Monday, September 8, 2014

Travel IS a Lifestyle


This summer we missed the Sardine Festival in Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas), a delightful coastal town in the Greek Peloponnese by two weeks because we’d returned to Kirkland,our Pacific Northwest home.











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Waterfront Agios Nikolaos -Messinian Mani, Greece
We also missed Kirkland’s Fourth of July celebrations by two weeks – because we were in Greece.

“We travel not to escape life,
but for life to not escape us.”
          -- Unknown
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A return from the grocery store in Kardamyli meant a walk through the olive grove
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Approaching Athens
. . .While in Greece we missed a friend’s wedding in Kirkland. . .

. . .But back in Kirkland, Washington I missed the opportunity to go with a new friend ‘on a dig’ in archaeology-rich Greece. . .

We’ve come to accept these bits of mistimed happenstance because we’ve made travel our lifestyle.

It is no longer an isolated activity with defined start and stop dates – occurring once or twice a year as it did back in our ‘8 to 5’ workaday lives.

We’ve found that what we’ve missed in one place or another is more than compensated by what we have gained in terms of everyday life experiences elsewhere.  For example, had I not missed that Kirkland wedding, I wouldn’t have made a new friend in Kardamyli who wanted me to go on a dig with her.

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Istanbul, Turkey street scene

“To travel is to live.”
                        -- Hans Christian Andersen
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If you can dream it, you can do it. . .
The travel lifestyle is flexible:

The travel lifestyle isn’t always a well-thought out, predictable one. It is difficult to commit to events or activities too far distant. Our calendars are built around upcoming trips ~ always with enough wiggle room to take advantage of unplanned outings. . .those that blindside our brains with their utter spontaneity.


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My friend Tina - hotelier in Pylos, Greece

Some friends wistfully ask, “Can you tell us how? We want to be like you.”

Others prefer to scold us, “You are never home!
.
Yet others have asked, “Where do you live now?”

In fact, our travel lifestyle provides us many ‘homes’ - each with a sense of community and circle of friends. We are at ‘home’ in any number of places these days.


“Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on,
deep and permanent in the ideas of living.”
-- Miriam Beard (1876 – 1958)
Adopting a travel lifestyle is really no different than taking up some other hobby – playing golf, gardening, joining a musical group, or creating handicrafts --  except it is a bit more encompassing and less of a single focus. From fashion to food, travel has an impact on our lifestyle. . .
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Laundry day at 'home' in Loutro, Crete
Travel Lifestyles focus on fashion.

We have a different approach these days to clothing and fashion. Our wardrobe is selected in terms of how many places in the world could we wear the item, will it fit into the smallest of bags possible – and will we be able to carry the bag up or down a flight of stairs.

We think about:

* the weight and bulk a garment (or shoes!) will add to the suitcase,
*whether the decorative metal buttons and zippers will set off security alarms at airports (as have some of my Chico’s garments).
*the ease of cleaning (and drying time).


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Bags are packed - leaving Nafpaktos, Greece
“One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.”
                   -- Henry Miller
Food and feasts. . .but, of course they are part of a Travel Lifestyle!


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Restaurant window in Istanbul, Turkey
What traveler doesn’t look forward to the new foods awaiting in some new locale? (And in reality, what traveler doesn’t need to ‘go on the wagon’ after a trip to shed the pounds brought back like souvenirs?)

When travel becomes a lifestyle and any number of locations could be ‘home’ then it becomes necessary to watch the diet and exercise – we make exercise (the formal ‘go-to-the-gym’ kind) as routine as possible where ever we find ourselves.




We also eat ‘local’ which often means discovering new and wonderful tastes  -- poke, the marinated raw fish dishes in Hawaii, barbequed ribs in Arizona, fish and chips in London and moussaka in Greece – then looking forward to a return so that we can enjoy the flavors again.

