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Everything Else Fabulous

    Everything Else Fabulous

    The Night Before Christmas

    I Still Believe

    Location: The Night Before Christmas

    Note this is a refresh of an old blog that I love with some new photos – including the title photo which is me (left) with my sister and brother in 1964.

    I was only five years old when I learned there was no Santa.  I remember it clearly.  I actually wasn’t even five yet…just a few weeks shy.  It was Christmas morning 1964.   The little neighbor girl who was friends with my seven year-old sister came over to see our gifts.  My sister was showing her this cool play kitchen Santa had brought when Jodi said to my sister “you know Santa is really just your Mom and Dad.”  Those were her exact words.  I remember it 54 years later like it was yesterday.

    Well Jodi was the youngest child of a large family, where apparently, her older brothers and sisters had not managed to keep the big secret from her.

    I’m not sure either my sister or Jodi even realized I was standing right there.

    I remember my sister’s reaction – she cried and was very upset.  And I remember my reaction.  I thought to myself “Well, that makes perfect sense.”  And I never doubted it or worried about it from there on, although I didn’t let my parents or siblings know I possessed this knowledge.

    The Night Before Christmas

    Hawaiian version

    That same Christmas was the year I received my first book.  We had lots of books in the house, but I had never been given a book that was all mine.  Just for me.  That book was a beautiful copy of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clark Moore.  It’s ironic that I received this book the same morning that I learned there was no Santa Claus.

    I adored that book.  I cherished it.  It had a rich, beautiful red cover and beautiful illustrations that I looked at for hours and hours and in later years read cover to cover.  I didn’t let my siblings touch it and it luckily got packed away and preserved in the decades that followed.

    When I was a young Mom I once again fell in love with the book as I read it each year to first my first-born son, and later both my boys.  I easily could recite the poem without the book and often did.  One Christmas my two children and I put on a play of the poem for the family, complete with costumes and scenery.

    The Night Before Christmas

    Some of the older copies in my collection

    It was in these years when my children were very tiny that I picked up an interesting book at the library (yes this was way before Google) all about the history of our Christmas traditions.  I learned so many fascinating things from that book, including the amazing history of the poem “The Night Before Christmas”.  It wasn’t until then, that I understood that many of the holiday traditions I took for granted, including Santa Claus himself, were fairly new developments in recent generations and the poem “The Night Before Christmas” was largely responsible for the image of St. Nicholas we know today.

    The Night Before Christmas

    The flocked version

    Until Moore wrote the poem in 1823 as a gift for his children, St. Nicholas had a Christmas Day arrival not Christmas Eve.  Moore’s image of the “jolly elf” arriving under darkness on Christmas Eve is one we still accept today, elaborated and secured for all time by the Coca-Cola image of Santa in the early 20th Century.

    Moore’s poem also brought into cultural acceptance the idea of Santa’s reindeer as he named them individually for the first time.  And of course the popularity of the later poem “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” added additional holiday fun to that aspect of our Christmas cultural icon.

    Once I began to learn and understand the history of Santa Claus in the United States and around the world I became infatuated with the story and the history.  I started purchasing new and antique copies of “The Night Before Christmas” each year and through out the year.  As my love for the story grew as an adult, I also began to receive antique copies of the book from friends and family.

    I currently own more than 30 copies of the book.  My oldest of the collection is a 1905 edition.  I have some fun versions including two Hawaiian versions, a Mickey Mouse version, Holly Hobby and two illustrated by Grandma Moses.

    I have flocked version, a pop-up book version, and one of the most fun versions is a revolving picture book.

    But my favorite will always be the original one I received that Christmas in 1964, published in

    The Night Before Christmas

    My favorite – The book I received for Christmas 1964

    1960.

    The same day I received this amazing storybook of Santa Claus was the same day I learned there is no Santa Claus.  And perhaps my love and adoration for this poem all these years was my way of accepting that truth, while still believing in the Christmas spirit.

