Abundance is in the eye of the beholder…

Ratnesh explained that before dark all the goats return to this abandoned house where they sleep at night. 

They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” In our lives, we find that “abundance is in the eye of the beholder” is a more befitting observation we’ve found as we travel the world, especially in the hearts and minds of the local people. This has, without a doubt, rubbed off on us as we discover less and less becomes more and more appealing.

As we traveled along the road with Ratnesh he takes us to special places he knows we’ll find appealing. He’s quickly learned what appeals to us, not the usual tourist spots, but that which other tourists may find mundane and hardly photo-worthy.

Cows munching on greenery along the road.

Our tastes are simple, often wrapped around the sightings that so well bespeak the lifestyle and work of the people of Fiji, a few cows grazing near the road; a flock of chickens wandering about with chicks in tow, rooster-dad watching for danger; a herd of goats, knowing exactly where to return as darkness falls.

Our minds wander to who these people are, whose lives depend on these animals for sustenance, for income, and for an opportunity to live a life comparable to the unencumbered lives so many freely live here on this quiet island. 

These goats were on the shoulder of the road, free to roam.

Abundance is in the eye of the beholder. Over these past years on the move, we, too, have filled our hearts with a sense of abundance that doesn’t include flat-screen TVs, DVRs, central air conditioning, or closets filled with clothes.

We ask only for a clean, comfortable temporary home, working plumbing, power, and blessed be WiFi, so we can share our story as it unfolds each day, in itself providing us with a sense of abundance with thoughts of how many citizens of the world have read our posts, some once, others over and over again. For us, that’s abundance.

Hopefully, motorists kept a watchful eye when driving past them.

Is it well deserved?  Perhaps not, at times as we waft through the mundane of daily lives, without a single exciting adventure or photo to share. And at other times, perhaps yes, when we have an exciting story we can’t wait to spill, a jaw-dropping experience we’d only imagined in our dreams.

I write this post on October 7th at 5:30 pm, rapidly stroking the keys, hoping to upload a few photos tonight, all for an early upload in the morning. We don’t choose to alter the consistency of our posting, when we’ve diligently exercised every effort to be on time each and every day, except at times on long travel days.

There were several moms, kids, and a few dominant males in the group, always watching for potential dangers.

Why prepare a post the evening before its expected upload date? Today, Thursday, the WiFi to the area will be shut down in order to bring in a new line to our house to ensure we’ll have a viable connection during our remaining two months in Savusavu. We appreciate this greatly, Mario’s willingness to go to these lengths.

We’ve waited patiently for days. I’ve read six books in the past five days, my speed-reading ability learned decades ago, coming into play when I’ve been unable to be online, devouring page after page on the tiny screen on my phone. 

My fingers tire of “turning” the pages in the Kindle app long before my eyes tire of the printed words and at times, the stories are less than perfect, ranging from fluffy romance novels to gripping international intrigue and espionage. My tastes are varied. It’s the “page-turner” aspect I hunger for, hopefully well written. If not good after the first few pages, I permanently remove it from my phone. Garbage, I can’t read.

They munched and began the easy climb up this hill to their “home” as shown above in the main photo.

With a US $10, FJD $21.52 monthly fee with Amazon, I can read up to 10 books at any given time, returning each as I finish to grab another in its place after it’s returned online. How have I managed to download these books with a bad connection? 

Magically, using the Vodaphone SIM on Tom’s phone to connect to my phone which has worked for downloading books, although patience is of the utmost importance as I often wait as long as 20 minutes to download one book.

Hopefully, by late in the day, this waiting game will be over and we can go back to our usual lives of research, watching movies, and ease of use, taking this month-long focus on a bad signal well into oblivion. If not, I don’t know what we’ll do. 

Hurriedly, I wrap things up now, knowing by 9:30 the tech is scheduled to arrive to begin the work. As evident, he didn’t arrive yesterday to upgrade the lines. I called the phone company three times asking when a tech would arrive. 

