Day #249 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A great memory from 2016…A good Thanksgiving after all…

It had been a long time since I’d done a seminar, but in my career in my old life, I had done many.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2016 while sailing on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas on the circumnavigation of the Australian continent when we were asked to do two seminars about our world travels. For more on that story, please click here.

Was it really four years ago that we were asked to conduct a seminar on world travel on a cruise ship? We did the first seminar on this date in 2016 and a few days later did a second seminar when asked by the ship activity director to do another when there were many requests from passengers who’d missed it.

Tom chimed in on several occasions and did a fabulous job. Fluffy hair, that day! Love him anyway!

Of course, we were pleased and flattered. We both enjoyed meeting all the people that flocked around us for the remainder of the cruise asking question after question. I have no doubt many of those participants are still following us now, four years later. We are so grateful for each and every one of you!

After we’d done the seminars, we spent some time inquiring as to the possibility of conducting such seminars on future cruises but the compensation offered was not worth it to us. Many speakers on cruises think they are getting quite a perk to speak on their favorite topic and return over and over again.

Note our talk scheduled at 11:15 am on the ship activities program.

For us, it wasn’t a worthwhile undertaking. The cruise line pays only for transportation to a specific port of call and the time spent on the ship. Once the “talks” are completed, the speaker(s) are dropped off at the next port of call to “fly away.” This didn’t work for us at all. It simply wasn’t worth it.

However, we thoroughly enjoyed those two experiences on that 33-night cruise, and of course, all the days and nights socializing with many Australians and a handful of Americans, including two couples with whom we spent most “happy hours” and many dinners. It was a fantastic cruise that we’ll always remember, among others.

I love the look on Tom’s face in this shot.

Now, with COVID-19 raging all over the world, the prospects of cruising again, anytime soon are limited. A few days ago, we posted a story about enthusiastic cruise passengers volunteering for “test” cruises to see how a cruise line will handle COVID-19 breakouts during a cruise. Here is the link to that post, entitled “Ten reasons to avoid test cruises.”

As for yesterday’s Thanksgiving, we made it through with ease and nary a moment of disappointment. We heard from so many family members, friends, and readers, it proved to be a busy day while we responded to everyone. We couldn’t have felt more loved with the many good wishes and concern for our well-being during our peculiar situation.

Tom managed the video presentation while I talked. We were (we are) a good team.

Did we miss the Thanksgiving dinner? Not at all. I had my usual chicken dinner (tonight is salmon night) and Tom had only breakfast and some bananas, he’d saved for later. We now refer to his daily bananas as “banana cream pie,” making our mouths water at the prospect of any type of pie at this point. Although, I’ve only eaten low carb/gluten-free pies in the past many years.

Now, with my drastically reduced carb regime and my lowest morning fasting blood sugar reading this morning of 82 mg/dl, 4.6 mmol/L, in 20 years, I continue to be ecstatic over my recent health improvements. This morning, for the first time in 20 years, I didn’t take any blood pressure medication. Of course, if it rises over time, I will revert back to small doses of the medication to keep it in check. Time will tell. In the interim, I will proceed with the utmost of caution, checking it several times a day.

There were over 100 people in attendance at our first seminar with many more at the second, a few days later.

Subsequently, in the future, I doubt I will be eating any of those “low carb” modified desserts that may raise blood sugar/blood pressure as I continue to strive to maintain these good numbers well into the future. Eliminating such sweet treats may literally add many good years to my life.

Today? Another low key day. In the evenings, we’ve been watching a fantastic show with many seasons and episodes, streaming on Hulu, ‘This is Us.” In the past, we’d considered streaming this popular show but never got to it until now. If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend it. Any recommendations you may have for Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, please send them our way!

Happy day to all and again, thank you for all the warm and heartfelt wishes over the holiday!

Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2019:

About 8 inches of snow fell in Eden Prairie, Minnesota where we were staying with friends Karen and Rich. For more photos, please click here.

Day 31…Circumnavigating the Australian continent…Seminar #2 this morning at 10:15…Devices we use…Logistics of world travel…

The ship has been decorated for Christmas and looks beautiful.