    So let’s believe together;

     

    A Visit from St. Nicholas

    AKA The Night Before Christmas

    By Clement Clark Moore

     

    “Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house

    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

     

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

    While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,

    And Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap,

    Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap-

     

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

    I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

    Away to the window I flew like a flash,

    Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

     

    The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,

    Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;

    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

     

    With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

    I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

    More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

    And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

     

    “Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,

    “On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;

    “To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

    “Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

     

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

    So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,

    With the sleigh full of toys – and St. Nicholas too:

     

    And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

    As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

    Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

     

    He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,

    And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;

    A bundle of toys was flung on his back,

    And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

     

    His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,

    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

     

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

    He had a broad face, and a little round belly

    That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

     

    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

    And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;

    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

     

    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

    And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,

    And laying his finger aside of his nose

    And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

     

    He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle

    And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight –

    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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    Everything Else Fabulous

    In Sickness and In Health – When You Are Sick or Injured While Traveling

    Location: The Grand Adventure

    It’s been more than a month since I felt myself coming down with a cold.  My glands were swollen and my throat was sore. We were walking the cold and wet Camino and I started pumping the vitamin C hoping…

    Alas, four and a half weeks later – and a lot of cold and flu meds, one round of antibiotics and a vat of cough syrup – I am now only coughing a couple of times an hour.

    Seriously – four plus weeks.

    About the time I was starting to feel better, I spent an entire day on the laptop, during a rainy and windy day in Cadiz, Spain.  The next morning I woke up with a pinched nerve in my neck and a terrific pain in my arm.

    I’ve been nursing that along now for the past week.

    It’s not fun being sick or injured when you travel.  But the reality is, when you travel full-time, it’s going to happen.  There is no way around it.  Eventually you are going to get sick or have an accident or injury.

    Since we started our travels two and half years ago the worst thing that has happened was when my husband got bit by a dog in Thailand.  Since then we have both suffered colds (although I always seem to get it worse than he does) and stomach issues (never fun, and we are very cognizant of what goes into our mouths) as well as general aches and pains most Fabulous Fifties people suffer.

    I visited a dentist in Tunisia when I had a very painful tooth.  She was great and helped me eliminate the pain without anything too invasive.

    All in all I feel like we have been pretty lucky.

    We carry general over the counter meds from the USA as well as some prescription antibiotics for emergencies.  And we have found pharmacies around the world are very helpful.

    Although my cough lingers ever so slightly I feel well on my way back to 100%.  I’ve put myself on an ibuprofen regiment for my pinched nerve (self diagnosed but I’ve had this before and this is what my doctor recommended) and have committed to having perfect posture when I am working on the laptop from here on.

    And I’m thankful.  Thankful we are healthy enough in our Fab Fifties to tackle this grand adventure – come rain or shine, and in sickness and in health.

    Fabulous!

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    Everything Else Fabulous

    Walk On

    My Fab Walking Life

    Location: Antiparos Greece

    Walk On

    And where do we go from here? Which is the way that’s clear? Walk On.

    Taking a few liberties with David Essex lyrics “Rock On”.  I remember this song from Junior High (1973) – I’d never have imagined back then how it might be the theme of my life.  Walk on.

    Walk on

    Walking in Antiparos

    Walk On

    Walking in Santorini

    I use the health tracker on my iPhone to track my miles – especially when we are in training mode like we are right now.  Preparing for our second Camino de Santiago just three weeks from today. But even when we aren’t “training”, our lifestyle involves a great deal of walking.  The best possible exercise there is.

    Thanks to my health tracker, I know that I have walked 4600 miles in the last three years.  That’s like walking from Seattle to New York and half way back.  Or about a fifth of the way around the world. Not bad for an old gal.

    Walk On

    Walking in Romania

    Since beginning our world tour, we have come to realize how walking is a mode of transportation for most people around the world – but not in the USA.  We much prefer not to have a car on our travels, to avoid the hassle of parking, gas and navigation.  But

    Walk On

    Walking in Australia

    sometimes we need a car.  Even when we do have a car, like here in Antiparos, we still walk everywhere.  Yesterday we walked from our house 7.8 miles round trip to visit the caves.  As we arrived at the caves most of the other tourists were arriving by car or scooter.  Some by bicycle.  We were the only walkers.

