Filling in the gaps…It was about time to start booking for the future…

Louise and her adventurous son Jandre (who recently returned from an exciting two months in Thailand) stopped by for a visit and sundowners last night.  There was a bowl of nuts for the humans and a bigger bowl of carrots and apples for the wildlife.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

After Louise had seen our photos of Little coming up the steps to the veranda, we all laughed out loud when he did it again while they were here.  

In years past, six to be exact, we always stayed on top of filling in gaps in our itinerary.  As a matter of fact, during the first few years, we were always completely booked for two years in advance.


As time has marched on we’ve found it isn’t necessary to have every gap, every hotel, every vacation rental, every car rental, and every flight booked so far in advance. 

However, we’ve found it necessary to know where we’d prefer to be in the upcoming two years, enabling us to research.  Also, we never show up in a country without reservations for a hotel or holiday home.  We have no interest in “winging it.”
We’re always thrilled to see giraffes in Marloth Park.

Traveling the world has been a learning process.  When we started in 2012, there wasn’t a training manual on how to do this.  Over the years many travelers have asked us for advice and we’ve been delighted to share our best tips for those considering embarking on this lifestyle.

Recently, we read that over 1,000,000 Americans are traveling full-time.  There were so few when we started six years ago.  At this point, we often wonder how many have been traveling, without a home or apartment or motorhome, without storage, or without a car, who’ve been traveling for six years or more.

If you’ve been “out there” for longer than five or six years, we’d love to hear from you and compare notes.  We’ve met many who’ve traveled in a motorhome for decades.  To us, that’s a home of sorts and generally, those who’ve made this choice, generally stay on one continent, most often their home country to avoid immigration issues.

They often stop eating to check us out.  Once realizing we’re aren’t a threat, they return to eating the leaves on the treetops.

Many years ago long before we ever decided to travel the world, we discussed the idea of owning a motorhome and traveling the US but dismissed it entirely when the discussion came up in January 2012, of traveling the world.  

We didn’t want the responsibility of owning “stuff” packed into a “moving home” nor did we care for the idea of the upkeep, maintenance, and daily management a motorhome requires.  For many, they do this with ease and enthusiasm.  It just wasn’t right for us.

Oddly, as world travelers, we aren’t that big on long road trips.  We never have been.  This fact has inspired us to find countries, towns, villages we’d like to visit and stay put for a month or more as we make every effort to learn the culture, adapt and blend in.

At quite a distance, a hippo we spotted yesterday on our usual drive.

From this perspective, we’ve gleaned the best experiences we could ever expect and we look forward to the future as much now as we did in the beginning.  Plus, in the process, we’ve learned to “live in the moment” wherever that may be.

This one year stint in Marloth Park will be our last long-term stay (beyond three months).  It was only this magical place that inspired us to stay for such an extended period.  When we return in December 2020, we’ll only stay in South Africa for 90 days, avoiding any potential immigration hassles.

It wasn’t that we haven’t loved every moment in Marloth Park.  We’ve had a fantastic experience that ends in a mere 61 days.  It will be hard to leave our human and animal friends.  
But, it will be time to move on and resume our continuing travels throughout the world, not staying too long in any one location.  There’s still so much world left to experience.  Health provided, we’ll continue for as long as we can.

Recently, we’d considered going to Rwanda to see the gorillas.  But after careful review of our budget and upcoming expenses (many flights, two cruises and the balance on the amazing Kenya tour in February), we decided we needed to hold off on that adventure until we return to Africa in 2020.

A pair of cape buffalos grazing at the river’s edge.

These decisions aren’t always easy but practicality must prevail in our lifestyle if we intend to be able to continue on indefinitely at this point.  We are not wealthy people, as some world travelers, we’ve encountered along the way.  We must remain frugal and sensible at all times.


But, in the process, we’ve learned how to find great holiday rentals, at prices affordable for our budget.  Of course, pricing is often subject to how long one stays and of course, the good exposure the landlords acquire from our online promotion of their rental properties.  These two facts alone have played a big role in making this work for us without sacrificing living in nice properties.

With the Kenya tour beginning on February 22, 2019, and the South Africa visa requirement that we depart on February 15, 2019, suddenly we were looking at a week we had to fill between these two dates.

The question became, how expensive could we make this week and still stay within the budget.  Hotels and resorts in Kenya are expensive considering the quality we prefer.  

A four elephant family spending time together at the river.

Since we’ll be embarking on the extensive and expensive Greg Harvey safari photographic tour (click here for details) for 15 nights beginning on February 22nd and after all the safari and wildlife experiences we’ve had in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana over the past year, we decided to keep costs down and spend a quiet week in Nairobi, Kenya.


We won’t be sitting around the hotel day and night.  There are several sightseeing venues we’ll explore while there which we’ll share with photos along the way.

Last night, we booked the hotel, close to the airport where we’ll leave the bulk of our luggage when we take off on the 22nd and return to on the last day, according to the itinerary of the tour.  This way, we won’t have to move all of our stuff leaving us more time to do what we’d like during the one week stay.

We booked the Four Points by Sheraton near the airport at a cost for seven nights of ZAR 22764 (US $1582) which includes breakfast, wi-fi, and a king deluxe room.  Our additional expenses will be tours, transportation, tips, and the evening meal. (Neither of us eats lunch or snacks during the day based on our way of eating that totally eliminates daytime hunger).

A mom and youngster at the Crocodile River.

We also booked a hotel in Nelspruit, fairly close to the airport, for one night on February 14th since our flight to Kenya departs early in the morning.  With the over an hour drive from Marloth Park to the airport with potential road delays we’ve experienced in the past, we decided to take no risks and stay overnight in Nelspruit.  

Next, we’ll be getting to work on booking our flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Santiago, Chile on March 7th or 8th.  The Kenya tour ends on March 7th, (which is the date of our wedding anniversary) and we haven’t decided if we’ll stay one more night in Kenya or head directly to South America the same day.  We’ll know once we check out flights in the next few days.

So there it is folks.  The beginnings of filling in the gaps in our itinerary over the two years, all of which we’ll continue to post here as we go along.

Tonight, we’re dining at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant with Rita and Gerhard and Kathy and Don, who are returning to Marloth Park for the holidays.  We have lots of exciting plans with our friends over the holiday season and for Tom’s birthday as well on December 23rd.

Have a fabulous weekend!

__________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, December 15, 2017:

Note the snow-covered pointed peaks in the Chilean Fiords.  For more photos, please click here.

