Travel In Our Future

Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

Brett and I are starting to like this being settled in one place with our own stuff. We like having a dog in our lives again. We’re currently no longer itching to travel, travel, travel other than visit sites or destinations in our area. Brett has already put his foot down that our move to Mazatlán will be our last, and I have agreed. We will not be selling our furniture or things this next time either. Going forward, where we go our stuff will go with us.

Beginning with our departure from Hawaii last May, we found travel experiences disappointing to downright miserable, and something of a deterrent to future travel. I shudder now when I think of the long waits we endured in airports, the expense of dining in airports, or of getting an hour or so of sleep between flights. With airline schedules constantly changing these days, flights being cancelled or placed on hold, and prices going up as well, going from one place to another is no longer the exciting process it was for us back in 2018. Since leaving Hawaii, our journeys from one location to another turned into everything from uninviting drudgery to pure misery versus being the thrilling start to a new adventure they were before.

So, what’s a couple who loves to travel and experience new locations to do? There are still so many things we want to experience, and places we want to see, but we dread the process of getting there.

Mazatlán gets especially hot mid-summer through early fall, and those months would be an ideal time for us to leave town for a while. Early fall is a wonderful in Japan, and mid-summer a great time for us to head up to the northeast to spend time with the girls. We can see ourselves renting a New England beach house or mountain cabin for a month, and spending a couple of autumn months in Japan each year. The “shoulder season” before the summer travel season begins would be for visiting other destinations. There are still plenty more places we’d love to see, including several in South America and others in Europe and Asia.

Travel is definitely going to have a place in our future, but it’s going to have to be done differently than in the past. We’re going to have to adjust our attitudes and expectations going forward and change how we think about and do travel, from possibly upgrading how we travel to the length of time we stay in a location to even possibly taking part in a tour now and again. The travel industry is not going to return to its pre-Covid heyday, and we’re not getting any younger either, nor have the energy we once had for full-time travel. We don’t want to sell all our stuff again, or put it into storage, and the thought of lugging around two big suitcases is no longer as exciting as it once was. We’re ready to have a home to come back to. And, time with our family is more important to us than ever. We know we can make that work for us when it comes to future travel, visiting family and some of our favorite places every year but making time for new locations as well.

The adventure isn’t over yet, and we intend to remain Occasional Nomads as long as possible, but travel in our future is going to happen in a different way.

20 thoughts on “Travel In Our Future

  1. I like this- figuring out what’s wanted, needed- what’s possible, what’s affordable, what’s realistic, what we can do without, what to let go of, Plan B, C, D…
    When young we never really realize what it’s (getting older) going to be like, so it can be difficult to adjust to the limitations, pain, fatigue, etc. of aging! But I like to think I’m wiser, calmer, more compassionate, and other things to make up for the bad parts. It’s great to follow your journey. Bloom where we’re planted, right? (And transplant, prune, weed, and add new soil, as needed.

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    1. It’s really a process, isn’t it? And a discovery there is still much to learn, filter, add, subtract, and so forth along the way. There is no best way, but finding the way that fits each one personally is a journey. Aging is changing us, sometimes faster than we would like, but it’s also brought out our strengths or allowed other parts of us to move to the front and shine (I am far more patient now that I was when I was young. Wiser too, and able to take a few more deep breaths before losing my cool.).

      I absolutely love your interpretation of “bloom where you are planted.” It’s interesting to me that our stay in San Miguel de Allende didn’t “feel right” and whether we would have been unhappy in Oxford and Edinburgh as well, although for different reasons. I’m grateful for this time in Tennessee, to settle for a while and see how that feels. It’s surprised us how “right” this feels (the settled part, not particularly the location), at least for now. We’re in the pruning, weeding, and keeping things alive stage, not necessarily sending down deep roots until we get some new soil in a couple of years.

