Less than 24 hours until we're on US soil as we celebrate life after 7 years of world travel....

Bartenders performing tricks at the Ice Bar.
It's hard for us to fathom the idea that tomorrow on Halloween, October 31st, we'll be stepping foot on US soil for the first time in 2 years, 3 months, which coincidentally, will be the seven-year anniversary of the day we left Minnesota to begin our world travels.
For us, it's a momentous day for many reasons including the harsh reality of the struggles we experienced in the past year with the necessity of my having the triple coronary bypass surgery in February and the subsequent slow recovery.

Many often asked us, "What will you do if something bad happens?"  
Passengers learning dance steps in the Centrum.
We have no home, no place to land, no belongings to settle into should such a situation arise. At the times of such questions, we've always replied, "We'll figure it out."

And...we did.  We figured it out and, here we are 8½ months later with me feeling well, albeit a little terrified at times when thinking about what transpired after being in the operating room four times in six weeks.

But, we must continue to face another harsh reality...that there's no guaranty that I will be OK in the long run. Then again, no one has such a guaranty. Life doesn't come with warranties and return policies.  

We "get what we get" and none of us are exempt from those unpredictable situations whereby our lives are turned upside down by a single event. For now, we survived and for this, we are more grateful than words can express here in a post written with the utmost of candor and vulnerability.
Dancer training passengers to perform dance steps.
We often surprise ourselves by how well we survived this trauma, how well we, as a couple, came out on the other side. Here we are on a cruise ship on its way back to the USA to see family and friends and to be reminded so close to this anniversary of how delicate life can be.

Playfully, we're enjoying every moment of this cruise, often finding ourselves laughing, dancing, and reminiscing over how much we've gained, how much we've learned and how we've survived these fascinating, exciting and dangerous past seven years.

The future? Who knows? None of us knows. None of us can state emphatically that we'll continue on any path we've chosen for the past years, months or even days. Life will always be uncertain.

Tomorrow, our ship arrives in New York City. At this point, we may or may not get off the ship. Halloween festivities will create more traffic, more tourists, more hustle and bustle that at this point neither of us are much interesting in exploring.
The participants are having a great time learning dance steps.
The calm and peacefulness we're experiencing during this highly pleasurable cruise could turn on its head if we threw ourselves into that tumultuous environment right now.  

Plus, I've only been able to walk well for that past six weeks. I don't know if I'm ready to tackle as long a walk as will be required if we get off the ship.  Our other option is a taxi to be potentially stuck in Manhattan traffic, a situation totally unappealing to either of us at this point.

We'll see how it goes and what we feel like tomorrow. We have no one to please but ourselves and as we've discovered during the past seven years, we aren't "required" to do anything that doesn't appeal to us at any given time.

Please check back tomorrow for our anniversary celebrations as we share highlights of this exquisite journey that we hope we'll be blessed to carry on.

Have a safe and festive Halloween!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2018:

Our friend Lois feeding a large number of kudus who stopped by.  She puts the pellets on the veranda's edge to keep the helmeted guineafowl from taking them all.  For more photos, please click here.

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