At last! Our new upcoming, updated 669 day ITINERARY!!! Especially exciting news for Jess!!!

Its easy to spend lazy afternoons lounging on the cabana.  Here's the link to this fabulous vacation rental.
"Sightings on the Beach in Bali"

Muddy white horse getting a bath in the river.
With my 70th birthday in 16 months (no, Mom, I'm not wishing my life away!), Tom decided to surprise me with a new plan...after the Antarctica cruise ends on February 8, 2018, we're heading back to Africa! 

My 70th birthday is on February 20, 2018 and hopefully, we'll be celebrating at Jabula Lodge in Marloth Park, South Africa, with all of our friends whom we've stayed in close touch since our departure on February 28, 2014, a full four years ago.
Sumbersari, Bali to Denpasar, Bali1road trip10/29/2016 - 10/29/2016
Hotel - Kuta, Bali1 10/29/2016 - 10/30/2016
Flight - Denpasar, Bali to Sydney, AU1red eye10/30/2016 - 10/30/2016
Hotel - Sydney, Australia1 10/30/2016 - 10/31/2016
 Cruise - Sydney to Perth 16 RC Radiance of the Seas  10/31/2016 - 11/16/2016 
 Cruise - Perth to Sydney 17 RC Radiance of the Seas  11/16/2016 - 12/3/2016 
 Tasmania #1 Penguin Beach House 44  12/3/2016 - 1/16/2017 
 Tasmania #2 Anchorage Waterfront 44  1/16/2017 - 3/1/2017 
Cruise - Sydney to Sydney 12 Celebrity Soltice  3/1/2017 - 3/13/2017 
 Sydney House - Fairlight  House - Manley40 3/13/2017 - 4/22/2017 
 Cruise - Sydney to Seattle  24 RC Explorer of the Seas  4/22/2017 - 5/15/2017 
 Hotel - Vancouver Marriot Pinaccle2 5/15/2017 - 5/17/2017 
 Cruise - Vancouver to Seattle - Alaska  9 Celebrity Soltice  5/17/2017 - 5/26/2017 
Flight - Seattle to Minneapolis 0 5/26/2017 - 5/26/2017
Hotel - Minneapolis Family Visit42 5/26/2017 - 7/7/2017
Nevada Family Visit 21  7/7/2017 - 8/1/2017 
Costa Rica - Atenas - La Perla de Atenas 114  8/1/2017 - 11/22/2017 
Flight - Costa Rica to Fort Lauderdale0 11/22/2017 - 11/22/2017
Hotel - Fort Lauderdale, Florida1 11/22/2017 - 11/23/2017
 Cruise - Ft. Lauderdale to Santiago15Celebrity Infinity 11/23/2017 - 12/8/2017 
 Cruise - Santiago to Buenos Aires, Argentina 15Celebrity Infinity 12/8/2017 - 12/23/2017 
Hotel - Buenos Aires  - not booked31  12/23/2017 - 1/23/2018 
Flight - Buenos Aires to Ushuaiai, Argentina0  1/23/2018
Cruise - Antarctica - Ushuaiai to Ushuaiai16Ponant Le Soleil 1/23/2018 - 2/8/2018 
Flight - Ushuaiai to Buenos Aires0 2/8/2018 - 2/8/2018
Flight(3) - Buenos Aires to Nelspruit, SA3 2/8/2018 - 2/11/2018
Neslpruit to Marloth Park, South Africa0road trip2/11/2018 - 2/11/2018
South Africa - Marloth Park88Tom's 70th BD gift to Jess2/11/2018 - 5/10/2018
Rwanda, Africa for Gorilla Expedition7flights TBD5/10/2018 - 5/17/2018
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia7flights TBD5/17/2018 - 5/24/2018
Cruise - Zambezi River7flights TBD5/24/2018 - 5/31/2018
Flight - Zambia to Nelspruit, South Africa2flights TBD6/1/2018 - 6/3/2018
Neslpruit to Marloth Park, South Africa0road trip6/3/2018 - 6/3/2018
South Africa - Marloth Park88return stay6/3/2018 - 8/30/2018
Total Days Booked - More to Follow669
No words can describe my surprise and excitement when Tom sprung this happy news on me as we swam in the pool.  Sure, he knew I was chomping at the bit to return to both our human and animal friends in Marloth Park but I'd expected it would be several years out. 

Was he motivated by the fact that many of our vaccinations are good for ten years and by then, we'll be into the sixth year of world travel when we were originally inoculated in the US in 2012, shortly before we began our journey?  Or perhaps he was motivated by the reality that we aren't getting any younger and this long journey can be challenging, especially arriving from South America.

