Upcoming week…A terrifying past experiences comes to mind…

One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house.  The partial moon is shown in the photo.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

What are you looking at, Ms. Kudu?

There was an internet outage during the night and this morning but it was repaired and we’re back on.  I certainly didn’t want to miss posting again after my 36-hour illness when I was too ill to prepare a post.

I’m feeling much better today after somewhat of a sluggish day yesterday.  As always, last night we dined at Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for another excellent meal with enjoyable conversation and ambiance.

We often see people we know while there and the interaction between all of us is fun and uplifting.  Last night, we were particularly reminded of how little time is left until we’ll be leaving Marloth Park in a mere 32 days.  We’ve begun to say our goodbyes.

Warthogs aren’t interested in eating the fallen marula fruit.

Today, we’re busy working on organizing things around the house for our upcoming house guests, Linda and Ken, who’ll arrive tomorrow afternoon.  We’ve moved Rita’s birthday party to Wednesday when its supposed to be cooler.  

It’s simply too hot to cook right now.  Today will be almost 40C, (104F) once again, with awful humidity and forecasts for Monday and Tuesday don’t look much better.  Of course, the weather could change between now an Wednesday but, we’re committed to sticking with the newly planned date.

This mongoose is only interested in cracking this egg.

Last night, on the return drive from Jabula with Rita and Gerhard with us in the car, we spotted several giraffes near their house on Hornbill and also in their garden.  What a lovely sight to see in the evening!  Thus, the above main photo.

We had many amazing experiences at that house five years ago which prompted the balance of today’s story about a scary event that occurred in January 2014.  

Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to crack an egg, including banging it on the ground or a tree stump.

Please see below:

It was a little over five years ago as in January that Tom had the worst scare of his life.  We were seated on the veranda at the Hornbill house while both working on our laptops while watching for possible visiting wildlife.

The sightings had been excellent during the first month at the house and our expectations were high.  At that point in time, no wildlife encounters particularly scared us although we always remained diligent and cautious.  

When kudus and warthogs are in the garden, bushbucks don’t have much chance of eating any pellets when they’re easily scared off.  Tom holds the container of pellets for her to ensure she gets a few bites.
Suddenly we both heard a “plop’ and began looking around to see what it possibly could have been.  In a serious tone, Tom said, “Get up slowly and move to your left!”

Curious that I am,  without giving it a thought, I quickly jerked to my right.  Bad move. Lying on the ground, a short distance from Tom’s bare feet lay a snake…not a huge snake but a snake none the less.

We’ve since learned a bit about snakes after attending snake school last March, that size means nothing when it comes to venomous snakes. A huge snake can be relatively harmless and a small snake can be deadly.
I’ll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so.

This scene transpired in a matter of seconds although it felt much longer.  Tom was seated in a chair, much closer to the snake while I was at the table a short distance from him.

The moment I realized what we had before us, I said, ”Get the camera!” This was and still is a normal response of mine.  

Handsome male impala in the park.

In a flash, we both saw the snake, staring at Tom, flaring his hood and instantly we knew it was some sort of cobra.  What type of cobra was it?  We didn’t have a clue. 

(Anyone living or staying in Marloth Park for extended periods should attend snake school.  Had we known then what we know now, we would have responded differently). 

Later I realized how dangerous it was to be bending down to take photos after Tom had somehow managed to get it into a corner of the veranda next to a big stingy mop where it stayed until the snake handlers arrived 10 minutes after I’d made the call.

An ibis tucked away in the vegetation in the garden.

Click here for the balance of the story with several photos of the snake, albeit blurry from my shaking hands.

Tonight will be our first night on the veranda since last Wednesday and we’re hoping to see many of our wildlife friends, now beginning to return after the long holiday season.


Have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you may be!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2018:

We walked to another part of Buenos Aires that day, looking for a jeweler who could replace Tom’s watch battery which we never found.  It took us over an hour to walk back to the Palermo district, the location of our hotel.  For more city photos, please click here.

Interesting article on the most dangerous countries in the world… How many have we visited?

A turtle we spotted in a pond in Zarcera Costa Rica.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Bottlebrush flowers blooming in the yard.

Business Insider online magazine/newspaper published an article this past June listing the 20 most dangerous countries for tourists in the world.  I hadn’t stumbled across this story until this morning while reading news on my phone when I awakened way too early to get up.

Information of this type is of considerable interest to us and I was surprised we missed this particular article.  Both of us are often on the lookout for information related to travel.

In May 2013, this boat came alongside our ship in the Gulf of Aden when two mercenaries boarded the ship with “black boxes” and stayed on board for three days and nights protecting our ship from pirates.  Here’s the link to that story with more photos.

