Where Did You Go?

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.

Fellow traveler – and now best lunch-buddy, Debbie Campbell of The Senior Nomads who gently kicked my back-side and said it was time I started blogging again.  Thank you, Debbie – I think

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!

7 Replies to “Where Did You Go?”

  1. Thank you for blogging, again!!! I’ve missed you and your adventures! Can’t wait to keep up with you, this summer! Sending lots of love from St. Kitts north! (St. Catharines, On. Canada) (St. Catharines nickname is St.Kitts!) xxoo

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    1. When I am traveling solo, I choose a town or city in a country that I really am interested in learning more about the culture, art, food, and people. I then look for a house/pet sitting job in that area. The least amount of time I want to stay is 2-3 weeks, which gives me a great overview of the people and the place and even allows me the opportunity to ‘meet the neighbors’. The longest I have stayed in one place was 3 months. It was on the North Island of New Zealand and if I could, I would have stayed forever! I made lifelong good friends. I was invited to join a knitting group, a senior’s exercise class, even a lawn bowling team! I became a part of the neighborhood in a country far away from my own. This is the reason I travel.

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  2. so glad you have returned to Blogging, missed your adventures. Eons ago I fell in love with San Miguel and if the circumstances had been right would have stayed. But life had a different turn for me. Am delighted to follow along again on your travels. I heard about your adventures when you visited in Yosemite with one of my art friends Joyce, who is also living in Mexico. Hope you two connect again.

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    1. Hello Vivian. So nice to hear from you. Joyce and I are about 6 1/2 hours distance from each other but we have stayed in touch. I’m so glad you will be following along as I wander through Eastern Europe this summer. Cheers! ReAnn

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