I’m certainly not answering these Bootsn’all Around-the-world, Challenge Questions promptly, but I am paying attention to them as they hit my inbox daily. So, here is a collection of a week’s worth of wonderful and thoughtful questions posed to those of us out on the world trail and those who are planning to go pretty soon.
#23 How is Slowing Down The Best Way to Travel? – During each new Around-The-World (RTW) trip…. this is my third…. I have slowed down more and more. The last two amounted to a year apiece, with less and less advance planning. For my first, I bought six-month’s worth of one-way tickets at a time. For the second, and this one, I snag last minute, bargain, one-way, airfare; letting availability determine my departure time and direction. Plus, I forget about all such details until my visa limitation forces me to move across a border.
Within a country, I may stay in one town the whole time, not feeling any inclination to swan about, touristing. That has happened here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I’ve hunkered down for a stretchy-sided, duration, morphing into some sort of permanence, like all my fellow expat Gringos. Leaving doesn’t have to appear on my agenda for another five months.
#24 Do You do Creative Cooking On The Road? – I don’t indulge in the cooking side of things; only the consumption, and that is most extremely delightful. Sassha, my apartment roommate, is a genuine creative artist of a cook and it’s fun to see how the other half lives. It’s also comforting to know that the causes are genetic. There’s a balance between humans and we each need each other to create and consume. Travel provides our ever-changing landscape, full of raw materials for eager cooks and hungry feasters.
#25 Do You Work While Traveling? Do You Make Money On The Road?
No, I don’t. Because I have a dependable Social Security deposit regularly refilling my bank account and because life outside of the U.S. isn’t as expensive, I can manage without finding supplemental income. I’m attracted to the idea of photoshopping and posting my travel photos on the istock sites and selling them in a passive income stream, but I haven’t taken the steps yet to set that up.
#26 What Are Your Tricks For Staying Healthy? Have You Ever Gotten Sick On The Road?
I follow the same routine of eating fresh, organic food whenever possible. I don’t overeat, and certainly, have never smoked. Exercise comes naturally, by walking miles on cobblestones. Plus, I’m a sleeper and napper of the Early-To-Bed variety. Other than a few colds, my only travel health emergency was one I didn’t experience, but my body did. A few years ago, I keeled over in the Stockholm, Sweden, Airport and woke up two days later in the hospital. No MRI, or other examination, turned up any clue for that weird coma. So, I’ve ignored the episode. I was lucky to be in a socialized medicine country as I was not charged for the hospitalization.
#27 – How Does Exploring A New Place Affect You? Physically, Mentally, Spiritually?
You may as well be asking: “How Does Life Feel?” Being in new places comes so naturally to me that this is when I feel in balance. Whenever I become rooted to one place, that’s when things feel “off” to me. Something begins to stir and a restlessness forms within me until I finally take notice of the need to get moving again. My ancestors, on both sides, were sea captains; so this makes perfect sense to me.
I have now worked things out to be in permanent transit, as I own nothing in any particular country. The planet is my home and I feel perfectly natural everywhere. That said, I’m acutely aware of the atmosphere of certain places over others and I stay as long as I can in each one of those good-feeling spots. Then, I move on in search of others like that.
#28 – What Have You Discovered About Yourself In Your Travels? Did You Start For Discovery Or Escape? Have Your Reasons Changed Over Time?
I’ve learned that I must stay on the road in some way or another. Slow travel suits me well and I delight in staying longer in places that grab me. I love the people I meet and I love to find my Gringo Expat counterparts. They are not found at home! They are Out Here! I’m a very social person but I can also take my leave and travel alone, knowing that I’ll bond with others like myself, again, soon enough. We, Road Warriors, are sociable loners and we like each other well.
But, I also carry on a rich, Inner spiritual life, so I never feel lonely, even in the most isolated of circumstances.
Discovery and Escape are twin sisters! Maybe, you can’t have one without the other? They are the two wheels on our bicycles and are all we need to move ourselves about. My reasons feel consistent over time.
Consciously, I’m not looking for a man to share my adventures with. But, subconsciously, I probably am! Perhaps, I can sum this subject up by quoting a conversation at our women-only, Thanksgiving table yesterday. “The men our age are, either already married; or are simply looking for a Nurse With A Purse, while waiting for the Hearse!” That never was my style and surely isn’t now, even more than ever!
I want to travel, even at my very-advanced age of 78, because there is no reason not to! I’m healthy; I can afford it; and I’m adventurous and eager to satisfy my curiosity! So far, I have no alternatives and can’t imagine ever wanting one.
But, I will adjust if one ever discovers me. I view death as merely a passport to enter a country I can’t access otherwise; so I’m always eager to finally access that Far Shore. In the meantime, this planet is plenty for me!