Beauty is subjective...We've changed our perspective...

Mid-day sunlight filtering through the trees.
Kenya was dark in it's mystery, it's eerie sounds, it's dry dusty plains and it's sudden pelting rains.  At night, we'd hear a freaky indescribable sound, comparable to the tones in the movie, "Close Encounters of a Third Kind," a sound that impacted the way we felt about it, a little frightened, a lot in awe. 

The full moon rising as it made its way through the clouds above Yorkeys Knob.
In many ways Kenya was far removed from our familiar, as familiar as one can feel traveling the world with the certain ungainly expectations we've adopted as we've continued on.  Nothing was the same from that point on.  We've changed.

We aren't as afraid.  We learned to live outdoors for 16 hours a day with no living room or lounge area inside the house, no screens on our outdoor living room, a spacious veranda with a wide array of venomous insects always in attendance.  I was stung on the thigh early on and a year later it still hurt when I touched the spot.  We've changed. 

The moon offers up quite a show.
Now, as we prepare to move to Vanua Levu, Fiji, where we won't be able to rent a car when only a 4x4 is able to manage the steep and rocky roads near our vacation rental, too expensive to rent on this remote island. 

Comparable to most of the remaining nine months we spent in Africa, we'll have a driver, not as convenient as having a car but, manageable for our needs, shopping, dining out and touring the area.

The esplanade in Trinity beach doesn't disappoint with easy facilities for visitors of all ages.
One may ask, "Why make ourselves uncomfortable?"  Its not our intent to be uncomfortable.  Its simply a part of the experience as a way of life, not what one would want or expect from a two week vacation or holiday. 

In our old lives, if we'd taken a two week trip and had no AC, no screens, no place to be indoors if desired, with insects scampering about the floor, we'd want our money back. 

Signs were posted with the history of the area.
Its different now.  This is no two week vacation or fluffy holiday.  This is taking things as they come as we saunter about the world with expectations in check striving for the "experience."  Some of the best experiences we've had is when we've "toughed it out" which ultimately changed who we are, who we've become.

The beauty?  Its subjective.  Kenya is its own right was beautiful; the Indian Ocean a short walk from our home in Diani Beach, the most pristine beaches we've ever seen; the plains; the Masai Mara; the Mara River; the acacia trees, flat on the top, an exquisite site in the horizon; the wildlife; a gurgling hippo in the early all was beautiful.

Few cars drive along the esplanade when most of the visitors are on foot, currently staying in resorts along Trinity Beach.
I use Kenya as an example.  It would be easy to go on and on when many other countries hover in our minds contributing to the changes in who we've become.  What about Jordan, UAE, Italy, Egypt, Iceland and more?  But, that's not our intent today. 

Today, I think of beauty...again, words from an old favorite song, "Love the one you're with."  Those words convey so much to us;  love the moment, live in the moment, cherish our surroundings, cherish each other.  We do this.

Hotels, resorts and vacation homes line the esplanade along with several restaurants.
And, when we were on the boat from Green Island last week after visiting the Great Barrier Reef and we spoke to a few tourist couples, an Australian woman from the Gold Coast said, "Oh, we don't like Cairns." 

A few cars were parked in the convenient beachside car park.
Suddenly, I felt protective and blurted out in defense of our perceptions of beauty, "Cairns is lovely. We've loved every moment."

There were plenty of shady spots for those preferring to stay out of the sun.
have loved the beauty of the area in which we've lived for nearly three months; the tall fields with sugar cane growing along the roads, the endless sandy beaches, the cockatoos squawking overhead, the quaint shops along the various esplanades, the ever changing skies, the Hawaii-like vegetation and of course, the relatively predictable weather, sunny and warm almost every single

The annoyances that may frustrate a "vacation/holiday" traveler have been in essence insignificant to us; living without screens, the insects, the noisy curlews all night long; the steep driveway requiring an athletic event to take out the trash...we've easily managed it all here and comparably, in other countries.

The sand looks lumpy in this photo when in fact is fine and soft under foot.
As we grow to admire the pleasing perspective of the beauty of those we love, both of us find the same ethereal beauty in our surroundings.  Whether its a flower, a hummingbird, a koala, a sunrise or an expanse of sea, it all matters, it all fits into our realm of beauty.

Now, as we wind down our stay in Queensland, Australia, we have no regrets.  We saw everything we wanted to see. We did everything we wanted to do and we leave here fulfilled and appreciative for this beautiful place and its equally beautiful people.

It was quiet at Trinity Beach with only a few more visitors than we've noticed in the past.
The next step in our year's long journey takes us to a remote island with bumpy roads, open markets, no TV with the news of the outside world, friendly people and a lack of many of the conveniences we've enjoyed in Australia.  Without fear, without apprehension, we continue on with open hearts, open minds and an eye for beauty.  Without a doubt, we've changed.

Photo from one year ago today, September 2, 2014:

It was one year ago today that we had the profoundly moving experience of visiting The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France.  The photos and stories continued over a few days.  Please click here to begin.


Anonymous said...

Jess, I love your attitude and know that, that is why this traveling the world is working out so well for you.
To quote you "Today, I think of beauty...again, words from an old favorite song, "Love the one you're with." Those words convey so much to us; love the moment, live in the moment, cherish our surroundings, cherish each other. We do this."
I hope Dan and I can do this in our day to day living and not complain when things don't go the way we want. Here in America we have so much to be thankful for.
We love your posts and are still so fascinated with your traveling the world.
Pat and Dan

Jessica said...

Pat and Dan, thank you so much for your kind words. We needed to experience life without the abundance available in the US and to more appreciate the simple things in life. Ironically, we find people all over the world appreciating that which they do have, although rarely as much as the US has to offer.

A heartfelt thank you to both of you for continuing to read our ongoing story. We continue to pray for good health so we can continue on. And, we pray for that same good health for you and Dan as well.

Much love,
Jess & Tom

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