/blog designer we will enhance this blog.  We’ll be creating links for money saving travel information, insurance needs, prescription drug savings tips, travel concerns, travel products we’re using, foods we’re experiencing around the world that fit into our low carb, wheat, starch, grain and sugar free lifestyle, restaurant observations, vacation homes we love, cruise commentaries, airline experiences and more. 

Most of all, we will share the photos and stories of the nature we are blessed to behold and the people we are fortunate to meet. Hopefully, we’ll both become better photographers.  Currently, we are researching lightweight, easy to use, digital Bluetooth enabled cameras with a few new prospects being released soon.  (We’ll keep you updated).

To offset some of the cost of the professional blog designer, we will be incorporating some relevant advertising, as you will currently find on most web sites and blogs. 

A few days ago, I ordered business cards with our email and blog addresses, after both of us tired of writing on little pieces of paper (especially with my horrific illegible handwriting).  When they arrive, I’ll take a photo and post it here. More to pack!

You may email us at any time, if you prefer not to post online comments. Always feel free to make suggestions to us, as many have thus far in “comments” and in private email, all of which we appreciate and take to heart.  Research is one thing, experience is another.  We more than welcome your experience. And please, take advantage of our hundreds of hours of research, if you are looking for a bargain or a shortcut.

BTW, if you want to read my story on the blog of Jonathan Bailor, The Smarter Science of Slim, please click here.  My story is the second story down, moving from the first spot over the past week.  Thanks to all of our readers and, to Jonathan’s readers who have come over here to read our blog.  

Off to the health club now for my 10 minute killer cardio workout, after an hour long walk with my neighbor earlier this morning. Then off to the grocery store to stock up for the long weekend.  

Friends are coming for Eggs Benedict brunch on Sunday when I’ll be using that cute little 1950’s double boiler as seen in the photo in the last post, maybe for the last time. (The recipe is also posted there).

Bye, double boiler. Hello, world.  

Time is of the essence…

“Time is of the essence” is a term in contract law which indicates that the parties to the agreement must perform by the time to which the parties have agreed if a delay will cause material harm.”

After spending 25 years as an broker/owner of a real estate company, I came to appreciate the significance of being on time, not only to ensure my buyers or sellers complied as stipulated within the term of their contracts, but also my being sensitive about the time of others by always being on time.

Now as Tom and I near the time to leave our home for good, in the hands of others, on October 31, 2012, a mere 2 months and 16 days away, time seems to be moving so quickly.

There is still so much to do.

Tom leaves at 5:30 am each day, often not returning until 7:00 pm or later. Exhausted, he showers, eats a down-sized gluten free, low carb dinner with me and falls into his comfy chair with only a few hours before bedtime. He can’t help me during the week. Understandably so.

On the weekends, he tends to the yard, works on his Ancestry.com file which he is preparing as a legacy for his family before we leave. He does any needed household maintenance with aplomb and a smile and then…spends valuable time chatting with me about our endless planning. Time is flying by.

A friend recently asked me to spend a day visiting at her home. With only 76 days left, I had to apologetically say “no.” Maybe an hour for tea, not a day.

Another friend asked me to help with the planning of a new business, something I would usually have loved doing. Again, I had to say “no”.

In the past, I always said “yes.” Always.

Nothing is more important than spending valuable time with our family and friends. But, as time nears and more tasks are facing us and…with every one’s busy lives, there never seems to be enough time. How does one spend more time together now to “make up” in advance for the time we won’t spend together in the future? You can’t.

Much to our surprise, we’re not overwhelmed. Maybe we’ve had too much time to prepare, to think, to accept, and to discuss. Sure, I could share the seemingly endless list of “to do’s” many of which may only be done during the last month. But, I won’t bore you with the details on a list. I will share them as they transpire along the way, as I have done thus far.

People often ask if we are excited yet. No, not yet. We are saving that for the day we leave. I am trying to enjoy the process, the challenge, the management of the mixed emotions that flutter through my head each day, occasionally questioning the sensibility of this mammoth decision, to moments later, smiling at our adventuresome nature.

Every minute that passes brings us one more minute closer to the end of our lives. Perhaps, for some, this is a morbid thought. For us, this is an opportunity to embrace every moment, living in it fully as it transpires and joyfully planning for that which is yet to come, should we be so fortunate that more time is on our hands.