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Sushi in Maui, breakfast Porto Cayo, wine in Galaxidi, fruit in Ag. Roumeli, Greece, sushi, Hawaii
While our travel lifestyle keeps us living out of a suitcase for several months a year, we still maintain a ‘home base’ in the Pacific Northwest.  Unlike us there are some Americans (non military) who have packed up and chosen to live  – either full or part-time – in some country outside the United States. While there are no hard and fast figures, estimates range from 2.2 – 6.8 million such vagabonds.
  Where do you fall in the travel lifestyle spectrum?  Or, is travel a lifestyle for you?
 Travel is most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination
and becomes indistinguishable from living your life.
                           --Paul Theroux
Again thanks for spending time with us. Welcome to our new subscribers and followers! And a big shout out to those of you who’ve shared our posts on Facebook and Twitter – or recommend us to others; we are always flattered when you think a post is worthy of sharing!

Linking up with and hope you'll stop by:
Budget Travelers Sandbox - Travel Photo Thursday
Reflections En Route - Weekend Travel Inspirations
Lavender Cottage Gardening - Mosaic Monday



53 comments:

  1. Well, we have given up our home in order to travel full-time. At least physically, in our hearts we still call Australia home (despite it's shortcomings in some respects - don't get me started on the current government). It saves the money to maintain a house and pay the rates, it saves the logistics of returning home (and finding tons of little jobs to attend to), it gives us the freedom to travel without an itinerary or any deadlines.

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    1. Oh Juergen, you've done what we've considered at times. And I certainly understand returning home and finding tons of little jobs to attend to! Love your approach to travel and loved your blog! I'll be back~

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  2. Wow, good for you! That sounds really fun. I would love to travel all the time too. You are lucky you can do that.

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    1. Thanks Christa. We kinda planned our life around travel and during those '8 to 5' years worked long and hard to be able to now live a travel lifestyle. It was worth it now that we've reached this phase. Thanks much for your visit!!

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  3. What a beautifully wistful post intertwining such wonderful quotes of travel into your periodically nomadic lifestyle :)
    I think you're right that a lot of people over-think taking that simple single step out into the big wide world and are all the poorer for it -
    Are you going to be in Greece for TBEX next month?
    Would be fun to meet... Or are we going to miss each other? LOL

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    1. Oh Linda I would love to meet you!! If you've followed our adventures this summer, we'd planned to buy a home in Greece and I was certainly planning on being there and attending TBEX next month. However, the deal fell through after we arrived in Greece (our second trip this year) and we came home without a house . . .with a house we could have justified a third trip but I am afraid that without a house, we won't be returning this fall. Some other time perhaps our journeys will bring us together. Enjoy TBEX!

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  4. Hello Joel and Jackie

    Your trips this year look varied and so interesting. I share your love for adventure and greener pastures. Your point of wardrobe selection and ability to handle one's own luggage is wise.
    Continued joy
    Helen xx

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    1. Oh Helen, it is always so nice to see a comment from you. Isn't it fun seeking new adventures and greener pastures? Happiness to you as well, and do stay in touch~ Jackie xx

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  5. I am glad with all those mistimings you are still having a great time.

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    1. Every missed adventure always seems to lead to a new adventure somewhere Rajesh! Thanks much for your visit and comment!

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  6. Your post perfectly sums up the delicate balance between life on the road and life with a home base! Like you, we've found that we've missed certain milestones but, oh, what we've gained by adopting a lifestyle as nomadic retirees! While our wardrobes are limited (and really, who even notices that all our shorts are black and our t-shirts are basic wash and wear?) our experiences are rich and varied and each day presents a new experience. Trade-offs to be certain, but we'll take them!

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    1. Anita, you do understand! And I so agree on those black shorts and wash and wear t-shirts! Perhaps someday our nomadic paths will intersect - it would be great fun to meet~ Thanks much for the comment!

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    2. Oh, in some climates I would hate to wear black shorts! I own a couple of dark shorts, but when the sun is burning down on my legs all day I'm happy for some khaki colored ones (just don't get anything lighter)!

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    3. Good point Juergen! I do usually wear my 'black wardrobe' in Europe and the khaki and whites in the tropics. . .all of which have to be wash and wear!

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  7. Terrific thoughts and quotes on how to live a travel lifestyle. I can't imagine not being able to explore new places and cultures. Hope our paths will cross someday.

