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Everything Else Fabulous

    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

    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!

     

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Preparing to Travel Full Time – It’s In The Details

    The Grand Adventure

    Location: United States

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    Note – at the request of one of my friends, I have updated this blog, originally posted in November 2016, with fresh new information.  Enjoy it again.

    “How exactly do you prepare to leave the country and travel full-time?”

    As our departure day to leave the USA again grows near, this is the recurring question.  People we meet often show, interest, surprise, envy, jealousy, horror and confusion. But most of all they are curious. How exactly do you prepare to leave the country and travel full-time?

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Thailand

    So over the past couple of weeks I have been pulling together some details to share again. A lot of details.  In fact, I would answer the above question with a simple sentence.  “It’s in the details.”

    Before we embarked on the first phase of the Grand Adventure we spent several years preparing.  A younger person, like my son, can prepare more quickly, in a matter of months.  But for Fab Fifty rock stars like me and my husband, it took more time.

    For us about three years.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Morocco

    When the idea first sprouted, I knew immediately we would do it.  Without a question I knew it was right for us.  All while knowing it isn’t right for everyone.

    In fact, making a major life change like this should take some serious soul searching – are you cut out for a life of travel? What is your tolerance level?  Consider everything from beds to cultural customs when considering your personal tolerance for living outside of the United States.  Do you have phobias? Afraid of bugs? Snakes? Rodents or people not like you? Are you afraid of cultures where everyone isn’t white?  Are you willing to eat new foods, communicate in languages other than English and squat to go to the bathroom? Give it a think because, a life of full-time travel isn’t for sissies or intolerant people. You gotta be open, willing and fairly fearless while being smart, observant and adventurous.

    Once you know your tolerance level that in-turn will help you determine your budget.  Because if you are only willing to stay in upscale American style hotels, then your budget will need to look very different

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Vietnam

    from ours.  Our travels have us staying in primarily Airbnb’s that average about $70.  And honestly if you are only willing to stay in American brand hotels with 300 thread count sheets and someone to cater to your every whim – well, you should just stay in the USA. Because you will miss the most rewarding part of travel – getting out of your comfort zone and expanding your world view.

    We have a daily budget of $200 all-inclusive (transportation, lodging, food and misc).  This is plenty for most places and not enough for a few places, but we are frugal and hope it all evens out.  Because the

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Spain

    reality is if we can’t stay within our designated budget then the Grand Adventure will be over, sooner rather than later.

    Speaking of timeline – we don’t have one.  This of course would not work for everyone, but for us it fits.  We will continue the vagabond life as long as we are having fun.  As soon as it becomes anything other than fun, we will wrap it up.  But so far, 99% fun.

    So listed below are some “details” on how to prepare to leave the country and travel full-time.  Most of these things we have had to learn on our own – so if this list can alleviate any work for someone else considering traveling abroad full-time in retirement, use it well.

    PURGE – we started our purge process more than two years before we put our house on the market, as we let go of nearly every bit of fluff we owned, including house, cars, boats, trailer, furniture and more.  We have a 10×12 storage unit now that is holding what remains of our stationary lifestyle and life’s memories. During this same period we worked to purge my Dad’s house, remodel his place and get it on the market as well as move him to a smaller place.  It was a big goal to get him out of his large house before we left. It was a huge job but it needed to be done.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Cambodia

    DOCUMENTS – we updated our passports even though they were not expired, so we would not have any issues with needing to do that from abroad.  We also updated our Washington State Drivers License.  We will carry a copy of our marriage certificate with us but not our birth certificates because the passport is sufficient.  We have researched every possible country we think we might visit to learn the entry/visa requirements. We are carrying extra passport photos because some countries require obtaining a visa on entry with photo. We also carry International Drivers License, even though we have NEVER been asked for one.

    SPREADSHEET – we created a spread sheet, which is evolving constantly and we can access via Google Drive, to track all of our travel including air and ground transportation and lodging.  This spreadsheet includes notes regarding entry rules for countries. It’s also a fun tool for tracking so many things from miles traveled to beds slept in.  The data we have is incredible.

    MAIL – we are using a PO Box that belongs to my Mother-in-law, but we are trying hard not to receive

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Croatia

    any mail.  We have notified our friends and family not to snail mail us, we have contacted magazines and catalogs to eliminate junk (not very successful however) and we have changed all of our banking, retirement and property related mail to online only. I canceled my 35 year subscription to Bon Apetit.