Our new itinerary!!!…With a few gaps…In time, we’ll fill them!…

Upcoming Itinerary – June 21, 2018 to March 1, 2021
 Marloth Park, South Africa  56 6/21/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Zambia – Chobe National Park – Chobe River  7 8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa  89 8/23/2018 – 11/20/2018 
 Leave South Africa for visa – not booked 7  11/20/2018-11/27/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa  89  11/27/18 – 2/21/2019 
 Marloth Park SA to Kenya – tour booked 15  2/21/19 – 3/8/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile- hotel stay – not booked  15  3/9/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego  14  3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego – fly to Minnesota – hotel stay 17  4/8/2019 – 4/25/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen  16  4/26/2019 – 5/12/2019 
 Ireland – Connemara – house rented 90  5/12/2019 – 8/9/2019 
 Amsterdam – hotel stay – not booked 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise – Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam  12  8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – rent countryside house – not booked 62  8/23/2019 -10/24/2019 
 Cruise – Southampton to Fort Lauderdale  15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
 Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA – Scottsdale, AZ  22  11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – rent vacation home – not booked 89  12/3/2019 – 3/01/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – rent vacation home, visit site  30  3/01/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)  30  3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Gap – to be booked  134  4/30/2020 – 9/11/2020 
 Minnesota – family visit – not booked 14  9/11/2020 – 9/25/2020 
 Gap – to be booked  46  9/25/2020 -11/10/2020 
 Cruise – Lisbon to Cape Town  22  11/10/2020 -12/2/2020 
 Cape Town/Marloth Park   90  12/2/2020 – 3/1/2021 
 Number of days   983

 *Cruises are indicated turquoise shading

“Photo of the Day in the Bush”

At night, Little Wart Face lies down for a nap, exhausted from eating pellets and his busy day.

A few days ago when we mentioned we’d be updating our itinerary and posting it in the next few months, we became motivated to get it updated now rather than wait. 


We attempt to post a recent itinerary every six months or so but it doesn’t always work out that way when plans are still up in the air.  Although we have several gaps and un-booked events listed in the above itinerary, we aren’t at all concerned about booking these now, especially those that are out more than a year or two.

Lots of zebras in the yard after dark.

It’s possible but tricky to book anything two years out, other than a few cruises here and there as indicated above.  Most owners of holiday/vacation homes prefer not to commit to a booking so far out, especially when we often request discounts based on two factors: one, our long term stays and…two, the frequent online exposure of their property which may result in more bookings for them from our worldwide readers.


We fully understand the hesitancy.  When we find a possible holiday/vacation home we’re interested in renting, if the owner says, “Check back in a year,” we seldom check back.  When we’re ready to book, we’re ready to book and prefer not to spend time “checking back.”


The same goes for cruises.  When we find a cruise we’d like, we usually book it within 48 hours of discovering it to ensure choice of our preferred cabin and to take advantage of any early booking promotions that may be offered at the time.

After the zebras left, female kudus and youngsters arrived.

The good thing about working with Vacations to Go is they offer the lowest possible price (with perks) up until the final payment date which is usually 75 to 90 days before “sail date.”


As we’ve mentioned in prior posts, Tom checks prices for any cruises we’ve already booked, almost daily.  If he finds a cruise we’ve booked at a lower price and/or with better “perks” he’ll contact Vacations to Go to request the price adjustments.  Once completed, we’ll receive an entirely new “cruise confirmation” document with the new pricing and/or perks

Cute young kudu.  Note the bushbabies knocked over their cup of yogurt on the stand above.

This process has served us well.  Over the years we’ve saved thousands of dollars on cruises making the almost-daily extra-effort worthwhile.  But many cruise passengers don’t bother to check (or their agency doesn’t offer this feature) and the cruise line will not do the checking for you.


Contact your travel agency or however you’ve booked the cruise for the price reductions.  Here again, many travelers don’t take to time to check frequently enough for “daily specials.”  Once the special offering is gone, one may not benefit from its price changes.

This morning, baby zebra nursing.

Fortunately, price increases do not have any bearing on existing reservations.  As for the six/seven cruises, as shown above, we have not yet booked the Amazon River and Pantanal cruises which we’ll book within a year.

As for the other cruises as indicated above, most will stay in place. We’ve yet to cancel a cruise we’ve booked.  On a few occasions, the cruise line has cancelled a cruise we’d booked and we had to make other plans with little compensation for the change.

Cruising is an excellent option for us for many reasons. Generally, it’s a cost-effective opportunity to see more of the world, rather than flying from place to place.  Plus, it’s a lot more fun to sail between countries than fly on airplanes.  Often, we use cruises as a means of getting us from one country to another where we may stay for a period of time.

The zebras also stop by during the day, more frequently in this past week.

As for yesterday, we attended an excellent presentation at the home of friends and Marloth Park Honorary Rangers, Uschie and Evan that we’ll soon share in detail.  It will take a few days to prepare the comprehensive post.

Today, we’re off to Komatipoort and Lebombo to grocery shop.  As always, Tom drives to Lebombo for carrots and apples for the wildlife while I shop at the Spar Supermarket and the meat market in the Spar Centre.  This way, he doesn’t have to spend so much time grocery shopping with me, which isn’t fun.  I’m a slow and deliberate shopper.  Can you imagine that?

We’ll be back with more tomorrow and wish all of our readers an excellent day and evening, wherever you may be, whatever you may do.

_______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, June 21, 2017:

Grandpa and Vincent at Cardboard Camp in Minnesota.  For more photos of cardboard camp, please click here.

Finally…Itinerary for the next 852 days!…A daunting task yet to be fine tuned…

We stopped at a gluten-free bakery but there wasn’t an item I could have when they all contain starch and sugar.

After many days of research and discussions, we’ve finally pinned down our travel goals for the next 852 days.  This extended period is a lofty goal.  We realize we’ve left out some parts of the world we’ve yet to visit, primarily China, India, and Japan which we’ll save for the future.

In due time we’ll return to Europe to live in many other countries we’ve also yet to explore and would love to visit down the road.  The world is a huge place and we pray for good health to make it all possible in years to come.

As you review this itinerary, you’ll note that we’ll be in an out of South Africa, staying for 89 days on each occasion.  Our intent during these multiple stays is two-fold; one to “lick our wounds” from the upcoming pricey Antarctic cruise and two, to savor our last foray in living in my favorite place in the world, the Conservancy of Marloth Park where animals roam free around the bush houses.

