Mid January 2014, and I’m re-writing this “About” page, because the previous one, which I wrote four years ago, is dated. Oh, the details of my past are the same, but I am on a new stage of life’s journey, and so, perhaps, for anyone stumbling across my ramblings for the first time, an explanation is in order.
My name is Linda. My 67th birthday was just three weeks back. I don’t remember a moment when I didn’t dream about traveling. Put it down to the stacks of National Geographic in my junior school; the fact that television entered my life at an impressionable age; or that I grew up in a post-WW2 countryside where I was allowed to run a little wild, not as much as I would have liked, but enough to establish a curiosity about what was round the corner, and have no fear about going to find out.
Long before high school I was dreaming about being a writer, preferably a photo journalist. Didn’t happen, so let me skip the boring years and fast forward to 1981, when I became a mother for the first time, then to 1983 when I became a mother again; and then to 1987 when I emigrated to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Life picked up after each of those events – a lot. Maybe it was the change in energy which motherhood brought. That was, and remains, the best adventure of all. I have, for the record, the best sons in the world.
Oh, there were still peaks and troughs – that’s life, but living abroad was a darn sight more interesting and educational than the alternative would have been, and, it was travel. It was experiencing new culture, foods, language. It was stimulating, inspiring, adventurous and educational. Of course, it fed my dreams and desires, and, as my boys reached their late teens I began to plan to travel long-term once my nest was empty.
Things happened which got in the way of my departure. Some were good reasons to stay in Tenerife for a while, reasons which brought fulfillment, and a wider understanding of the world. Others were stumbling blocks Fate sent to taunt me. That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger – right? When I set up this blog in 2008, as a part of my plans, I had no idea it would take another five years before I was able to push off. The blog became, then, an ex-pat blog, and it’s been fun. I thought of setting up an entirely new blog to mark this new beginning, then realized that it’s all been a part of the journey.
In the late spring of 2013 my life reached a plateau, and I can’t say that the view was all that bad from there. In fact, it was delightful. I was enjoying my life a lot, but nagged by the question of whether I wanted to spend the rest of my life in that, particular, pleasant rut. Since the turn of the century I’d had a couple of, what I now think of, as false starts, attempts to make travel a way of life.
There are reasons for not traveling, and there are excuses. The reasons had ceased to be, so I looked at the excuses. There were two – lack of money and a faithful, old dog.
It was obvious that the bulk of my travels have to include Trixy, simple as that. In addition, the only way to travel cheaply and with a dog, is slow travel. In other words to take long-term rentals as opposed to short-term or hostels. This is not a problem because I much prefer slow travel, getting under the skin of a place. Although, there will be excursions on which Trix won’t be able to accompany me, and there will be times on the mainland of the continents, mainly we will be exploring islands, beginning with Macronesia, and specifically, at the time of writing, the rest of the Canary Islands.
Having spent ten years gradually shedding surplus possessions, I finally sold off or gave away the remaining bits, put the essentials (my books and souvenirs from my “kids”) into storage, and after a month exploring France, Ireland and London, I packed Trixy, my camera, my electronics, books (I have learned that I cannot live without books), and clothes into my old van, and took the ferry for La Gomera.
After those false starts, I am now nomadic, traveling or homeless, whichever word you feel most comfortable with. This isn’t exactly how I dreamed my travels would be, but I’m trying to make the most of the cards life has dealt me.
As I write this, I’ve been on the road for something just over 3 months. I’ve needed to adjust some habits; I’m planning the next step; I’m doing things I only dreamed about doing a short few years ago, and on the low days I always remember that, and this blog has become about more than the travel itself, or the places, but about challenging myself, despising the limits society tries to impose once you reach 60; and also about the way man constantly abuses this beautiful planet.
August 2014 Update
Health issues have grounded us for a while, Trix’s and mine, so the easiest and most efficient thing was to return to the island of Tenerife, where we have doctors & vets who know us. We do not intend to stop traveling though. There are always new places to see and new things to do!