    Walking offers so many benefits beyond the health benefit.  It helps you slow down and be present.  It provides you an incredible opportunity to see and hear things that are not possible from a car; plants, animals, bugs, geology.  We stop often when we are walking to inspect little treasures, from a tiny solitary blossom to a giant geological feature.  Walking puts you up close and personal with so many things – things people in cars never realize are even there to enjoy.

    Walking is wondrous.

    However, walking is also time consuming.  It’s a bit like golf.  Not a sport you can take up if you have a lot of time constraints.  But for us, time is a precious gift we have. A luxury. And so we walk.

    Walk On

    Walking in Berlin Germany

    We could have taken the car to the caves, but instead we walked.  We could have taken a bus in Berlin to visit the wall, but instead we walked.  We could have hired an Uber in the big cities, but instead we walked. We could have driven to the beach, the castle, the store…but instead we walked.  Because we love it.  It is good for us.  And we have the time.  

    My Fab Fifties Walking Life.  For this I am grateful.

    Walk On.

     

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    Walk On

    Walking in Antiparos

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Travel Shoes for Fab Fifties Girls

    Travel Shoes

    I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.  – Oprah Winfrey

    Travel Shoes

    I have a lot of miles on my Kuru Hiking Shoes

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Deciding what travel shoes to bring on the Grand Adventure is hard. Maybe the hardest thing.

    As a Grey Goddess on the Go my tootsies take a beating. At age 58 I’ve put a lot of wear and tear on the old dogs. And I feel it everyday.

    Travel Shoes

    Brooks Running Shoes

    As a child I suffered from foot pain because I have really high arches. Crazy high.  I was
    told once I had ballerina feet with that high arch (too bad I didn’t get the ballerina body to go with the feet).  As a teen I suffered very painful shin splints when I was a cheerleader.  In my twenty’s and thirty’s I wore high heels and boots and flip-flops – none with good support or even well made for that matter.  I pay for it now.

    So footwear and travel shoes are constantly on my mind. Particularly with my current issues with plantar fasciitis.

    I own a pair of Good Feet orthotic shoe inserts that I move around between my shoes. These inserts got me back running after almost a year of constant pain of sciatica.  I paid $200 for the orthotic inserts. Worth every penny.

    In my suitcase I currently have Eight, (seriously EIGHT) pairs of shoes;

    1. My hiking shoes. These are a godsend. Not even remotely attractive but they do the job. These are Kuru brand, a company out of Utah focuses on top quality active footwear for people like me who suffer from various foot pains. My shoes are specific for plantar fasciitis. I ordered them online and paid $130.

      Travel Shoes

      Keen Sandals work for everything

    2. My running shoes. I’m currently on a running hiatus as I train for the Camino, but my Brooks Running shoes also serve as a backup hiking shoe. I’ve been a loyal Brooks customer for many years. Did you know it’s a Washington company? I paid $110 at my local running store in Gig Harbor.
    3. My Keens. If you’ve never had a pair of Keen footwear go get some now!  For travel, for walking, for beach, for going in the water, for everyday, Keens are such a fabulous shoe with great arch support. I’ll even hike in these. I always choose the closed toe for more foot protection. I bought this pair last year in Spain. I paid $100.
    4. My two black sandals. I really don’t need two black sandals. It’s just silly. I’m torn because one has a bit of a heel and I hardly ever wear it even though it’s comfy (Camper for The Walking Company $60). I keep holding on to these because I think I’ll want them for more formal dress on the cruise we are doing in December. The other black shoe is a flat sandal but with great arch

      Cute and comfy only $24

      support and it’s so stinking cute.  I actually bought these from a Facebook ad for $24!  Should I keep them both? A dilemma.

    5. My tan sandal. Last summer I bought a pair of tan mules from the Frye leather store while I was in Nashville.  I regretted it.  I spent a fortune on those shoes and they caused me so much pain. Apparently you can’t wear mules when you have plantar fasciitis. So my friend Kathy bought the mules from me and I turned around and I bought these tan sandals and I’m much happier. Super arch support, my foot stays firmly in place and the Velcro is adjustable for when it’s hot and my feet swell. The only thing I don’t like is my feet sweat in these. These shoes are a orthotic brand called Vionic. I paid $75. I would definitely buy from this company again.
    6. My Flip flops. It’s very rare that I wear flip-flops anymore, even these that are specifically designed for arch support and comfort. I bought these OluKaii brand in Hawaii and paid $40. They don’t take up much room in my suitcase and do come in handy. I’m just careful not to wear them very often or for very long.

