The waves sloshed onto the shore, as the sun warmed us. Having walked a couple of miles from camp down the beach, we stopped for a rest on a downed log, luxuriating in the absolute solitude. Not another soul disturbed our peace, other than a few pesky sea gulls, but even they seemed more subdued than normal. Aspen took a break from exploring to come in for pets, as Porter leaned back against me, raising his head to the sun, eyes mere slits, the picture of complete contentment. On this uncharacteristically warm, non-windy day, at the Oregon coast in FEBRUARY, life was good.
I walked back to my desk much more relaxed than anytime in recent memory, having just enjoyed an all too brief chair massage courtesy of the company. It has been YEARS since Jim and I have properly indulged in massage. The desire to pay off debt and escape the 9-5 had caused on to cut back on all such indulgences. However, that brief massage did wonders for both my tight shoulders and my spirit and reminded me why we are such fans of the practice….for massage creates a feeling of complete relaxation and well being.
The life of an overlander want-a-be can be complicated. Complicated by the fears of how to make life on the road happen. Fear of the unknown. Fear of leaving behind all that is familiar. Fear of running out of money. Although I strive to keep this site about our travels and dream life, our current life here at home is currently threatening said dream life.
With another year upon us, many people turn to New Years resolutions. Never one to head down that path, I am instead inspired by our friend, Sarah’s decision to assign 2015 an adjective that describes how she is currently seeing her place in the world. While her word was expansion, I find myself most closely connecting to Transformation.
“There are years that ask questions, and those that answer.”~
Rather than write a long narrative on the year that was, I wanted to simply look back on the photos. Reminisce on the thousands of memories, and countless adventures that emerged on this past trip around the sun.
In no particular order, here are some of my favorite moments of 2014.
Christmas is next week. It snuck up on me this year, and I was a bit startled to realize it is already upon us. Mentally, we are so removed from the idea of acquiring things, seemingly the sole purpose for the holiday these days, that my focus has been far, far away from shopping malls and Christmas shopping. Oh, I still love the holiday for the festivity of it all, and spent much of the last weekend simply sitting and admiring our lovely tree, adorned in dozens of ornaments, all with a story. Every single ornament on that tree was picked up by us at some random point around the world, or given to us at our annual Christmas parties by dear friends.
Stopovers. In our experience, they’re generally a waste of time, money, and effort. At various times we have decided to break up a long flight with a stopover in, say, JFK, and I have to say, they never live up to our hopes. Instead of a luxurious sleep in, for instance, before a 17 hour flight to South Africa, we were advised we needed to check out by 10am or pay a late check out fee, which amounted to an entire additional night at the hotel! After an expensive, not great night, we still spent hours sitting at JFK. Not my idea of a great time.
We pulled into town on the afternoon bus from Saigon. Heat waves shimmered off the pavement, and the smell of pungent fish sauce assaulted our sinuses. Saigon, our entry point into Vietnam, had been sheer chaos. Amazing, intriguing, delicious and dripping in history to be sure, but absolute chaos. After risking our life and limb on a daily basis exploring the city, we were more than ready for a different type of traffic jam. Enter Mui Ne.
“Oh crap, she did it again!” Jim hastily rolled down the windows for a refreshing breath of fresh air, intent on dissipating the overwhelming scent of Aspens seemingly never ending gaseous emissions from the back seat. Our little family was heading to the beach for a fantastic three night getaway, taking advantage of a long Thanksgiving weekend. We’d started the day by enjoying a festive family dinner, leaving Aspen and Porter at his parents during dinner. We returned for them only to discover several pieces of drooled upon bits of something. Opps.