Today’s a very special day in our lives to share with all of our readers…

This morning as I sat down to begin to prepare our daily post I had little awareness of today’s date. Busily writing and posting photos, something was nagging at me.

When Tom, Julie, and I gathered together in the cozy living room of our condo, coffee mugs in hand, we engaged in idle chatter. For no reason at all, today’s date popped into my head, March 15, 2015. 

With a delightful squeal, I announced, “I think today is the third anniversary of our first post on March 15, 2012!”

They both looked at me in amazement as my fingers flew across the keyboard to hurriedly peruse the archives for our first post. Yes, there it was, our post from three years ago today on this very date.

The three of us looked at one another in amazement. I could easily have missed this date and yet, there was something nagging at me. It was this very date. 

I read aloud the post to Tom and Julie with tears in my eyes, in part, from sheer gratefulness and in wonder over the fact that we’re doing exactly what we set out to do with a mission and state of mind that has remained constant. 

Rather than place a link to that original post, we’ve decided to “post the first post” to share with all of our readers, many of whom have joined us part way through our travels during these past years. We share this today with much love and joy in our hearts and appreciation to all of our readers who have traveled on this journey with us:

March 15, 2012:
Changing clocks…changing life…

Sunday morning we both jumped out of bed at 6 am with a peculiar sense of urgency to begin the painstaking process of changing the myriad clocks in our home. Daylight savings began during the night.  

 Over the 21 years that Tom and I have joyfully enjoyed life together, we seem to have assigned ourselves, which clocks we each change, two times each year. We scurried about the house, mumbling to ourselves as we adjusted one clock after another, realizing that this will be the last time we will change clocks in this house, in this state of Minnesota, and perhaps in this country.  

 In 7 months and 22 days from today, our journey will begin. Tom retires on Halloween after 42 years on the railroad (I retired 16 months ago) and off we go to the adventure of our lives, time being relevant to us in the future only in terms of the time of our next cruise, the time of our next flight, the time of the next ferry, or the time when we move into yet another vacation home.  

As we each finished our last clock, oddly about the same moment, I said to Tom, “We need a domain name for our future website and blog.”  

He chuckled, and said, “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.”  It’s equally odd how couples often have thoughts simultaneously.  We never cease to be amazed by this phenomenon.

 We had been mulling over some names the past month, as we booked our plans well into the future, knowing the time to document this process was coming near.

 Last year, I wrote my first blog, as our beloved Australian Terrier, WorldWideWillie’s precious life came to an end, finding solace in the process.  With over 400 followers, we found comfort in their invisible, lurking presence as I wrote almost daily from Willie’s perspective, his final days, days filled with love, humor, and tears.  

When Tom returned home each night, I read him the daily postings, often crying a river through the sobs that welled up in my chest.  Tom cried with me, unashamed by his vulnerability, a charming aspect of his manly demeanor that which I have always adored.

We chose to honor Willie by using part of his name, WorldWide, by adding a 3rd word beginning with a “w.”  Sitting at our computers we looked up all the “w” words that may be available as a domain.  We stumbled across “Waftage,” a word that means “travel gently by water or air.”

How perfect a word when in fact this blog will be about us leaving our well-established lives here in Minnesota to travel the world, leaving our grown children, including our six adorable grandchildren, other family members, our longtime friends, our amazing neighbors, and all of our “stuff,” to be sold off at an estate sale… days before we leave on Halloween, 2012. 

This blog will document a journey that at this point knows no end, a journey meticulously planned to be affordable and yet rich in comfort, visually stimulating, surrounded by nature, filled with history, all the while enjoying that which we have enjoyed the most, simply being together.

We’re lousy photographers, but we’ll post photos. We don’t like tourist traps, but we will visit some. We don’t care to buy trinkets, but we’ll surely buy a few.  

Ironically, neither of us has ardently enjoyed “sightseeing” but, we will seek out those that appeal to us. We don’t like crowds, gridlocked traffic, loud noises, or waiting in line but, we will experience all of these.  

We are both gluten-free, wheat, grain-free, and sugar-free. We won’t eat bread, croissants, or pasta. I don’t drink alcohol, Tom drinks a little but doesn’t like wine. Tom doesn’t like to go for walks. I love walks.  Occasionally, we’ll walk.

Then why will we do this? 1. Because we have figured out a way to afford to make this possible with some creative planning, which we’ll share with you along the way. 2. Because we want to!  

More than the concept of world travel in itself, we relish in the concept of stepping outside the box;  getting out from behind our computers with fingers flying across the keyboard with our latest preoccupation; getting out of our comfy chairs while watching one of our big flat-screen TVs playing a popular premium hi-def series; playing another rambunctious competitive game of Wii Bowling or looking forward to the next great homemade meal.  

We have loved every minute of our lives, whether hanging out with family or friends or looking out the window for another delightful morsel Mother Nature throws our way: an eagle swooping into the trees outside our house, a beaver building a den along the shoreline, a pack of coyotes looking for “little dog lunch.” We have loved it all.

