This is why we left Minnesota...Please watch today's included video to see why...

Wow!  This bloom in the yard is multifaceted!
"Sightings on the Beach in Bali"

While walking on the beach we encountered this run down house that apparently is occupied.
Frequently, we're asked why we left Minnesota and also why we left the US when there's so much we've yet to see in our home country. As mentioned in yesterday's post there are many reasons.

Many Minnesotan retire to live in a second home in a much warmer climate.  Minnesota's weather is not friendly to senior citizens when falls on ice and snow are common in the wintertime as well as auto accidents, spinning out on ice and snow as shown in this video Tom stumbled upon yesterday.

Carts are commonly used in Bali since most are able to be attached to motorbikes.

Its easy to laugh over people falling down as shown in the video but often these falls result in a broken hip, back or leg or even worse, a serious head injury.  These types of injuries can be permanently debilitating for seniors, if not life threatening.  We seen it happen over and over again over the years.

Sure, there were times we fell and laughed hysterically.  But, it wasn't so funny when I fell down a flight of icy steps at the neighbor's house when I was babysitting their dog while the husband was in hospital having a heart transplant.  I tore my right shoulder which was problematic for years which eventually healed without surgery.

When we drove down this road it proved to be a dead end with an outdoor market. 
This fact alone is enough for most seniors to look for a warmer climate where they can spend their time living back and forth between two homes.  This idea didn't appeal to us; the upkeep and maintenance of two homes in two distant cities, worrying about a power outage while away for the winter and of course, the cost of having two homes, cars and lots of "stuff."  We have no stuff now other than what is contained in three suitcases and two carry on bags. 

We spent hours researching options for having two homes and it just didn't work for our budget, not if we wanted to live comfortably with an water/ocean view or oceanfront properties (when possible).  Nor could we wrap our brains around living in a condo, not at this time in our lives.

There wasn't any possibility of parking at the outdoor market.  There was only space for motorbikes.
Freedom...that's what we desired.  Freedom to see the world, freedom to explore, freedom to expand our personal knowledge and appreciation for the world around us.  It all made sense to us but not always to others.

Let's face it, most of us work almost for a lifetime trying to achieve our goals, grow our families and live a life commensurate with what is "expected" of seniors when they retire. 

This guy on a motorbike had a attached basket carrying live chickens.
Tom spent over 42 years working outdoors in cold and snow while working on the railroad.  I spent 45 years working hard often driving, getting in and out of the car subject to awful weather conditions both hazardous and annoying.  Tom didn't enjoy having to snow blow and shovel for two or three hours after each snow storm.  Nor would he have enjoyed this at 65 or 70 years old.

We both felt a need and passionate desire to step outside that box of expectations and to live life on our terms.  We didn't make the decision without careful consideration and planning.  Of course, we cried when we left leaving all of our loved ones behind.

Most Balinese people use propane for fuel for cooking.  We've seen these green tanks on backs of motorbikes as well as on trucks.
Was it selfish?  Undoubtedly.  But, don't each of us have the privilege and the right to find our own happiness?  Long ago, we decided if we weren't happy after a year or two, we'd move back to the US to a warm climate and begin again to live a more structured life. 

To our surprise as these four years have flown by, we've became more and more enthralled with the quality of our lives and the experiences we've blissfully embarked upon as we continue to explore this vast planet.

Finally, we were able to turn around to head back down the narrow street.
If, for some unforeseen reason, we had to stop now, we'd be heartbroken to end this quest.  We know the time will eventually come when we physically find this life to be too challenging based on age related conditions that tend to befall most elderly people regardless of how hard they've work to maintain good health.

For now, even with my recent injury, we have every intention along with our  passionate desire to continue on, especially evident as we continue to book locations well into the future.  Our next new bookings for which we're currently engaged in research, will easily stretch all the way into 2019 and 2020 and health providing, well beyond.  Lofty ideas?  Sure.

Back on the highway again, we mentioned that it would be great if we knew the language enough that we could decipher they types of businesses.
Once we pin down the future bookings, we'll excitedly share them here. In the interim, we're happily engaged in our lives here in Bali...the sun is shining, the sky is a clear blue and we're as happy and content as we can be.

We hope you'll find contentment in this day and always.

Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2015:
I talked Tom into posing in front of this beautiful palm frond in Fiji, one year ago.  We hadn't seen this type of frond since we'd been in Belize in early 2013, taking a similar photo of me at that time.  For more photos, please click here.


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