      Travel Shoes

      One inch heels by Camper

    7. My Black Street Shoes. I just threw out a pair of black flat sneakers (see photo below). I’ve had these a couple of years. For sneakers, I paid a small fortune for them ($100) at Nordstrom and so I’ve  really tried to love them.  But they just aren’t comfortable and they are a bit too small. So I replaced them in Romania with a black walking shoe by Ecco. I’d been eyeing this Danish brand for a while (See the title photo to see these great shoes). They have great arch support. I bought them a half size big to give my expanding feet some comfort. I paid $120.

    Have you been adding all this up? Jeeze!  Having foot problems is expensive! I have friends who have recommended Jambu as well as Orthofeet. I haven’t tried those yet. I have also had good success with Teva.

    Travel Shoes

    The ones I threw away – just not working for me.

    So if you are a Fab Fifty Female on your feet a lot like me consider some of the options I’ve listed here.  It will keep you moving if you are traveling or just going about your day.

    Tip – use rubber bands (elastics) to put your pairs of shoes together before packing in your suitcase.  This is a great way to save space.

    Travel Shoes

    These are super comfortable

    Keep a spring in your step and a song in your heart!! Fabulous!

    Note: I am not being compensated in anyway from any of the companies I list here.  These are just some shoes I have had good luck with.  I hope you do too.

     

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Why We Love a Free Walking Tour

    Fabulous Travel Tip

    We are big fans of the “free” walking tour and over the past few years we have done about 15 tours in cities large and small around the world.

    Why We Love Free Walking tours

    Sofia Bulgaria

    I never even knew about “free” walking tours until we arrived in Sofia Bulgaria.  Sofia has a wonderful Free Walking Tour company offering several different kinds of tours at different times of the day.  Our very first Free Walking Tour in Sofia was amazing.  Our guide was outstanding, and from then on we

    Jewish Ghetto Tour Krakow

    were hooked. In fact we enjoyed our first tour of Sofia so much (the Culture Tour), we went back the next day and did the Communist Tour.

    Since then we have done Free Walking Tours in Veliko Tarnova Bulgaria, Plovdiv Bulgaria, Cape Town South Africa (both the Walk to Freedom and the Bo Kapp Tour), Brussels Belgium, Brugge Belgium, Berlin Germany (our best guide ever), Poznan Poland, Wroclaw Poland, Kracow Poland (both the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter tour) and have a tour scheduled in Warsaw Poland.

    I expect we will be hitting several in our next country of Romania.

    Why We Love Free Walking tours

    Brugge Belgium

    Why We Love Free Walking tours

    Capetown South Africa

    So what exactly is a Free Walking Tour? Independent guides work under the umbrella of an organization in each city.  The guides pay a stipend to the organized tour office who does all the promotion for the tours.  The guide does not earn a salary, but rather is paid by the people on the tour, who “tip” whatever amount they feel the guide and the tour was worth.  The guide is responsible to pay the taxes then in the individual city or region.

    Our standard tip is about 10 euro or 10 dollars per person.  We did more for our guide in Berlin, who was absolutely amazing.  It was almost like a performance.  We loved every minute of it.

    Why We Love Free Walking tours

    Brussels Belgium

    But sometimes you have a guide who is maybe not so enthusiastic, or perhaps a bit disorganized.  Sometimes the accent is difficult to understand.  But most of the time it’s a five-star experience.

    Free Walking Tours fall under different company names depending on the city and country you are in.  Tours are usually available in English, German, Spanish and occasionally other languages. Just google Free Walking Tours and the name of the city you want and it will pop up.  And give it a whirl if you haven’t yet.  What do you have to lose? If you hate it, its free!  But I bet you will love it as much as we do.

    That’s my Fabulous Tip! Go Travel!!

