Where Are We Going Next?
A sweet friend had honored us
with this greeting card’s message
as we prepared for our Journey.
It is the day before Thanksgiving, near the end of November, 2018. We are visiting Claire’s family and dear friends in and around New York. Since leaving Australia in June this year, we have been in northern California, mainly helping to care for Loren’s 92 year old mother, who had pneumonia earlier this year. We chose to stay at an AirBnB near her for two reasons. First, the travel from our own home in San Jose, California to her house would be challenging for the distance and traffic. The other is that if we asked the tenant to leave and moved back in, it would be unlikely that we would ever return to our extended travels, as we know from closing up our house the first time that the work involved would be daunting. If all unfolds as we hope, we will travel next to India.
How Do We Plan?
Our travel goals are a work in progress. The helpful aspect of goals is that they are sticks in the sand, not steel in cement, so can be repositioned as need be. We actually follow a plan, of sorts. We aim to look ahead for the next 3-6 months at a time, usually making a general plan and filling in details along the way. The key is to leave space in our Itinerary for serendipity and spontaneity – for that is when the real magic of travel shows up.
We have learned how much world challenges play a part in our need to be flexible. For example, we canceled a tour in Turkey in July, 2016. Had we been there then, the coup attempt would have forced us to end our trip early, so we now know that we had made the right decision. We also came across the “Schengen Visa” limit of most European countries, which is three out of every six months, maximum, that thwarted our original desire to travel for six months in Italy, as another example. Recently, we have read about possible visa limits of from 1-3 months in India. It also seems that American citizens must pay for 10 year visas when applying, with uncertainty that visas will be granted…
Our Focal Points –
Our three areas of focus on our Journey wherever we travel are on Being in Nature, attending Bikram Yoga classes – Claire teaches when the studios have a need while we are in the area, and, visiting Unitarian, Unitarian Universalist, or Universalist Unitarian congregations or gatherings. To gain a sense of Bikram Yoga and Unitarian Universalism, please visit our respective home studio and home congregation websites at http://www.bikramyogasanjose.com and http://www.uufs.org. We have also enjoyed stopping at United States Presidential Libraries – as of now on our Journey, we have seen twenty-two of them; as well as select Museums, and, national, state, county or local Parks on our way.
Our Deep Gratitude –
It goes without saying but is written here to acknowledge how joyful it is for us to visit with Family and Friends – especially those precious ones who we rarely see when we are living at home. We either now try to see our friends and family where they live, or meet up with them somewhere on the road. Additionally, our Journey is a spiritual quest; in part, in that Loren desires to bring more Joy and Laughter to those we meet wherever we go, while Claire craves to find ways to create more Peace in the world.
We are grateful to have been away for four-and-a-quarter years of extended travels. By not residing in our home now, we are still partially on our Journey. We hope to continue our travels in the future, even if not in the same fashion. It has been our sheer delight to learn so much about the world as we go, and to be able share our experiences with you.
Namaste and with Love,
Claire and Loren