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And All the Rest

    And All the Rest  --  Travel Around the World

    It’s My Life, Not My Vacation

    Some things just gotta get done.

    Some things just need doing, even on the Grand Adventure. We can’t ignore certain things. It’s a reminder that this is our life, not our vacation.

    Back home I had a manicure and eyebrow wax every three weeks and a pedicure every two months.  As we move around the world it’s been a valuable lesson for me to learn to do these things on my own, both saving time and money. Although I hate plucking my eyebrows – but I try.

    But every three or so months I pay to have a professional get me waxed, buffed and polished and it is so very nice. Here in Croatia I even had a facial, my first in over a year.

    This week we also had our teeth cleaned.  It had been 8 months since I saw my dentist in Gig Harbor and I was ready! I found a dentist close to our house and we paid $60 cash.  It was way more painful than any cleaning I’ve ever had in the states. She used a grinding tool which probably isn’t approved in the US. Hurt like hell! Bright shiny smile!

    Next week Arne will need to find somewhere to have his final tetanus shot, six months after the dog bite in Thailand.  We feel lucky that experience wasn’t worse and that we have as yet had no other visits to the emergency room.

    Laundry is always needing to be washed and groceries need to be purchased and meals made.  Just like home.  We still gotta sweep, clean the toilet and wash the dishes.  We still need to manage our finances and pay our few bills. Always a good reminder this is not a vacation.

    Planning “where to next” is a constant – and not always as fun as it may sound.  Details as we move about the world need to be coordinated, arranged and confirmed.  This is often more time consuming than you might think and can be frustrating.  A part of the life we have chosen and we have developed a system. Currently we are planning our January and February detinatona – a very busy time of year for travel so prices are higher and lots of consideration goes in to our decisions.  Needs to be done though or things fill up and we are out of luck.

    Today we went shopping for new swimsuits.  I bought a suit last June and another in January but when you wear your swimsuit more than any other thing you own they fall apart fast.  So I got a new one today, and so did Arne.  I try not to shop for much, but there are just some things we need to buy from time to time – to keep the Grand Adventure grand. Shopping is not my thing, but hey – I need a swimsuit so…

    It’s an interesting way to live, a constant learning experience.  We are making it work, taking care of the details.   Most days are more about fun and less about work and we try to just go with the flow.   It’s just my life, not my vacation.

    And All the Rest

    Oh Beautiful

    My first time being out of the USA on the 4th of July. It’s just another day here in Croatia. And like all the other holidays that have passed since we left the country seven months ago, we mark it with a mention but no fanfare.

    The thing I am thinking about today however is my divided country. So very divided.  And I wonder if it will ever be united again? I think about how united we were after September 11th. I think about how much we as a nation have changed since then.

    No matter where I lay my head I am and always will be an American.  I did not embark on the Grand Adventure to get away from America. I’m sad when I hear people abroad making jokes about my country, which they do.  Not to me directly but in conversations I overhear. Sigh.

    America, America God shed his grace on thee.

    Be proud America. Crown thy good with brotherhood. 🇺🇸


    And All the Rest

    A Beginners Guide to Tropical Living

    Or Tropical Living for Dummies

    A Beginners Guide to Tropical Living

    • Any food left out will be consumed by ants
    • Don’t freak out when there is a lizard in the sink (or in your shoe)
    • Bugs too small to see with the human eye will bite you – everywhere
    • When the forecast says 80% chance of rain that means there is an 80% chance it will rain for 15 minutes
    • The roosters are confused
    • There will be sand in every crevice and orafice and in your bed and purse and…
    • Beer in a can will reach boiling point in about 30 minutes
    • Deodorant is useless
    • The chirping in the bedroom is not a bird, it’s a gecko
    • Falling coconuts give no warning
    • Turn the bathroom light on at night so you can see the giant spider
    • Tropical fruit will make you regular
    • Topless sunbathing requires extra sunscreen
    • Time moves at a slower pace than elsewhere in the world
    • Get used to people, including yourself, changing clothes on the beach
    • Only tourists and school children wear shorts
    • Your hair will be frizzy.  Period.  Don’t fight it.

    Just chill brah.

    And All the Rest

    Can You hear Me Now?

    Chapter Seven – No wifi

    Can You Hear Me Now?