So here it is, folks (cruises are noted in turquoise shading):

 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaiai, AR – Ushuaiai,AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1 day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852


For those avid followers of our site, you’ll note we’ve added some locations we’d never mentioned in past posts.  As we began pinning down locations and dates, Tom continued his search for cruises that can get us from Point A to Point B in many instances.

In other cases, we included 89 or 90 day stays in countries before or after specific cruises. Additionally, one may wonder, why are we going back and forth to South America?  This was a plan Tom had suggested long ago to which at the time I didn’t think made sense.

Artistic painting on a wall on a narrow street.

Now, as we map this out and, based on available cruises, it makes all the sense in the world to me.  In reality, there isn’t much “jumping around” and after all, we’re doing it exactly as we see fit, not by some preconceived notion as to how we “should” travel.

As always, we’re doing it exactly as we’d prefer, always considering the best possible experiences befitting our tastes along with the most reasonable costs in the process.

Diners sitting outdoors at a local dining establishment

There are a few other points we should mention including Ecuador one year from now.  Through our extensive research over these past years we’ve discovered we can rent vacation homes on three of the islands in the Galapagos, enabling us many private tours to the areas where wildlife is found, rather than going out on a tour with lots of others tourists.  This is especially appealing.

Another point to mention is regarding Machu Picchu…by staying in the area for one month, the experiences will be more comprehensive and rich in culture and we’ll have plenty of time to acclimate to the high altitudes staying at varying points partway up the mountains.

It’s too early to book the cruise to The Pantanal in Brazil, the world largest wetlands (10 times the size of the Florida Everglades) and home to 3500 plant species, 656 bird species, 325 fish species, 159 mammals, 53 amphibian and 98 reptiles.  Our kind of place.

A narrow road we walked in the Serrano Plaza area.

From there, either before or after The Pantanal, we’ll cruise the Amazon River.  This type of journey may not be for everyone but it fits well into our objectives of experiencing nature at it fullest.

From there?  At this point, we aren’t even thinking of terms of what will be next.  Surely, we’ll visit family in the US.  By that time, we’ll have a handle on where we’ll go next, primarily locations we’ve never visited in the past.

This morning our friends from the UK left to head to their home in the UK and now it’s just the two of us.  We’ve been highly social with others since November 23rd and now we’ll happily return to our usual happy state of being “just the two of us.”

Inside the mall near Jumbo market.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more including some details of the Baltic cruise we locked in last night, one we hadn’t seen on the horizon for quite some time based on high prices.  But, when we were able to get the balcony cabin for an excellent price, it was time to book it.  St. Petersburg, here we come!

It was five years ago today that we boarded the first cruise (for either of us) embarking from San Diego heading through the Panama Canal (we recently transited the canal a second time during the most recent cruise) and ending in Fort Lauderdale.  Here is the link from that first day!

Enjoy your day with any plans you may have on the horizon!

________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2017:


Trespassers entering this field in Tasmania, thinking they could “get high” from the unprocessed poppy/opium have died from doing so.  For more details, please click here.

Part 2…Our year in review…Photos of us…Busy preparing new itinerary, ready for tomorrow’s post…

In July, we had a great evening at The Elephant Bar in Henderson, Nevada with friends that live in Las Vegas.

New Year’s Day proved to be another good holiday. We stayed busy posting until later than usual and then spent the rest of the afternoon making future travel plans.

Why do we plan so far ahead?  With our lifestyle, it gives us  tremendous piece-of-mind knowing what’s coming down the road.  Also, it gives us an opportunity for good prices for upcoming venues.

Tom standing next to the Giant Bamboo tree to gain a perspective of its massive size.  The vegetation at Zoo Ave in Costa Rica was almost as interesting as the wildlife.

Although we’ll post the itinerary tomorrow, we’ve yet to book all of the vacation homes for the upcoming visits to various countries but the cruises are already booked. Over the next few months, once we’re in Africa, we start booking vacation/holiday homes in these various locations.


As we’ve mentioned in the past, cruises are a driving force in our decisions to visit certain countries, although as shown we don’t hesitate to fly when necessary.

I used repellent while at Zoo Ave in Costa Rica but still got a few mosquito bites.

Planning is a daunting task and today, we’ll continue with the preparations for tomorrow’s post.  We’re happy we’d made the commitment to post the itinerary. It motivated us to “get the show on the road” and finally make some decisions for the future.  

By no means, our failure to get this done wasn’t due to any lack of enthusiasm on our part.  Instead, it was based on the simple fact that we’ve been rather busy this past month with the cruise and socializing. 

We set up the tripod to take this photo of us in Costa Rica on October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels

All along our intent has been to post a new itinerary around the first of the new year.  By tomorrow, we’ll have this accomplished as we joyfully share it with all of our worldwide readers.

As for yesterday, New Year’s night, we ate the remainder of the food purchases we’d we made to share with Margaret and Con.  By 7:30 pm, once again we gathered in a big booth in the Prodeo Hotel’s dining room with a food which included roasted chickens, coleslaw salad which I made in our room, olives, cheese, meat, and nuts.  It was another fine evening.

On formal night aboard Celebrity Infinity only weeks ago.  My teeth were purple from the glass of red wine I’d just finished.

By 11:00 pm, we were sleeping and although intermittently, I feel hangover free and refreshed today, ready to tackle a new day in Buenos Aires.  In a short time, once we’ll upload today’s post and we’ll head to a local barbershop for Tom’s haircut which opens after 12:00 pm.

He hasn’t had a haircut since October.  He’s facing “hat hair” on the upcoming Antarctica cruise when we’ll both be wearing hats for several hours each day.  This is less of an issue for me when a few swipes with the flat iron and I’m back to normal. 

Us, with our wonderful new friends, Lisa and Barry whom we’ll see in June in South Africa.

But for him, his hair has a tendency to be spikey when either too short or too long.  He’s thumbing through past posts right now to see how short he wants it cut today.  We’ll post photos soon.

Tonight, we’ll walk to Serrano Plaza, our favorite area for dinner. There are many restaurants we’ve yet to try.  After eating in these past few nights we’re looking forward to getting out again.  Now that the holiday season is over, we expect to find more dining options.

On the ship’s deck as we sailed through the Chilean Fiords on the most recent cruise.

May your new year begin and end with considerable contentment and joy in all of your endeavors, whatever they may be.  Happy day to all 

________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2017:

Green/spring onions were being processed for wholesale distribution at a Penguin, Tasmania vegetable processing farm.  For more details, please click here.

