Making corrections…Staying on track…Self discipline…

Frank and The Misses stop by several times a day, making a mess of the seed container. They don’t like sunflower seeds so they pick through the container to toss them aside.

Self-discipline is a peculiar thing. It’s described as follows:

“self-dis·ci·pline
/ˈˌself ˈdisiplin/
noun

Checking and rechecking…Errors are to be expected from governmental agencies…Waiving Part B Medicare…

New sprouts on a coffee bean plant.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Although this Flame Tree appears to sprout bananas, these yellow pods are the flower before blooming. It’s a favorite spot for birds that stop for a visit, including another variety of the popular Flycatcher.

Three weeks ago, Tom contacted the Railroad Retirement Board (opposed to Social Security or Medicare) as required for retired railway workers. The intent was to inform them of his intention to waive Part B Medicare which would automatically kick in on his upcoming 65th birthday on December 23rd.

If he didn’t do this, there would be a deduction from his pension on the first of every month in the amount of US $109 (CRC 62,113), which may vary based on certain circumstances. But, unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t provide us with any benefits outside of the US (with a few rare exceptions).

Nor do we purchase the additional “supplemental” insurance to cover that which Medicare doesn’t cover. Please keep in mind. This is a generalization. Individual cases may vary. Please contact Medicare via this link if you have questions.

I was driving along a mountain road.

Many tourists can purchase “trip insurance” when they travel. However, this type of insurance is not available to us on an annualized basis since we don’t go on “trips” per se but are continually moving from one location to another outside of the US.

We’ve spoken to other long-term travelers who’ve stated they have purchased trip-by-trip “trip insurance” to receive the benefits of the more comprehensive coverage than we have on our “major medical” annual policy. For us, this would be an outright fabrication. But, this requires informing the insurance company that we are taking individual trips instead of living outside the US.

The problem with doing this is, if they discover a traveler has been traveling non-stop, they could refuse to pay a considerable claim, leaving the traveler with a monstrous bill to pay out of pocket. So we chose not to “lie” to the insurance company or run this type of risk.

In Costa Rica, many homes are located beyond entrance gates.

Instead, we have less coverage that doesn’t pay for doctor visits, prescriptions, or vision care. In most countries, we’ve found doctor visits usually run under US $100 (CRC 56,985), if not less. This works for us. 

If we needed to visit an emergency room or stay in a hospital, have surgery or treatment, our policy covers 100% of the cost. To date, thank God, we’ve never filed a claim, although we’re well aware it’s entirely possible at some point in the future. 

Our policy provides no coverage while we’re in the US, which leaves us with only Medicare Part A, which covers only a portion of a hospital or emergency visit. However, we choose to take that risk when visiting family rather than pay thousands of dollars per year for coverage in the US we cannot use in other countries. I hope this all makes sense to our readers. 

Arriving at the end of a paved road, we turned around and retraced our tracks.

In any case, we called and asked Railroad Retirement to send us the appropriate form to waive Part B. This is a government agency. They were unable to email us the single-page form. Instead, they stated the only way to receive the blank form was to receive it via snail mail. Go figure.

So, three weeks ago, when our mailing service in Nevada received the snail mail from Railroad Retirement, they scanned it and sent it to us via our file in their system. We printed it on the villa’s printer, and Tom promptly signed it. At that point, we used our portable scanner and sent it back to the mailing service via email. Within 24 hours, the mail service had snail-mailed the signed form to Railroad Retirement. Thus, the envelope would take one or two days to arrive from Nevada to California.

Yesterday, three weeks after the snail mail was sent, we called to see if the waiver was processed with our usual mistrust of any governmental agency and certain other types of businesses. Alas, not surprisingly, they had no record of it. 

With no shoulders on most roads, we’ve had to search for a spot like this when attempting to turn around.

A similar scenario occurred when Tom applied online to renew his Nevada driver’s license. All the documents we’d sent never showed in their email. We’d forwarded them a copy of the email we’d sent with all the records, and still, they explained it was never seen and subsequently never processed. Go figure. Eventually, the second batch of documents resulted in Tom receiving the renewal.

Yesterday, we contacted our mailing service asking them to fax the document to Railroad Retirement, at an expense to us, since Railroad Retirement would allow a fax in this particular case instead of waiting for “another” snail mail. Later in the day, the mailing service notified us to say the fax was sent, and they received a confirmation stating it was received.

On Monday, we’ll call Railroad Retirement again to confirm it’s done. But, of course, one can’t ever be sure without confirmation. Over the past five years of world travel, I can’t possibly describe all of the scenarios when errors have been made in handling our “business-related” transactions. 

This fast-growing tree on the coffee plantation shot up this tall in only a few years.  Variety unknown.

