It’s heating up!…Insects are back…

Bossy is always thrilled to see us, hoping for morsels of pellets.

When it’s winter in South Africa, generally, the weather is cool, at times, even cold, requiring jackets and warm clothes. But now, as winter rolls into spring, as shown on these dates below, its already begun to feel warm and humid:

“Spring 2021 in Southern Hemisphere will begin on
Wednesday, 22 September

and ends on

Tuesday, 21 December
All dates are in South Africa Standard Time.”
Spring is warmer in Africa than it may be in many other parts of the world in the northern and southern hemispheres. Last night for the first time this season, we had to turn on the air-con when we went to bed. Although the previous few days were hot, we only used the fan running in the 90F, 32C. But, last night felt more humid, and air-con was a must if we wanted to get some sleep.
Over the next several days, cooler temps are predicted. This morning when I was baking a batch of lemon-poppy seed muffins for Tom and low-carb lemon poppy seeds muffins for Louise and Danie, I was sweating for the first time in months when the kitchen got hot from the oven being on for a few hours.
Once the weather warms and the humidity rises, insects come out of the woodwork. We’ve seen several huge spiders in the house in the past several days, with flies and mosquitos buzzing around our heads day and night. Again, in the evenings, while sitting outdoors, we now need to use insect coils and citronella candles.
Kudus and bushbucks were stopping by.
We keep an eye out for possible venomous insects that may have entered the house in warmer weather. So far, so good. Last night, I saw the enormous gecko I’ve ever seen on the bedroom wall, more the size of a lizard than a gecko. They are harmless and don’t cause any concern.
Africa would not be the best place to visit during the warmer months for those sensitive to heat with limited air-con options and who are terrified of insects. The cool winter months would be better, such as May, June, July, and generally, August when insect repellent isn’t as necessary as during the warmer months. The past few days, I have been using repellent when I’ve noticed some mozzies here and there.
One can never be too safe using repellent regularly in malaria-prone areas, as shown in this map below:

As shown in the right-mid portion on this map, where we are near Kruger National Park is considered a high-risk area. As mentioned in an earlier post, our dear friend, Alan, lost his wife to malaria a few years ago, and he was deathly ill for months. It should never be taken lightly.

We do not take prophylactic malaria medication since there are potential side effects when taken long-term. For short-term tourist visits, we’d highly recommend that tourists check with their doctors or local travel clinic for guidance in this regard. When we first came to Africa in 2013, we took malaria medication for eight months, the longest we ever had. As we spent more and more time on the continent, we decided to forgo taking the drug.

In total, we’ve been in Africa for almost three years of the nearly nine years we’ve been traveling. Our anniversary date is coming up on October 31, 2021. It’s hard for us to believe we’ve been traveling for so long, minus the 10-month interruption while in lockdown in India last year.

Speaking of which, we’ve had a fantastic response to our published newspaper article that came out a day ago. Here is the report,  in case you missed it yesterday, which we posted on our site at this link. We appreciate all the emails and comments we received from readers worldwide in support of our experiences.

You all mean so much to us. We appreciate how our worldwide readers have continued to follow our posts, year after year through many quiet and uneventful periods, especially since the onset of Covid-19, which had undoubtedly put a damper on our journey for now. Hopefully, once we’ve completed our next upcoming visit to the US, we’ll be able to move on to more exciting and adventurous times.

In the interim, stay safe, stay healthy and please continue to hang in there with us.

Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2020:

This photo from the natural history museum in South Kensington, England, in 2014, was posted while in lockdown for ten months while in Mumbai, India, on day #158. A lizard that puffs up the frill around the neck to scare off predators. This could not be very safe. For more photos, please click here.


Updated new newspaper article with our story…Lockdown in India…

The photo of us in the newspaper used our last evening on the Maharajas Express Train journey in early February.

