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Tuesday, February 4th, 2014   11:01 am |  Category:   Life, Travel   |   19 Comments
Author:   Alison Armstrong posts: 6 Author's
We feel that we are doing this not just for ourselves but also as an example for everyone who wants more freedom in his or her life. We’re demonstrating by our actions that taking what appeared to be a big risk has had enormous payoffs in terms of our overall well being and happiness.
People sometimes ask us ‘What has been the best thing you’ve seen or done so far?’ It came to Don some time ago that he has become like a happy dog: he’ll say, “This is the best day ever,” no matter where we are or what we’re doing. We tend to go to the favorite places for tourists to see the wonders and beauty of the world: Venice, the Taj Mahal, Uluru (the great monolith in the red center of Australia), the salt flats of Uyuni in Bolivia, and the vast open spaces of Patagonia. These places are tourist favorites for good reason: they have a unique beauty and resonance that has to be seen and experienced in person to be fully appreciated. We’ve lazed on a beach in Thailand, been swimming with elephants in Laos, ridden camels at dawn in the Australian desert, been ice trekking on a glacier, and ridden in an open boat right under Iguazu Falls in Argentina. We’ve watched the burning of the dead by the Ganges in Varanasi, India, and watched the sunrise after climbing to the top of a volcano before daybreak in Bali. We’ve been to spiritual ceremonies in Bali and India, and been invited to join a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. We can hardly express all we’ve seen, done, felt and experienced in the two plus years since we began this journey.
In practical terms living in hotel rooms or rented apartments all the time means that wherever we are is home to us for however long we choose to live there. Being together 24/7 has its own challenges and rewards: the longer we’re on the road the faster we’ve become at getting over the minor snits and upsets that seem to be part of life. “Life’s too short” has become our mantra for a variety of reasons: too short to keep on worrying about money, too short not to take risks, too short to miss out on seeing the best there is to see in the world, and too short to waste on petty arguments and disagreements. And we’ve learned that home is an internal experience, not an external place.
We often have to get up very early to catch a plane or a train or a bus to get to our next destination, or to go and see some early morning marvel like the steam rising from the geysers of Tatio in northern Chile that can only be seen at dawn. In the past if we had to get up very early it would seem like a hardship, something we could and would grumble about, and then feel tired and exhausted just from the doing of it. Now it is just part of what we do. Set the alarm for 4:00 or 5:00, set an intention to wake up with the alarm, and when it goes off just get up, get washed and dressed, eat a little something, and get ready to enjoy another amazing day.
The way we see it, two and a half years ago God offered us a choice: you can have a home or you can have a life. We chose to have a life and to live that life to the best of our ability. Do we have any regrets about doing what we did? No, none. We’re both more alive, more enthusiastic, less prone to low moods, and far happier than we were before we sold up and became nomads. We don’t think this life is for everyone, but for us it has been a lifesaver, both literally and figuratively.
After our travels in South America we go to Cyprus for two months, courtesy of Don’s oldest school friend, who has offered us the use of his villa there. After that we’ll spend a few months “housekeeping” back in our hometown of Vancouver, and then go back to Australia for a while. After that who knows? Something or somewhere will grab our attention and off we’ll go. People sometimes ask us when we’ll stop, or if we’re looking for a place to “settle”. We literally have no idea how long we’ll continue to travel, and no, we’re not looking for a place to stop. We trust The Mystery to let us know when, if ever, that time will be. Until then we’ll continue on our merry way.
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