What a fabulous villa this has been in Sumbersari, Bail.  Note Tom's head in lower right as he lounges on the sofa out of the sun while I finish the post at the dining table.
Not only did we long to return to Africa to stay in Marloth Park, living in the bush with wildlife surrounding us, we'd yet to see the gorillas in Rwanda, cruise on the Zambezi River and see the largest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls by none other than a helicopter.  As we pieced together today's itinerary, it all became a reality. I'm so excited!

Each time I've brought up this topic in our future travels conversations, Tom said he'd be delighted to return although we still had a lot of world to see.  Long ago, we agreed that all decisions we make must be unanimous.  We've followed that edict to the letter. 

This has to have been our favorite dinner time view.
Now, he's come my way on this topic when he too realizes, we may not be able to do this forever.  Although I didn't nag him on the subject (I don't nag), he knew my heart longed for Africa one more time.  Many who've visited the continent feel this same affinity to returning someday.  Knowing he's now as enthused as I am, makes my heart sing.  Thank you, my dear husband, lover, travel companion and friend!

Speaking of birthdays and life's milestones, Tom 65th birthday will be spent the day we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 23, 2017, another special day to celebrate.  I'm certain we'll have no trouble making the event celebratory in Buenos Aires!

As you peruse this itinerary, you may wonder...Is this the end of our travels which at that point, as stated above, which will be only a few months shy of six years from the onset of our world travels?  As we've stated in many posts over these years, health will always be the determining factor. 

High tide view from the villa's second story veranda.
We'd anticipated that "getting tired of it" would be as crucial a reason to end this year's long journey as for any health reasons.  As time has marched on and we've became more and more adapted to this peculiar way of life, this reason would no longer be an issue for either of us. 

When we first began, we made a pact that if one of us wants to stop, we would.  Now, that prospect is somewhat of a joke.  Every so often we ask one another the question, "Are you tired of this yet?' 

Invariably, we laugh at the preposterousness of the question.  It would be comparable to one asking, "Are you tired of being happy yet?" 

There are many unknowns in this world we live in, risks and dangers we can hardly bear to imagine.  But, as always, we continue on with love and hope in our hearts and minds, in awe and humbled by the world around us, and always longing for more.
Dog on the paved road.
With the kindest of good intentions, many often wish us, "Have a nice holiday!  Enjoy your vacation!" to which we always say a simple, "thank you."  We look at one another with crinkly eyes twinkling, as wide smiles spread across our faces while these unspoken words spin simultaneously through our minds, "This is no holiday or vacation.  This is our lives! 

Its not always profound.  Its not always exciting.  Often, its challenging and frustrating.  At times, we have no choice other than to adapt to our surroundings, making the best of what may be excruciatingly difficult for a period of time. 

Isn't that how life is for all of us?  We're all longing for fulfillment in one form or another whether its for today, tomorrow or the future yet to come.

May you find life fulfilling, now and always.

Photo from one year ago today, October 14, 2015:

Cars and trucks could easily fit inside the ferry in Savusavu, Fiji.  Prices vary by weight as shown here at the ferry company's website.  For more details, please click here.


Staci Finch Thompson said...

How exciting! What an exciting addition to your itinerary!

Jessica said...

Staci, thank you so much! We are excited of what's to come in the future and also loving every moment we're living now in this peaceful location. We're especially excited for the upcoming back-to-back 33 night cruise when we're looking forward to meeting you and Glenn IN PERSON on the second leg! That's quite exciting! As time nears, let's make a plan as to when and where to meet, maybe happy hour at one of the fun bars. We'll scope it out and get back to you from the ship!

Much love,
Jess & Tom

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

What a lovely surprise! Experience gifts are the best kinds of gifts in my book.

Also I was just having a stickybeak at your upcoming travel and noticed you're off on an Alaskan cruise next year. We recently got back from one on the Norwegian Jewel, roundtrip from Seattle and it was excellent. It's obviously a bit different to yours but if you've not been to Alaska before and are after some excursion recommendations I'm happy to help!

Jessica said...

Rachel, you're so right about experience gifts. Long ago we gave up giving each other gifts with no room in our luggage. Its not worth paying twice, once for the gift and another for excess baggage.

As we get closer, we'll definitely like to hear which tours you experienced when you were in Alaska. We've heard nothing but rave reviews on Alaskan cruises.

Thanks for stopping by!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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