This baby goat, no more than a few weeks old, was crying when it couldn’t easily get down the hill to join the others.

Finally, Mario received a call from the phone company’s tech guy asking him to pick up the tech guy in town to bring him here. The truck broke down and he had no transportation to make the appointment. 

I wonder how would he make the repairs today without his truck and equipment? But we shall see. I’d like to be optimistic. Surely, if and when this job is completed, a sense of abundance will once again prevail.

Will you find abundance in your life today?

Photo from one year ago today, October 8, 2014:

The sunset in Hawaii was always worth checking out each night as we walked to a restaurant for dinner. We didn’t cook any meals in the tiny condo, finding it too confining. For more details and a sunset video, please click here.

At a loss for words…

These two palm trees fell into the ocean overnight, due to erosion, rough surf, and wind. Notice the vendors in the background preparing their handmade crafts for sale.

Since our first post in March 2012, I’ve never been at a loss for a topic until today. Each morning, while checking the stats for this blog, marveling in the number of readers from all over the world, something pops into my head. My fingers fly across the keyboard with a mind of their own, as if my hands contain the thoughts as opposed to my brain. 

This morning, after responding to email from two people I adore, my inspiring cousin Phyllis and my new equally inspiring friend Nancy, whom I met in Belize, I stared at my keyboard with nary a thought of what to write.

Originally, I wrote every other day, leaving time for events to occur as fodder for writing. Alas, once we left the US, the desire to “take pen to paper” escalated to everyday posts.  I don’t think I’ve missed a day, but I’m open to correction.

Why write a blog?  The plan was to offer it as a means of keeping family and friends privy to where we were, what we were doing, and our current state of safety in our travels. Lo and behold, since we left the US, the stats began showing tens of thousands of visits to our blog, from all over the world. 

Suddenly, I felt compelled to write, not in a feeling-pressure kind of way, but in a joyful-can’t-wait-to-write kind of way.  So, here I am, writing anyway, with the hope that those who drink their coffee and read, as I drink mine and write, will not upset their routine and, I will not upset mine.

Mr. Iguana stopped to say hello to me as I walked along the path to the little workout room. He actually stopped dead in his tracks to peer at me. Thank you, Mr. Iguana!

All I have to offer today, feeling somewhat drained from a poor night’s sleep, is my own “mindless drivel,” not unlike the endless books that I’ve been consuming on a regular basis. 

Yesterday, I expanded my reading horizons and downloaded a book from Amazon to both my no-contract phone and my laptop from Oprah’s Book Club, hoping to fire my brain in a more “artsy” way with a fine piece of literature. 

Reading, “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb, I became entrenched in the characters reminding me of my less than ideal childhood, growing up in the ’50s, so very long ago. 

Little did I know that my “golden years” would be spent in any manner other than sitting in a chair by the window, growing old, reliving memories of a life long past, as I had witnessed in my youth, as my relatives entered old age.

Little did I anticipate, that I’d be sitting here on a Sunday morning, in a pink flowery bathing suit, overlooking the majesty of the ocean, next to the man of my dreams, and writing a “blog” about traveling the world for the next so many years. 

My dear cousin lovingly writes “don’t be worried” after reading yesterday’s post. But I, like many of us, sometimes worry. Sometimes, worry inspires us to be cautious, treading gently in dangerous waters. The important part, for most of us, is the ability to let the worry go once the worrisome event has passed. That’s me. I do that. I let it go. 

This was my view, this morning as I sat on a step at Robert’s Grove putting on my workout shoes for my last workout session in Belize. The lines are streams of water falling into the pool.

So, in two days, when our zillion bags (soon to be half a zillion) are secured in our mini-suite balcony cabin aboard the Carnival Liberty (click here for reviews), I will let the worry go, feeling once again, that we have landed firmly on our feet from yet another transition. Will sewage be floating down the halls? Will we be eating onion sandwiches? 

I hope not. For now, I won’t worry about that.