What were our motives for starting a blog about “leaving” seven months before we are actually “leaving?” In my mind the intent has been simple, document the process as a means of lessening the emotional blow.
Almost to the day, a year prior to starting this blog, I wrote my first blog, an accounting of the last days of the life of our precious little dog, WorldWideWillie, written from his perspective, followed by me, after he passed.
Much to my surprise, we had over 500 followers with no marketing, no advertising, no promotion, other than by my own comment to a few friends and a few references in own poorly maintained meager Facebook account.
Somehow, people were reading it across the seas. Perhaps, key words. Perhaps, one person in the US, sent the link across the world to a grieving relative having recently lost their own beloved pet.
What did this accomplish for us? Lots of tears each day as I read aloud to Tom, “what Willie wrote” as he sat at our side, nose touching my leg, tilting his little head each time he heard familiar words of which he knew so many.
But, most of all, it was a vital part of the healing process. I love dogs. I love dogs too much, too deep, the same as with people. In time, through the words, the healing entered our hearts as we began to talk about him without crying (still do sometimes). And, I stopped counting on my fingers how many days, weeks and months had passed since he left us.
And now, this time, this blog, 1000’s, not 100’s of readers, all over the world are sharing this experience with us. Thank you, readers. Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us, even now at this early date, three months away.
Most of you silently observe, some with disdain, some vicariously, some with curiosity and some, like me when reading other’s blogs, hoping to glean a tiny morsel that will somehow change our lives.
This is not just a blog about two crazy retirees traveling the world for what may prove to be many years. It is also about leaving everyone we love, everything we have loved, the familiarity of a comfortable life and all of our worldly possessions, not contained in four over-stuffed suitcases and two carry on bags.
Writing this blog has the same powerful healing effect that we encountered when writing about Willie. Plus, it serves as a powerful reminder of that which we have learned along the way, to reference the multitude of tasks to do now and into the future.
We “heard” through the grapevine that some people think we have no idea of what we are doing and that “we are in for some big surprises.” Yes, we surely are!
Did the senior know what he was doing when he jumped out of an airplane for the first time on his 90th birthday? No. He took the risk for the adventure.
After 100’s of hours of research we both feel we know the risks: death due to injury; crime or illness; illness or injury requiring an expensive (although insured) trip back to US; being a victim of a crime; theft of our belongings (which will also be insured); theft of our deposit or the property not being as expected or represented; unable to obtain a visa or gain entrance into a country; being stuck in airport or on the tarmac for days; cancellation of a cruise at the last minute due to maintenance issues of bomb threat; a cruise ship tipping over; false imprisonment (we won’t knowingly commit a crime!) and more.
What if a warthog cuts us with his sharp tusks? Or we step on a snake resulting in a life threatening bite? Or a creepy worm makes its way into the bottom of our foot to travel to our brain? Yuck!
When we read the newspaper or watch the news each day, all of these risks occur throughout the world and also, here in the US. Seniors fall down a flight of stairs in their own homes, resulting in horrible injury or death. Food poisoning occurs in our local restaurants. Pins are found in a sandwich on a domestic flight. Citizens are shot and killed in their own homes, as an unintended victim of violence.
Good grief! We could spend our lives immobilized by fears, a slave to our own environment. Or, we can venture out performing everyday tasks, enjoying our families, our friends, Mother Nature, our work and our hobbies, all of which are laden with a certain degree of risk.
Life is not without risk. Do we “prepare for the worst and expect the best?”
No. We choose to be as educated as we possibly can about the risks, proceed with caution along the way, avoid risk and pray for a little good luck. And, as life has its ups and downs along the way, as it surely will, we will holster our usual optimism hopefully discovering a logical solution together.
We’ve never done this before. This is not the same as traveling for a month or two, returning “home” to repack, paying the bills, reading the mail and visiting with our family and friends. There will be no “home” to return to.
The message is clear in the old adage, “home is where the heart is”. This will become our motto. After all, we are taking our “home” with us not only in our hearts and minds, but also in each other.