    TECHNOLOGY – we have new smart phones, an iPad and my Brand new light weight Mac Book that will travel with us.  In addition we will bring our old flip phone.  For our smartphones (we each have an iPhone) we buy a sim card in each country for one of our phones to enable the phone to have a local phone number and data.  We then also use our iPhones with wifi for things like blogging, Facebook and Instagram.  The flip phone is programmed  with our old Verizon phone number from the states.  Although we don’t plan to use that number often, it keeps it active for emergency.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Seychelles

    We also have our Bose noise-canceling headphones and our Bose SoundLink Mini speaker that measures about 6 in x 3 in.  We carry this with us and it allows us to listen to music using Spotify and listen to Audible or other books.

    APPS – We have a few travel apps we like especially Airbnb, Expedia and Google Maps.  We also have a Google translate which is really cool.  You can point your phone at a sign or menu item in another language and it will show you what it says in English.  Love it.  We use WhatsApp, an app that allows you to make overseas calls via the internet, this is primarily the way we communicate with our kids.  To call our parents, who aren’t on WiFi, we use an app called TextNow which allows free phone calls from anywhere to the USA. We also use Kindle, Yelp, Uber, Get Your Guide and Trip Advisor.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure New Zealand

    CORDS AND CHARGERS – I honestly don’t understand why there isn’t a universal cord for all electronics, but alas wishful thinking.  So we have organized and sorted all our cords, charges and adaptors to travel along. We research ahead to make sure we know what adaptors we need in each country. We have one packing cube we use for all of these items.

    CREDIT CARDS – don’t you hate it when your credit card company announces suddenly that you are being mailed a new credit card because your card has been compromised?  Well that would really screw us up if that happens.  So we have FOUR credit cards.  One is our primary and three are backups.  Three cards have no foreign transaction fees (which is a killer).  We also have multiple ATM cards. All credit and debit cards are chipped.  VERY IMPORTANT is that we do not carry all these cards together in one place.  That way, if our wallet or purse is lost or stolen, we will have back up cards available in a different location.  We have contacted all of the card companies for both credit and debit and let them know we will be traveling abroad for an extended period.  We have put a reminder on our calendar to do this again periodically. We carry several hundred US dollar in cash for emergencies.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Portugal

    PRESCRIPTIONS – I take two prescriptions regularly.  It’s been a challenge to get enough of my meds stocked up.  My insurance company will allow, with a special doctor’s note, two 90 day vacation overrides.  I have been stocking up in other ways too, but it’s not going to be enough.  I will need to find access to these meds to fill the rest of the time, because we won’t be back in the US for a visit until next summer. Shipping prescriptions abroad is illegal. We have some people coming to visit us, so I may have them bring me my pills. But I am confident I can find the meds or an equivalent.  I will need to pay cash for those at the time.  I have also 12 months worth of contact lenses and we each have our glasses plus a back up pair.

    DOCTORS – during the three months we have been in the USA we have had a ton of appointments; family physician for full physicals, new prescriptions and precautionary antibiotics; eye doctor for new contacts and glasses; dermatologist for annual check up; dentist for cleaning and some work; gynecologist for check up; and annual mammogram. I had my updated yellow fever, and DPT shot and did a round of typhoid and got a two month supply of malaria meds.

    MEDIVAC INSURANCE – considering our age, we felt there was value in purchasing evacuation insurance.  This insurance covers expenses to transport us back to the USA in case of a medical emergency that can’t be handled locally.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Spain

    EXPEDIA AND AIRBNB – we love how these two
    online websites allow us to keep files of all your bookings.  This eliminates the need for printing and gives us easy access to our bookings.  We use them both frequently.

    DECIDING WHERE TO GO – After two years of non-stop travel we feel much more comfortable with our movement around the planet.  It feels natural.  We usually agree on where we want to go and make our decisions based on budget, weather, safety and interest. We love to go new places, but have a few favorites we return to. We take turns planing the itinerary, often taking a country each.

    Although we aren’t completely booked yet, we have a plan for August 2018 through June 2019 that includes; Denmark (visiting Arne’s cousins), Belgium, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Egypt &Jordan (the only countries currently where we are doing a tour), Portugal & Spain (where we will walk our second Camino de Santiago), Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru & Chile (these five countries on a cruise with Arne’s Mom), Brazil, Costa Rica (joined by our friends from Washington), El Salvador, Belize (joined by our two sons), Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Tunisia

    GIRL STUFF – I’ve learned some things about myself over the past two years. Despite how easy it is to have long hair and wear it in a pony tail everyday, I just hate the look on me.  So the budget will need to include more haircuts.  Mostly I do my own nails and wear hardly no makeup, but I still like to have my eyebrows waxed from time to time. I have just a handful of earrings and necklaces I wear and of course the charm bracelet. I’ve just purchased a jewelry case that’s I hope will help my jewelry not take such a travel beating.