At last! Our new upcoming, updated 669 day ITINERARY!!! Especially exciting news for Jess!!!

Its easy to spend lazy afternoons lounging on the cabana.  Here’s the link to this fabulous vacation rental.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

Muddy white horse getting a bath in the river.

With my 70th birthday in 16 months (no, Mom, I’m not wishing my life away!), Tom decided to surprise me with a new plan…after the Antarctica cruise ends on February 8, 2018, we’re heading back to Africa! 

My 70th birthday is on February 20, 2018 and hopefully, we’ll be celebrating at Jabula Lodge in Marloth Park, South Africa, with all of our friends whom we’ve stayed in close touch since our departure on February 28, 2014, a full four years ago.






















































































































































































































Sumbersari,
Bali to Denpasar, Bali
1 road trip 10/29/2016 –
10/29/2016
Hotel – Kuta,
Bali
1   10/29/2016 –
10/30/2016
Flight –
Denpasar, Bali to Sydney, AU
1 red eye 10/30/2016 –
10/30/2016
Hotel –
Sydney, Australia
1   10/30/2016 –
10/31/2016
 Cruise – Sydney to Perth  16  RC Radiance of the
Seas 
 10/31/2016 –
11/16/2016 
 Cruise – Perth to Sydney  17  RC Radiance of the
Seas 
 11/16/2016 –
12/3/2016 
 Tasmania #1 Penguin Beach House  44    12/3/2016 – 1/16/2017 
 Tasmania #2 Anchorage Waterfront  44    1/16/2017 – 3/1/2017 
Cruise –
Sydney to Sydney 
12  Celebrity Soltice   3/1/2017 – 3/13/2017 
 Sydney House – Fairlight  House – Manley 40  3/13/2017 – 4/22/2017 
 Cruise – Sydney to Seattle   24  RC Explorer of the Seas   4/22/2017 – 5/15/2017 
 Hotel – Vancouver Marriot Pinaccle 2  5/15/2017 –
5/17/2017 
 Cruise – Vancouver to Seattle – Alaska   9  Celebrity Soltice   5/17/2017 – 5/26/2017 
Flight –
Seattle to Minneapolis 
0   5/26/2017 – 5/26/2017
Hotel –
Minneapolis Family Visit
42   5/26/2017 – 7/7/2017
Nevada Family
Visit 
21    7/7/2017 – 8/1/2017 
Costa Rica –
Atenas – La Perla de Atenas 
114    8/1/2017 – 11/22/2017 
Flight –
Costa Rica to Fort Lauderdale
0   11/22/2017 –
11/22/2017
Hotel – Fort
Lauderdale, Florida
1   11/22/2017 –
11/23/2017
 Cruise – Ft. Lauderdale to Santiago 15 Celebrity Infinity  11/23/2017 –
12/8/2017 
 Cruise – Santiago to Buenos Aires,
Argentina 
15 Celebrity Infinity  12/8/2017 –
12/23/2017 
Hotel – Buenos Aires  – not booked 31    12/23/2017 – 1/23/2018 
Flight –
Buenos Aires to Ushuaiai, Argentina
0    1/23/2018
Cruise –
Antarctica – Ushuaiai to Ushuaiai
16 Ponant Le Soleil  1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
Flight –
Ushuaiai to Buenos Aires
0   2/8/2018 – 2/8/2018
Flight(3) –
Buenos Aires to Nelspruit, SA
3   2/8/2018 – 2/11/2018
Neslpruit to
Marloth Park, South Africa
0 road trip 2/11/2018 – 2/11/2018
South Africa
– Marloth Park
88 Tom’s 70th BD gift to
Jess
2/11/2018 – 5/10/2018
Rwanda,
Africa for Gorilla Expedition
7 flights TBD 5/10/2018 – 5/17/2018
Victoria
Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
7 flights TBD 5/17/2018 – 5/24/2018
Cruise –
Zambezi River
7 flights TBD 5/24/2018 – 5/31/2018
Flight –
Zambia to Nelspruit, South Africa
2 flights TBD 6/1/2018 – 6/3/2018
Neslpruit to
Marloth Park, South Africa
0 road trip 6/3/2018 – 6/3/2018
South Africa
– Marloth Park
88 return stay 6/3/2018 – 8/30/2018
Total Days
Booked – More to Follow
669

No words can describe my surprise and excitement when Tom sprung this happy news on me as we swam in the pool.  Sure, he knew I was chomping at the bit to return to both our human and animal friends in Marloth Park but I’d expected it would be several years out. 

Was he motivated by the fact that many of our vaccinations are good for ten years and by then, we’ll be into the sixth year of world travel when we were originally inoculated in the US in 2012, shortly before we began our journey?  Or perhaps he was motivated by the reality that we aren’t getting any younger and this long journey can be challenging, especially arriving from South America.

What a fabulous villa this has been in Sumbersari, Bail.  Note Tom’s head in lower right as he lounges on the sofa out of the sun while I finish the post at the dining table.

Not only did we long to return to Africa to stay in Marloth Park, living in the bush with wildlife surrounding us, we’d yet to see the gorillas in Rwanda, cruise on the Zambezi River and see the largest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls by none other than a helicopter.  As we pieced together today’s itinerary, it all became a reality. I’m so excited!

Each time I’ve brought up this topic in our future travels conversations, Tom said he’d be delighted to return although we still had a lot of world to see.  Long ago, we agreed that all decisions we make must be unanimous.  We’ve followed that edict to the letter. 

This has to have been our favorite dinner time view.

Now, he’s come my way on this topic when he too realizes, we may not be able to do this forever.  Although I didn’t nag him on the subject (I don’t nag), he knew my heart longed for Africa one more time.  Many who’ve visited the continent feel this same affinity to returning someday.  Knowing he’s now as enthused as I am, makes my heart sing.  Thank you, my dear husband, lover, travel companion and friend!

Speaking of birthdays and life’s milestones, Tom 65th birthday will be spent the day we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 23, 2017, another special day to celebrate.  I’m certain we’ll have no trouble making the event celebratory in Buenos Aires!

As you peruse this itinerary, you may wonder…Is this the end of our travels which at that point, as stated above, which will be only a few months shy of six years from the onset of our world travels?  As we’ve stated in many posts over these years, health will always be the determining factor. 


High tide view from the villa’s second story veranda.