Antiquated systems and incompetency are often the cause of such extra work we experience in handling everything from afar. When one dreams of traveling the world for years to come, it’s always essential to consider handling transactions of any type.

Whether we find PayPal is blocked in a particular country, have forms to be signed for financial matters, or are required to change passwords periodically. In addition, on certain accounts, they require we have a text number to send us a code. 

We don’t have a cell phone contract with access to a US phone number that allows texts other than through Skype or Facebook Messenger for these purposes. Businesses don’t use these mediums for communication. We often have to figure out a frustrating, time-consuming workaround.

Mountains are prevalent in most areas of Costa Rica.

In years to come, this may be easier, but for now, as we continue on our otherwise blissful journey, we remind ourselves we chose this lifestyle, and with it comes several challenges. 

Once such a cumbersome task is re-done or completed, we sit back and smile for a second time, grateful we figured out a solution and get back to swimming in the pool or searching for photo ops.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 20, 2016:

In Bali, the view changed dramatically as the tide rolled in.  For more photos, please click here.

Moving right along…Can’t believe the number of posts…Errors along the way…

There’s never a shortage of beautiful scenery here in New Zealand.

Today’s post is #1339, not necessarily a milestone number, but nonetheless a huge number in our minds. It’s hard to believe that on 1339 mornings, we’ve worked together, coffee in hand, to get yet another post uploaded.

Tom, busy “fact-checking” and answering the endless questions that pop into my head as I write, my fingers fly across the keyboard, making many typos along the way which both of us review and correct.

Tom can’t proofread the post until I upload it online so those of our readers who read it immediately upon upload may notice errors we attempt to quickly correct as Tom reviews each and every word. 

With recent rains, the hills are lush green.

As soon as he spots a typo, fact inaccuracy, or the exclusion of an important fact, immediately I return to “editing” mode and make the required corrections accordingly. 

We seldom disagree over any potential adjustments nor do I get defensive over Tom’s suggestions and corrections. It’s a flow that’s become natural for us. At times, I feel as if we’re in a conference room at an office working together harmoniously attempting to do a job done well. 

However, as hard as we may try we still leave myriad errors in our wake, some as innocuous as a missing apostrophe, comma or misspelled word. At times, we’ll read and reread the post and still miss the potentiality of a correction.

We tried to find out what this building once held to no avail.

In a way, it reminds me of those identical side-by-side pictures that ask one to find the differences between the two photos.  My lack of patience prevents me from finding any interest in these. Tom, on the other hand, can easily and quickly spot the differences in the same manner in which he discovers errors in movies and TV shows. 

It’s all in a matter of how differently our brains work, whether it’s a female or male thing or a difference in who we are as people, as thinkers. Most likely it’s a combination of both. These distinct differences serve us well in many areas of our lives.

Had we chosen to live in one or two locations, taking a trip from time to time, as is the case for many retired people, we may never have had the opportunity to clearly define these innate differences in how we process facts and events in our daily lives, especially those in our daily posts that appeal to our worldwide reader population.

We often show only attractive buildings but now and then we find old dilapidated buildings as interesting as well.

Whether it’s in the planning for the future, managing our posts and photos, or deciding how we’ll spend the day, it always seems to revolve around our lives of world travel along with our desire to share it with readers.

Had we lived a more traditional life, we’d have looked at life in an entirely different manner which, if we didn’t know what we know now, we wouldn’t have questioned. 

The problem, if it is a “problem” is how we can ever “go back” to a life that isn’t on the move, doesn’t present the challenges, doesn’t offer the opportunities to push us beyond our “comfort zone” to research and to explore the world around us.

A huge part of this tree must have fallen during a wind storm.

There’s no doubt that someday we’ll have no choice…we’ll have to stop due to health constraints presented as we age. As much as we try to prolong this inevitability by managing our health to the best of our ability, it lies before us “down the road.”

In the interim, with our continuing goals of happiness and a sense of wellbeing, we live in the moment as much as possible. We leave a space deep in our hearts that when the time comes, we’ll hopefully carry our love of life and love of one another with us into the inevitable aspects and subsequent life of aging and possibly less-than-ideal health.

An old barn or house in ill repair.

For now, we can only hope that our errors, typos, and impossible-to-edit line spacing issues are of less importance to our readers than their personal sense of traveling with us.

As we “move right along” from country to country we never feel as if we’re “searching for something.” Instead, we always feel as if we’re “finding something” which ultimately we carry with us in our hearts and minds on to the next leg of our journey.

May you “find something” wonderful in your day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 30, 2015:

“Chicks in a Coconut,” a professional photo taken by a native Kauai artist, Alia DeVille, whom we highlighted with her photos one year ago today. For more of her beautiful photos, please click here.