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  2. We are renting a New England beach house down near Plymouth for the month of November so that we can be close to my son and his family and spend Thanksgiving with them. Be forewarned it is not cheap, One month is costing us $10,000. OFF SEASON. Yes you read that right. And it is not a fancy house by any means. Next summer we are renting a house for two months in the western part of Mass. Again to be near the family. It was so expensive near where they live that this was as close as we could get. $6,000 a month. So $12,000 for two months. Honestly I never imagined that prices for visiting back home would spiral so out of control. I wish my kids had room for us but they do not. Being a snowbird for us is just not going to work financially for very long at those prices. We are trying to find a place to live in Mass. but it is nuts there price wise for buying as well. Travel is a mess now and so are prices. Who could have foreseen any of this? I hope you can find what you are looking for because for us it has not been easy.

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    1. $10,000 a month? YIKES! Your prices made me go look at Airbnb and what a Maine summer rental might cost us, and thankfully I found several for far less that you’re paying. But that’s just for the two of us, with no room for family to stay with us. Possibly we’ll have to come up with another location. Massachusetts is expensive which is why earlier we ended up focusing on possibly settling in Maine. There really was no place in Massachusetts that we felt was affordable, especially any place close to where our daughters are located. Maine’s prices were better, but from what I’ve recently heard, homes in our price range are snapped up by companies paying cash (which of course drives up prices). And at our ages, there are going to be certain requirements for any place we live. A place out in the country or in the woods just isn’t going to work anymore, no matter how much we like it or the price.

      I feel sometimes like we will be threading a needle once we leave here; that is, we are going to have to move somewhat swiftly but very carefully as well. Our efforts between now and then are to save, and also educate ourselves as best we can. We are not going to have the room or energy to fix any mistakes.

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  3. You’re right, traveling extensively these days is crazy. Between the airlines’ turmoil, and the prices for tickets and lodging, it is really challenging to find joy in going places.
    I also agree that travel, in general, is changing as we speak. There used to be predictability in finding flights, accommodations, and pretty much all logistical aspects of travel, which now is gone. As we move forward, we need to re-learn how to travel these days, so we avoid frustrations and financial losses as much as possible.

    There is something to be said about having a place to come home to, sleeping in one’s own bed, and eating from one’s own dishes. I am glad you’re enjoying being settled where you are, it is important to have joy in your everyday life. Kai adds to that aspect, I’m sure😃

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    1. It’s incredible how difficult it can be to get from place to place these days, and a difficult travel day can color the entire rest of a trip. Unpredictable is the perfect way to describe it, and i’m not sure if that’s something I want to deal with at this stage of my life. I’m not ready to sit still either, so a less but more comfortable travel seems the way to go. We don’t travel to check things off a list, and two to three trips per year should be enough.

      Funny that we loved living on the road while we were doing it, but after settling for a bit, first in Kaua’i and now here, this is what appeals to us now.

      We love having a dog in our lives again.

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  4. Great post. I think it’s good you and Brett have realized it’s good to have a home to come back to. Far less hectic than being on the go all the time and you can still travel when you want to.

    Since COVID, I’ve only been on one trip that involved flying and that was just a short business trip. I guess I was lucky that I didn’t have any issues, but you can feel the tension in the air in airports/on planes between COVID, worrying if flights will be cancelled, and everything else going on, so, as you said, the joy of travel has disappeared. I really have no desire to travel far anymore and wonder if I ever will again. I’m SO glad I traveled when I did. I have been considering going somewhere south for a couple of weeks this winter just to escape the cold weather for a bit, but like others have said, rentals are very expensive.

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    1. I told Brett that we must be getting old or something. Although we eventually felt restless, our two-year stay on Kauai was comfortable, and the mess of traveling again brought it home how much we enjoyed that comfort (more than we knew, apparently).

      Like you, I am so thankful we traveled when we did and went to the places we did. We made memories that will last until the ends of our lives. We’ll travel again, but our full-time travel was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No regrets!