We’d anticipated that “getting tired of it” would be as crucial a reason to end this year’s long journey as for any health reasons.  As time has marched on and we’ve became more and more adapted to this peculiar way of life, this reason would no longer be an issue for either of us. 

When we first began, we made a pact that if one of us wants to stop, we would.  Now, that prospect is somewhat of a joke.  Every so often we ask one another the question, “Are you tired of this yet?’ 

Invariably, we laugh at the preposterousness of the question.  It would be comparable to one asking, “Are you tired of being happy yet?” 

There are many unknowns in this world we live in, risks and dangers we can hardly bear to imagine.  But, as always, we continue on with love and hope in our hearts and minds, in awe and humbled by the world around us, and always longing for more.

Dog on the paved road.

With the kindest of good intentions, many often wish us, “Have a nice holiday!  Enjoy your vacation!” to which we always say a simple, “thank you.”  We look at one another with crinkly eyes twinkling, as wide smiles spread across our faces while these unspoken words spin simultaneously through our minds, “This is no holiday or vacation.  This is our lives! 

Its not always profound.  Its not always exciting.  Often, its challenging and frustrating.  At times, we have no choice other than to adapt to our surroundings, making the best of what may be excruciatingly difficult for a period of time. 

Isn’t that how life is for all of us?  We’re all longing for fulfillment in one form or another whether its for today, tomorrow or the future yet to come.

May you find life fulfilling, now and always.

_________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, October 14, 2015:

Cars and trucks could easily fit inside the ferry in Savusavu, Fiji.  Prices vary by weight as shown here at the ferry company’s website.  For more details, please click here.

Day 10…No sunshine…Acceptance of conditions throughout the world…

The guard at the gate to the Government Building in Suva, the capital of Fiji.

Since arriving in Pacific Harbour its been cloudy and rainy for no less than 17 out of 21 days.  While in Savusavu, we experienced a similar amounts of rain occurring almost every day during the three month stay. 

As positive as we attempt to be about conditions where we’re living at any given time, it would be ridiculous to say we’re not looking forward to the cool sunny climate of New Zealand, definitely not in the tropical climate category. 

At this point, its hard to believe our four months in Fiji is coming to an end. Overall, we’ve enjoyed Fiji, mainly for its friendly locals, beautiful surroundings, colorful vegetation, sparkling sea and some of the finest organic produce, grass fed meats and free range chicken on the planet, all at affordable prices.

Recently, dining out on several occasions has been enjoyable with many options befitting my diet which wasn’t the case in either Savusavu or Trinity Beach when most menu items included starches, sauces and sugar.


Distant view of the Government Building in Suva.

Fiji is truly an affordable place to visit for the long term when staying in a vacation property and perhaps at different times of the year, it rains considerably less, making it all the more ideal vacation/holiday spot during those periods. 

We remind ourselves that literally everywhere in the world has aspects that may not be ideal to the average traveler or even the long term resident.  Years ago, we often discussed how many Minnesotans retired to Arizona and Florida for the great climate.  But, after visiting both states and watching weather reports over the years, we’ve seen and experienced that their winters can be cool with inclement weather.

When we first left Minnesota to travel the world, we spent our final two months in Scottsdale, Arizona, a beautiful desert community, a haven for many retirees, making final preparations to leave the US long term.

It was warm when we first arrived in Scottsdale in early November, 2012 but quickly became cool requiring we wear jackets most days.  We never had an opportunity to use the pool outside our condo door.  It was simply too cool.


The long fence along the Government Building in Suva.

During our Scottsdale trip, we rented a vacation home for a week in Henderson, Nevada for a family gathering over Christmas. There too, it was very cool and we never used the pool in the backyard. 

On many earlier visits to son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, we recall very cool weather in the winter months. Tom and I easily recall waiting outside a casino after a show for the valet to return our car, freezing while we waited 20 minutes.

Where is the ideal year round warm climate?  Does it even exist anywhere in the world?  If its warm, its usually humid.  When its humid, there are usually mosquitoes and a wide variety of insects and…lots of rain.

The more we travel the more we accept these realities, especially when we’ve spent such a huge portion of our travels living in a tropical environment.  Over the past 12 months, we’ve lived on four islands of Hawaii, Trinity Beach, Australia and Fiji, all considered tropical climates, all of which included clouds/rain at least 50% of the time.


The top of the President’s house in Suva.

In the past 12 months, we’ve only spent 18 days cruising.  Although we spend a lot of time discussing and planning cruises, some years we spend little time actually doing so. 

On other years its much more such as in the upcoming 12 months, beginning on January 5, 2016 during which we’ll be sailing on five cruises encompassing 76 days, approximately 21% of the year. 

Most often, conditions on cruises are highly satisfactory with little inconvenience and adaptation required; no insects, air con comfort throughout the ship, comfortable beds and seating, relatively good food, no shopping or cooking required, no housework and frequently, good enough weather to spend a little time each day lounging by the pool. 

Sure, we’ve experienced rough seas on several cruises and a few bouts of “cruise cough” a harsh inevitable reality on some sailings.  Once it starts its difficult to avoid, especially when one of us “catches” it and transmits it to the other. 


The beach is Suva has several seating areas.

Illness is a downside of cruising for which we’ve promised to be even more mindful of in our upcoming cruises.  No handshaking, touching and too close proximity to others.  Plain and simple. 

There were a few occasions we excused ourselves as graciously as possible to leave a dinner table when upon being seated near or next to a coughing passenger.  This is an awkward must-do.  Even so, we’ve fallen prey to the cough on three or four occasions. 

We wash our hands no less than 12 times a day but need to increase the frequency and beef up other methods we’ve implemented over these past 11 cruises.  More on that later.

Why cruise?  Mainly, the opportunity to visit many parts of the world in a short period, the highly pleasing social interactions and the relatively easy living on board a ship continue to provide a tremendous draw for both of us.


ANZ National Stadium in Suva mostly used for rugby and football, popular sports in Fiji.

As we begin the countdown to departure and the end of 2015, not so much anxious to leave Fiji as opposed to looking forward to the next leg of our journey, we reflect on this past year as being one of considerable enjoyment, personal growth and discovery. 

With many plans and new countries in the horizon, we hold onto our seats for yet another enriching “ride” in the awe inspiring world in 2016.

Happy day to all!

__________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, December 27, 2014:

Family day at the beach park on Christmas Day, posted one year ago today.  Although it was raining, Vincent and Miles (not shown in this photo) were more interested in looking for fish in the shallow tide pools than stopping to eat.  For more details, please click here.