     

    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Inspire

    Farewell USA, Our Grand Adventure Continues

    Off We Go Again

    Location: Planet Earth

    Our visit to the USA comes to an end.  We have enjoyed our ten weeks in our native country, but we are also ready now to go.

    As hard as it might be for some people to understand, we don’t consider the USA our home right now, we enjoy being on the move and we are ready to say Farewell USA, our Grand Adventure continues.

    I had a lot of things I wanted to do while in the USA.  I didn’t get them all done, but we enjoyed family and friends, hiking and cycling, and quick trips to Nashville and Utah.

    And it was enough.

    So now we go.  We are relaxed and unstressed about departing, unlike the first time we headed out.  We know the ropes now.  We are confident and secure in our ability to navigate the world.  And we can’t wait to get back out there and enjoy this amazing planet.

    The next chapter begins. Unlike our last segment, this time we will spend more time in Europe. We will spend August and

    A route looks roughy like this. LOL.

    September in Europe; Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Romania and Greece.  Then we have ten days in Egypt and Jordan.  Following that we hike another Camino de Santiago, this time from Porto Portugal to Finisterra Spain (250 miles).  We then end our time in Europe with visits to Sevilla, Malaga and Cádiz Spain as well as Gibraltar.

    In November we will fly to Miami and visit Key West and the Everglades before boarding a cruise ship that will take us to Columbia, Panama, Ecuador and Chili.  Followed by a month in Brazil (Christmas and New Years) followed by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republican and possibly Cuba before returning again to Washington State next June for another summer visit.

    Time with our sons

    We have worked hard on this itinerary and we are excited about the adventures ahead.  We hope you will continue to follow us, comment and share.  Thank you for being a part of the growing My Fab Fifties Life Family. Stay tuned for news from Denmark! We look forward to our second visit to Denmark and exploring more than just Copenhagen this time.  A beautiful and friendly country where we have family!

    It’s time to fly! Farewell USA, our Grand Adventure continues. T minus ONE!

    Fabulous!

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    Everything Else Fabulous

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe with Just One Suitcase

    Looking and Feeling Grand on the Grand Adventure

    Location: United States

    After wearing the same clothes over and over on our Grand Adventure I was looking forward to some major shopping once I got back in the USA. I knew I could create a fabulous travel wardrobe that would fit in  just one suitcase.

    I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two months purging my old travel wardrobe and adding fresh new and fabulously fun and comfortable items.  There are only five items from my previous wardrobe (excluding underwear) that make the cut for this next phase of my fabulous travel wardrobe.

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    The white dress five ways. This is from J. Jill. I’m gonna love this dress I think.

    I have a really good understanding now of what works for me as a full-time traveler; what makes me feel good; is comfortable, pretty and easy to care for; what is well constructed and can withstand hand washing, sweat and constant wear; and most importantly what is versatile for many kinds of climates and all kinds of fabulous.

    That’s what I look for in a fabulous travel wardrobe.

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    Black Dress six ways. This is a TravelSmith purchase, wrinkle free fabric. I love it. It made the cut for this next phase. Denim jacket is Levi.  Black and white kimono scarf I bought in Bali. White tie blouse is from Macy’s.

    Granted, most of the clothes I need are for warmer climates.  However on this next phase we will see some cool weather, especially while we are in Spain and Portugal in late October and November.  So I need to take this into consideration.

    I’m basing my fabulous travel wardrobe on some anchor pieces including; one white dress, one black dress, one pink dress and one green dress.  In addition I have added; one black linen drawstring pants, one white linen drawstring pants, one white walking shorts and one black walking shorts.

    With these anchor pieces I have added multiple tank tops and t-shirts and blouses as well as one sweater, two cardigans and my denim jacket. I also have two kimono scarf wraps (one silk, one cotton) and two

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    The green dress four ways. This is another Travel Smith purchase. The silk Kimono scarf and the black leggings are from Sirvana

     

    scarfs.  All of these items together can create an endless array of options for me.  The photos show just some of the ideas I have.

