A sunny day drive through the country…Nature at its finest…For the less experienced reader, how to use our archives…

This was our favorite photo of the day, a huge Billy Goat with quite the beard and defined facial marks.

Even today the weather is cloudy and overcast, but that does not bother us. We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of sunny days since we arrived in Tasmania more than three weeks ago.

By car across the countryside, you can see the ocean in the distance.

Each sunny day, we head out to take photos as shown in today’s post, photos from the countryside, the quaint towns, the ocean and the points of interest we’ve found to be most appealing.

Cattle are funny when humans come by.

In many locations around the world, living in more remote regions often leaves us looking for photo opportunities. We had assumed this would be a dilemma over the four months we spent in Bali (with a two-month break in between) as of April 30, 2016. 

Nice country sign, by the way.

But, the photo opportunities in Bali kept coming and coming as evidenced in our posts, easily reviewed if you missed them, by researching our archives located on the right side of this page below our advertisers.

Cattle on a hill.

As a matter of fact, here are the step by step instructions for using our archives.  For our more experienced readers, please bear with us as we review these instructions:

  • Scroll down the day’s home page, below our advertisers, to PREVIOUS POSTS 
  • Note the list of years since we began posting beginning in 2012
  • Click on the little black triangle of the year you’d like to research, that looks like this:   
  • Once you click on this ► the entire year’s posts, month by month, will be displayed.
  • Select the month and search for headings, you like to see. If you’re looking for something in particular and are unable to find it, please don’t hesitate to send me or Tom an email and we’ll send you the link by email.
Highland Breed cattle.  See this link for details on this breed.

Many of our new readers find they are more easily able to grasp the nature of our continuing story by reading the posts from the beginning. Our story is a a continuing day to day journal of the lives of two retirees with no home, no storage and only a few bags in our possession, traveling the world for years to come. It’s less of a “travel and sightseeing” log one may find elsewhere and more of a personal account about living all over the world.

This annoyed male approached the fence when we stopped for photos.

Many have written to us explaining how they began reading our posts from the beginning to grasp the full intent and meaning of why we do what we do and how it impacts our daily lives. Could YOU do this? Some could, some actually do what we do, although few would choose this odd life.

Although this one mooed at us, she/he didn’t bother to get up.

Yesterday, we loved speaking to our family members on Christmas Day (in the US) and were reminded of how much we left behind. Any yet, after hanging up, we giggled with delight over the prospect of seeing them in a mere five months, spending six weeks in Minnesota and three weeks in Nevada.

The countryside in Tasmania certainly reminds us of New Zealand.

Will we run out of photo ops while in these two locations in the US? Hardly. We’ll be busy in our “home town” looking at it through new eyes and a new perspective. We’ll share the nuances of living in the US for our readers in other countries (and in the US) and perhaps a different perspective after having been away for almost five years at that point.

Old log house seen along the country road.

And, for now? We have hundreds of photos we’ve yet to share and the stories surrounding them.  There’s no doubt we’ll leave Penguin having many photos we’ll never have had the opportunity to post. In the interim, we’ll share our favorites, which we hope our readers find interesting.

The hills, the trees, the vegetation and the sea create a breathtaking scene.

Today, while the house is being cleaned, we’ll head to Ulverstone to shop for groceries. After discovering pesticides are used on most of the produce at Woolie’s we no longer buy their produce. Instead, we now purchase organic produce at the local Fruit & Veg market, a delightful five minute walk down the road. 

The views of farm fields, bodies of water and the sea is always stunning.

There’s nothing quite like a walk down the road to the veggie mart. Then again, there’s nothing quite like Penguin. Leaving in three weeks leaves us with a twinge of disappointment. It won’t be easy to say goodbye.

We hope all of you who celebrate had a fulfilling Christmas as we anticipate the New Year rolling in.

Photo from one year ago today, December 27, 2015:

During a period of many cloudy and rainy days in Fiji, we visited the capital city of Suva. This photo is the top of the President’s house located in Suva. For more Suva photos, please click here.

Living in a third world country has its ups and downs…

Tourist information at the police station.

When a tourist is visiting a third-world country partaking in its historical beauty with the intention of expanding their personal horizons through exposure to a land far removed from their own reality, they have an opportunity to experience life from an entirely different perspective.

