Busy viewing morning…TV watching habits…

Crops covered with metal tubing to avoid sun damage.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

Angler on the beach ready to land his nets.

During daylight hours, we never turn on the TV other than to watch the Minnesota Viking Games and to air political debates after plugging in the HDMI cord. 

In our old lives, the TV would often be on all day during Tom’s days off and for a select hours during the days after I retired. There were some favorite shows that I had run in the background while I was constantly engaged in a multitude of tasks. 

He’s contemplating where he’d have the most success.

Actually sitting down to watch a show rarely appealed to me except in the evenings when I’d run out of steam, needing to wind down in my comfy chair passed in a flash. I retired in 2010, two years prior to Tom.

We’d stop our routine for unexpected visitors, household cleaning and maintenance, miscellaneous yard work, trips to the grocery store, Home Depot, the health club, preparing meals and activities with family and friends. Frequently entertaining guests consumed massive amounts of prep time.

He tosses the weighted nets in the sea.

When we envisioned our retirement, I can honestly say with a degree of embarrassment, that had we stayed in the US living as many retirees do, we’d have spent several daylight hours in front of the TV watching news and financial markets while our fingers flew across the keyboard on our laptops. 

In the evenings after dinner, we’d surely have parked out butts in the same comfy chairs to mindlessly watch several shows we found to be particularly entertaining, which we’d recorded on one of three DVRs; in the kitchen, the bedroom and the family room.

A short time later, he’d had success, most likely having caught squid.

Happy together as a couple, with plenty of family and friends, there’s no doubt that our lives would have been good. But how about GREAT as opposed to GOOD? Could we somehow achieve a heightened degree of happiness and fulfilment? We discovered we could and, we have.

We never stop appreciating an ocean view.

For us, the way we’ve accomplished having this GREAT life was  making the exciting yet difficult decision to travel the world in January, 2012. We left Minnesota on October 31, 2012 after a full nine months of planning while busy organizing and selling everything we owned while we created an itinerary for years to come.

In light of all this, we no longer spend endless hours parked in front of a TV screen. If anything, we watch no more than two episodes of favorite series, we can stream or have already recorded on my laptop. We don’t have a TV in many vacation homes or, as is the case in Bali, there are no English language channels.

There are many farms located along the ocean.

This morning, Monday in this part of the world, we’re currently situated in the villa’s living room on the main floor (no AC, hot and humid) in front of the TV watching the Minnesota Vikings Game on the NFL GamePass app. After the game, we’ll stream the political debate. 

By 11:00 am, we’ll head out to the pool to spend the remainder of the day outdoors, walking the beach, watching for photo ops of sightings on the beach and loving this simple life. Most days, we’re outdoors by 8:00 am.

We crossed countless rivers and waterways in the four to five hour harrowing road trip, coming up again in 19 days.

The two Ketuts just arrived with their usual smiling faces carrying bags of fresh prawns and vegetables for tonight and tomorrow’s dinners. Ribud is cleaning the veranda, the grounds and the pool after a weekend of winds and pouring rain which left behind quite a mess.

And as always he’s setting up the chaise lounges with cushions and fresh towels and cleaning the cabana for our use later in the day when we escape from the sun. He cleans the cushions, straightens the pillows and sprays for those biting red ants. 

The ocean to our left as we made our way from Denpasar.

There’s no major TV time for us in this life of world travel. We’re preoccupied with simple joys and the uncomplicated nature of our daily lives, grateful and in awe of the world around us.

May your day be uncomplicated and joyful!

Photo from one year ago today, October 10, 2015:

In Fiji, this popular “island with three trees” is mostly underwater at high tide. For more details, please click here.

Staying abreast of the news…You can run but you can’t hide…Out and about on a cloudy day…

The Montfort Technical Institute in Savusavu assists poor children academically and economically to gain skills to prepare them for a productive adulthood.

While living in most vacation homes, in the mornings after showering and dressing for the day, we pour our coffee and sit down to work on our laptops; me, preparing the day’s post; and Tom, conducting research for future travels, communicating with friends and family and checking out what’s new at Ancestry.com, a favorite pastime.

