Sunday, February 8, 2015

10 Days and nearly 10,000 miles later. . .

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Our Stone House on the Hill - Greece
We covered furniture, packed up clothing, shuttered the windows, locked the doors and said goodbye to our Greek Stone House on the Hill for a few months.

Then we hopped a plane and traveled nearly 8,000 miles, back to our Pacific Northwest home where we emptied and repacked our suitcases. Ten days and another 2,000 air miles later, we arrived in Hawaii – our ‘other’ getaway home for the next five weeks of winter.



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Lagoon at KoOlina, O'ahu, Hawaii

Yes, that’s the way life goes for us these days. . .travel is our lifestyle. . .and home is more a state-of-mind than a place in the world. I am reminded of the old cliche’ “Home is where the Heart is. . .” In our case, “home is where the suitcase is. . .”

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Hale Kona - Marriott Beach Club - KoOlina from Hale Moana where we are

We’ve gone from residing in our the small stone house in an olive grove on a Greek hillside to our current place of residence, in one of three high-rise condominium buildings overlooking a Hawaiian beach. Here instead of being the sole owners, we are among 28,000 people who own a piece of this rock. We are back at our Marriott Vacation Club (interval ownership by the week) at KoOlina on the island of O’ahu.

Those of you who’ve followed our blog, know that we love this carefree interval life. We’ve gradually built up our weeks and now can stay here as long as six weeks each year or we can use portions of our time here and trade for other places in the world.

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Sunset at KoOlina
As tempting as it is just to stay here, we’ve already tapped into our 2016 stash and traded a week here for a week in Bangkok, Thailand which will give us a chance to visit that city prior to hopping our cruise ship to Istanbul, Turkey later this spring.

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Hibiscus blooms cover the KoOlina landscape

Speaking of cruises: Remember that Amazon River cruise we had planned to take over the Christmas holidays? We’d booked it and were ready to go until in late November the cruise line offered us a deal we couldn’t pass up – we traded that cruise for the one we will be taking from Bangkok. Turns out that once again the travel gods were looking out for us because. . .

We were set to sail from Miami for the Amazon River on Dec. 17th aboard Oceania’s Insignia ship. It turns out that the (newly refurbished just last spring) ship caught fire on Dec.15th as it was completing a cruise and returning to Miami.  While the fire was contained in the engine room and no passengers injured, sadly, three people were killed.  The ship, at last report, is still in dry dock awaiting repairs.  So, we wouldn’t have sailed to the Amazon River even if we hadn’t switched course. . .

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Sunset over Messinian Gulf from Stoupa, Greece 

In our next post I’ll take you back to our place in Greece for a quick tour of the neighborhood and take you to some of our favorite places to eat and drink in the neighboring villages.  Then we’ll head back to Hawaii for a tour of this tropical paradise. I’ve also got some packing tips and want to talk about the business of Business Class flying in future posts so hope you’ll come back soon because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!

Mahalo, Thanks, for the time you spent with us today! Safe travels to you and yours~ and E Komo Mai, Welcome, to our new followers this week, so glad to have you with us!

36 comments:

  1. Love your travel style. For me, home is where I park it.

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    1. Oh Gaelyn that made me laugh. I understand completely!! Thanks for stopping by~

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  2. I think that I prefer your Stone House on the Hill to the Beach Club you are at now but that is just us. We love the quieter life in the hills. We do want to visit Hawaii though, one day!

    Glad that things worked out for you with the cruise and that you switched things around before you found out that the ship had a big problem.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Actually KoOlina is a quieter side of O'ahu than is Waikiki and Honolulu and luckily not all 28,000 interval owners come here every year. You would love this more remote area - hope you get here one day soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Hello Jackie and Joel,

    You really are nomads these days.....the travel miles are dizzying numbers to us but we love the way that you step out of one environment and, just like walking into the next room, slip into another. Whatever, life cannot be dull.

    It is an interesting concept that 'home is a state of mind' and it is one we empathise with. Increasingly, we find that living as 'foreigners' in a foreign land is rather agreeable......always slightly on the outside of things and an adventure round every corner. It does make for an interesting life!

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    1. I find that I do pause when I am referring to 'home' these days and although I didn't expect owning the Greek house to make the psychological impact that it has, I find that I do think of home as multiple places. We've friends in each of those locales and look forward to seeing them all. Guess it helps to be childless and part of families that don't expect to see us very often. Thanks much for the visit. And we also find being 'foreigners' in a foreign land rather agreeable as well! xxxx

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    1. Hi Rajesh, Thanks for the visit. I tried putting a comment on your post in Mosaic Monday yesterday and the linked in thing said there was an error. Just want you to know I tried if it didn't show up!

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  5. I can so identify with your statement "“Home is where the suitcase is. . .” While living a nomadic lifestyle isn't for everyone, for many of us it's been more than we ever hoped for! Looking forward to reading more about your Greek dream!

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    1. That is so true Anita! Sometimes I announce we need a bit more time between arrival and departure, but you know I always seem to survive -- and thrive! Thanks for stopping by, as it is always appreciated.

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  6. How fortunate you are and to be on the same page. Not always easy as a couple with business, kids and wanderlust. Keep going and inspiring us.

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    1. Oh Elaine, I knew he was a nomad when on the airplane flight home from our honeymoon he used the cocktail napkin to start outlining our work/savings plan that would allow us to quit our jobs long before retirement age and travel. It worked we haven't worked those 8 - 5 jobs since 1998 and have been on the road since then. (and that honeymoon was 35 years ago this coming June!) We didn't have kids, though, and that would have changed the savings and working priorities, I am sure. Thanks for commenting - please come back again!