NEW UPDATED ITINERARY!…September 7, 2015 to May 15, 2017…Includes two gaps yet to fill…

The house is surrounded by lush vegetation including many large coconut and palm trees and endless varieties of shrubs and plants.

With considerable enthusiasm we share our upcoming itinerary for the next 617 days from the time we leave Trinity Beach, Australia beginning on September 7, 2015:
































































































































 

 Location or Ship  Days  Address or Ship  Dates
 Sydney Hotel   1   9/7/2015 – 9/8/2015
 Fiji Rental  88    9/8/2015 – 12/6/2015 
 Fiji Rental #2  29    12/6/2015 – 1/4/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    1/4/2016 – 1/5/2016 
 Sydney to Auckland – Cruise  14  Celebrity Solstice   1/5/2016 – 1/19/2016 
 New Zealand Farm  87    1/19/2016 – 4/15/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    4/15/2016 –
4/16/2016 
 Sydney to Singapore – Cruise  14  RC Voyager of Seas   4/16/2016 – 4/30/2016 
 Bali House  59    4/30/2016 – 6/28/2016 
 Hanoi Hotel – to be booked  10    6/28/2016 – 7/8/2016 
 Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City – Cruise  15  Viking Mekong    7/8/2016 – 7/22/2016 
 Phuket House  41    7/22/2016 – 9/1/2016 
 Bali House  59    9/1/2016 – 10/30/2016 
 Sydney Hotel  1    10/30/2016 – 10/31/2016 
 Sydney to Perth – Cruise  16  RC Radiance of the
Seas 
 10/31/2016 – 11/16/2016 
 Perth to Sydney – Cruise  17  RC Radiance of the Seas   11/16/2016 – 12/3/2016 
 GAP 12/3/2016 – 3/1/2017  88    12/3/2016 – 3/1/2017 
 Sydney to Sydney – Cruise  12  Celebrity Solstice   3/1/2017 – 3/13/2017 
 GAP 3/13/2017 – 4/22/1017  40    3/13/2017 – 4/22/2017 
 Sydney to Seattle – Cruise  24  RC Explorer of the
Seas 
 4/22/2017 – 5/15/2017 
Total number
of days
617

With 128 days in gaps to fill, we still have our work cut out for us.  However, the options are many with both gaps beginning in Sydney.  With our visas only allowing 90 days in Australia at any one time, we surely can find places to stay in the outlying areas of Sydney.

This colorful plant is eye catching.

Although Sydney is an amazing city which left us breathless when our ship arrived at the amazing port of Sydney Harbour,  its expensive to stay in or near the city.  There are suburban areas an hour’s drive from the city or more that may be less expensive for longer term visits.

Also, we’re considering other island countries in the South Pacific.  Soon, we’ll begin looking at our options especially due to the fact that the first gap falls over the Christmas season

In Hawaii, these red  leaves were growing on Tiki plants. Here, they are called Cordyline.

For now, we’re taking a short break from spending money on deposits and searching for vacation homes online. The cost of the wifi for our “borrowed” hotspots is running around USD $103,  AUD $140 every three weeks for 16 gigs which I use almost exclusively.  Not one to do much browsing when not preparing for a post, I end up using half of a gigabyte a day for research and uploading each day’s post.

Without the separate hotspot, we wouldn’t be able to post with the poor connection here or, it would take all day to upload the photos.  When we’re busy looking for vacation homes, I can easily use a gig or more in a single day.

In the interim, we’re awaiting the posting of new cruises by the cruise lines.  Generally, they aren’t available online until 18 months from sail dates. Thus, we’re not too far away from seeing new listings.

Back steps leading to the owner’s area of the house.  We’re on ground level while they are above us.

When we have gaps as indicated about, we enter an estimate on our spreadsheet of how much we anticipate we’ll spend during the gaps, based on our current cost per day. 

Yesterday, we entered all of the important data on the spreadsheet for the three new cruises, three of which we’d yet to enter.  Its a time consuming process that, if it is for only one cruise, is less intimidating.

With no chaise lounges down by the pool, we’ve yet to use it.  This steep stairway prevents us from hauling chairs down this steps and back up each day.  We’ve been able to get a short stint in the sun on our veranda where there are two chairs.

There are three separate work sheets in the Excel workbook where we log all of our travel and expenses;

  1. The itinerary with booked rental costs and estimated other expenses (based on history)
  2. A record on a separate tab for deposits paid, how paid and balances due with due dates
  3. Another separate tab (worksheet) for cruises only, which includes such items as cost, cabin number and cabin size, tips included or paid separately, name of ship and any cabin credits that may be included.

Those of you who are experts in the accounting industry may argue with our record keeping but for us, it works. (We keep a special tab for tax deductible items).  We’ve investigated possible travel related apps that may make our record keeping a little less time consuming but at this time we haven’t found one that attributes to the vast amount of travels we’re doing.

A tiny blue flower.

Are there any aspects to this itinerary that we’d change if we could?  Our only hesitations have been staying in Fiji for a total of four months, at two different properties which lessen the long period.

And, we also have hesitated over the two separate stays at the same exquisite Bali house broken up into two segments partly due to visa restrictions.  However, at certain points, staying put for awhile greatly supports our budget.  We’d have loved to spend the entire four months at the Bali house at one time.  

This gulley runs off the side of the property.    Situated into a hill/mountain, the run off is good as we observed with it raining during our first month in Trinity Beach.

However, in Bali we were able to negotiate an extremely reasonable rate by leaving the property over the expensive “high season” enabling the owner to collect higher rates during the middle three months.  Its these kinds of decisions, that may seen illogical to some, that allow us to stay in much nicer, higher priced properties that we may have otherwise avoided.

In every case, there’s a motivation to our decisions, none of which we expect to regret in the future provided each of the properties we’ve book meet our expectations based on the online representation. 

More colorful Cordyline.

There’s been only one experience, our very first in Belize, our first vacation home outside the US, that we felt wasn’t fairly represented from which we moved after the first week.  There was no running water other than for a few hours a day and the screens (holes too large) didn’t keep out the no-see-ums, making staying there utterly impossible when I had no less than 100 raging, itching bites all over my body.

At that point we lost our prepaid first month.  A week later we found a condo directly on the ocean in a fabulous resort for our remaining two months in Belize turning a less than desirable situation into a wonderful memory.  If you haven’t read about that experience, check our archives from January 30, 2013 to February 6, 2013 during that difficult experience, right out of the chute.

