Happy Valentine’s Day to our readers, friends, family…Have a lovely day!…

Photo of us in January 2018 while we were in Buenos Aires, Argentina, only days before we left for Antarctica.

We started our day lounging in bed, laughing, talking, and reminiscing. We have so many unforgettable memories over the past 12  Valentine’s Days we’ve celebrated since we began traveling the world.

The Valentine’s Days before traveling are but a blur of memories that all jumbled together in our minds; I recall baking a heart-shaped cake each year using a heart-shaped pan I purchased at a yard sale for $1 over 40 years ago. I always gave Tom some romantic-type gift, and he always appeared with a bouquet of flowers and a sweet card.

We were never disappointed, and when his work schedule allowed us to be together, we often went out to dinner at a fine restaurant, or, on a few occasions, I made a gourmet-type dinner to enjoy at home. Once we began traveling the world in October 2012, we both agreed to forego buying gifts and cards for one another. In many countries, there weren’t readily available shops with cards and gifts and…they took up room in our luggage.

Neither of us has ever been disappointed not to receive cards and gifts from one another. Instead, we made the special day all the more special in one way or another.

On this date, February 14, 2014, I wrote the following post found here. For today, I decided to repost some of the text from that day’s post, since ten years ago seems to have added significance. I wrote the following:

“So, today, I give this online card to my husband, lover, friend, and traveling companion. I offer these words, which is all I can give as we carry on with our travels. This will make sense for our readers who have followed along with us. For new readers, some of my corny poem may be confusing.

How We Share Our Love

Romantic notions, views of oceans, is how we share our love
Birds singing, church bells ringing, is how we share our love
Ships that sail, a stormy gale, is how we share our love
Security checks, broken steps is how we share our love

Power’s out, endless doubt, is how we share our love
Centipedes, constant needs, is how we share our love
Guards with guns, your silly puns, is how we share our love
Gluten free, a sight to see, is how we share our love

A flight delay, a humid day, is how we share our love
A lion roaring, a movie boring, is how we share our love
Outdoor living, kindness giving, is how we share our love
Broken PC, doesn’t blame me, is how we share our love

WiFi trouble, fees are double, is how we share our love
Memory making, pleasure taking, is how we share our love
Our stuff is gone, we continue on, is how we share our love
We don’t know when, it will ever end, is how we share our love

Happy Valentine’s Day to my love, our family, old and new friends, and all of you.”

Photo from ten years ago today, February 14, 2014:

Honey, if I can’t make your favorite butterscotch pie for Valentine’s Day to celebrate, I present you with this photo of one that I had made many moons ago when we ate sugar and flour. For more, please click here.

Our 500th post on Christmas Day, quirky coincidence..Merry Christmas to all! …Link to Post #1 below…Miles to go…

Not quite a reindeer! This duiker tentatively looked at us through the bush. They are “very shy, elusive creatures with a fondness of dense covers” most often traveling alone.

Merry Christmas to all of our readers, the actual day of our 500th post! 

It’s hard for us to believe that it was on March 15, 2012, when we wrote our first post. Here’s the link to that first entry which seems so very long ago. Much has changed for us; our circumstances, our priorities, our resilience, and our tolerance for discomfort. 

We’ve learned more during this period of time than either of us had learned since our school days. We’ve taken risks that we’d never imagined possible. We’ve witnessed events, we’d never imagined we would see. We’ve learned to remain calm when in the past, we’d have run around in circles, frantically and unfocused.

We’ve learned the value of patience, the avoidance of preconceived notions, and the ability to be more tolerant of others. We’ve learned to communicate when we don’t understand the language, knowing that kindness goes a long way in any language.

A lone giraffe on a walk along a road in Kruger Park. Our guide, waited patiently for him while he took his time moving out of the way of our vehicle.

We’ve learned to “go without,” to make use of what we have on hand, and oddly, we’ve learned to become minimalists, reveling in “less is more.” Letting go of the need for “stuff” has reshaped our lives.

We’ve found ways to entertain ourselves without TV, although we both thrive on keeping our brains active with some favorite interesting shows as well as the profound absorption of science, geology, history, biology, and more as we research any morsel that piques our interest.

Yet, through all of this time, since the first day that we wrote here, we’ve been humbled by how much more we have yet to learn, to experience, and to explore. 

In the process, we’ve accepted that we have some limitations due to our age and condition and the fact that there are certain creature comforts we’re not willing to forgo, such as sleeping in a bed, being able to shower each day, eating, and drinking safe and healthful food and water. 

We’ve never been interested in staying in hostels, sleeping in ordinary tents, carrying backpacks, and trekking through mountainous terrain. We don’t do zip lines, bungee jump, or white water rafting or take unnecessary risks that could potentially put an end to our travels. 

We continually strive to protect our health, our well-being, and our emotional strength and resiliency. And above all, we treat our relationship with one another with great respect, consideration, kindness, and love. Without that, we couldn’t go on.

We continue to write and post photos almost every day. In the beginning, we wrote every few days. Since leaving the US, we’ve posted almost every day with no plans to change that in the near future.

Although few of our readers have officially “joined” our site to receive an automatic email each time we post, our readership is now in the 130,000 range with this month of December being our highest readership ever. Most of our readers prefer to click the link or their bookmarks to find us each day at their leisure.

We thank each and every one of you for sharing this journey with us. As we approach the New Year, we hope you’ll continue to read our posts as more and more diverse experiences unroll in our path.  

No words of mine can better express our intentions than those of poet Robert Frost in his poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and in his words, “And miles to go before I sleep.”

Merry Christmas to all.