We’ve booked a new location…Quite unusual for us!…

There are many beautiful scenes when driving on the many winding and narrow roads.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
Because Ireland is isolated, many species of animals commonly found in Europe do not live here. This includes moles, polecats, and weasels.”

When we decided how to handle our upcoming schedule for visiting the US, the starting date on November 8 was based on when we’d disembark a transatlantic cruise from Southampton, England, ending in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We booked a flight from there to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we’ll visit kids, grandkids, and other family members, for two weeks staying in a nearby hotel.

From there, we’ll fly to Nevada, where we’ll spend 10 days staying with my son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, frequently visiting my sister Susan in Las Vegas. While in Nevada, we’ll renew our driver’s licenses and passports.  
Fishing boats in the bay.

With the rental car we’ll have booked in Nevada, we’ll drive to Apache Junction, Arizona (five hours) and spend the month of December near his sisters, Colleen (and husband Gene), Mary Ellen (and husband Eugene), and Margie. They each have a home in a 55-plus RV park where they spend the cold Minnesota winter months.

When we visited the US in summer 2017, we spent time with his sisters while still in Minnesota. However, we’d only visited them at their Apache Junction homes a few times when we stayed in Scottsdale in 2012.

Mr. & Mrs. Sheep

As the youngest in the family, Tom thought it would make sense to spend some quality time with his sisters while they were in the US at the end of the year, and I concurred.

Where we’d stay has been a source of research over the past few weeks. They were a few holiday homes we could consider and plenty of hotels. But, we wanted to spend time with his sisters and their neighbors, who get together each day for happy hour and snacks. 

Two white Connemara ponies were tended to by their owner.

If we were staying in a hotel, we wouldn’t make some food to bring for each evening. If we stayed in a nearby holiday home, we’d have the drive from their location to a house a few miles away. We didn’t want Tom driving after happy hour. On occasion, his family members stayed up very late, too late for me, and he’d have to go me back to our location.

The logical choice was to find a place to live in their RV park, which was merely a short walk away from his sisters. As we began our research, we couldn’t find any rentals for that specific location advertised anywhere online.

As we approached Balleyconneely.
Tom’s sister, Colleen, got to work and found a place for us, not far from their RV sites, within easy walking distance. The rep at the park has confirmed our rental, which will include all utilities, WiFi, TV service, and a complete unit with kitchen and laundry facilities for a little over Euro 1339, US $1500 per month.  

We agreed to book the unit from December 1 through December 31. Once we get settled, we’ll decide where we’d like to be on New Year’s Eve, but we’ll figure that out later. It’s a bit odd that we’ll be staying in a trailer home which is far removed from our usual private homes throughout the world. But, we’ve determined this is the best possible scenario for that particular period.  
Ruins of another castle.

No doubt, we’ll have a great time with his sisters (and husbands) and thoroughly enjoy staying in this unique (to us) type of property. Each time we have an opportunity to try something new, we look forward to the opportunity to expand our horizons.

This morning, we took off for Clifden, visiting a museum for which we’ll share photos and historical facts in the next few days.  
Thanks for stopping by! Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 19, 2018:

She turned her head to pose for the camera. For more photos, please click here.

Things we can count on…Ireland…

What a view!

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”

“Hook Lighthouse in Hook Head, County Wexford, is believed to be the oldest working lighthouse in Europe and possibly even the world.”

A year ago today, we wrote a story on “things we can count on” in Marloth Park, South Africa, which prompted me to consider the “things we can count on” since our arrival in Connemara, Ireland 37 days ago.
Curious cow.

Some may assume we haven’t grasped the true nature of Ireland when we haven’t been out as much as usual. A few days ago, one of our readers wrote the following comment with my response below:

Unknown said…
Please don’t let the weather keep you inside….buy a sweatshirt and a raincoat and go….we’ve been in Ireland and Scotland as well as the Baltic countries. In any of these places, the weather can be cool, rainy, windy a lot of days. We don’t let it keep us inside and eat up days of a trip…..go despite the weather. 7:52 am 

Jessica said…

Dear Unknown, we so appreciate your comment. But, the reality for us is two-fold right now. One, I only had two surgeries on both of my legs a short time after cardiac bypass surgery, a little over two months ago and walking on uneven surfaces presents a severe risk of falling. Secondly, for us, this isn’t a “trip.” This is our daily lives, and in our old lives, we seldom went “sightseeing.” We have warm clothing and raincoats, but I must heal more before getting out on slippery surfaces. This is our reality right now, and we strive every day to make the best of it, in good and bad weather. Thank you kindly for your comment. It is greatly appreciated.
Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom
Painted sheep…everywhere!

We certainly understood and appreciated this well-intentioned comment and thanked the reader for taking the time to write to us. Most readers quietly lurk in the background, seldom commenting. I do this when reading most blogs, reading and failing to express any thoughts, suggestions, or comments.

Rarely do we ever receive negative comments from readers? We can only attribute this to our sense of vulnerability expressed here. It’s tough to be negative to those who admit their foibles and shortcomings, which we freely do here day after day. But, when our readers write, we take their comments seriously.