    We haven’t had wifi in the Seychelles and as a result we have been spending a small fortune on data.  It’s currently our only way to connect.  I’ve been typing my blogs in text edit so as not to use data while developing the blog, then when I’m ready I cut and paste.  But it still uses data as does every time I check Facebook.  Talking to my kids who are both still abroad also requires data – Dane is in Germany and Erik in Burkina Faso.  We started a four-way chat on WhatsApp – using data.

    Arne used FaceTime to have a video chat with all of his pledge class brothers at their five-year Sigma Chi MIT reunion the other day.  That was well worth the money.  I used WhatsApp to check in with my wonderful book club while we were in New Zealand and Thailand too.

    Up until the Seychelles we were calling the United States frequently, using the Text Now app.  With wifi it gave us free-calling to the United States.  So we have been able to call family and check in, call friends on their birthdays and I even got to call in to the Martini Mamas.  But this only works for calls to the US – and here in the Seychelles it devours our data.

    Of course we will call our Moms on Mothers Day.  Even if that uses data.  It’s just one of the unexpected expenses of our Grand Adventure.  But keeping in touch is important to us.

    Can you hear me now?

    And All the Rest

    Living Climate Change

    Chapter Seven

    A pattern has emerged.  I’m not sure why I am surprised but I am.  A pattern of climate change has emerged in our travels.

    I am not a scientist, a climatologist, or a meteorologist.  Just a travel girl who observes.

    And the observation is, everywhere we have traveled in the past five and half months the locals have lamented on the unusual weather.  Including here in sunny Seychelles.

    In Thailand we saw some incredible and unseasonal floods.  In Vietnam it was rain and unusual chill.  In New Zealand they bemoaned the fact that they never got a summer.  Well, I guess they did for one week.  And here in the Seychelles, the rainy season has arrived earlier than is normal.

    What is normal?  Is there a normal when we speak of the weather anymore?  I know my friends back home have experienced one of the snowiest winters followed by one of the wettest springs on record.  That’s not normal.  Or is it the new normal?

    Even those who used to dispel climate change as fact are coming around to the reality.  Even though they still don’t believe it’s human caused.  It’s hard for me, as a travel observer, to look at a glacier in New Zealand that has receded ten miles in the past century, (since the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels began) and not connect the two.  That seems pretty easy to see – for normal people anyway.

    So our travels continue.  The world continues to spin.  The naysayers continue to argue.  And I continue to observe.  It will be interesting to see how the summer develops.

    And All the Rest

    New Feature on the Website

    You asked for it!

    We have a lot of new readers – welcome!  And thanks for your comments and input. As a result we’ve added a new feature.

    For those of you who read the blog on a smartphone (most of you) now you will see a “Topics” list at the top of the page. It’s now easier to find past blogs on topics of interest.  PC or Laptop uses have always had this option

    Check it out and thanks for the suggestions to help us always improve your experience enjoying My Fab Fifties Life!

    Please share our blog with your friends!  Thank you.


    And All the Rest

    Laundry Lessons

    Chapter Six

    My friend Ruth asked me recently how the heck are we dealing with laundry and suggested a blog on this topic.  Okay so you want to know about laundry?  Next to the lack of toilet paper it’s probably the single thing that has taken the most adjusting to on our grand adventure.

    Just like at home, laundry is constant.  But in our lifestyle you learn to wear things a few more times than you might back home when the washer and dryer are so handy.  When we were in Asia there were many local laundry services where, for about five dollars, we could have our laundry done by

    Laundry drying in the cab of the van

    someone else.  It was cheap and they did such a wonderful job.  Not only did they wash and dry but they IRONED AND FOLDED!  Oh my goodness I got so spoiled.  When we didn’t have enough for a full load I would do hand wash and hang the laundry around the room or outside to dry when possible.

    Drying rack at one of the airbnb’s

    As a matter of fact at the campground we recently stayed at in Milford Sound was the first dryer I had seen in nearly four months.  Dryers are really an American cultural thing.  Everyone else hangs their laundry out to dry.  Even here in New Zealand the air is very dry and things dry quickly.

    Part of the Grand Adventure is learning to deal with the situation at hand with the tools available at the moment. And that is true with laundry too.  It’s one more thing that makes me realize how spoiled we are as American’s with our conveniences we take for granted – not just washers and dryers but hot water, and running water from a tap.  Where we find washers here they are usually small and compact and efficient – not the behemoth machines Americans have that fill a special room in our houses dedicated specifically to the task.

    Do we really need all that to be happy?

    I don’t.  Wash my panties in the sink and move on.  I’m happy with that.  There is too many other things that are so much more important.