A Travellerspoint blog

USA

My Favorite Moments

~Andrea

88 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Nearly one year since we sold our house, our possessions, and quit my job to travel; I managed to lose 15 pounds, learn a lot, and have grown and changed for the better (I hope).

I acknowledge and offer deep gratitude to George for ALL the hard work he did researching, planning, and arranging all these months to make this trip of a lifetime possible and successful! Thank you husband.

Though George and I shared nearly every single day together, we obviously have different perceptions and personal experiences this past year.
I've been thinking about what has affected me the most for this conclusion travel post of my own.

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We both have appreciated the opportunities to see friends and family in person (and some on Skype) this year.
We both loved visiting and hiking various National Parks.
But these are the moments and experiences that stand out the most for me, in somewhat chronological order:
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- Experiencing Monument Valley in AZ

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- The turquoise color of the Caribbean sea

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- Going on a Pirate ship and snorkeling in Barbados

- Cancun, Chichen Itza and our first cenote 'Ik Kil', and MERIDA!
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Oh Merida, you changed our lives. I'm beyond grateful that we met the amazing Maria, and for being welcomed into a community of the best people who make us feel like family. We can't wait to see you all soon.

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- Iceland made a bigger impression on me that I expected, in a good way.
- The Mediterranean Cruise was an added bonus because it included destinations in Greece and Turkey, and other cities in Italy and France we had never been to.
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- Hiking along the cliffs in Cadequez.
- Feeling more safe in Europe that I do in the states sometimes
- I've written this before, but I enjoyed discovering all the new cities in Europe that we had not planned on visiting originally.
- Niagara Falls was never on my bucket list, and there we were.

Also, the unexpected blessings of good timing, such as:

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-Meeting my Aunts Mildred and Dorothy for lunch in Baltimore on the day of my Aunt Mildred's 94th birthday (which I didn't know prior)!
-Arriving in Milan for one night and learning of the World's Fair - and actually going to it.
-Arriving in Turin and learning of the Holy Shroud on rare display - and going to see it.
-Arriving in Jamestown NY, to see the Lucy & Desi Museum, unbeknownst to us, on Lucille Ball's birthday
-Meeting Maria while looking for a dentist in Merida.
-Traveling to Europe while the Euro was cheaper.
-Driving through the U.S when the gas prices were low.

I've learned:
- I don't really need a lot of material stuff, but I still like to spend money on books/e-books. I can definitely get by with fewer clothes and shoes though.
- It's pretty simple to get exercise in most days with just a little outdoor space. I did sets of various circuits to work strength and cardio. (i.e. jumping jacks, burpies, walking lunges, jump squats, push ups, planks...) I also did yoga on small floor spaces as often as possible. I discovered Adriene's awesome free yoga videos.
- To lessen my grip on irrational thoughts and worries sooner and get on with the day. (This takes constant self awareness and will probably be something I always work on) I did not want to miss being present in each and every day, and I am convinced that both prayer and yoga go a long way!

I still hope to someday travel to South America, Australia, and New Zealand in the future. But now, I really look forward to staying put for a while once we get to Merida. This year has taught me that I do not have a desire to be a digital nomad, but I still agree with my original desire to live in two different places during the year. For now this means Merida, and possibly somewhere on the East Coast (Europe still sounds better to us though down the line).

I look forward to using our resourcefulness (that we learned in Oakland) to furnish our Merida house. I look forward to having guests and trying out Airbnb with our casita. I look forward to finding new ways to generate income and finding/trying new avenues of work. I'm sure there will be more thoughts and more insights down the road, but this blog is coming to and end. I will continue writing and sharing once we create a new blog to 'house' our next chapter.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read, and to comment. We always enjoy hearing from you. If any post we wrote was helpful or encouraging in any way, I am honored.

Posted by woa 10:36 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Short and sweet

~Andrea

sunny 82 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

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We drove from the Bay Area to San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast. Then it was on to Los Angeles the next day.
It's good to see my family. We went out for a delicious Mexican dinner with my folks at La Choza, which has great food, and the nicest owners.

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Now we are resting, and taking care of odds and ends, this and that, these and those ...... including loaning our car to our beautiful niece to use during her senior year.

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p.s. George is still working on his post.

Posted by woa 17:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

S.F. one year later

~Andrea

sunny 80 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Last September, after we sold everything and left Oakland, we first spent time with Sylvia, Bill and their adorable doggy Elmo, before leaving the Bay Area. Almost one year later, we arrived back in the Bay Area and had the best reunion with them. We celebrated the end of our long journey with delicious meals, stories, laughs and champagne. It was a perfect way to mark the end of this chapter, with those we love and who love us. (Thanks again for EVERYTHING!)

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To be honest, having lived in both Oakland and San Francisco between 1994 - 2014, I am convinced it was the absolute right decision for us to leave the Bay Area. On Monday, I made a trip alone into San Francisco to run some errands and after a couple of hours, I was ready to leave the city. The only connection I feel is to people - the family and the special friends who still live here.

Our next stop is southern CA to see more family, and prepare for fall and winter in Mexico. Since we don't plan on living in Mexico full-time, I am also looking forward to finding a new-second-home ... possibly on the East Coast for spring and summer. Who knows where the winds will blow?

George will soon write a final post to close out this travel blog. Stay tuned!

Posted by woa 20:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A Cocktail and a Gunfight

~Andrea

sunny 81 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Five years ago, I had been first exposed to the good storytelling from the TV show 'Bonanza'. Later, on a trip to Lake Tahoe, we went to Virginia City, Nevada (the town from Bonanza) for a night.

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As this cross-country road trip is coming to an end, we decided to revisit Virginia City today on our drive through Nevada. It's such a charming town with its original buildings and history. As we strolled the wood plank sidewalks, a cowboy invited us to the 'Gunfight' at 1pm.

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The ticket to the show includes a dollar off a drink at the Washoe Club across the street, which happens to be where we got engaged. We got a cocktail and found a seat on the bleachers. The Gunfight was a half hour of humor, audience participation, and shootouts. We both had a great time.

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We even took selfies with the actors.
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Here are few pics from this afternoon, including a Hoss Cartwright sighting.
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We officially crossed into California....and will be resting in Lake Tahoe over the weekend before heading to the warmth of sister Sylvia.

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p.s. Happy 55th Anniversary Mom & Dad! xoxo

p.p.s As I write this blog, the movie 'Casablanca' is on the TV. A scene in the casino shows Rick 'Humphrey Bogart) helping a young couple out by letting them win at Roulette. The ball falls on #22, the very same lucky number in the pic with George above. Time to head to the casino!

Posted by woa 18:03 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Scenes from the road

sunny 84 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Here are some scenes from the road and rest stops in Wyoming:

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Today we drove through Utah and stopped at the Salt Flats.

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Here's famed Native American 'Running Fool' attempting (once again) to break the land speed record.
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We crossed the Pacific Time Zone and drove into Nevada.
This vehicle is probably on its way to Burning Man.

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We are driving through Nevada with a stop in Reno, and maybe Virginia City to see Hoss and Little Joe
then making our way back to California to see family. What a ride!

Posted by woa 06:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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