I so agreed with the above writer. Her/his comments would be so true under different circumstances. We decided to respond to the comment with the utmost forthrightness, again being candid about our reality.

She was lounging on a hillside.

Sure, we wish we could be out several days a week exploring. But, when it rains, and I’m not feeling 100%, it’s simply not appealing to bundle up in rainproof clothing and trek through areas with slippery grass, hills, and often steep roads to climb.  

Regardless of this temporary slow-down in our sightseeing over the past four months, we have found many “things we can count on” here in Ireland when we’re only heading out a few times each week to take photos and discover what we can.

However, in the simplicity of life we’re living here in Ireland, we’ve encountered several “things we can count on.”

They include:

  • A stunning view out of most windows in a beautiful house
  • The sunset is breathtaking on clear nights as late as 2200 hours, 10:00 pm
  • It’s still light up until almost 2300 hours, 11:00 pm
  • There has yet to be an uncomfortably warm day
  • Locals are amiable, helpful, and humorous
  • Fish and seafood is readily available, freshly caught from the Atlantic Ocean
  • The “fish guy,” John, stops by each Tuesday afternoon with fantastic options
  • Organic foods are functional in abundance in grocery stores
  • Concern for the environment is a vital part of life in Ireland
  • Ruins are regarded as an essential part of Irish history and are strewn about the countryside in their historic glory
  • The property we’re renting runs on solar power for heating water and warming the house (although electricity and WiFi is provided)
  • WiFi service is dependable and high speed
  • Driving to any venue is an opportunity to see exceptional scenery
  • Animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, and horses are spotted on every outing
  • Seabirds and other birds are plentiful
  • There are few venomous spiders and other creatures
  • Mosquitos seem to be non-existent, although there may be midges at dawn and dusk (“The Highland midge is a species of small flying insect, found across the Palearctic in upland and lowland areas. In the northwest of Scotland and northern Wales, the Highland midge is usually very prevalent from late spring to late summer,”) during which time one should stay indoors, use repellent and keep windows shut.  (There are no screens on windows).  We’ve yet to use any repellent while here.

It’s a rarity to find any insects indoors other than an occasional harmless spider or isolated fly.

A Connemara mare and her colt.

Well, you get the drift. There are many more “things we can count on” here in Ireland, and the list could go on and on, especially based on one’s preferences.  While we are here for the next 54 days until we depart for the following location.

Have a fantastic day reveling in “things you can count on!”
Photo from one year ago today, June 18, 2018:
“Zebras are very fast-moving animals and can reach speeds of up to 65 kph (40 mph) when galloping across the plains. This is just fast enough to outpace predators such as lions. Foals can run with the herd within a few hours of birth.”  For more details, please click here.

Comment from a reader…Keep those comments and emails coming our way!…

Painted performers at Circular Quay.

Regardless of the content (except offensive comments), we generally post comments we receive from readers. At times, we receive comments daily, and at other times, we may not hear from our worldwide readers for several days.

Visitors from all over the world visit the popular area of Circular Quay.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, we love hearing from our readers and promptly reply within 24 hours, usually earlier, providing we have access to the Internet. The same goes for email, even when we may receive dozens of email messages within any 24 hour period. 

Some of the comments we receive are spam, advertising for a wide array of products and services, none of which we care to share with our readers. However, if we encounter a product or service that may benefit our readers (such as a coupon for products they may use), we may mention it within the body of a post.

This is the ship, Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas, that we hope to be able to board on April 22nd to bring us back to North America for a nine-week family visit.

A few days ago, we received the comment below from a newsreader that makes us chuckle. Of course, we were happy to have the new reader onboard, but it confirmed how misleading it could be to start reading our posts part way through.

Reader said…

“OK, silly question, If you are gone for more than a month, why not have a lawn service cut your grass? I am new to your blog, and you might address it. We are going to be doing some of this once we retire.”    

Jessica said…

“Dear Reader,

Perhaps you haven’t had an opportunity to read more of our posts, but actually, we sold everything, and we don’t have a lawn, a house, a car, or storage. So instead, we have 3 checked bags and 2 carry-on bags as we travel the world for 53 months to date. Thus, no lawn to mow.

Thanks for stopping by,
Jess & Tom”