A sunny day in Trinity Beach inspired me to take photos in the yard.

Overall, we’ve had our fair share of “safari luck” which we feel continues today while we thoroughly enjoy our Trinity Beach home and our thoughtful and gracious property owners, Sylvie and Andy.

Today, we’re off to explore a little, staying in the north part of town as opposed to south where the “show” holiday is packed with locals and tourists who are attending the local Cairns carnival and craft shows.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!

_____________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, July 18, 2014:

The pier is Funchal where we boarded the Sea Born catamaran for the whale and dolphin watching.  Please click here for details.

See our itinerary below!…One 67 day gap yet to fill…A trip to a local health food store in Kilauea…

Actually, this is the only health food store within a half hour drive, Healthy Hut.  The inventory is ripe with fresh locally grown organic produce, grass fed meats, free range chickens and eggs and food and health supplies one would find in a much larger location in a big city.  Pricey?  Yep!

Good morning, World!  It’s Monday!  It looks like it will be a sunny day and we’re feeling good!  Today, we’re sharing photos of our recent trip to Healthy Hut, a great little health food store in Kilauea, a 10 minute drive from our home in Princeville.

After a lazy Easter, both of us a little under the weather, Tom with an achy shoulder (better today) and me, tired from a poor night’s sleep, today is a new day and we’re rearing to go, feeling great once again. 


Red ginger plants in front of Healthy Hut.

Some of our readers, new to our site haven’t seen our upcoming itinerary, meaning the bookings we have made well into the future.  The end of this list isn’t the end of our travels by any means.

It simply means that its as far out as we’re booked into the future.  Within the next year, we’ll begin booking beyond the last booking well into the following year and so on.  Its an ongoing process, adding new bookings as time marches on.

As much as we love Kauai, we’re almost at the three month point and through the natural pace and progression we’ve established of three months max in each location, we’re beginning to look forward to our next adventure, the South Pacific. 


Seeing pumpkins and squash reminds us of crisp cool fall in Minnesota as I stood admiring this at a comfortable 82 degrees.

This morning, as we made the bed, I asked Tom, “Are you feeling ready to move on?”  Its the first time I’ve asked him this question.

He looked up at me and smiled that wide toothy grin, “Yes, I am.  Three months is really the magic number.”

We’ve been in the Hawaiian Islands since September 29, 2014 (by cruise ship) for a total of 190 days.  We have 47 more days until we depart Kauai to head to Honolulu/Waikiki, Oahu for an overnight stay when the next day, May 24th, we’ll board Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas to head to Australia.

This is not to say we haven’t had a fabulous time in the islands or in Kauai where we’ve made many friends and had many memorable experiences.  It’s just the length of time we’ve been in Hawaii that is beginning to feel like it would feel if we stayed put on one location, something neither of us cares to do at this point in our lives.


I was surprised to find many of the products I needed to make my recently posted recipe for Low Carb High Fat Protein Bars, my new favorite recipe.  Click this link if you missed the recipe.

We’ve tried to avoid counting days to the next adventure but after this extended period it reminds me of the last few times we counted the days; when we left Minnesota 2 1/2 years ago, dreading the part about saying goodbye, and, when a year ago, we felt cooped up in Marrakech for the two and a half month stay.

We’ll sadly say goodbye to the many wonderful people we’ve met on this island who may, one never knows, visit us along the way.  After all, our readers Staci and her husband Glenn, whom we’ve come to know and adore by chatting online, will be on a cruise at the same time as us one year from now.  How fun will that be?  As we always say, “You never know who’s paths may cross in the future.”


The shelves were packed with beauty products, snacks and treats, none of which we purchase.

The upcoming “booked” itinerary below begins on May 24th on the upcoming cruise to Sydney.  As evident in this itinerary, we have a gap from
6/26/2016 to 9/1/2016, precipitated by our two separate stays in Bali at 59 days each. 

Oh, here we go, contradicting ourselves further down the page, staying a total of almost four months in one location, separated by two months due to visa constraints.  We only chose to stay in Bali twice because the property is exquisite, as you’ll see as time nears…an extraordinary paradise we couldn’t resist.

So, here it is folks, the itinerary:
                                                               # Days


































































 Cruise Honolulu to Sydney 18
 Australia Rental  89
 Fiji Rental  89
 Fiji Rental #2  29
 Sydney Hotel  1
 Cruise Sydney to Auckland   14
 New Zealand Farm  83
 Sydney Hotel  1
 Cruise Sydney to Perth  16
 Bali House  59
 Gap : 6/26/2016 to 9/1/2016  67
 Bali House  59
 Cruise Singapore to Sydney  14
 GAP 11/14/2016 to 3/1/2017  107
 Cruise Sydney to Sydney  12
Total number of days booked (so far) 658


Adding our remaining 48 days in the Hawaiian Islands and we’re basically booked for the next 706 days except for the 67 day gap as shown above that we’ll soon fill as we contemplate our options.

Ah, life is good.  No complaining here.  Surely, we’ll enjoy the next weeks in Kauai with each other and our new friends, meeting more along the way while continuing to cherish the beauty of nature surrounding us at every turn.

In our remaining time in Kauai we’ll continue to take new photos to keep our readers engaged. Plus, we’ll have a few surprise outings we’ll be excited to share very soon.


We’d use their organic hair and body products but the prices are very high in a little shop such as this.  Costco in Lihue has some lower priced similar products, although their selection is limited.

Of course, we can’t wait to get to the Outback to check out the wildlife and we hear that kangaroos will become regular visitors to our new home in Trinity Beach, Australia beginning on June 11th.  Gee…that’s only two months from now. 

We hope those of you who celebrated Easter and Passover had wonderful experiences with your families and friends.  Happy day!
_____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, April 6, 2014:



It was a year ago in Marrakech that we posted this photo of a horse’s injuries.  It was heartbreaking to see.  For details from that date, please click here.

Today, the vernal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere….Super moon and solar eclipse to boot! How weather and seasons determine our itinerary…

I took this photo a few minutes ago from our lanai.  Its been raining overnight and the waterfalls on the mountains are clearly visible.  What a beautiful site!

Weather and seasons hold a tremendous significance for us in our world travels.  Today, the first official day of spring is described as follows from the famous “Farmers Almanac” a reliable source of information used for the past over 200 years after its onset in 1792:    

“Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this equinox is known as the autumnal, or fall, equinox and marks the start of the fall season; the vernal equinox for the Southern Hemisphere occurs in September.
The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT, for example.

Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1.

Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem because these dates can vary slightly each year.”

On top of the vernal equinox is tonight’s super moon, as quoted from website containing more information, EarthSky at this link:

“On March 20 – same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more.”

Total eclipse of the sun on November 11, 2012.  Image via NASA
Eclipse photo courtesy of NASA.

As we peruse upcoming options for various gaps in our schedule, seasons and their weather patterns are a tremendous factor in where we decide to go.  With our upcoming two years, most of which is currently scheduled, we’ve begun to contemplate how we’ll fill a 67 day gap from June 26 to September 1, 2016.

As we inch closer to this gap which seemed so long away just a short time ago, we begin to start reviewing our options.  This is the gap between our two bookings in Bali, Indonesia for the house we wanted for four months total, in two increments of two months each, the maximum allowable time for a visa in that country.


This morning as the sun was attempting to peek out between the cloud cover.

Looking at a map as to where we could easily and quickly fly from Bali, there are numerous options at affordable fares.  However, weather is a factor. If we go back to Australia, we’d have to stay in the northern part of the continent to avoid the colder south with temperatures in the near freezing range, not appealing to us.

As much as we’d like to return to New Zealand to the south island, weather is definitely a consideration, when it tends to be cooler there most of the time based on its southern proximity.  

Enlarging this map, we can see our options are many but must also keep in mind that many of these locations are much further away than they appear.  Our hope is to stay within a four hour flight, comparable to staying within the continental US from one coast to another.
All of these factors weigh heavily as we contemplate our next bookings.  Any suggestions from our readers would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind wherever we go we’d like to stay in one property and, prefer warm weather.  Feel free to email or post a comment or suggestion at the end of today’s post. 

Julie had the triple crab cake sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread.

Julie leaves tonight.  We’ve so enjoyed the time together for the three of us and for she and I alone, sisters sharing great memories, private thoughts and hopes and dreams, as sister often do.  I’m truly blessed to have my two sisters.  As the one in the middle, Julie eight years younger than I and Susan, four years older, we’ve always stayed in close touch and have been there for one another.

Yesterday, Julie and I had a delicious lunch at the Princeville Westin. This was my bacon burger which included a small side salad.

Tom and I will settle back into our easy pleasant lifestyle filled with social activities (more tomorrow night), sightseeing, visits to the club and hanging out frequently with our dear friend Richard, our personal social director.

We still have many photos yet to share of my tours with Julie over this past eight days.  Please check back for more.

Have a rewarding weekend beginning on this first day of spring.
_______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, March 20, 2014:

We still laugh over our faux pas.  On our way out to lunch we approached the guard at this interesting building asking if we could look inside.  The guards said, “No Madam, this is the palace of the king.”  For details from this date, please click here.

A world of wonder…It never ceases to amaze us!

What’s more beautiful than an orchid?

A few days ago while sitting across the street staring at the ocean I spoke to a woman who was well traveled.  She spoke of endless places we must take time to see in our travels. 

The shapes and patterns of exotic flowers astounds us.

All I could do is smile, taking mental notes of those that may appeal to us down the road, appreciating her well intended suggestions.  Many suggestions we receive we document and research incorporating some into our travels.  But, the world is a big place. 

And, if we had a lifetime, which we don’t with our advancing age, we still couldn’t see all the points of interest other enthusiastic travelers often suggest.  There’s simply too much too see, in too short a time.


More gorgeous orchids.

People often ask us when we’ll stop traveling.  Our answer remains the same today as it was over 27 months ago, we’ll continue on until we can’t anymore, always striving to see those places in the world that appeal to our tastes the most. 


Exotic flowers are eprevalent in Hawaii.
Many travelers enjoy the hustle and bustle of big busy cities.  We do not.  We’ve seen enough historic buildings to last a lifetime.  That’s not to say we haven’t appreciated them at the time.  But now, as time passes, we only recall one building that was life changing…the Treasury in Petra.  Click here for the link of our visit to Petra, truly one of the most exciting experiences in our travels.

An orange tree on the side of the road.

Thus, if the buildings of the world pose little interest for us, what shall we see? All the rest; the people, the wildlife, the vegetation and nature in its full glory.  That’s the rest.

When we land in Sydney in three and a half months, we’ll spend only hours.  At other times in our travels in the South Pacific we’ll return to Sydney on numerous occasions, surely having ample time to see a little of the biggest city in Australia. 

Vodka tonic anyone?

Certainly, we’ll relish in the experience in seeing Sydney but in no time, take us to the country or to the outlying ocean towns where the remaining majority of the population reside. Few Australians actually living in the center of the continent, the Outback, a vast and dangerous land we definitely plan to explore to some degree.

What does the future hold after our over two years in the South Pacific?  All the continents we’ve yet to visit; Antarctica, Asia and South America all of which will be included in the next leg of our journey. 


Even the common bougainvillea has flowers growing within.

Health providing, after traveling to these, we’ll return to the continents where we feel we have more to see, such as in other parts of Africa and perhaps, a return visit to my favorite place thus far on the planet, Marloth Park, South Africa. By no means does Tom object.


A tangerine tree along the road.

However, I must admit that as far as the beauty of nature is concerned, Kauai tops the list.  Of all the many islands we’ve visited with many more to come, we doubt anywhere will be able to top the beauty of Kauai.  It keeps giving and giving.

Yesterday, we drove to Richard’s neighborhood to see if we’d be able to see any hatched chicks.  Not yet, but we’ll be checking weekly.

After our many road trips so far in Kauai with many more to come including other parts of the island, we have no doubt that we’ll easily be able to post new photos of Kauai’s beauty day after day, for the remaining time we’ll be on the island.


A large tree with this colorful blooms.

As soon as I’m done here, I’m off to do my workout at the club and then off to the local grocer, Foodland.  Tomorrow night, we’ll be attending our first house party on the island and will be bringing an appetizer and a few bottles of wine, one for Tom to drink and another for the hostess.


Roosters hanging out on the side of the road.

Tomorrow, I’ll make the hot appetizer for the party and perhaps, post the recipe here.  Its a delicious, easy to make dish (not my way of eating friendly but, its gluten free).  Check back tomorrow!

Happy day!
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Photo from one year ago today, February 3, 2014:

Louise had suggested we put out a bowl with fruit flavored yogurt for the nocturnal bush babies while we were living in Khaya Umdani.  Alas, as we wandered outdoors to spend our day, we saw the monkeys had the bowl and were lapping up the yogurt.  For more photos, please click here.