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Sue! I do hope our paths will cross one day and I am looking forward to posting on your blog. . .food is one of my favorite reasons for traveling! And your topic sounds like one I would be most interested in!!

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  8. I'm not quite where you are with regards to a full time travel lifestyle - though this summer I was barely home. With snow on the ground today, I start to think of ways to incorporate it as a lifestyle but I think we're a few years away from doing what you're doing.

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    1. I was thinking that you are right up there with a travel lifestyle. . .and I can assure you that snow brings out the vagabond spirit in me!!

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  9. Absolutely wonderful post! But you stumped me with Kirkland. Where is this exotic place? Is it in the land of Costco?:-)

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    1. You win, Irene (and you who weren't doing travel contests ;-) )!!! Kirkland is our home in Washington State. A suburb of Seattle and yes, the place where Costco originated and thus Kirkland Signature brand. Their headquarters are now in a neighboring suburb, Issaquah (iss-a-qwah) but most people when we travel now do as you did and say, "Are you from Costco-land?" Thanks for the visit - glad you enjoyed the post.

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  10. I'm glad you explained where Kirkland/Costco-land is. You story is so positive about not being able to be in two places at once. Your quotes make this post worth reading a second time and now I will...

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  11. Neva, thanks to your comment and that of Irene's I did go back to the post and clarify where Kirkland is. Thanks for stopping by and for reading this one twice!!

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  12. Travel definitely IS a lifestyle, and one that I wouldn't trade for the world.

    Yes, I've had to miss the weddings of some friends' kids, and the occasional funeral or other special occasion. but for the most part, I try to plan trips around times when I really should be home and it all works out.

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    1. Yes, Doreen, we try to plan around the big occasions but sometimes I am simply disappointed that I can't be in two places at one time. . .simply too many things I want to do. Thanks much for your visit!!

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  13. Travel is a lifestyle not suitable to everyone but you two make it look easy and visit amazing places.

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    1. You are absolutely correct, Judith! We each have our passions and travel is one that isn't for everyone. . .we caught 'the bug' years ago and haven't yet tired of it! Thanks much for your comment!

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  14. So true about eating local and trying new foods, we love it too. We generally find that we get our fair share of exercise just running around though.

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    1. Yes, our pedometer also gets a workout on our travels but when we base ourselves somewhere for a period of time we try to justify those extra glasses of vino with a workout or two!! Thanks for the visit.

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  15. I love how you discuss not being able to be two places at once. I am always worried something bad will happen while I'm away traveling. However, we can't spend our lives not making plans because of what could happen. We would miss out on too much.

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    1. Oh Michelle, when our parents were still alive and our two cats (not to mention those workaday jobs) we also traveled with that worrisome "what if something happens" and finally decided as you have that it will happen whether we are there or not. . .you do just have to live life. Thanks so much for the comment and visit today!

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  16. Hi Jackie, When Keith and I leave our 9-5 jobs, our travel lifestyle will be much like yours We will travel a lot more but will still keep our home. As much as we love to travel we also love being in our home, the little world we have created for ourselves. I enjoyed reading your approach to fashion and clothing. I can imagine us doing that down the road. I can't wait to retire the suits! I also enjoyed reading all the travel quotes. Thanks for the lovely read.

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    1. Oh one of our happiest days after chucking the 'real world' was the day we cleaned out our closet and gave away those suits! I love the way you two are able to tuck adventures into your workaday world and get to so many places! Glad you enjoyed this post~

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  17. We're still "limited" by hubby's desk job and the kids' school schedule. However, I'm amazed how much we saw last year by packing the suitcases whenever we had a free moment. Unfortunately, I think the kids were focusing more on what they were missing like classmates' birthday parties than what they were gaining. It's just another lesson that I'm trying to teach them along with all the other lessons parents try to imbue. Now that we've resettled in the USA, I suspect that our travels will decrease for a bit. It's definitely more expensive here. No more $45 flights to exotic locales for us. When hubby retires and we're empty nesters (10 more years to go on that one), I think that we'll be like you two and have a traveling lifestyle.

