Our story!

For several years now I have had the urge to travel which has been a dream of mine before marriage and children. My husband was never keen on the idea until one afternoon last year he said, "let's do this!" The next day I began to sell, donate and give away items from my home. He was a bit shocked when he got home from work. I immediately called a realtor and our home sold within 24 hours for more than we were asking. I had sold, donated and given away EVERYTHING so that the day we moved we didn't even need a truck because we were able to drive away with everything we had left in both our vehicles. We moved to a smaller place directly across from the beach to enjoy the sunrise and sunsets for the following year before taking off to travel full time!

Milburn Apple Orchard in Elkton, Maryland

Our niece Theresa took us to the Milburn Apple Orchard in Elkton, Maryland a couple of years ago. We had the time best time and can't wait to go back again. It was great to be there in the month of October and see all the wonderful pumpkins decorated everywhere. This is definitely and must see if you are ever in the area!

Check it out on Google Maps

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Lake Okeechobee, Florida

What a scenic drive we had for a day outing to explore Lake Okeechobee Florida. It is a large freshwater lake that looks like an inland sea. A great place to fish, picnic and just enjoy the beauty of the water and wildlife around the lake. Just remember like any body of water in Florida it will have alligators!

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. - John Muir

 

Helen, Georgia

What a beautiful little town Helen, Georgia is to see. We camped just a couple miles away from this little village so we could spend time there too. There are so many unique things to see and foods to eat. My son n law, Stephen used to live in Germany so he really enjoyed the architecture and culture of this little place.

It is only about 2 miles long and packed full of things to see. There are waterfalls to walk to, a river to tube, stores with unique Bavarian gifts, German food, cabins and camping in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains that surrounds this little village. We had a wonderful time and something for everyone to do. A hike to a waterfall or a day in town. I found this place to be enchanting!

Reviews on Google Maps
Reviews on Trip Advisor


Happy Camping!

Our family has a tradition when hurricanes approach to run as far north, east or west as possible. Those trips have been some of our most memorable times so we just automatically turn it into an impromptu vacation.

We started this when the kids were really young because water came rushing into our house when I was a single mom with a 3 year old and a 6 year old. Our neighbor rescued us as we were huddled on top of furniture hoping not to drown in the flooding. I can't remember ever feeling so helpless and fearful for my little family. After I remarried and the first hurricane threatened to hit the coast my husband saw the fear in all our faces and said, "road trip!" We were never so relieved to get out of there and ended up in a tiny hotel in Valdosta, Georgia. We would walk to the Circle K to pick up snacks and drinks then order pizza. We had a blast just watching movies together and not fearful of the storms approach.

For 30 years we have had these impromptu vacations through Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. This year we ended up in the Chattahoochee National Park to camp as a family. It was fun to put up the tent together, cook out, hike to the waterfalls nearby and just sit by the fire and tell stories. I could not have planned this as well as it all came together and now we have another fond vacation memory together as a family!




Peanut Island

There is a little gem called "Peanut Island" in Riviera Beach, Florida. Many people don't realize they can go without having to own your own boat. We always pick up a water taxi at the Sailfish Marina and we bring our own picnic lunch. If you didn't want to pack a lunch you can always pick up some wonderful seafood at the Marina's restaurant. A great place to bring the entire family for the day or even longer if you decide to go camping. The water taxi's allow you to bring your gear and make it possible to bring your chairs, beach umbrellas, coolers, tents, etc. Call ahead to reserve and ask about the camping and how to reserve. Sailfish Marina Water Taxi link!


Check the reviews and pictures on Google Maps


Savannah, Georgia

We love to visit Savannah's historical district - it is one of the most romantic, historical, artistic and beautiful cities on the east coast. It is a must see as far as we are concerned! We used to drive up the Florida turnpike and then I-75 to see family in Tennessee but we take a different route now. I-95 all the way up the coast to Savannah Georgia. It adds a couple of hours but well worth it to us. Savannah is a great place to just stop and enjoy for 3 days and 2 nights if at all possible. 

There are always good rates on Hotwire.com for some of the best 4 star hotels in the area.We wait until we find a 4 star for less than $100 and then we decide "ROAD TRIP!" Each time we have ended up either at the Andaz or Westin which are just wonderful and we can't say enough about either place. 

These are links about the area and some of the places we have enjoyed the most. Take a look and be sure to make a plan to visit - you won't be disappointed, we promise!