Life is never risk free..

What were our motives for starting a blog about “leaving” seven months before we are actually “leaving?”  In my mind the intent has been simple, document the process as a means of lessening the emotional blow.

Almost to the day, a year prior to starting this blog, I wrote my first blog, an accounting of the last days of the life of our precious little dog, WorldWideWillie, written from his perspective, followed by me, after he passed. 

Much to my surprise, we had over 500 followers with no marketing, no advertising, no promotion, other than by my own comment to a few friends and a few references in own poorly maintained meager Facebook account.  

Somehow, people were reading it across the seas.  Perhaps, key words. Perhaps, one person in the US, sent the link across the world to a grieving relative having recently lost their own beloved pet.

What did this accomplish for us?  Lots of tears each day as I read aloud to Tom, “what Willie wrote” as he sat at our side, nose touching my leg, tilting his little head each time he heard familiar words of which he knew so many.  

But, most of all, it was a vital part of the healing process. I love dogs. I love dogs too much, too deep, the same as with people. In time, through the words, the healing entered our hearts as we began to talk about him without crying (still do sometimes). And, I stopped counting on my fingers how many days, weeks and months had passed since he left us.

And now, this time, this blog, 1000’s, not 100’s of readers, all over the world are sharing this experience with us.  Thank you, readers.  Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us, even now at this early date, three months away.  

Most of you silently observe, some with disdain, some vicariously, some with curiosity and some, like me when reading other’s blogs, hoping to glean a tiny morsel that will somehow change our lives.

This is not just a blog about two crazy retirees traveling the world for what may prove to be many years. It is also about leaving everyone we love, everything we have loved, the familiarity of a comfortable life and all of our worldly possessions, not contained in four over-stuffed suitcases and two carry on bags.   

Writing this blog has the same powerful healing effect that we encountered when writing about Willie.  Plus, it serves as a powerful reminder of that which we have learned along the way, to reference the multitude of tasks to do now and into the future.

We “heard” through the grapevine that some people think we have no idea of what we are doing and that “we are in for some big surprises.”  Yes, we surely are!

Did the senior know what he was doing when he jumped out of an airplane for the first time on his 90th birthday? No. He took the risk for the adventure.

After 100’s of hours of research we both feel we know the risks: death due to injury; crime or illness; illness or injury requiring an expensive (although insured) trip back to US; being a victim of a crime; theft of our belongings (which will also be insured); theft of our deposit or the property not being as expected or represented; unable to obtain a visa or gain entrance into a country; being stuck in airport or on the tarmac for days; cancellation of a cruise at the last minute due to maintenance issues of bomb threat; a cruise ship tipping over; false imprisonment (we won’t knowingly commit a crime!) and more.

What if a warthog cuts us with his sharp tusks?  Or we step on a snake resulting in a life threatening bite? Or a creepy worm makes its way into the bottom of our foot to travel to our brain? Yuck!

When we read the newspaper or watch the news each day, all of these risks occur throughout the world and also, here in the US.  Seniors fall down a flight of stairs in their own homes, resulting in horrible injury or death. Food poisoning occurs in our local restaurants.  Pins are found in a sandwich on a domestic flight. Citizens are shot and killed in their own homes, as an unintended victim of violence.

Good grief!  We could spend our lives immobilized by fears, a slave to our own environment.  Or, we can venture out performing everyday tasks, enjoying our families, our friends, Mother Nature, our work and our hobbies, all of which are laden with a certain degree of risk.

Life is not without risk.  Do we “prepare for the worst and expect the best?”  

No. We choose to be as educated as we possibly can about the risks, proceed with caution along the way, avoid risk and pray for a little good luck.  And, as life has its ups and downs along the way, as it surely will, we will holster our usual optimism hopefully discovering a logical solution together.

We’ve never done this before. This is not the same as traveling for a month or two, returning “home” to repack, paying the bills, reading the mail and visiting with our family and friends.  There will be no “home” to return to.

The message is clear in the old adage, “home is where the heart is”. This will become our motto. After all, we are taking our “home” with us not only in our hearts and minds, but also in each other.