    The Grand Adventure Australia

    PACKING – this topic is by far the one most people ask about, and indeed one of the hardest.  We will continue to use two large REI rolling bags.  Arne will continue to use his backpack as a carry on. But this time my backpack will stay home and I just purchased a new rolling carry on. And packing cubes have changed my life.  Organized and categorized I love using packing cubes.

    It helps that we are traveling, for the most part, to warm climates or to areas during their warm season.  We may see cool and rainy in Portugal and Spain in the late fall. Honestly the clothing choice has been easier than the shoes.  And the bulkiest items are not clothes or shoes it’s toiletries and

    The Grand Adventure Namibia

    medicines. I just purchased a flat style toilette bag to replace the larger boxier cube style one we have been carrying. I’m hoping this will free up some space in the suitcase.

    Without a doubt I am bringing twice the clothes as my husband, but I have learned so much this past two years for what works for me and what is comfortable and easy to maintain.

    How to travel full-time

    The Grand Adventure Laos

    I threw out almost all the clothes I used the past two years and have replaced them with fresh, new and comfortable.  Watch for a blog soon all about my new travel wardrobe. I think you’re gonna love it.

    In addition we have our electronics and documents and toiletries, first aid and meds.  We have our Scrabble game, our hiking poles, a selfie stick, an REI titanium French press, a can opener,a small knife, collapsible small cooler and colander.  I have a new “butt cushion” to hopefully alleviate sciatic pain on long flights.  I’ve thrown in some pens and pencils, scotch tape and packing tape, a bungee cord, cloths pens, plastic bags (multiple sizes) our headlamps and some extra batteries.  Of course I don’t leave home without my Washington State University flag, my Seattle Seahawks flag and THE MUG.

    So there you have it.  The details.  I’ve probably forgotten something.  We feel more prepared and less anxious than when we left two years ago.  We are looking forward to this next phase.

    Ready to launch year three of the Grand Adventure! T minus 33 days.

    I welcome your questions.

    Fabulous!

     

     

     

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    What’s Ahead for the Grand Adventure

    Location: United States

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    The Mug in the USA

    In the beginning I really enjoyed the planning. Figuring out where to go, where to stay, how to get there and what to do.

    Unfortunately it’s now a bit of a chore and I am suffering from travel planning fatigue. But it’s a necessary chore for this nomad life we have chosen. Ahhhh first world problems…

    Keeping the details straight, connecting the

    Finding an oasis

    The Mug in Bali

    dots and STAYING WITHIN BUDGET is a monumental effort.  We have fallen into a pattern of having our plans set about six months out at any given time. Sometimes however, like now, we end up with even more advanced plans. For instance, now we are looking at Christmas through February in South and Central America. This is the height of the season there, so we are planning even further in advance.

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    The Mug in Bulgaria

    Because we follow the sun on The Grand Adventure, we often hit high season. But because we also try to focus on less-touristy destinations, it usually works out. But, it still requires managing a lot of information, spending a lot of money on advance travel and lodging reservations, and trying to decide what we want to do and where we want spend our time.

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    The Mug in Thailand

    We often split up these tasks. My husband just finished planning Brazil and Costa Rica for December and January, while I am deep into research of the rest of Central America for late winter and spring 2019.

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    The Mug in Australia

    Our goals remain the same;  see parts of the world we have never seen; revisit some past favorites; and experience cultures and places where few visitors go.  Over the past two years we have had amazing success with this strategy. And until arriving in the USA this past May 14th, we have stayed on budget. Our time in the USA however has blown our budget.

    We will get back on track as soon as we leave the USA again. We have our plans confirmed now from Aug 7 – Feb 15th. During this time we will visit the following places; Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Miami, Key West, Panama, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.

    Travel Planning Fatigue

    The Mug in the Seychelles

    We are still researching the following possibilities from March – late May 2019; Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba and Jamaica.

    So we continue to plan – and to suffer from travel planning fatigue. But My Fab Fifties Life requires being organized and so we have become adept at the planning and managing the details.

    A full and fabulous life.

    Watch for more USA blogs coming soon.