So…we registered our domain name early Sunday morning. We poured ourselves a cup of perfectly brewed coffee, topping each cup with a dollop of real whipped cream, and sat down at the bar in the kitchen. We both smiled, eyes locked on each other. The little crinkles around his eyes made a wave of something wonderful wash over me.

We both looked up at the same time to notice we hadn’t changed the time in the big clock in the kitchen. We both jumped up simultaneously and said, “I’ll get it!” We laughed. We have all the time in the world.

                                         Photo from one year ago today, March 14, 2014:
In the Big Square in Marrakech where the vendors and tourists gather for the sights, the sounds, the food, and the entertainment. Ironically, I’d failed to mention our two year anniversary of posting while wrapped up in life in Marrakech. For details from that date, please click here.

Stuff happens…And then sometimes, it doesn’t….

We stopped at the Princeville Airport to check out the helicopters.  This helicopter reminds me of the flies in Kenya.

With not enough room in the little car for three of us with Julie’s luggage, I arranged for a shuttle to pick her up at the airport for her 9:00 pm arrival last night.

Wouldn’t you know, Julie calls me from the airport in Lihue to tell me her shuttle drive had been canceled by someone named Mike. Go figure. Who’s Mike? I never canceled her shuttle.

We drove to the local airport to check out the helicopters. We’ve considered touring the island in a helicopter, but not quite sure we will do so.

Luckily, her flight was only six hours from Los Angeles. Can you imagine the frustration if it had been on a red-eye with 12 hours or more of flight and layover times only to find there was no transportation to one’s final destination? 

Although, we’ll never figure out what had happened and, I did see a credit on my credit card this morning and the fact she arrived safely by taxi, she wasn’t too much worse for the wear, arriving safely at 10:15 pm, after only a 15-minute delay at the airport. Oh, stuff happens.

This helicopter was being repaired. I don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign.

It even happens with the most meticulously arranged plans that are made with the best intentions, only to go awry, often not due to anything we could have prevented on our end. It’s all a part of traveling, whether it’s a one week trip from LA to Kauai or part of a many year’s long journey such as ours, a journey to “everywhere.”

Although I must admit, we’ve been very lucky on most of our travel days finding everything to be as we’d planned and hoped to be. Traveling isn’t easy when one realizes it’s a series of events that must transpire in a timely sequential pattern with little room for variances with errors often caused by a human or mechanical error. 

Tom spotted these two chickens. “Must have been a double yolker,” Tom clucked as I laughed.

Even mechanical error is most often a result of human error, carelessness, or unintended negligence. Stuff happens.

That’s not to say that we’ve forgotten about the knife someone placed in our plastic bin when we went through security in Barcelona on May 1, 2013. Click here for photos and the details of that event.

We’ve wanted to check out the local airport available for charters only.

Then, there was the time our duffel bag, filled with over the counter vitamins, was confiscated by ship’s security in Belize City when we boarded the Carnival Liberty on April 9, 2013, which we posted on April 10th. We were treated as if we were drug dealers. Click here for that post with photos for Part One of Harrowing Experience, with Part Two the following day.

The Princeville Ranch is near the airport offering horseback rides, zip-lining, and other adventure outings.

It goes on and on; storms at sea, unexpected delays, last-minute flight changes. The situations are unavoidable. But, from many of these, we have changed the way we handle those travel days. Mainly, we’ve begun to assume that stuff will happen, not to be negative, instead, to be emotionally prepared.

The ranch’s horses were saddled and ready to go.

When all is running smoothly again, we feel lucky, fortunate, blessed with what we now call, “safari luck.” For those of our readers, new to our site let me explain “safari luck.

In the first 10 hours, while we were on safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya, we saw and took photos of the “Big Five,” the treasured and revered sightings of every safari attendee which includes the: Cape buffalo, lion, rhino, elephant and leopard.

Tom doesn’t care to horseback ride although I would and I wouldn’t care to zip line and Tom would.  We do neither, old-timers that we are. With my bad spine, it’s not worth taking any risks and be injured. Where would we go to recuperate, having no home?

Since that time in October 2013, we’ve called any good fortune we experience as “safari luck” of which we’ve had our fair share, even amid a plethora of oddball or difficult scenarios, managing to work our way through, grateful for a good outcome.

Speaking of grateful, we’re excited that Julie is here with us now. Most certainly, the next eight days will be packed with lots of sightseeing and lots of laughing, much of which we’ll share here each day.

This building is a part of the former Princeville Golf Club which has been closed for a few years. Recently, a billionaire investor from China purchased the property and will be developing a huge high-end housing development of homes, restaurants, and golf.

Thanks for reading our mindless drivel. Hopefully, over the next several days, we’ll ramp it up!

Happy Friday!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, March 13, 2014:

One year ago, we went out to dinner in the city in Marrakech, outside the Medina, and posed for this photo with the restaurant owner. For more details, please click here.