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  7. Like you, we are Marriott owners and appreciate the flexibility with which we can exchange our home resort weeks. Your transition back to Hawaii appears to have been seamless. Having been completely homeless for several months now, I am starting to relinquish the association with certain places in favor of everywhere, too. It's a good, if strange, feeling, isn't it?

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    1. Betsy, we love our Marriott trades! Got a 3-bedroom, 3-bath in Marcella, Spain for our small side KoOlina and now are heading to a 2-bedroom, 2-bath in Bangkok, again for the hotel-room-sized small side at KoOlina, Hawaii. Homelessness in our cases is definitely, strange, but good!

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  8. Life sounds pretty good. I look forward to reading all about your travels.

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    1. We are blessed, Donna and not taking a moment for granted! Love your travel tales as well. Keep in touch~

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  9. Having lived on the road for the last six years we can totally relate. There are times it can seem pretty hectic too, but we wouldn't trade it for anything... at least for now.

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    1. We 're-tread' long before 're-tire'ment age and have been living out of our suitcases since 1998! It has definitely developed into a nice routine of the not-so-routine, as you well understand. What really inspires us is someone says, "you are living my dream" and that puts even more imperative on us to live it well! Thanks for stopping by~

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  10. For the past six years, our home had been wherever the RV was parked! Next month we are embarking on this lifestyle, having bought a Diamond Resorts Membership that hooks up to Interval too. How have you "built up your weeks?"

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  11. Hi Carol, Hope you enjoy this interval lifestyle as much as we do. We bought additional weeks to build up our weeks (we purchased 'deeded' weeks from Marriott on the secondary/resale market) so have three lock-off weeks, meaning we get six weeks worth of stays or trades for having bought three. Check the links related to -- timeshares -- on our blog homepage for more information on our experiences.

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  12. It's always fun to read about your adventures. There are so many different ways to enjoy retirement and travel and I often wish I could live parallel lives in parallel universes. In one universe I would follow your path, in another I would follow the roads of the US in an RV, in another I would sail the seas of the world in our own sailboat, or perhaps cruise the seven seas aboard one of those floating cities ... but here I am sending in the medical forms for our upcoming adventure to the Arctic in May while thinking about a road trip to AZ in April before our trip to Easter Island and Patagonia in October and planning a trip to Tasmania and Australia in 2016 ... and wondering how our land and property will survive in our absence.

    BTW I am not a robot.

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    1. What a nice surprise to find a comment from you here! And sorry about the robot but you have no idea how many non-humans do comment or try to. You do make me tired with your list of travels but I can certainly relate to desiring to live in a parallel universe so I could travel and/or live a few more places before taking that final one-way trip. . .to end all trips.

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  13. You two live such a rough life, Jackie! :) Wow, it's already been a year since you were there because I remember it raining on you last year. I just have 2 words to share - ADOPT ME! :)

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    1. Well Mike it is raining on us again this year and those rain drops are being carried by high winds. I have to admit staying inside in the Pacific Northwest is a norm for this time of year, but here it is getting a tad bit tedious! Thanks for the visit - come on over; just bring your rain gear!

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  14. I am so glad that you stopped by the Garden Spot where we are firmly planted. We have a very hard time packing even an overnight bag. We may make it to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming later this spring. So I have enjoyed reading about your travels, living vicariously a lifestye that I probably won't ever attempt. I hope you are having a great week. Ands thanks for dropping by the Garden Spot.

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    1. And a thank you back to you Ann for stopping by Travelnwrite. While we may live out of a suitcase, I love my gardens wherever I am and your Garden Spot was a great one to visit - I will be back!

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  15. Oh, your life sounds wonderful. Extended travel was what we had planned for retirement, but some medical issues with my husband got in the way. We just travel a little closer to home.

    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog post.

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    1. Oh my goodness, if I had that absolutely story-book cottage by the sea that you do, I'd give away my suitcases! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

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    1. We are Carole, I am actually getting books and blogs read that have been on the back burner for weeks. It is a vacation! Thanks for the visit!!!

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  17. Enjoy your time in Hawaii until you make your next move!

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    1. We are enjoying it all - even today's high wind and heavy rain is kind of interesting. . .for awhile that is! Thanks for stopping by Irene.

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  18. Hi Jackie, you are so blessed to have lovely homes in beautiful places. I adore your carefree interval life. Your travel line-up sounds exciting. Looking forward to hear all about them.

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    1. You are absolutely correct, Marisol! We are blessed and so thankful that we can explore such wonderful areas of this great big ol' earth. I am loving your reports from your cruise so keep those coming!

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  19. After our 3 months in Honolulu last winter, the idea of having "pieds a terre" in different countries and in different climate zones is very appealing, but one of us still has a real job. Of course, it's that job that also provides most of our travel opportunities, including the Hawaii stay which was during a sabbatical, a 3 week visit to South Africa, a trip to Europe and a trip to Turkey and Israel next month (within 6 months), so I guess I have nothing to whine about. Meanwhile, I enjoy following along on your slow travel.

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    1. Suzanne, I am loving your reports from the bat cave and your cruise. Yes, I would say you've done a good job living out of a suitcase this past year as well. And I do understand how a commitment like a real job can tie one down. I finally last month had to resign from a board of directors that I had served on for 15 years - it had been my last tie to a schedule. Now I am definitely without any ties that bind. Thanks for the visit and keep the cruise stories coming.

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