When Unsie Zuege, a journalist with Southwest News Media in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, contacted us over a week ago, requesting an update on our worldwide travels, we decided it would be a good distraction during COVID-19 lockdown in India to share our story once again.

I should mention we are not paid for these stories but have participated purely for the joy of sharing our lives with readers from all over the area and then sharing it with all of you here.

Many often ask if we do our posts for some form of remuneration, and overall, we do not. We earn very little from our advertisers, but we may occasionally receive special pricing on holiday homes and restaurants when we’ll be writing comprehensive stories about the property and services to appeal to our international audience.

We could head in the direction of writing books and appearing on TV news and talk shows (we’ve had offers), but we aren’t interested in turning our lives into a “job.”

Tom in front of the Taj Mahal.

And, although we spend more than half of each day preparing posts and taking photos (not as much now during lockdown), we’ve never felt as if doing so was a “job,” nor have we had to take direction from anyone telling us what to do.

A considerable aspect of our joy of this lifestyle is the freedom to do it “our way” rather than some medium pushing us to perform to their liking. And now, as we’re hunkered down in lockdown in Mumbai, India, with an opportunity to return to the US via assistance from the US State Department, we continue to do as we choose… Stay in Mumbai until we’re free to travel again.

We appreciate Southwest News Media (SW News Media), including an updated story on us and our peculiar lifestyle, including the fact that we are stranded in a hotel in Mumbai until the airport opens, and we can leave, hopefully, to head to South Africa.

Me, in front of the Taj Mahal.

However, as we’ve mentioned South Africa’s borders are closed (at this point) until May 31st along with the fact that the airports in India are closed, for an indefinite period at this point.

Following is an introduction written by Unsie to today’s story in SW News Media. Please click this link for the balance of the account we prepared, which is too long to include here.

“From the very first, Tom and Jess Lyman agreed they’d stop traveling the world if either one of them said, “Stop.”
In October 2012, the former Chanhassen residents left their suburban lives to wander the world as happy nomads. They sold everything, keeping only what would fit into a few suitcases and an electronics bag. In the last 7-1/2 years, the Lymans have lived on practically every continent in extended-stay home rentals from Morocco, Italy, South Africa to Vietnam, New Zealand, Tasmania, Dubai, England, and Ireland. They have even visited Antarctica.
Life on the road has had its ups and downs. In addition to marveling at fantastic scenery and immersing themselves into each community they’ve lived in, weeks or months at a time, there’s been episodes of cruise cough, visits to local dentists and doctors, and a few injuries requiring rest and patience. But the significant pause in their wandering happened last year when Jess underwent major heart surgery in South Africa. There were severe complications, but Jess healed, and the pair continued on their way.
That is until now.
Thanks to COVID-19 and the world-wide pandemic, the Lymans are sheltering in Mumbai, India, in a Marriott hotel. Their itinerary for 2020 included India, riding the Maharajas Express, and taking an Indian safari. Over the years, the newspaper has kept in touch with the Lymans, following their daily blog detailing observations and daily lives.
They never imagined an international pandemic would bring their life of traveling the world on what is, for now, an indefinite hold.
The newspaper reached out to the Lymans to check on their experience. They responded by email (edited for clarity and length).”

Please see this link for the balance of today’s newspaper article, which, as mentioned above, we prepared, which ultimately was a little too long. Unsie shortened and edited for publication. Thank you, Unsie, for sharing our story once again!

Also, here’s the link to the July 14, 2017, SW News Media article. And, here’s the link to their original story, published January 6, 2013.

And thank you, readers/friends, for traveling and “locking down” with us during this unprecedented period in history.

Photo from one year ago today, April 3, 2019:
There was no post one year ago. Here is a photo from April 3, 2018:

We celebrated Easter at friends Kathy and Don’s beautiful home in Marloth Park. Tom won a few prizes for winning the trivia game, which included this gorgeous giant chocolate Easter egg filled with more chocolate treats (see below). He ate the entire thing! For more photos from that date, please click here.