September firsts...Looking back over these past six years of posting on September 1st...

The day we arrived in Kenya on September 2, 2013, we were shocked to discover that there was no living room, no salon, no sofa, no chair nor a dining table and chairs on the interior of the house.  In other words, we spent three months living outdoors on this veranda with no screens, venomous insects on the floors, furniture, and walls and outrageous heat and humidity (no AC, no TV).  We adapted spending from 7 am to 11 pm outdoors every day for three months, less the time we went on safari in the Masai Mara.  What a good learning experience this was!  By the time we reached South Africa after leaving Kenya, we had no interest in being indoors in the two air conditioned living rooms in the Marloth Park house.  Again, we spent every day and night outdoors!  How quickly us humans can adapt! (To see this post, please click here).
 "Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
Most peculiar.  This little bird was hanging on to the screen of one of the glass doors.
Yesterday, while we swam and lounged by the pool, prior to the arrival of the afternoon rains we started reminiscing about September firsts, many of which were of particular significance to us in our world travels.

Since we began posting in March 2012, this is our sixth September 1st post which we're sharing in part with our Readers today after the playful poolside conversation sent our minds spinning over our past experiences.

We love sharing our daily lives with all of you and we also love being able to look back at our lives in words and photos during this many year's long journey.  Tom, who's memory for dates is amazing, was able to recall exactly what we did each of the past five years after leaving Minnesota in October 2012.

The only September 1st he couldn't recall was the month before we left as we began to wind down the time until our departure from our old lives to embark on a new life. 

The first September 1st post went like this...

"September 1, 2012

Is a good memory needed for travel? How I improved my memory after it started to decline...

Peculiarly, my memory is better now than when it was when I was 20 years old (so I think).  When I turned 50, while working at a stressful job, my memory started deteriorating rapidly.  I expected to be a mindless blob at 60, let alone, my now almost 65.  

I'd find myself wandering around a room, wondering why I was there, forgetting my keys (don't we all?).  On occasion, I'd get into a stranger's unlocked car in a parking lot that happened to be the same color and model as mine. That scared me. Remember names? Forget about it!  Impossible, at that time." To continue this post, please click here.

This morning at 6:45 am while watching the news in the screening room, Tom read me the above post in full.  Ironically, when we look back this far, we marvel over how little we've really changed in many ways since we began posting so long ago.  

And yet, our travels have molded us, refined us, and lightened us by the vastness of the experiences, making us less worried, less fearful and more adventurous than ever.

The next September 1st came quickly when by that point we'd been gone from Minnesota for 10 months, gone from the US for eight months, having left by ship on January 3, 2013, on the exciting cruise through the Panama Canal. Gosh, that seems like so long ago.

The second September 1st post went like this...

"September 1, 2013 

Arrived in Venice...Flying away tomorrow morning...

Last night, our last night in Boveglio, there was a wedding at the centuries old church across the road.  The smoke is a result of a short fireworks display set off to celebrate the newlywed couple.
The 4-hour drive to Venice was relatively uneventful although the traffic on the toll road was intense at times, moving fast with crazy driving typical for Italy weaving in and out of lanes with little regard for safety.

Tom is a good driver but his level of patience in traffic is lacking.  From time to time, it was a nail biter.  In charge of navigation, my task, itself was daunting. With a serious lack of road signs, driving long distances in Italy is a challenge.  During several stretches, we'd driven for miles unsure if we were on the correct road.  How we managed to get here without ever taking a wrong turn baffles me."  To continue this post, please click here.

Reviewing the above post we easily recalled that the next morning we were off on the longest travel day we've had to date, 34 hours from airport to airport, Venice Italy to Mombasa Kenya, an exhausting period with lengthy delays and layovers in Istanbul.  We'll never forget that day and night.

The third September 1st post went like this...

"September 1, 2014 

Part 1, A day in Normandy...Profoundly moving experience...

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Tom has always been the history buff in this family.  His knowledge of wars astounds me at times.  Having never taken a particular interest in past wars, other than feeling pride and compassion for our loyal soldiers, I didn't expect I'd find the 10 hour day exploring Normandy.

Not only did we both find visiting Normandy interesting but, our hearts were embraced by the way France and the US have maintained a peaceful and respectful tribute to our fallen soldiers from World War II.

Of course, we're anxious to share some of the many photos taken throughout the day.  Unfortunately, we just returned from our small group-of-eight-chartered-tour and time is short."  To continue this post, please click here.

Tom had suspected I may not enjoy the Panama Canal, as mentioned above, or visiting Normandy but both of these experiences were enlightening and meaningful to me as you can read in the above post from that September 1st.

The fourth September 1st post went like this...
(In this post, we reminisced about Kenya as we prepared to leave Trinity Beach, Australia for Savusavu, Fiji). 

"September 1, 2015 

Beauty is subjective...We've changed our perspective...
Mid-day sunlight filtering through the trees.
Kenya was dark in its mystery, it's eerie sounds, it's dry dusty plains and its sudden pelting rains.  At night, we'd hear a freaky indescribable sound, comparable to the tones from 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. 

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 in 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."  To continue this post, please click here.

We never have been able to get Africa out of our heads thoughts for which still reverberate today after so much time has passed.  It's hard to believe that in a little more than five months we'll return.
The fifth September 1st post went like this...

"September 1, 2016 

Today's the day, the four or five-hour harrowing drive to Sumbersari...(Please see the year-ago-photo below) 

With Butu picking us up at 10:00 am this morning after our included breakfast at the excellent and outrageously affordable Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Airport with room rates at US $50, IDR 663,300, we had a little time to complete this post, pack a few items and be on our way.  

As for the flights from Phuket to Bali, we found comfortable seating at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Singapore for the three-hour layover.  We signed up at the information desk for free Wi-Fi after showing our passports and boarding passes, purchased tea for me and bottle water for Tom and there we were in comfortable seating, writing to our loyal readers." To continue this post, please click here.

From there it was the four or five-hour harrowing drive, one of the most difficult car rides in these past years, one we'll never forget and never hope to repeat again, although we loved the villa, the people, and the location.

The sixth September 1st post went like this...

Well, here it is, today's post the sixth September 1st post we've done since we began posting on March 14, 2012 (here's our first post).  I suppose we won't ever be able to write this same September 1st-type post again or it will seem too much like Groundhog Day.  I guess.

Today's September 1st has as much meaning for us as any other date in our world travels, rich with memorable occasions, even amid the quiet times like yesterday, when we languished in the pool, remembering and remembering.

Fortunately, both of us have retained, if not enhanced, our good memories as we've aged over these past years since we wrote that first September 1st post as mentioned above in 2012.  We pray for good health, well being and the ability to remember which will allow us to continue on for many more September firsts and... all the remaining days of the year.

Be well.  Be happy and cherish every memory.


Photo from one year ago today, September 1, 2016:
By far, the  Hilton Garden In n Bali Ngurah Airport was the best bargain in a hotel we've experienced in our travels, ideal for those needing to be close to the airport.  For more details, please click here.


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