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    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.

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    A Day to Plan the Grand Adventure

    The Chapters Ahead

    Everyone is always asking about where are we going next. So here it is…

    We had a tremendous storm last night. Downpour. Deluge. Monsoon. Craziest thing I’ve ever been through. Worse than the cyclone in New Zealand.

    Today, cloudy and warm. Got a run in but the skies are threatening so we thought it would be a good day to stay put and do some advance planning for the Grand Adventure.

    The last time we sat down and planned out the months ahead was when we were in Thailand. Since Christmas is seven months away, we know we need to get some things booked to be sure we get the best prices. So today was the day.

    We already know where we will be through mid-October, including our five weeks on the Camino de Santiago. So today we made our reservations through Christmas. A little more than our usual six months out, because of the holiday.

    Here is what we already had booked –

    • Seychelles
    • Bulgaria (June)
    • Croatia and Slovenia (July)
    • Portugal (August)
    • Spain and Camino (Sept/October)

    we now have also confirmed –

    • Tunisia (October)
    • Morocco (Oct/Nov)
    • Namibia Safari (Nov)
    • South Africa (December)

    We are excited that Arne’s Mom will join us in Croatia and we will visit good friends Marbi and Raymond in Slovenia.  We look forward to our son Erik joining us in Portugal and visiting our Gig Harbor friend Leslie in Tunisia.  We are very excited to have our California friends Steve and Sarah share our Morocco adventure.

    And as of right now we will have a quiet solitary Christmas in South Africa.

    So now you know. What a way to live.  Life is Fabulous!

     

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    When I Was Young

    On My 57th Birthday

    When I was young I never worried about money or healthcare.

    When I was young I never heard of sunscreen or moisturizer (except Noxzema)

    When I was young I never thought about my daily BM or bladder control. And I certainly never talked about.

    When I was young a telephone was for making phone calls.

    When I was young I took for granted 20/20 vision and brown hair.

    When I was young I didn’t make funny noises trying to get out of bed in the morning.

    When I was young I didn’t spend energy worrying about my kids. I only worried about myself.

    When I was young I didn’t have skin on my neck and under my arms that flapped like a sheet in the wind.

    When I was young you had to stay in one room to listen to music or watch TV.

    When I was young I was convinced I didn’t snore.

    When I was young there was a  thing called writing letters.

    When I was young I took things for granted.

    When I was young I didn’t have a husband who loved me no matter what.

    Being young is overrated.  Go back? Never !

    Fifty-Seven and Fabulous!

     

     

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    Map My Trip

    Chapter Five – My Great Nieces & Nephews

     

    When I was a little girl, maybe as young as four, my aunt and uncle lived for a short time in Hawaii.  Hawaii seemed incredibly exotic to me, even as young as I was – not much more than a toddler.  When my aunt came home she brought a grass skirt and bikini top for me and my sister.  I was smitten for Hawaii right then and still am to this day.  I never forgot that first love for exotic travel.

    Looking at the map with my great niece Elsa and great nephew Isaiah.

    Looking at the map with my great niece Elsa and Her Mom Nichole.

    I have a total of thirteen great nieces and nephews.  Seven of them are in early grade school.  An age when kids are inquisitive and impressionable.  I want to use our travels in a positive way, and I think I can help my younger nieces and nephews learn a bit about the world through my Grand Adventure. And in turn, maybe they will have lifelong memories like my experience with my aunt.

    My great nephew Landon and great niece Lily

    My great nephew Landon and great niece Lily

    So for my grade school age nieces and nephews I have given each family (three) a world map for their wall. As we travel in the years ahead I will stay in touch with these fast growing little ones by sending them post cards and from time to time small gifts and books. I hope to encourage them to find us on their map as well as research online

    Cards I bought today to send.

    Cards I bought today to send from Thailand

    about the places we are. They will follow our travels, learn about far off places, new cultures and people.  And perhaps be inspired to be a world citizen in a country that too often lives in a bubble.

    And hopefully not forget me and my husband as they grow so quickly.

     

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    Arizona Hey Won’tcha Go My Way

    Chapter Four

    We are leaving Route 66 for a bit while we are in Arizona. Don’t worry!  We will be back. But today we divert up to the Grand Canyon.

