How do you choose?", we sat down to explain our path of personal growth and adventurous travel in a world more than 200 countries strong. In our initial blog postings, we had addressed why we were seeking the adventure of a lifetime by selling our possessions, our home, and traveling like post AARP gypsies with small backpacks and young hearts. Simply put, we saw an opportunity, a window in time, to answer the question of "how do we continue to grow together?" We knew that our most significant growth had always been realized when we challenged ourselves. We could imagine no better teachers to challenge us than the 7 billion people belonging to cultures we knew little about and who lived in places with exotic names such as Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Java, Siquijor, Bali, Borneo and Kathmandu. The window of two years emerged as a reasonable period of time to envision our journey financially and physically. We feared that Sally's rheumatoid arthritis might not grant us even that window to travel the way locals in third world countries do......packed like human sardines, balanced on hard surfaces or bags of goods, bounced along broken roads, or swirled on dangerous river or oceanic currents.
We have learned so much about ourselves and about the complicated, beautiful, and often environmentally, politically, and culturally endangered planet we call Mother Earth. We had not anticipated that during these two years, marriage, then shoulder and wrist surgery, would send us back to the USA and nestle us in the warm arms of our Gunnison, Colorado community. Yet, like every other place we visited, these past two months in Gunnison have been educational beyond our wildest imaginations.
As we venture into the final 8 months or so of our two year "walk-about", we face, again, a choice for our future. How do we choose where to go for the next 8 months and what should we do afterwards? We choose as we did before, by listening to others, by listening to each other, and by understanding our values and principles. We value international travel and can no longer imagine a life devoid of its lessons and adventures. We value our families and our Gunnison community and understand the importance of nurturing our souls by being present with family and friends. We want to continue to grow with humility and feel a more stronger need to give, where possible, with grace. We understand the importance of achieving balance in a world that overwhelms us with tears for its beauty, and at times, it's cruelty. And we value growing with each other, being humbled each day, and learning every hour.
We "choose" to live these values and principles by continuing, for the next 8 months, our travels, first within the warmer regions of our wonderful country while Sally fully recovers from her surgeries, and then by returning to Asia and visiting Nepal, hopefully Tibet, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and other places we have yet to consider. As we complete our initial two year walkabout, we plan to spend more time giving to those who want to address some of the environmental, political, or cultural ills of our planet. There are many people who have put their hearts and souls into projects, places, and ideas that can make a real difference in the world. They exist in the US and in every country we have traveled. We have come to understand that our "window" of two years of accelerated personal growth needs to evolve into a physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially sustainable life. What does that mean to us? Stay tuned for a blog entry during the next 8 months that illuminates our choices! As before, we invite our friends to join us along the way. Below is our tentative, and always changing, itinerary for the next 8 months.
2013/2014 Tentative Itinerary
Early till mid November, front range of Colorado
Mid November till end December, camping in AZ, NV and visiting friends and family
January till end of February, exploring the warmer places in the US
March and April - Nepal, possibly Tibet
May - Cambodia
June - Elsewhere in SE Asia, possibly Laos, Myanmar
July - the beginning of our next adventure
Images are of Sally and Barb Klingman, our hostess extraordinaire in Gunnison, Colorado; a volcano in the Lake District of Chile; and a Pygmy Elephant in Borneo, Malaysia. Posted in Gunnison, Colorado.