Although we’ve had a tendency to avoid visiting war-torn countries, we have been to many countries where armed guards were stationed at every corner and safety could easily be compromised in the blink of an eye.

We’ve had the experience of having our driver’s car searched upon entry to a strip mall’s parking lot. We’ve been frisked when we entered the market, the chemist and the phone store. 

The local courthouse has few cases.

Two years ago we were living in Kenya when the horrific attack on a mall in Nairobi occurred. Although we were many hours drive away, our family and friends expressed concern as to our presence in a relatively high-risk environment. We have no regrets for the experiences of living in that and other countries.

But, that’s easy for us to say when our three months living in Kenya passed safely for us. We’ve visited war-torn countries, countries of political unrest, countries with riots in the streets, all with high risks of carjacking, bombings, and gunfire.

What constitutes a third world country? In some older references, it’s stated that a third world county is a “nonaligned nation, often developing nations” based on associations to other industrialized nations. Today, the definitions are vague. The term is used less often. But, the concept seems to revolve around economics and growth.

In those respects, Fiji, especially Vanua Levu is a third world country. The word “industrialization” is far removed from a description of this nation as a whole. 

There are no factory workers, no factories, no rail lines, and most modern products are shipped into the country via containers on ships, including household goods, furniture, cars, most clothing, technological equipment, and all packaged food products. 
From the perspective of a tourist, typically staying in a modern hotel, many of these aspects are less apparent.  They dine in the quaint local restaurants, shop in the locally owned shops, visit the typical tourist spots and come away with a perspective of comfort, luxury and abundance, much of which is provided by the hotel or resort and its tour relations.  

Hotels and resorts in their efforts to build their own economic wealth often provide an “all-inclusive” environment, often keeping tourists utilizing their amenities rather than seek outside local resources to enhance their vacation/holiday. 

Yes, they employ the local people surely adding a benefit to the nation’s economic growth as well as enhancing the quality of life for its employees. For visitors who stay for extended periods, such as us, don’t have the luxury of these pre-arranged price-included services and amenities. 

But, the “real” Fiji is its natural beauty, its warm and welcoming people, its exquisite ocean views, and its simplicity in that “less is more.” With a “less is more” mentality comes challenges often far removed from the reality of life in many other lands.

For us, for now, we live here.  Three months is a short period compared to a lifetime for the locals and their generations-long passed. But, three months is long enough to acquire the “flavor” of both the good and, the not so good, which connotes an aspect of living in this lovely nation with power outages, slow arrival of products, slow snail mail, poor wifi signals, and less advanced medical care.

The city provides housing for the police department and their families.

In these past five days as we’ve mentioned, we’ve experienced an eight-hour power outage and five days without a wifi signal. Instead, we’ve had no choice but to use a phone for a weak signal and for receiving email for which we’re very grateful. For the long haul, more is needed. 

To date, this hasn’t occurred as we continue to wait patiently as Mario scrambles to discover a possible viable solution. We appreciate his diligent efforts.

Soon, we’re headed to the village for shopping which is one of our favorite activities of living in a less modern environment. Shopping in Savusavu is both rewarding and enriching and we love every moment of wandering through the local shops, talking and smiling with the locals, and extending our heartfelt “bula” along with theirs.

A portion of the barracks provided for the police force employees.

With clouds overhead, we doubt we’ll do any sightseeing today.  Shopping is our second priority when we’ve consumed almost every morsel we’ve had on hand. Ratnesh is picking us up at 11:00 am for today’s list of priorities to include:

1.  Stop at ATM for cash
2.  Visit both digital data stores
3.  Visit the pharmacy for a pair of reading specs (mine broke, which I use at night after removing my contacts)
4.  Shop at the Farmers Market for produce for a long list
5.  Shop at the grocery stores with a shortlist
6.  Stop at the meat market to pick up the chickens Helen is holding for us and to purchase more streaky bacon and ground grass-fed beef and pork.

In essence, living in a so called “third world” country for a period of time fulfills exactly the types of experiences we find to be ultimately rewarding and memorable. With that, the challenges become a part of normal, everyday life. We continue to accept these challenges while seeking solutions that may, in the long run, make it just a little easier.

Have a fabulous new day in your life!

Photo from one year ago today, October 9, 2014:

A huge banyan tree in Waikiki, commonly seen in the Hawaiian Islands. For more details, please click here.