The entrance to the Montfort Technical Institute.

Once comfortably situated, we’d turn on the TV, when we’ve had one, to check on the day’s news, during which I’d often find inspiration for the day’s story. With no TV here in Fiji, we’ve spent the past almost three months reading news online which as far as we’re concerned, is often “spun” to appear one way or another.

Online news is not much different than TV news. It too may be slanted to appeal to the provider’s and the viewer’s political and social preferences. It’s difficult to ascertain what is fact and what is exaggerated (or minimized) as truth or fiction. I suppose it’s the same for viewers all over the world.

We passed the small village of Jerusalemi.

Whether we have a TV or not, we stay well abreast of what’s transpiring throughout the world with or without “spin.” In some countries even the modest local news programs gives us a fair perspective of events occurring in the US and other countries, enough to inspire us to investigate anything that we’d like to further explore.

Many of our family and friends may think we’ve been out of touch with world affairs when in many ways we’re more aware now than we were in our old lives when the hustle and bustle of daily life kept us from watching much news. Although, Tom avidly read the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper for years. 

Instead of suburbs small groupings of homes are in a specific area, often designated as a village.

I never took the time to read the newspaper but Tom kept me informed as to world events. It was only after we connected almost 25 years ago, that I became interested in politics, financial markets and world affairs when he often discussed these hot topics.

For a period of time after we left Minnesota, Tom subscribed to the newspaper’s online edition but, later lost interest when Minnesota news became less interesting to him the further and further away we traveled. 

As a Minnesota transplant in the late 60’s, I was less connected to Minneapolis with no childhood experiences and memories. My personal memories revolved around the life I built in Minnesota as a single mom with two sons, making it on my own, at times stressful and angst-ridden and at other times, fulfilling and successful. I guess that’s how life is anyway, isn’t it?

This area is a chicken farm with cages for the chickens.  Not all chickens in Fiji are free-range. Although they aren’t injected with drugs or fed chemicals, they may eat grains. There’s no way to be 100% certain that eggs we purchase are from free range chickens when crates aren’t labeled at the farmers market.  So far, I’ve suffered no ill effects from consuming the unknown eggs sources.

As we live on a remote island in Fiji, where peacefulness and an easy pace is the order of the day, where police officers have plenty of time to drink coffee and commiserate with their people, where crime is almost non-existent, we languish in this simple life. Since we arrived, we haven’t heard a single siren of any sort.

But, the realities of news throughout the world is never far from our range of vision. It’s easy to become wrapped up in what’s transpiring in our home state, home country and other parts of the world.

I always had a perception that living on a remote island would keep one free from the strife and horrors throughout the world but the simple saying, “You can run but you can’t hide” is more true than I ever imagined.

Savusavu has an industrial district mainly consisting of lumber yards

The very thing that makes our world travel possible…the Internet…proves to be the very thing that keeps us feeling concerned over what’s happening in the world. 

Many would think that we sit back in idle contemplation of our next photo taking opportunity, our next sightseeing expedition, our upcoming location and the locations we’re yet to see in the future.

Undoubtedly, those aspects of our lives are the forefront of our minds and will always be so as we continue to travel the world. But now, we think in terms of where it is safe to travel, how we’ll reduce the risks with wars and strife surrounding us throughout the world.  Some countries previously on our “wish list’ have now been eliminated.

A lumberyard in the industrial area of Savusavu.

No, we don’t attempt to avoid exposure to the news. No, we aren’t free of the same concerns many citizens of the world experience as they live their daily lives, listening to, watching and reading news. 

For now, the amazing Fijian people have inspired us. Few have TV’s and access to world news. Their passion for life is astounding. We try, if only for a little while, to embrace their joie de vivre, living in the moment, treasuring everything in front of us; the beauty of a country one imagines only in a dream of a tropical island. 

For us, for now, we call it home.

Photo from one year ago today, November 18, 2014:

The old Wailuku Courthouse, built in 1907, is located on the US National Register of Historic Buildings. We visited this quaint town of Wailuku one year ago today. Please click here for details.