Our upcoming cabin is located two decks above these two lifeboats in the approximate center in this grouping.
In jumping into our almost 1700 posts (today is post #1699) out-of-sequence would make it impossible for a reader to grasp the comprehensive nature of our five years of posting (beginning on March 15, 2012) and the life changes we’ve made to embark on this journey over the past 53 months.
We certainly understand how reading partway through our story could be deceiving as to how and why we’re living this nomadic life. Most would assume we have a condo, house, or apartment somewhere, a place to go to repack, do laundry, catch up with family and friends and take care of business.
Tourists dressing in rain gear to partake in a high-speed boat tour in Sydney Harbour.
Alas, we are wanderers, free from the encumbrances of owning “stuff,” opening mail, washing windows, and of course, “mowing the lawn,” as the writer mentions above. 
Looking up, we observed people on the popular attraction, the Bridge Climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walkers are tethered to a railing as they make the walk. 
Yes, if we had a lawn, we’d certainly arrange for it to be mowed in our absence. But, that’s not our life, nor will it be anytime in the future if we can help it. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with having a home of any type with its accompanying belongings that many treasures after a lifetime of accumulating a variety of personal treasures.
Could it be that the Bridge Climb is not as scary as it looks from below once up there?
Many people we meet on cruises say to us, “Oh, I could never do that!” Yet, when we tell our story, we rarely encounter anyone interested in living as we live. On the contrary, we totally respect and understand that. Nor do we tell our story with the intent of convincing anyone this is the ideal lifestyle. For most, it is not. 
Customs House now contains shops and restaurants.
It just happens to work for us. In the process, we meet many travelers who spend the better part of each year traveling to interesting and exotic places, many of whom have done so for many more years than we have. We love hearing their stories and suggestions.
McDonald’s is in almost every big city in the world.
Then again, we love hearing the stories from others of their pleasant home lives, wherever they may be, enjoying their surroundings and the lives they built for themselves and their families. It’s easy to recall the pleasure we gleaned in our old lives as well, for those very same reasons.
Department of Lands Building Clock Tower in Sydney.

Today, we’re heading out with Bob for a little shopping. Last night, he joined us for dinner, which, not surprisingly a delightful lengthy conversation. He’s had an interesting life which he freely shares in detail with heartfelt emotion. So, again, we’ve been blessed with another very special landlord who will surely become a lifelong friend.

Happy day to all.

Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2017:

One year ago today, we booked our current holiday home with this garden and view, including chaise lounges, a gas grill, and an outdoor dining table overlooking the bay in Fairlight/Manly. For more photos, please click here.

Writing comments…Please do…

To the right, is Hesborn’s quarters where he lives until Saturdays at noon, returning early on Monday mornings.He boards the local matatu, a rickety old van bus service in order to visit his family in Mombasa. The 2-hour drive and ferry ride to Mombasa is Kenya Shillings $400, US $4.58 round trip, often breaks down en route. Although Hesborn is gone, we continue to have security on-site around the clock, as is always the case, 7 days a week.  

When we began writing this blog in March 2012, our intent was to keep a diary of our travel experiences to share with our family members and friends.  At any time they could type in our web address: www.worldwidewaftage.com to see what we’re doing today.  Today’s post is #411. We’ve been gone for almost a year!

The locked and guarded gate to ours and Jeri and Hans’ house.

After a few weeks of posting about the process of a retired couple planning to travel the world for years to come and the endless preparations, we discovered much to our surprise, that readers were reading our posts from all over the world, now at almost 100,000 and growing rapidly.

As readership continued to grow worldwide, we added advertisers to offset the continuing costs of maintaining a website and registered Worldwide Waftage as a business, enabling us a few benefits from time to time.  Now, we’ve found we’re able to receive small discounts on occasion as “travel writers.” 

As you can see, we often write reviews for places we’ve stayed, visited, and restaurants.

It makes sense with the tremendous amount of vegetation around us, that mosquitoes are impossible. With intermittent rains, the mosquito population continually thrives.

Only a handful of readers has signed up to receive the automatic email as shown on the right side of the page. These are a few folks who’d prefer to get the most recent post in an email, rather than go to their bookmark each day. Many prefer not to receive an additional email which is entirely up to you. 

Since the most recent post doesn’t usually arrive by email until the day after posting, many prefer not to sign up to receive it. Creating a bookmark is easy, allowing the reader to look for it within a minute of my posting it. Tom and I have tested this and it’s almost instantaneous. Either way you prefer is fine with us.

These pods are fascinating.  They look like pea pods but no one seems to know if they’re edible.  To be safe, we won’t use them in a stir fry.

Never, at any time will we take away the personal nature of our postings. After all, it’s very personal to us, often sharing the most minute details of our daily lives, our thoughts, our difficulties, and our dreams for the future. 

Yesterday, our post held a special meaning for us. Two of our regular readers, both of whom have posted comments at the end of posts in the past, both posted comments yesterday. 

Each of their observations meant so much to us. If you’ll go back to the post from yesterday, September 27th, you can read their much-appreciated comments and our response at the end of the post: Click here please and scroll to the end of that post.

These were often seen in pots in the US.  Here they are almost the size of a tree.

We encourage you to comment.  If you agree or disagree with us, if you have suggestions for us, if you have warnings for us, or if you simply want to say “hi,” share a recipe, share a travel experience or for that matter, share any experience, we’d love to hear from you.

We publish and respond to every comment we receive except those of a pornographic nature, those that may offend others for any reason, or those that are promoting unrelated websites that serve no use to our readers.  This will never be a place where we’ll “hound” our readers to buy something. 

Away from our family and friends, which may prove to be for extended periods, we have few interactions each day except with one another, while living in many remote areas.  Our world is not only that which surrounds us each day, but is also, every one of YOU.

If you don’t travel or can’t think of anything to say, tell us about a new TV show or movie we should download, or the weather where you live, or if nothing else, tell us your mindless drivel as we tell you ours almost each and every day.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos of our outing tonight.  See you soon!