Information and reviews on Google Map

Information and reviews on Trip Advisor

Look for 4 star hotel in historical district Hotwire.com - we recommend at least 3 days and 2 nights. Park your car at the hotel and see all of the historical district by trolley and walking. The Trolley is well worth the price and gives you an idea of what you want to do there plus they will pick you up and drop you off - Trolley Link!

We love Soho South Cafe for lunch - taking a trolley there is the best way and then if you feel like a scenic walk back - I highly recommend - Menu Link!

Some of our favorite restaurants for dinner are the Olde Pink House - be sure to reserve days in advance - Reservations Link!

17 HUNDRED 90 Restaurant - be sure to reserve days in advance - 
Reservations Link!


If you are looking for a day excursion away from the city then plan to visit Old Fort Jackson - check out the link and have lunch at Coco's Sunset Grille



Living With The What If's!

When people find out we don't plan to buy another home and living full time on the road we get all the "what if's!" Those same "what if's" usually can apply even if we planned to live another 30 years in another home. If we took the time to worry over the "what if's" our anxiety levels would rise and that alone could kill us.

Fortunately, we do plan to settle down from time to time in an area such as Spain. The cost there is so much less than here and would allow us to travel other countries in the same way we are able to travel in the United States. Our last trip to Spain was so affordable we had enough spending money left over from our trip that we could have brought our kids and grandkids with us.


The trip to Spain gave us a lot of momentum to continue on this path. It has been fun to watch my husband be as excited as I am about our plans to collect moments not things!



Weekend Warriors!

While my husband is finishing up his work here we are still able to do some traveling. If it is a weekend we are home then we will take a day to drive around this part of the world. It is amazing to me how much we take for granted and have not seen just within a few miles from us. I think everyone makes that same mistake because we get into our routines. Don't get me wrong, I like routine as much as anyone else but it causes us to stay in our comfort zone. We are intentionally taking time to tour our surrounding area when we don't have travel plans. It is amazing to us the discoveries we have made this past year. We took the time that we used to spend at home doing routine maintenance and instead in the car on a day adventure. We love to explore as much as we can and seem to enjoy even the simplest of things. South Florida is a beautiful area and I remember my father saying when I was younger that we live in a State where we can vacation for a lifetime! He had traveled many parts of the world but felt like this area was a place he would always be able to travel and never see it in it's entirety. I agree!

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. -Helen Keller



Time Flies When You're Having Sun!

What happens when you let go of your home of 30 years and all the basic routines are left behind? For us personally, we find ourselves being more on the go and enjoying the outdoors. We loved sharing our backyard with the grandchildren especially but we are enjoying the ocean and more with them now. They constantly tell us they miss our home but I believe they will treasure our time together more.

This morning we were just discussing that our move was like getting off a carousel that was just moving too quickly. We have enjoyed the quiet peaceful place here on the beach we have now. It has been therapeutic not having all our trappings around us but instead to be free from the bondage of our stuff. These past 6 months we have just emptied our souls and our minds of the debris that was there. We find ourselves much more creative and recharged looking forward to more change ahead.

Forming memories with my grandchildren here on the beach and having picnics has been especially sweet. I believe that nature is the best playground for all of us!

  

Chasing A Sunrise!

One of the many things that I have enjoyed most about our life change is chasing a sunrise or sunset on any given day. Never did I dream we would be enjoying a year of them here living on the beach. It is one of those amazing things to enjoy and it's absolutely free. 

Over the years I have enjoyed many sunrises on the beach when taking my morning walks. Unfortunately sunsets have been few and far between because of family obligations and many other things. When we moved here we went out each afternoon because it just felt magical to be sitting on the beach until sunset. 

The sunrise, of course, doesn't care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.   Gene Amole



The Element Of Yearning!

It is going on 5 years now that I have yearned to live a more nomadic life. It's in my roots from my own parents who took me at 6 weeks old to Africa. Jimmy has lived here in South Florida nearly his entire lifetime so he could not even entertain the idea and said, "No way!" My prayer was that God change either my yearning to go or his heart to stay. One year ago he came home and said, "I think I would like to do go ahead with your plans!" Music to my ears.....I began packing the next day!

My favorite part of any trip is the planning which feeds the yearning inside of me to travel. The past year has been all about preparing for travel full time and eliminating much of our life before. Paperwork, stuff, etc. has to all be eliminated when there is no home to store it away. Relinquishing everything was much more liberating than I had imagined. I have enjoyed life with less and have more time to work on the things I choose instead of things I need to do. I really wasn't expecting this new form of freedom which was an unexpected surprise. Somehow the grief of letting it go fooled me into believing that my grief and regret would be overwhelming. It wasn't the case at all but instead it seemed to release me of my normal anxiety and stress.