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    1. I hear you Michele. While our 'boys' (our two cats) were with us and we held down regular jobs, we did have to squeeze that 'travel lifestyle' in in two week segments as it fit. . .but once we were 'empty nesters' and no longer had the confines of work, we hit the road (and sky and sea). I am so impressed with all the travel you have managed to pack into your busy lives already! Thanks for the visit!!

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  18. We're newly nomadic. Like yours, the reactions we get are along predictable lines. I am always amazed when people make a wistful comment, and then in the same breath talk themselves out of their dreams. You're right about changed priorities in every facet.

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    1. Oh Betsy, I must start following your travels as it sounds like we might be on similar paths. Our friends do the same with the wistful comments from friends and the changed priorities within ourselves.

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  19. Dividing my time between Mexico and Canada (with sojourns in Guatemala), I share your feelings about missing events, friends and experiences while away. It's tough to get much sympathy from friends and family though! I love that photo of your return from the grocery store in Kardamyli via a walk through the olive grove

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    1. Yes, we get little sympathy from friends (they are the ones who like to scold) and it takes another traveler to understand the lifestyle we've chosen. Glad you understand. (And that walk through the olive grove between store and 'home' was simply magical!)

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  20. It's hard being away from family and friends but we're still drawn to see all the wonderful places in the world. We are in between aging parents and daughters who are young adults but still need us from time to time. So for now we have our home base in Calgary and travel when we can.

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    1. Oh Shelley, we didn't travel this much back when we had aging parents and kitties and now that we no longer have those ties to loved ones, it is much easier to make travel a lifestyle. Enjoy your family while you have them! And enjoy travel as you fit it in. Do come back again and thanks for your visit!

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  21. I'm into my 14th year of not living in Canada, but it will always be "home". Korea is my base because I can earn enough money to sustain my 5 months of travel a year :)

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    1. I understand completely! and know that Washington will always be 'home' but will certainly not feel tied to it when the travel bug attacks and I am unable to resist its pull!

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  22. Wonderful post! I love to travel and Greece is on my bucket list of places to visit.. Awesome photos.. Have a happy new week!

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    1. Oh Eileen, I do hope you make it to Greece! And so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks so much for the visit and see you soon at your place or ours in this blogosphere world!

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  23. Oh sardines in Greece..yum. I agree we like to eat local when we travel...it is the most incredible part of the journey!

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    1. Yes, I saw photos of the festival posted by a Greek friend on FB and those sardines looked fabulous as did the festival's singing and dancing! Thanks so much for the visit. As always, it is so appreciated!!

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  24. Jackie, We are those that just travel and live overseas so we always miss out on family events, but now they are used to it. I love that you buy your clothes according to weight and buttons! Thanks for linking up again with Weekend Travel Inspiration!

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    1. Corinne, you remind me of a cruise director I interviewed not too long ago who also said she misses many family events. But, she noted that when she does visit with family it really is quality time and not some rushed 'event' that brings them together for a few hours. . .I love WTI and will spend more time commenting when we aren't on the road as we are this week. Thanks for hosting!

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  25. I love your post so much... Indeed, it is such joy to travel and to see things in new perspectives opened... (not sure if it is correct what I wanted to express...) Lovely aspects and details captured by your camera and, also, great quotes...
    Thanks for sharing them all!!

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    1. Oh Alexa, you expressed your thoughts beautifully and I am glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for your visit and I hope you'll come back again soon~ Happy travels to you!

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  26. Your lifestyle sounds wonderful! I would love to be a vagabond too, but would settle for 2 or 3 trips per year to those places on my bucket list. Our God made such beautiful and diverse places to see, and who doesn't want to see as much of it as they possibly can? :)

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    1. Beth thanks so much for commenting and your are completely correct about all the heavenly beauty on earth! There isn't a morning on our travels that I don't give thanks for 1) the ability to travel and 2) the beauty that surrounds us. Take care and I do hope you'll be back again.

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  27. This is a gorgeous and inspiring post - the photos, the quotations and the text all come together rather beautifully. In terms of travel, we've just bought a house. Thus, I feel like we're travelling in our own little way. Thanks for sharing.

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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