Abundance is in the eye of the beholder…

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

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

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

Cows munching on greenery along the road.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will you find abundance in your life today?

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

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

When all the sightseeing is said and done…What do we do for entertainment?…All new photos…

Every Friday night, we see Norwegian’s Pride of America ship after leaving the port in Nawiliwili, Kauai.  It sails along the Napali Coast and then turns back toward Honolulu where the seven day cruises end on Saturday morning at 7 am to depart again on a new cruise that evening at 7:00 pm.

We’ve fairly well exhausted most of the possible sightseeing adventures in Kauai that appeals to our senses, level of fitness and interests.

With no house to maintain, no garden to tend, no grass to cut, no weeds to pull, no barbecue parties to host in the yard and no family functions to attend, what could we possibly do to entertain ourselves during our 27 remaining days on the island of Kauai?

New photo of one of our favorite views in Kauai, the mountains and sea at Hanalei Bay.

Our average day consists of doing the requisite loads of laundry, cleaning the small condo, washing windows, preparing meals and grocery shopping every five days or so and on occasion making a trip to the Healthy Hut in Kilauea. 

At night we dine and watch a few favorite downloaded TV shows or even a few shows that are on the TV, such as tonight’s AD The Bible and tomorrow evening’s Dancing with the Stars. In some ways our lives are not unlike that of many other retirees worldwide who live in condos or apartments.

Colorful orchid bloom.

But, in many ways, we have more free time based on the above-mentioned items and more. With a rental car, we don’t even have the occasional obligation of having the oil changed or performing general maintenance. We never have a doctor, dentist, or eye doctor appointment.

Tom says he doesn’t have to chase the geese off the lawn. Instead, he spends the better portion of each day chasing the pigeons off the lanai railing to make way for the feeding nuts to our favorite birds who visit several times each day. In a funny way, our preoccupation with the same familiar birds stopping by occupies a portion of our time, calling them, watching them, and laughing at their antics.

Beautiful overlook.

I no longer spend endless hours in the kitchen chopping, cooking, and baking for us, for family and friends, foods that no longer suits our way of eating, for those who are no longer a short distance away, spending the better part of the day stopping by with a delivery of some delectable plate or pan of something that I’d made to share. Those days are long gone.

Instead, I spend each morning from the time I’m up showered and dressed for the day, hair fixed with makeup on, ready to tackle the world, sitting at my computer writing, editing and posting. Usually, I begin by 7:00 or 7:30 and end anywhere from 10:30 to noon. 

Sunset last night. 

During this period, Tom assists me by researching past posts for links and other information I may be posting that particular day. When done assisting me, he perused his favorite websites such as Facebook, news, financial markets, and of course, his passion, Ancestry.com.

As soon as the post is uploaded we often head to the Makai Golf Course which is listed as one of the world’s five most scenic golf courses. We head to the pool and fitness center where we’ll usually find Richard and Larry. 

The overlook at the Hanalei Wildlife Refuse where one can see the world’s largest taro fields.

As mentioned in past posts, we never spend more than 45 minutes in the sun all the while chatting with our friends as we acquire a good dose of Vitamin D. Doing so for 20 minutes a day without the use of sunscreen may prevent the necessity of taking Vitamin D supplements, a necessity for bone health for seniors. This avoids the necessity of hauling several more bottles of vitamins in our already heavy luggage. (It’s important to gradually work up to the 20 minutes by tanning for 10 minutes on each side to avoid sunburn).

Several times each week after the pool we stop to visit the albatross, the grocery store, or visit a local farmer’s market. At other times, we drive for awhile looking for new photo ops, later to return home to change back into our clothes and head out for a walk. By the time we return from the walk, it’s often 2:30 pm as the day quickly moves along. 

One of Kauai’s most popular overlooks.

Had we been retired and living our old lives, on occasion we’d have made a trip to Home Depot, a local nursery, or Costco. Returning home, we’d have had “stuff” to put away, projects to start, a garden to tend, or a meal to prepare for arriving family or friends. The day would have easily become filled with activities.

We’re never disappointed when we stop for photos at this amazing spot.

A few evenings a week, we have social plans. We stay home the remainder of the, watching for a brilliant sunset and enjoying our evenings as if every night is a playful Saturday night. Add in a good meal and at times, a movie and what more could we want? Never bored, we relish each moment as new and interesting.

Red Lipstick Tree branches.

Often on a daily basis, there’s tons of email to reply to, banking and finances to handle and plans for the future to investigate. We’ve found ourselves tackling what may have felt like a task in the past, as now being a pleasant experience. Perhaps, the lack of hustle and bustle in our lives makes paying bills online kind of fun.

On top of our simple daily lives, we both enjoy reading; me, an occasional novel but, mostly scientific studies, health, nutrition and medicine, and Tom, international intrigue and espionage novels and biographies of people he’s admired and respected over the years.

Cattle Egrets are commonly found near excavation areas, golf courses, lawn mowing, and gardening areas. They hang around these specific areas in hopes of worms and bugs being brought to the surface. We always laugh over seeing dozens of these birds at excavation sites.

Tomorrow, we’ll share our current reading list. We’d love to hear from any of our readers who may have suggestions for reading material they’ve found interesting that may appeal to us. How fun would that be!

May your Sunday be relaxing and fulfilling whatever you decide to do!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, April 26, 2014:

It wasn’t uncommon to find orange trees growing in restaurants in Marrakech when most restaurants were built, similar to our riad, with an open-air center courtyard. For details from that date as our time in Morocco was winding down, please click here.