“Sighting on the Ship in Australia”

Another piece of art from the ship’s gallery.

Today, as we prepared the final details of our upcoming seminar, we thought it made sense to post the photos of the digital equipment we’ll be discussing during the presentation.

RFID (Radio Frequency ID) wallets which can’t be scanned with illegal devices in an attempt to steal identity.
RFID passport holder.

As a result, today’s post will include little verbiage and more photos. By doing so, it will be convenient and expedient for Tom to bring up the photos as we describe each item.

Universal adapters.  Without these, we’ve had serious electrical issues.

Tomorrow, we’ll share details about the agenda covering the logistics of world travel with less emphasis on where we’ve been and what we’ve seen. Also, we’ll include the response from our audience as to these topics which some may find less interesting than the details of our travels.

Portable hot spot devices for various countries.  In many countries we haven’t needed to use these.  In others, they were our only means of Wi-Fi.  The two black devices top center, may be used in many countries, but often don’t work as well as each country’s own device.

However, it’s all a part of the experience for those who choose to experience traveling over the long haul. It’s not always as romantic and exciting as it may to be.

Flash drive, a must for the savvy traveler.
Our unlocked SIM card (mini or full size SIMs work) smart phones.

Our cruise is quickly winding down with only three days until we disembark the ship to make our way to the airport for our upcoming three month visit to Tasmania.

Collapsible camera tripod.
Portable canner.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Please check back then!

Photo from one year ago today, November 30, 2015:

This is a popular snorkeling area in Savusavu, Fiji with considerable coral reefs. For more photos, please click here.

Day 28…Circumnavigating the Australian continent…A fabulous seminar experience…

It had been a long time since I’d done a seminar.

“Sighting on the Ship in Australia”

Artistic rendition of square frames located in a stairwell.

I don’t know where to start to describe our experiences by doing a seminar about our travels around the world at the Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. With little time to prepare, we did our best to put together an agenda, hoping to attract the 20 or so participants we expected.

Note our talk scheduled at 11:15 am on today’s ship Compass program.

When the huge Colony Club began to fill with over 100 passengers minutes before we were to begin our talk, I found myself blissfully at ease in anticipation of presenting our story. Tom also felt comfortable and relaxed.

After all, it wasn’t as though we needed to learn something. We’ve lived it. And to have the opportunity to share it in this group setting was an experience beyond our wildest dreams.

Tom chimed in on several occasions and did a fabulous job.

Not only were our new friends in attendance, but also dozens of other passengers, we’d met at various meals and activities. Then, there were the dozens of others we’d never met who thought they might enjoy hearing our story. 

How humbled we were at the end when the applause was robust and enthusiastic. Go figure. Who knew this amazing experience would be added to our repertoire of extraordinary events in the lives of these two nomads content to live this obscure life on the move?

The seminar went better than we’d expected. 

Having expected a bit of nervousness when we started, I was pleasantly surprised at how the unscripted presentation flowed for both of us. For us, it was not a lot different from our usual banter at the dinner table with eight or ten of us in the dining room.

I love the look on Tom’s face in this shot.

Tom ran the video portion of the presentation with ease, flipping through some of our posts that we thought might be more exciting to share. With almost 1600 posts to date, it wasn’t easy to pick the choose the eight or so we choose to put on the screen. 

Tom managed the video presentation while I talked.  We were a good team.

After the question and answer period, dozens of people stayed behind to chat with us which continued well into the afternoon, resulting in today’s very late posting. We apologize for the inconvenience in being so late today.

As soon as we were done, Kevin, the activities director who stayed during the presentation, asked if we’d be interested in doing a Part 2, before the end of the cruise which occurs in six days. Tomorrow, after giving it some thought, we’ll make a decision and post it here.

There were over 100 people in attendance at our seminar.

The ship is still rocking and rolling, but we’re blissfully content, feeling very grateful and blessed for this new adventure. Who knows what the future holds?

For now, we know we have the almost next two years of world travel planned as we look for more in the future. Pinch me! Life is good.

Photo from one year ago, November 28, 2015:

Ocean views never disappointed in Fiji. For more details, please click here.