Anxiety has always been an issue for me since I was a teenager. Medication has too many side affects that eliminate my being able to use them. When I had kids my way of dealing with the anxiety and stress of motherhood was to go camping with my mom and friends from Europe. It would always work in calming me down and just what I needed to help me cope and start again fresh. That is my biggest reason for wanting to do this because I know it works for me. My husband noticed that my anxiety and stress went away as soon as we moved from our home of 30 years and started this quest. I have to agree!

We have a table I was painting just before my husbands heart change that says, "Prayer changes everything!"  My yearning calmed down when we moved here on the beach because it has been like a vacation for us. My husband now yearns for more travel just from living here so we find ourselves exploring the area to find new things to see and do. We are both thankful for answered prayer!



Exploring Lake Okeechobee!

Planning Again!

We have spent the past few weeks since our trip to Spain planning our next adventure. There are some small trips in the plan and larger trips too. The planning can also be part of the fun of this journey and we are enjoying all the possibilities.

Each day I scroll through my instagram of those I am following who are already nomads. It has been inspiring to see all the places they are going and some of the ideas they have. My husband and I are project oriented and this by far has been a project of challenge. I look forward to what he will be creating as we go along.

I will be planning the route and where we go while he plans and creates what we use in order to make this trip possible. What does that mean? Well, that will be the fun in all of this as I document all the places we go and all the things he creates as we go along.

Our planning right now consist of the best vehicle to use on this trip - the route - the finances needed - going paperless - what to bring - what NOT to bring - and most importantly  making sure that we are physically okay to go. This month the priority is getting all the wellness appointments taken care of such as: yearly physical - mamogram - gyn - blood work - dentist. All these things need to be done first!




Inspiration and Contemplation!

Traveling gives me a chance for inspiration and contemplation! We all need time to reflect and I find that when we are home in the business of life, it is difficult to do. On a trip and especially to somewhere beautiful and natural you find yourself inspired and contemplating all the possibilities of the life around you.

John Muir who was born in 1838 writes about the joys to be found in quietly observing the world. All part of his desire, he said, to"preach nature like an apostle." The story of his life is inspiring to me because of the religious abuse in his young life. He never turned his back on God in spite of his tyrannical and religious fathers beatings while he forced him to memorize the entire Bible. He left the life of what he describes as mans institution of worship to worshiping God in the midst of nature itself in Yosemite Valley. He spent his life trying to protect the beauty of Yosemite which he considered his cathedral from becoming a carnival for people who wanted to commercialize the area. He became the voice in politics to protect Yosemite and other natural wonders of the United States by creating National Parks. He describes himself as an "unknown nobody" who had entered Yosemite and then been transformed by his "unconditional surrender to nature." He would need to convince many other Americans to surrender, as well. To see the necessity, as he said, "in all that is wild." What he means is that wildness is an essential part of ourselves that we lose in the everyday routines of life and rediscover when we wander in the wilderness.

The tendency these days to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home. That wildness is a necessity, and that mountain parks and reservations are useful, not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers but as fountains of life. ~John Muir




2nd Stop ~ Spain!

This month we flew over to Spain to visit with family and friends. My husbands first trip to Europe and had no difficulty until we returned and went through customs in Miami. That was actually the worst part of our trip; otherwise, it all went perfectly!

We traveled around many parts of the Costa del Sol in Andalucia. So many beautiful pueblos and cities that we were able to enjoy the food and the beauty that surrounded each one. There was so much to enjoy about each place we found ourselves in each day. 

This is an area we would like to be able to come and stay a few months out of the year. We took time to look around and see where we both could see ourselves spending time. There were a lot of signs showing rentals so I would just take a picture of them since I had my camera out already. 

It is a lot easier to enjoy a country such as Spain when you have a local to show you around. We were interested in just spending time with family, friends and the culture of the area. It was a great experience and gave us an idea of what we needed to do in planning for our next trip.





Our New Normal

A dear friend said to me she would be praying for me during our move to have a smooth transition to our "new normal." She had recently moved herself so she knew exactly what prayer we needed. After living in a home for 30 years it had been a very long time since we had any "new normals."

One thing we began doing immediately was walking at sunset on the beach. We both would sit there just amazed at our "new normal" that God had just given to us. That became the place where we would have our evening prayer together. It also became the place where we would spend much time talking together about our day or anything that was on our mind.


