The Amazing Race…Baby steps…

We are hanging out, not doing much, like me.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland” 

“With 22 letters, the town of Muckanaghederdauhaulia is believed to be
Ireland’s longest one-word place name. The name derives from Muiceanach
idir Dhá Sháilemeaning, meaning ‘pig-marsh between two salt waters.’”
We’re not thrilled with today’s photos, but they are the last we had we hadn’t previously posted. This fact has motivated us to get out today. With the sky clear, we’re taking off as soon as we upload this post.
We could be gone for several hours, and it made sense to get today’s post online, leaving us free to take our time. Once it’s past 4:00 pm, I find I have a hard time sitting down to prepare a post. I’m a morning person.
Cow grazing by the fence along our driveway.

Although I continue to improve each day and no longer wear any plasters or bandages, I’m still not 100%, primarily due to becoming exhausted in the early afternoon. Today will be good practice for me to deal with the feeling of exhaustion while out and about.

After all, we’ll be on a cruise in 28 days. I need to be ready to visit many ports of call along the way, including two full days in St. Petersburg, Russia, on tour with about 12 other passengers. I’ll have to keep up.  

I’m trying, forcing myself to walk several thousand steps a day and climb that steep hill in front of the house at least four times a week, going a little further each time.
Mom and baby.

Today’s tour will require a fair amount of walking, another opportunity to see how I do.  I haven’t felt like going out much, and that’s why we are low on photos, having used the last in our inventory today, none of which are very exciting.  

Two days ago was the five-month anniversary of the bypass surgery. I’ve beat myself up for not progressing more quickly, but after reading online forums, I’m doing pretty well compared to many others.  

Black cow with yellow ear tags.  Animals aren’t branded in Ireland and many other countries. In today’s world, with concern for efficiency and the animal’s well-being, plastic ear tags are used. It is claimed it is no more painful than a human having an ear pierced.

Some patients recover in three to four months, while others may take a year or more. If it weren’t for the lack of energy and afternoon exhaustion, I’d feel great.

Lately, during the many quiet days and evenings we’ve spent “at home,” I’ve been watching a few missed seasons of The Amazing Race, finding it a perfect distraction from feeling lazy and physically unmotivated.  

A portion of one of last night’s episodes from Season 27, which I watched at 10:00 pm while Tom played with his computer, took place in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa.  

Big brown cow.

Having been to both of these countries twice, it was fun to see the contestants tackle tasks in places we’ve been to during our time in these countries. We’ve been to approximately 80% of the locations they visit, if not more.

When looking back to our tour of Victoria Falls in 2018, both from Zambia and Zimbabwe sides of the falls, I recall how much I struggled to make it up the hills and steps. Below is a photo of Tom crossing a bridge in Victoria Falls while I stayed behind, feeling I couldn’t make it. Blamed it on lack of surefootedness.  Now I realized I couldn’t breathe, and my legs could hardly move due to a lack of blood flow.

I was happy to see Tom safely return from climbing to the top of the wet slippery bridge. Tom tackled this wet bridge without me. I’m not reasonably as surefooted as he is. It was slick, the visibility was poor, and I wouldn’t have been able to take photos in the heavy mist, so I stayed behind with Alec while we awaited his return. I was getting worried when he’d been gone a long time.  Seeing him in his yellow poncho made me sigh with relief. See the post here.
Then, I realized why I struggled the past almost seven years in the country after country, on tour after tour, when my heart had three (of four) major arteries 100% blocked, most likely for years. It amazed me (and the doctors) I avoided a deadly heart attack. It’s no wonder I was often struggling to climb steep hills and many steps while we were sightseeing.

Regardless of the tiredness, I’m feeling hopeful, knowing eventually this will improve. I am grateful to be alive and to be able to continue this magnificent journey, one baby step at a time.  

We’ll be back tomorrow with new and, hopefully, more exciting photos than we presented today.
Have a peaceful Sunday.                         

                         Photo from one year ago today, July 14, 2018:
Louise and Danie joined us for dinner last night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays. For more details, please click here.

Remembering…Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

“Do you have any carrots?”

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”  
“Since the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Irish harp has been the official emblem of Ireland, not the shamrock which is more commonly used.”

What is the quality of life we strive to achieve when at any moment, we can start over again to create a better life? Our lives are a compilation of memories, from moment to moment, day to day, and year to year.
A ruin with a tin roof.

And, yet many of us suffer a degree of angst over what we could have done, should have done, and what we should do in the future.  Often, this angst is precipitated by the needs, wants, and perceptions of others.

At other times, we experience stress and worry placed upon ourselves when our preconceived notions supersede our past and present decisions, many of which provide us with joy and fulfillment.
View across the bay.

The magic of free will, which a portion of the world is blessed to possess, allows us to make choices. Each choice we make, whether we’re aware of it or not, is driven by something deep within us that even we may not fully understand.

Readers frequently write to us, suggesting what we “should” be doing in any country, sites we “should see,” restaurants where we should be dining.  
Another example of vegetation-covered ruins.

In many cases, these excellent and thoughtful suggestions are taken seriously, and we may pursue our thoughtful reader’s well-intentioned recommendations. Thank you for writing, and please continue to do so. 

But, for us, the reality remains, we do exactly what we want to do, taking the word “should” out of our vocabulary and replacing it with “shall we do this?”  Together we decide. At times, we may not agree, but each of us will make our case for and against and, the stronger case wins.
Cattle in the pasture next to our driveway.
And then, our lives roll out, building memories that will last a lifetime, that based on this website, we’ll always be able to recall from the thousands of posts we’ve done here. We look back almost every day.

The magic of our lives is the opportunity we’ve had to play a role, however, small, in the lives of those who dream of traveling or have traveled. Through our posts, some of our readers may find comfort; share in the joy of adventure; acquire the satisfaction of a curiosity: or merely seek enjoyment in the often mundane meanderings of two world travelers who made a difficult decision to leave everything behind to explore the world.
This brown cow often stands when we drive by.

Each day, we’re building memories, whether profound or straightforward, leaving us with a sense of fulfillment and challenge, more than we ever dreamed possible in this life.  

Thank you, dear readers, for “traveling” with us.                      

Photo from one year ago today, July 13, 2018:
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below.  Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page. For more photos, please click here.