|Tom with the beard and mustache.|
When I asked Tom if he’d write a post, he declined. It’s just not his thing. Oh sure, he writes wordy quips at Cruise Critic asking and answering questions about particular cruises, having built himself quite a reputation as an active contributor on their boards.
|Clean shaven for the first time since we were in Barcelona, Spain, sitting in a café across from Segrada Familia. See photo below.|
Then, of course, he spews endless comments and observations on Facebook, often keeping him busy for hours. But, write a post? That’s not so much in his wheelhouse, so he says.
|Tom, the last time he didn’t have a mustache in May, 2013. We were at a café across the street from Segrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.|
Oh, don’t get me wrong, he’s an active participant in what I have to say in our daily posts by researching, fact checking and proofreading each post immediately after it’s uploaded. Then, upon his suggestions, I edit each inconsistency he catches to reload the post once again.
It’s a good system. Writing a post every day, at times rushing through it to get on with our plans, is a breeding ground for errors and I certainly have made my fair share. It’s a rare occasion that he doesn’t catch at least one mistake.
|We dined in a traditional Italian restaurant in the walled city of Lucca in July, 2013. Note Tom’s Fu Manchu mustache. I still laugh over this photo when I know this look was all about the fact that he wasn’t thrilled about the pizza menu that didn’t have all of his favorite toppings.|
There are numerous situations when neither of us had noticed an error and a year later one of us stumbles across it. Immediately, I take action to make the corrections. It’s an ongoing process that will never end as long as we continue with our story.
As for Tom’s story, in person, you’d have no trouble getting it out of him as any of his/our friends out there can attest. He’s a great conversationalist and fun to engage in conversation. He’s well read with an opinion on almost any topic that comes to light.
After unsuccessfully prodding him to tell me what he’d like to say here, I decided my only option would be to interview him and post his answers, in his words, exactly as he responded. Here we go:
|Pretty carvings in the hotel in Kuta.|
Are you enjoying traveling the world?
“Yes, it’s even better than I’d anticipated”
What is your least favorite aspect of traveling?
“Airports; arriving many hours early, the long lines, the schedules with layovers, the delays and all the other BS.”
What part of traveling the world do you enjoy the most?
“The weather, being away from ice and snow.”
When you look back over the experiences of these past four years, what has been your favorite?
“The next one.”
Of your upcoming plans, which do look forward with the greatest enthusiasm?
“Of course, seeing family and friends in Minnesota. As for our continuing journey, experiencing places we’ve never seen and, meeting the locals.”
|Flower arrangement in the hotel in Kuta.|
You often mention how much you love cruising? What is it about cruising that appeals to you?
“Relaxing. It’s a great means of transportation. Meeting new people, making new friends and the bread. I can eat like a normal person on a cruise!”
What do you like least about cruising?
“The muster drill on embarkation day.”
How do you feel when getting settled into a new vacation home?
“Pleasantly surprised when there’s comfortable furniture and bed. Happy if we don’t have to purchase bottled water. Looking forward to checking out the area.”
What food concerns do you have at a new location?
“Will they have the ingredients to make our pizza? Do they have streaky pork bacon?”
|Flowers in standing bowl in hotel.|
What items do you find lacking in a vacation home that you wished were always available?
“Good WiFi, an electric coffee maker and a flat screen TV we can use to plug in the HDMI cord.”
How long does it take you to pack?
“It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to pack. I seldom unpack my entire suitcase. I take out underwear, shorts, tee shirts and swimming trunks. The rest stays in the bag.”
How do you feel about renting cars and driving in other countries?
“The turn signal and wipers are on the opposite side of the steering column than I’m used to. Every time I go to use the turn signal, I turn on the wipers. We laugh every time!”
What booked plans for the future are the most exciting to you?
“The upcoming Alaskan cruise in May, 2017; a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Chile in November, 2017 when we’ll traverse the Panama Canal, a second time (since 2013) to see the new locks; a cruise we’ve booked that sails around the southern tip of South America (Cape Horn) in December, 2017: and of course, the Antarctica cruise in January, 2018.
|Precious statue near the hotel pool.|
Is there anywhere you’ve lived in these past four years that you didn’t enjoy?
“Marrakech, Morocco, two weeks would have been plenty, not two and a half months. The house and staff were great, but we felt trapped living inside the souk. Didn’t like the spicy food.”
Do you ever think about stopping this year’s long journey?..
“No, it never enters my mind. In this crazy world, we’d better hurry to see everything we want to see. Who knows what the future holds?”
Why did you shave the beard and the mustache?
“The beard was just a fluke to see if I could grow one. I found out I could. At night it was irritating on the pillow.When it needed a trim it was too difficult to do so I shaved off the beard and also the mustache. Jess likes me either way.”
There it is folks, all Tom has to say for now. Perhaps we can do this more often. I know many of our readers are curious as to what he thinks about living this peculiar life. Feel free to inquire by email or via comments at the end of any post.
Have a great day!
Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2015:
|Ratnesh took this photo of us, in from of the Vuadomo Waterfall. We were hot and sweaty, but the long trek was worth it! For more photos, please click here.|