    I also have a couple of fun hats and a small collection of versatile jewelry to mix and match.  Although most of the time we aren’t getting dressed up, it’s nice to have some jewelry options for casual outfits as well.

    My wardrobe includes

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    Pink dress four ways. I got this dress on a clearance rack at J.Jills. It’s linen – my favorite fabric. There is that Sirvana kimono again.  Teal and pink scarf is from Target.

    some handbags and six pairs of shoes.  My shoe choices are flat or low heeled with excellent arch support and lots of comfort.  Anything other than that doesn’t make the cut of a fabulous travel wardrobe.

    In my suitcase you will also find my small collection of mix and match items that serve me for hiking, running and yoga.  These activities are a big part of most every day in My Fab Fifties Life so making sure I am comfortable when I’m working out is a priority.  Our fall hike of the Porto Camino will likely include some rainy days, so I am preparing with a better rain poncho

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    White pants and or shorts six ways. There are endless options here. Linen pants are Caslon from Nordstrom. The white shorts I have had for years. Black lace duster from Sirvana. Blue and white striped tank is DraperJane by Reece Witherspoon. White Lace tank from Travel Smith. Washed denim top from Marshalls and red top from StitchFix.

    than the one I had last year on the Spain Camino.

    I bought two of the same swimsuit but in different colors.  This way I can wear the first one until it starts to fall apart and have a back up ready.  I hated trying to shop for a swimsuit on our travels. And because I wear a suit almost every day, mostly in salt water, they really wear out.  I’m also bringing my older one-piece suit that I found in storage.  I prefer a one piece suit when snorkeling so I want to have it for those times.

    Making the cut from last years wardrobe are my

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    Black pants and or shorts eight ways. Of course black is flattering, but these pants are also comfortable. Linen pants are Caslon from Nordstrom, black shorts I have had for years. Teal button up tank and print tank from J Jill. White top with black embellishment is from Macys. Mustard sweater is Coldwater Creek.

    bold flowered print long sleeve gauze blouse.  I love the color and comfort of this top and even though it’s long sleeved it is perfect in hot weather.  It will come in handy in Muslim countries where I want to cover my arms.

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    My gear for running and yoga. Black shorts and shoes are Brooks. Leggings from Sirvana.

    I’m also bringing my 12-year-old teal linen sundress which is my favorite and is a perfect beach coverup.  I did some hand stitching to it this summer to fix the hem and some fraying. Good as new and ready to go again.

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    I have hiking options for all weather possibilities. And we likely will use them all! Most everything you see here is from REI. Poncho from Magellan. My hiking shoes are from Kuru- specifically designed for plantar fasciaitis.

    In addition I’m throwing in my denim cropped white jeans.  I’ve never had a more comfortable pair of jeans and they work in so many ways.  A keeper for sure. My black shorts are also on the return list.

    And finally, my black dress from Travel Smith I wore over and over on the last phase of our travels I will wear over and over on the next phase.  This dress is a wonderful wrinkle free fabric and feels really good to wear.

    There are a few other minor miscellaneous items I plan to bring, but I feel more pared-down than when we left two years ago.  We both will continue to use our sturdy REI roller bags, now in their fourth year and who knows how many miles and baggage handlers they have endured.  We had to change the wheels on one of them, and are carrying a set of wheels for the other bag just in case.

    Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

    My swim attire – the blue and the green tops are identical except for color. I bought the Sarong in Bali and there is my old trusty teal linen sundress that has been around the world several times.

    In addition Arne has his backpack and I have my new roller carry-on.  I’m confident we will have plenty of room.  Not only for our clothes but for all the other items (did you see the YouTube video we posted about packing non clothing items?  We also posted a time-lapse on Youtube that is fun to watch).

    The thing is, you would basically pack the same if you were going on a month-long vacation.  Granted there are some things you wouldn’t need to pack (back up wheels for your suitcase or 12-months of contact lenses), but it’s essentially the same.  I would most likely bring the same amount of clothes for a month as I am for a year, a fabulous travel wardrobe.  It’s all about planning and knowing how to mix and match to feel and be your fabulous best.  Everyday, every country, everywhere.  Go. Be. Fabulous.

    Launch is in T-minus 25 days!