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  5. I enjoy following your journeys. My own desire for travel has never been very urgent, when I travel it’s often in the USA or, to beaches and islands for the ocean.I enjoy lady’s tours, travel alone, and travel with my spouse.But I have never had the intense wanderlust that my peers appear to have… Been to Europe once and no desire to return. I am only just beginning to get cabin fever again ,since Covid.But so many of my friends who have resumed travel have shared their horror stories,similar to yours and Bretts.I have no patience or stamina for cancelled flights,nights in airports, or two hours sleep! Even in good times,I hated the “travel” part of travel! It has to be easy or I don’t wanna go! In the past two months I have several friends on European River cruises where they have mandatory covid testing every couple of days.One couple just tested positive, in Brussels, had to get off the boat and rent an airbnb in Brussels and find their own (expensive) way back to the states at some later date (I don’t know how long they are required to quarantine??). .the “rules” in other countries are all different right now! The other couple tested positive upon boarding and were sent away. That’s just one set of travel horror stories! Anyhoo—I am a homebody for the most part and love my “nest” but will be carefully venturing out again..soon? Who knows..every time I go to plan something,I back off..I guess I’ll know when the time is right. I’ve been reading all my favorite bloggers and travel is a hot topic right now! I’m 69 years old, in good shape and healthy, so at least there’s that!! Husband too.

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    1. We’ve always loved to travel, instilled I guess when both of us were young and both our families took on us frequent trips. Brett’s navy career and our frequent moves and travel then added to our travel love. But what’s going on now in the travel industry is different, and I’m not sure I want to deal with the amount of control one has to relinquish these days, or at least not as much as I did in the past. I’m willing to deal with it a couple of times a year, but no more frequently than that. We’re having a good time discovering and learning about the area where we live now and so far that’s enough.

      That said, I am looking forward to international travel again, especially getting back to Japan. And, there are more places we’d like to see in Europe. But no cruises for us and we’ll think long and hard before we sign up for a tour.

      Good for you and your husband for staying healthy and in shape! We’re hopjng to stay the same for many more years.

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  6. We have a rotating photo collage in our kitchen, and I am seeing pics this week from our trip to France in 2009. In about a month, our trip to Italy will come up in the “on the day” file. It’s giving me the urge to get out and see things again. But when I actually think about the logistics, not to mention the prices, it stops me cold. The story by the commenter above about the couple getting left in Brussels after testing positive for Covid is a nightmare scenario. Yikes.

    I do want to get back to the UK, but right now Heathrow sounds like a mess on any given day, and I think our Brits are going to come this way in the next 5-6 months. So I’ll hold on for that unless something changes.

    Times have changed, we’ve gotten older and I have less energy to fight the uncertainty of air travel right now. We have talked about a trip by car, but the dog is a consideration there. So we are hunkering down and enjoying life right here for now.

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    1. Current prices for traveling are a big consideration now. We are good savers and budgeters, but non-stop travel is now completely out of our range, another reason we think settling down and making regular, targeted trips makes more sense for us now. Japan once a year for a couple of months. Two weeks to a month near the girls. Two weeks or so in Europe or somewhere else. If we’re careful we can handle those . . . for now, but who knows what things will be like in a couple of years? We’ve always wanted to try a Rick Steves tour, but the cost of those is crazy now too, and going up. So, who knows what costs will be in a couple of years? We may be lucky to to go to Japan every other year and alternate that with New England. When I think of these things I’m so grateful for the travel experiences we have had, and the things we’ve seen and done.

      We are looking forward to doing a couple of car trips while we’re here. We did OK on our drive down from MA, and other than driving a big van and unloading and loading all the boxes each night, we had a good time and loved the scenery along the way. For now we are trying to include our daughter-in-law and granddaughter in trips so they can see some more of the U.S. while they’re here, and otherwise we need to be here for K. We may try for Washington D.C. next year though IF M gets some extended time off. Thank goodness gas prices have dropped!