    This will be my third visit to the Grand Canyon, but not my last. Because hiking to the bottom and staying at Phantom Ranch will stay on the bucket list. Unfortunately I was not able to get a reservation to do that on this trip. I tried but…

    For the next three days we will be “roughing” it at a campground inside the National Park that does not have power. And the nighttime lows are supposed to

    It was very windy at Meteor Crater

    It was very windy at Meteor Crater

    be dropping into the 20’s. Brrrrr. If it’s miserable we won’t stay – we are flexible! Before we leave Flagstaff today we are gonna swing into Wally Mart and buy some sweatpants to sleep in!

    I don’t know if I will have cell service either. Might be a nice break from all the garbage on Facebook

    Old Town Flagstaff

    Old Town Flagstaff

    right now. Maybe we should just stay out of cell range until November 9th…

    But after the Grand Canyon we have reservations in Scottsdale where it should be sunny and warm. I’m looking forward to a reunion there with friends and

    The cool "Ghost Town" of Two Guns

    The cool “Ghost Town” of Two Guns

    some time by the pool. And hopefully morning runs again as this past week we have not run at all since we have been moving everyday.

    So it’s Arizona for the next nine days and then back to the Mother Road to the end. So much to see and do in this beautiful and fascinating state – hey wontcha Go my way?

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    Living in 90 Square Feet

    Chapter Four – Tiny House Extreme

    Location: Route 66

    Mile 5300. Day 25.

    I’ve said all along to spend any amount of time in Betty you need to have patience. To sleep two people in Betty you need to really like each other.  And to travel across the continent in Betty you must have a sense of humor.

    Some days that’s easier than others.

    Driving down the road people stare. When we are set up at a campsite people want to come look, and even take photos.

    Processed with Snapseed.

    Sometimes when that gets old I need to remind myself if I don’t want the attention I shouldn’t be driving across two countries pulling a bright pink trailer.  I mean really  what did I expect?image

    Cooking in Betty presents some challenges, but we are committed to cook and avoid eating in restaurants as often as possible so we are creative with dining – stove top cooking only and dishwashing in dish pans on the picnic table.image

    Laundry hasn’t been much of a problem. We have found laundry available in many of our campgrounds. The only problem we had, was when I hung a towel to dry over a light fixture and it caught on fire! Yikes!

    We have a system down for setting up and tearing down at each site.  When we pull into a site I jump in the trailer and get the inside organized and decorated while Arne gets the exterior set up, level and decorated.  It takes about 20 minutes. Then we have a gin and tonic.image

    Although we prefer to stay more than one day at each site, it’s not so difficult to set up and tear down if we don’t.

    We went to  Walmart early in the trip and bought a few things to make life in Betty a bit easier; a battery operated lantern, a turf door mat for outside, a small rug to wipe our feet inside and more dishcloths.  Oh the luxuries of life!image

    We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather and so far we have only eaten dinner two times indoors. When that is necessary we have a small table we set up. We also use that table for scrabble and cribbage. It folds up and tucks away when we don’t need it.image

    Our bed is also the couch. Some days we don’t fold the bed up. It’s just easier not to. Neither of us sleep soundly in this space, but it’s not too bad, given the dimensions.  We sleep with our heads at opposite ends of the bed.  Arne says its like the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Family.  It does give us a bit more room to move about at night.

    Bedroom/Living Room After

    The biggest challenge of course is when I have to pee in the middle of the night – and I am after all a fabulous fifty female so you know I pee frequently.  Some campgrounds we are closer to the bathroom than others.  I keep my sweatshirt by the door and my flip-flops just outside the door and I just go when I gotta.  Usually alone but sometimes Arne wakes up and tags along.  Nothing like togetherness.

    All of our clothes are on a hanging bar in the back FullSizeRender copy 8seat of the car.  We each have a side. We keep our shoes in there too.  So we go back and forth both in the evening and in the morning hanging back up and taking things off hangars for the day.

    We keep all our toiletries in a bucket. We take the entire bucket to the shower. It keeps everything together and is easy to carry.

    We are now heading South and hopefully that means we will pull out the fan instead of the heater. We have seen a wide range of temperatures in the last three weeks from 35 to 79 degrees.

    More evenings outside are also hopeful in the

    imagefuture. We really enjoy reading in our outdoor chairs under the canopy in the evenings.

    The key to living in 90 square feet really is being organized.  And we are – most of the time.

    All in all I think we are doing pretty well – two old retired folks living in 90 square feet.

    Fabulous!