Happy Birthday, Tom!…Today, we celebrate YOU and…what???…Photos of Tom over the past year…

While crossing the countryside several days ago, Tom spotted this highly venomous Tiger snake crossing the road. Quickly turning around, as it raced off into the vegetation, we were able to get this photo. For information on these scary snakes, please click here where it’s stated, “Most Australians know of tiger snakes and are aware of their fearsome reputation, though few people will ever encounter one.” Leave it to us to encounter one after only 20 days in Tasmania!

On a beautiful warm and sunny day, today we celebrate Tom’s 64th birthday. Without a lot of hoopla, no presents, cards or birthday cake, we celebrate it with as much enthusiasm as ever. 

While in a resort in Kenya in October 2013, celebrating our first worldwide travel anniversary, Tom agreed to take part in the reptile exhibition. Click here for the full post.

Today, we thought it would be fun to share our snake stories when only two days ago we encountered the feared highly venomous Tiger Snake, which most Australians never see in their lifetime.  This precipitated our sharing other snake encounters in our world travels in the past 50 months.

Just so you know, Tom doesn’t like snakes. But, encountering wildlife of many types is a highlight of our world travels and we treat each encounter with respect, curiosity and interest, although in this recent encounter and others shown here, with the utmost of caution.

Only slightly venomous, he held this snake in his hand without incident.

Grateful for another healthy and meaningful year in our world travel, it is easy to look back and revel in the experiences we’ve had over the past year. The joy of seeing him embrace each and every location with childlike wonder adds so much to my own experience, let alone us as a couple.

Tom let this green snake slither up his arm.

In these past 12 months since his last birthday, we’ve traveled to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand.

We’ve sailed on four ocean cruises and one river cruise (Mekong), finally circumventing the Australian continent on a 33-night back to back cruise (two separate cruises, one after another with us staying in the same cabin) ending up here in Tasmania, Australia after a short flight from Sydney. Wow!

This semi venomous snake paralyses its prey. If they bite a human, the area of the bite will feel numb for a few hours but poses no systemic risk. We were told to keep the head away from us while handling it.  This is me holding it as Tom took the photo.

It’s even difficult for us to fathom the fact that we’ve visited and lived in so many countries in one year. We were in Malaysia for only a day, but spent from one week to four months in the remaining locations. It was a very good year.

This venomous snake, a Mozambique Splitting Cobra, dropped from the ceiling of the veranda in Marloth Park, South Africa, less than one meter from Tom’s bare feet as we sat outdoors awaiting the day’s “visitors.” For more details, please click here.

Now, as we look to Tom’s 64th year, we anticipate the future with even more excitement, as we look forward to the following, until his next birthday:
1.  March 1, 2017 to March 13, 2017, depart Tasmania, head to Sydney, boarding a 12 night cruise to New Caledonia; Vanuatu; Fiji and then back to Sydney.
2.  March 13, 2017 to April 22, 2017, stay in Manly (Sydney) for 40 nights in a vacation home.
3.  April 22, 2017 to May 15, 2017, a 24 night cruise from Sydney to Seattle, Washington, visiting Hawaii along the way.  Make our way by land from Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia, where we’ll spend two nights awaiting another cruise. (Continued below).

A python on Tom’s shoulder in Kenya.

4.  May 17, 2017 to May 26, 2017, board an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver to Seattle with four ports in Alaska, including; Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway and Hubbard Glacier; Sitka; and Victoria, BC; then back to Seattle.
5.  May 26, 2017, fly from Seattle, Washington to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Stay six weeks visiting family and friends.
6.  July 7, 2017, flies from Minnesota to Nevada where we’ll stay for three weeks visiting family.  (Continued below).

I took this photo of Tom while we shopped for toiletries Sydney, Australia before boarding that day’s cruise on January 5, 2016. It was pouring rain. We were soaked but happy, as shown by the huge smile on his face!

7.  August 1, 2017 to November 22, 2017, fly from Nevada to Costa Rica where we’ll stay in a vacation home.
8.  November 22, 2017, fly to Miami to spend one night in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9. November 23, 2017 to December 8, 2017, board the cruise in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, including visits to Grand Cayman Islands; full transit on the new Panama Canal; Manta, Equador; Lima, Peru; Pisco, Peru; Arica, Chile; and on to Santiago, Chili.  (Continued below).

In early 2016, we visited Everybody’s Theatre in Opunake, New Zealand when I shot this photo of Tom. Click here for details.


  December 8, 2017 to December 23, 2017, stay on the same above cruise to continue on to Santiago, Chili to Buenos Aires, Argentina including visits to Puerto Montt, Chili; Chilean Fjords (cruising); Straits of Magellan;  Punta Arenas, Chili; Ushuaia, Argentina; Cape Horn (cruising); Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Montevideo, Uruguay;  Buenos Aires.

This itinerary is expansive and exciting, each leg of the journey filling us with a sense of adventure and grateful for the opportunities to continue on this path, hopefully for many more birthdays to come.

While in Bali, this year, Tom dressed in traditional Hindu garb with the help of our household staff.  Love that hat on him (and the beard!) which he’s since shaved off. Click here for details.

So, on this day, I wish my dear husband, travel companion, best friend and lover, a very happy birthday and new year of his life.  Thank you for celebrating this life with me, for making each day a holiday and a memorable experience and above all, for the opportunity in spending each day with YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, December 23, 2015:

One year ago when I post a birthday letter to Tom, I posted this single photo of Tom which was taken in March, 2015, when we were in Princeville, Kauai playing bingo at the senior center. For Tom’s birthday letter from last year, please click here.