      Otherwise, we are content to explore closer to home for the time being. We’re hunkering down too.

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  7. Staying put! Sort of. I hear your husband 🙂 We are glad to have a house to do the next ten years from. My kids do laugh when we say we are no longer traveling. There is a trip on the books every other month until the end of 2023…. I love that your idea is much smaller house then what we ended up with. I would have been way happier closer to town center in about 1,000 sq ft. Maybe when hubby turns 81?
    In late Novemeber we are driving to Maryland. We are paying a bit over $3,000 for a walk out basement for the month near our kids. Dog, airports, car rentals…we are happy with the decision not to fly.
    If you do go to DC, you might try Henderson Hall/Fort Meyer lodging. Pet friendly- historical housing that will give you a ride to the metro. Parking Panda is a great ap if you decide to drive around downtown.
    Sounds like you are ready to roll locally! Woo Hoo

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    1. I don’t think we’ll ever “stay put,” but we do want a home base we can come back to and a place we can hunker down. Still no interest in buying a home though – we look and look but there is no positive feeling about it in either of us. We are happy to rent. 1000 feet would be the maximum amount of space we want – we’re at 725 now and it’s plenty (although I would like more cabinet space in the kitchen).

      Thanks for the tip about the Henderson Hall/Fort Meyer lodging. A visit to D.C. will probably happen in 2024 – something else for next year is already brewing!

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    1. We have been fortunate the past few years, and once again in Nashville, to have the time to think clearly about the future and what we want to do with our time. It took us a while when we landed in Hawaii the second time because we were still high on full-time travel, but as time has gone along we have realized we have other choices that will make us equally as happy.

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  8. It’s been since before Covid but I had multiple Amtrak trips which I loved! It might be a bit “boring” to others but the scenery is unbelievable. I loved sitting back, watching everything, relaxing, reading, dining room, meeting people (or not if I felt like it). Just people watching. I would stop in major cities and stay several days and move on. (Did Amtrak pass). I’m a widow so solo travel. My kids thought I was nuts but I stayed at Hostels at times, because of my budget I did not get roomettes but slept in my seat, not easy but train seats are very roomy and fairly comfortable and would usually only have one night on the train at a time.

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    1. I love train rides too, and have been fortunate to take several over the years. We’ve gotten sleeper roomettes a couple of times (like on our journey across Australia in 2019) but have also slept in our seats (like you, just for one night). We still hope to one day take the train journey across Canada, but that’s expensive so will require some serious saving on our part if we want to accomplish it.

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      1. I actually had been at the start of planning a cross Canada trip for fall of 2020 (we know how that went). Their pass is a bit more expensive but wasn’t terrible? People sometimes aren’t aware that Amtrak will go to Vancouver and Montreal which I did. Funny story the first time going into Montreal I totally didn’t connect that I’d lose all phone services once I crossed the border (you can add it ahead of time) so unable to use, call, and had all my travel information including my address of the hostel on my phone. Taxi man knew a little English and helped me find it! Free internet at the hostel and I could notify the kids I’d be missing a few days! The food! the depot had crazy pastries, bistro’s plus the rest of the city was beautiful. I also loved the train to Williams! And the Grand Canyon.

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      2. Good to know about the Canada trip! Our phone plan covers us in both Mexico and Canada – we could make and receive calls (to and from the U.S.) in Mexico at no charge which is how we bought our car before we arrived! We also stay connected to the Internet wherever we go, although it can be slower in some places than others.

        The train ride across Australia was amazing – great food, free drinks, comfortable berthing with an ensuite bathroom, and amazing scenery for far less than we thought. My brother just took the same trip and said Covid shut it down for a while, but the Indian Pacific is back once again and they had an wonderful trip.

        We debated taking flying into LA and taking the train to Williams back in 2016, but the schedules/arrivals/departures were so hit and miss that we passed. The train arrived in Williams at 3:00 in the morning or something – no thanks!

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