Defining new goals for future travel...More interesting Thai art...

No disrespect intended here when Tom wanted to illustrate the size of this statue while also making me laugh at his copycat antics.
After 46 months of travel we've come to a number of conclusions as to what makes this life altering experience most meaningful, with the utmost of flow, most realistic expense-wise, and most readily maneuverable as we age.

Foremost in our minds, which we've hoped to accomplish all along, has been to cruise to as many locations as possible, avoiding airports with excess luggage fees, hours of waiting and travel time, long lines and a usual amount of frustration.

With our objective to see as much of the world as we can, staying in fabulous vacation homes and cruising as often as possible within our itinerary, we've done well so far. 

This precious statue in the front yard reminds us the sweet gentle nature of the Thai people.
Good grief, we've been to every continent in the world except Antarctica, which we'll visit in slightly over 17 months.  Having accomplished each continent to some extent, we'll now need to begin retracing some of our steps to see those fabulous countries and locations we may have missed the first time around, those that appeal to us the most.

Our future decisions will be entirely predicated by these three factors:
1.  An intense interest and desire in visiting a new location
2.  Convenience we can create through using cruises more than we have as a means of transportation thus avoiding flying as much as we have in the past
3.  Affordability - Are we at a point where we may be willing to pay a little more for cruises we may have avoided in the past?

Here again, another heartwarming rendition of the Thai people.
This is not to say we'd like to be cruising all the time.  We don't.  The idea of spending three months or more on a cruise ship doesn't appeal to us.  The upcoming 33 night back-to-back cruise beginning on October 31st is about as long as we'd ever desire to be at sea, although we anticipate this cruise with considerable enthusiasm.

In these past 46 months we've been on 14 cruises (includes the recent river cruise) averaging one cruise every 3.2 months.  This doesn't mean we want to cruise more often.  We just want cruises to become even more efficient in getting us to locations we'd like to stay for one to three months in between.

This piece is above the bed in the master bedroom.
When a new reader from Houston, Texas wrote to us yesterday in a much appreciated personal email, she mentioned a trip she and her husband thoroughly enjoyed traveling on the Trans-Siberian train from Mongolia to Moscow.  This appeals to us.  There's so much more world for us to experience.

Have you checked our map on the right side of the homepage under the main photo of us taken in front of the Treasury in Petra, Jordan?  When looking at this map, its obvious we have many parts of the world yet to visit. 

Large pots such as this located in the living room are popular in Thailand.
Actually, we've only been to 54 countries of the world's 196 which translates to slightly less than 28% of the world's countries.  Considering there are a number of countries we'll never visit due to political unrest, wars, visa restrictions and danger for tourists, we still have plenty of countries remaining to visit.

For us, this is not the Amazing Race, with a clock ticking to accomplish as many feats as possible in a designated period of time.  This is our lives and we'd merely like to do what appeals to us as each year we strive to expand our horizons, our experiences and our knowledge of the world, its people, its cultures, its wildlife and its vast beauty.

More textured Thai art in the master bedroom.
For me, if I were the only person deciding, I'd park myself in Africa for years to come to further explore my love of wildlife.  For Tom, he's totally content to continue as we have.  We compromise.

But, within that framework, we both know, health providing, we'll return to Africa sometime in the next several years where, he too, has a lot more he'd like to see such as Victoria Falls, the gorillas in Rwanda and many more safari adventures.

Within 16 months, we'll cruise to South America where we have an entire continent to explore with never ending opportunities in fulfilling many more dreams of seeing that which appeals to us the most.

This exquisite piece is located outside on a wall near the pool.
With current bookings extending to March 4, 2018, ending on March 18, 2018, 19 months from now, we have plenty of time for research in extending our itinerary and further fulfilling our more defined criteria as we've stated above.

Today, we're heading out for an easy sightseeing venue and grocery shopping.  We'll be back tomorrow with new photos.  We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Please, keep those wonderful email messages and comments coming!  We're loving hearing from YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, August 12, 2015:
This parasitic plant in our yard in Trinity Beach, Australia appears to be a face looking up to the sky with leaves in it's mouth and throat.  Vegetation is another fascinating aspect our lives.  For more, please click here.


LDB922 said...

Dear Jessica and Tom,
I had just finished reading this post in email on my iPad, and hopped over to BBC News before settling down to sleep. I was horrified to see the first headline about the bombings in Thailand, including Phuket!! They only specifically mentioned Patong, which seems to be some distance from Rawai, so I don't know if other locations were hit on the island. I trust the two of you are personally unharmed, but I'm so very sorry for the island and the whole country. This seems very deliberately aimed at affecting the tourist industry which is so important to them.
This must be very upsetting for you and all the islanders around you. My thoughts are with you, and I am sure you will hear the same from many of your readers, family and friends.
Stay safe, my friends.
Aloha, Louise

Jessica said...

Louise, thank you so much for writing. It is very scary and so sad. Yesterday morning when we grocery shopped, we were only about 20 minutes from Patong and had no idea what was going on. We hadn't turned on the TV news in days and had no clue until hours after the bombings. We live in frightening times. No place is safe. We travel with caution and yet, danger lurks at every corner.

Much love to you and Steve,
Jess & Tom

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