Here’s the list of Business Insider 20 most dangerous countries from the least dangerous (#20) to the most dangerous (#1). We’ve been to those marked in red. More details may be found at the actual article listed here.
20.  The Republic of Congo
19.  Thailand (6 weeks)
18.  Jamaica
17.  South Africa (3 months)
16.  Guatemala
15.  Chad
14.  Bangladesh
13.  Mali
12.  Lebanon
11.  Philippines
10.  Ukraine
 9.   Honduras (cruise tour)
 8.   Kenya (3 months)
 7.   Egypt (cruise tour)
 6.   Venezuela
 5.   Nigeria
 4.   Pakistan
 3.   El Salvador
 2.   Yemen
 1.   Columbia (cruise tour)

The chaos in the streets in Egypt was comparable to what we’ve seen in movies. Often these types of areas are targets of attacks.

Although cruise tours may seem safer and in many ways they may be, we’ve often read stories of cruise passengers under attack at shopping centers, restaurants, public transportation and on tour buses. 

As for the above listed six out of 20 which we visited and/or lived in, there is only one, South Africa, which we’ll visit (in this case a second time), where we’ll be living for many months beginning in February 2018. 

Not all areas of South Africa and these other countries are dangerous.  There are many remote locations that have lower incidences of crime and terrorism.  But, most tourists, generally staying only a short period, tend to prefer to visit the larger cities, where the majority of the crimes occur.

The stone wall at the property in Kenya, not only inspired the goats to stop by to say hello but had broken bottle glass set into the mortar at the top of the wall to keep intruders out.  Here’s the link for this photo.

With mostly non-English speaking news on TV where we’ve lived over these past years, we can easily miss such an article as the above.  However, whenever we begin research for future travels we first investigate the political climate and crime rates and also search the US Department of State Travel warnings at this link.


Many of our readers have contacted us stating that they are in the process of changing their lives to travel the world and often ask us for advice and suggestions which we’re always happy to provide. 


In many ways, our site is intended to be of assistance to both short and long-term travelers as well as those who’ve traveled in the past and dream of traveling in the future. 

Then, of course, we have those loyal readers who don’t necessarily care about traveling but enjoy seeing our photos and reading about what life is like “living in the world.”  (We appreciate all of you, regardless of your motivation to visit us here).

For those travelers considering future travel, we can’t stress more the importance of doing your own research.  And, as we all so well know, there isn’t any country in the world that is entirely safe including our own homeland, wherever that may be.

If seeing the Pyramids in Egypt is on your “bucket list” you may decide to trade that dream for another, safer location.  When we visited the Pyramids in 2013, even then it was listed as unsafe and has become more so over the years. Without a doubt, we realized the risk when booking the cruise which was further confirmed when we had a security guard on our bus with an Uzi in a holster beneath his black Hugo Boss suit coat.

Mohamed, our security guard, stayed with us the entire time we toured the pyramids. Here’s the link to that story with more photos.

Once we arrived at the pyramids, we felt fortunate when the above security guard, Mohamed, had taken a liking to us and suggested we stay close to him during the trek to the pyramids and back. 


We’d heard stories of horrifying tourist experiences at the pyramids but felt safer going on the cruise ship’s arranged tour which many cruise passengers have experienced.  Although as mentioned above, these tours still may pose a serious risk.  

It was really hot and dusty.  We wore our breathable and insect resistant Africa clothing during this tour and others.  Here’s the link to this photo.

Please be careful arranging a private tours through a local tour companies in any of the above countries.  Reading reviews and doing extensive research is a must.  Failure to do so may greatly increase the likelihood of danger with many unscrupulous operators taking advantage of tourists.

We continue to strive to be safe and realize that in some cases we’ve taken certain risks.  As the world becomes more and more dangerous, we’re seriously thinking twice before planning to visit many countries throughout the world. 

Our continuing goal to stay in more remote locations continues to provide us with a layer of safety that generally provides us with peace of mind.  Only you can decide how much you’re willing to risk your safety in order to “step outside the box” in your world travels.

In each of our lives, wherever we may live or visit, we all have the opportunity to reach for our own interpretation of “stepping outside the box” whether it’s reading a book of a genre we’re never tried, tasting a new food we’ve previously avoided or in making the first step to meet someone new.

May your day present you with opportunities to try something new!

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Photo from one year ago, September 25, 2016:

Private outdoor massage area at neighbor’s Piia and Thomas’ home in Sumbersari Bali, used often when a massage therapist visits the house several times a week.  For more photos of this beautiful home, please click here.