Many "new normals" came into our life because of this move and we have thanked God for that over and over again. We are grateful for the time spent in our home of 30 years and all the wonderful memories of raising children and grandchildren there. It was certainly time for us to let go and begin this journey and new memories to be made.


This past weekend we took our grandkids for a walk on the beach and then a picnic at the park. We look forward to many new outdoor activities with them and many new memories to be made together!




New Beginnings!

George Turner the lead character in the Australian/New Zealand show 800 Words writes...."Because endings are, by definition, finite...whereas new beginnings bring infinite possibilities."

There is so much fear in change but yet how often are we having to experience it in life? You would think with all the practice we have with change that we would embrace it better. Leaving our home of 30 years was an ending I never considered. It is also the beginning of a new life together for new things, new experiences, new normals which seems pretty exciting to me. 


The best part of our new beginning together is the sense of newness in our relationship. We have been raising kids and grandkids for so many years now and grateful to have them in our life. Now it is just us and it is such a change in our own thought processes. We go to the beach to sit and talk! It seems so strange to have each others undivided attention and we love that about this time in our life.


Planning things together and making new memories has been such a treat and we never dreamed that we would ever have this opportunity. We have precious memories with our kids and grandkids and looking forward to precious memories together! 



We are enjoying our sunsets on the beach!

Debris

A quote from Ladies of Letters - Vera writes: Dear Irene, "I'm not one to over-dramatize as you know; but sitting surrounded by the debris of my life I feel this is the end of it." I found the children's toys, a one eared teddy, a rabbit, a monkey abandoned under the stairs......as she sobbed with grief cleaning out her home where her children grew up.....

We have one car load left of our own debris to be dropped off at the nearest donation center. The last of our treasures and memories that we just were not able to sell or find a home for but has loads of sentimental memories for us. Family heirlooms that we just cannot take with us and need to let go of and move forward.


This seems to be the area that most people struggle with when they hear about our journey. I have had many ask me, how did you feel? Or say, I wouldn't be able to let go of my families things. I certainly understand completely because this is not anything I ever planned as I was putting my home together with all my precious treasures handed down to me. How did I feel? Sad of course and it triggered grief especially if it was my dads since he passed away nearly 30 years ago.


Most of the time I did this alone so I could process my own feelings. One particular day we needed to  make more room in our car so I went with my husband who could see the pain in my face. That was a difficult day but not impossible. Grief comes even when you are not giving away your family heirlooms. I explained to him that it just triggers the grief which I have to process as it comes. A walk on the beach can trigger my grief when I think about someone but I don't stop walking on the beach. It brings me more joy than grief but I am aware that it may also make me think of loss. That sense of loss or grief will not be contained if I don't ever let go of things - it comes, quite naturally when and where I least expect.


This has made me very much aware of my grief and embracing it each time I find it difficult to release something from the past. The joy of not being surrounded by the debris of my life is actually more liberating and less time consuming. It's not for everyone and especially those who have just lost someone close to them because the grief is too raw. Timing is everything and it just happens to be the right time in my own life to let go......of my own sentimental and treasured debris!

Home For Sale

When we returned from Texas I contacted my cousin who is a realtor in another state to connect me to a good realtor in our area. The realtor in our area was named Sharon and she connected with us right away. All our questions were answered about the sale of our house.

Immediately we put the "For Sale" sign up and the next day over a dozen families came by to look around. Within 24 hours we received 5 bids and decided to take the one that offered us more than the asking price. We had 30 days to pack up the rest of our things and find a place to stay.


Fortunately the clean up had already began months before so we were ready to spend the next month eliminating the rest of our things. I continued to give away, donate and sell our things. I knew there wasn't enough time to get rid of 30 years accumulation so I purchased a small storage unit nearby. Each day I filled up the car to go either to the GoodWill or to the storage unit. I stored what I thought we might continue to use in our next place.


Using this method to move allowed us not to have to depend on movers or anyone else to help us move. Basically, I moved everything myself with some help from my granddaughters. I left the heavier things for my husband to do. It eliminated us from having too much to do on the day of the move. We were able to spread out the heavy physical stuff to do so that we would not get too worn out.


The day of our actual move we were able to get it all in both our vehicles and go to our closing. Afterwards, we got a hotel room nearby and spent the next couple of days resting, relaxing and visiting with friends who came from out of town. A much needed mini-vacation!