Why haven’t you posted for so long?
Are you still traveling?
Are you ok?
First, I’m fine! After 5 1/2 years of constant travel, my knees made a request that I settle down for a while and give them a rest. They let me know they didn’t like hauling a suitcase and backpack, which seemed to get progressively heavier every week, up and down, over and around hills, stairs, rivers, trains, buses, etc. etc.
So where did I go? I returned to Mexico, San Miguel de Allende to be exact. This beautiful colonial city situated at 6000 ft above sea level, 3 1/2 hours north of Mexico City is blessed with year-round good weather, a warm and welcoming local population and an ever-growing crowd of ex-pats. I chose to settle down for a little while – and a ‘little while’ has turned into almost 2 years.
Why haven’t I posted for such a long time? I felt that living my daily, ordinary life, though maybe different than yours, wouldn’t be as much fun or as interesting as reading about my adventures roaming from country to country. But I decided to give you the past year and seven months in pictures. (Click on any photo to see it’s full and original size.)
Life in Mexico is much more colorful and louder! There is a different language, different beliefs, customs, foods, and a general friendliness. Every day I walk out my door and say ‘Hola! Buenos Dias’ to each and every person I pass on the street and that greeting is always returned – with a smile. Certainly not what you find walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It’s a lovely way to begin any day. You are not just a stranger – or gringa – you are someone everyone says hello to and wishes a good day. Plus the cost-of-living here is approximately 1/3 of what it is in the States and if you chose to not turn your TV to CNN or MSNBC, you can almost forget the policial mess that has taken over the US.
So what’s next? Just in case you think I’ve settled down for good and given up roaming the world – you were wrong!!
On May 17th I fly to Paris to celebrate my 73rd birthday! I am being be joined for this summer adventure my good friend, Joyce, from Atlanta. From France we’re off to Portugal to explore Lisbon and Porto before heading to the Algarve to visit friends. We fly to Italy (Florence, Sienna, Rome, and Sorrento) for 12 days before heading to Eastern Europe and countries I have never explored before – Croatia, Hungry, Slovenia, The Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, and Poland. We are really looking forward to meeting many of the locals with our new membership in SERVAS, the wonderful organization that promotes peace and understanding worldwide through travel and hosting.
We end our 3-month stay in Europe by once again teaching conversational English to Spanish executives for Madrid-based Diverbo. This will be my 4th time spending a week at the beautiful La Alberca resort talking for 12-15 hours each day!
From Spain we head to London for 4-days of sightseeing before returning to the Isle of Man to once again house and pet sit for one of my favorite people, Mary Alexander. If you’re interested in house and pet sitting, there is no better organization to join than TrustedHousesitters.com who are now offering a 25% discount to new members. I’ve totally enjoyed all of the places and the pets I’ve sat around-the-world. And though you don’t get paid for sitting, you get a free place to call ‘home’ in an area or town you want to explore.
After the IOM, we fly to Dublin where my good friend Ruth is driving down from Belfast for 2 days of play! I learned there was a Jamesons brewery within walking distance of our AirBnB! Happy, Happy!
The one thing that made Joyce to decide to join me for the entire summer was when I told her I had found a 12-day ‘Atlantic crossing repositioning cruise’ which departs from Lisbon with stops in The Azores, Newfoundland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Nova Scotia, and Maine before we disembark in Boston. We are sailing with Holland America on the Veendam which is one of their “America’s Test Kitchen” cruises. We can partake of cooking classes and workshops daily and choose a ‘healthy menu’ for our meals. I’m presuming ‘healthy’ includes wine!
I’m scheduled to have my pesky right knee replaced in Wilmington, NC on September 16th before I return to San Miguel in early October. It will all depend on the level of pain I’m in when I return.
Before I sign off I want to thank you all for following my blog and please, if you have questions about what traveling solo around-the-world as a ‘senior nomad’ or life in Mexico, or house and pet sitting, please feel free to drop me a note.
Until next time….which I promise won’t be nearly as long!