Friday, November 16, 2018

All Who Wander (Wonder) Are Not Lost. . .

'All who wander are not lost.'
          -- J. R. R. Tolkien 

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Greek islands in the sun - roads to wander
And I believe all who wonder are not confused. They are likely – in both cases of wonder/wander – simply expats like us with enough time on their hands to indulge in such past times.

Wander – to move in a leisurely, casual way
Wonder – desire to be curious or to know something

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The path to Mystras
We’ve been doing a bit of both this fall and in thinking about it, we’ve not been alone in pursuing wanders and wonders. Within our small circle of expat American friends here – all of boomer age -- we have a couple who celebrated a birthday by spending a week wandering the backroads of Tuscany on their own. Another duo is off on an Arctic Circle cruise and exploring Northern Europe. Yet another couple has left this week for Egypt.

‘Little by little, one travels far.'
        --- J.R.R. Tolkien

Like us, they recognize that this chosen lifestyle is a launch pad to new adventures on this side of the Atlantic.  Flights to new destinations in other countries take a matter of hours instead of days; the costs of such flights are affordable.

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Wacky, windy roads in the Peloponnese
For closer to home trips we head out on the wacky, windy roads that make up the Peloponnese or board Greek ferries to explore the many islands that make up this new adopted country of ours.

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Hopping a Greek ferry - a favorite wander
All of us retired boomers have the time to wander and wonder but actually giving ourselves permission to do it seems somehow tied to expat life.

Often times wonder and wander are what we discuss when ex pats gather for long-leisurely coffee klatches, a drink at sunset or meals together.

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Wine and wonder-lust/wanderlust
It was over breakfast recently that a fellow expat chuckled as she said she’d spent the better part of a Saturday reading up on the Amendments to the American Constitution.  “I’d probably have never done that back in the States, but I did over here.”

Today I wandered away from writing this post to research J.R.R. Tolkien after I came across a few quotes of his to use in it.  I wondered why I hadn’t read more by him before. This Englishman, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was not only a writer but poet and philosopher and a university professor.

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Roads to wander in the Greek Peloponnese
'It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.’
                      -- J. R. R. Tolkien

Don’t get me wrong, we expats still have plenty of daily chores to do and sometimes living in a foreign land makes for even more chores than had we continued our comfortable lives back home.  (Sometimes those chores make us  ‘wonder’ why we wanted to ‘live differently’ in the first place.)

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A garbage stop is a routine chore around our village
Yet, there’s no one among the expats we know that hasn’t recognized the fact that someday the adventure will likely end or at least change: ages, health (mental and physical), and even Greek ex pat requirements may require us all to change our approach to ‘living differently’.  But until then, we’ll continue our wonders and wanders.

'All we have to decide is
what to do with the time given us.'
        -- J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s it for this week from The Stone House on the Hill.  For those back in the States we wish you a happy Thanksgiving week and to all of you, our thanks for the time you’ve spent with us.

We sincerely hope your future wonders and wanders take you to some delightful places. We’ll be back next week ~ hope you will be here as well!

Linking up this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

30 comments:

  1. It's true that you end up doing things you wouldn't have done back home, usually due to lack of time for me. It's fun having time to read again, discover old shows that are "new" to me like Castle etc. I am happy to wonder and wander :-).

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    1. You've raised the bar on wander - that is for sure!!!

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  2. I often wonder why I'm working on this laptop, I could do this anywhere! I would love to take the opportunity to live as you do, wandering the planet. We missed our chance fourteen years ago.... But I can dream and wait for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. You'd have to make sure that you landed in a spot with good internet reception and few power outages. . .which can put aside the best of intentions. Nothing as aggravating as being unable to use the internet or sitting in the dark when you had planned to spend a period of time at the computer! Thanks much for the Thanksgiving wishes!

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  3. I believe that actually living in a new place for at least a while gives us the opportunity to explore and indulge.

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  4. Agreed! There is certainly no excuse for being bored or having no place to go or nothing to do! Thanks for stopping by, Gaelyn!

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  5. Love all of the Tolkien quotes! Keep wandering!( I've tried to leave comments on your last few posts, but keep getting an error message. Tried to do it differently in this post, so hoping that it goes through).

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  6. You and the Scout are expat rock stars to me (and not just because you live in a stone house - get it?). One of us still has a day job he loves, and the other has a 93 year old mother, so for us, Philly remains home. Fortunately, it turns out that medical researchers are part of am international community that likes to get together in person to educate each other and brainstorm. So, thanks to science, our next trip will be to Hawaii in February (perhaps overlapping with you), and Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam and Perth, Australia have just shown up on the horizon for next fall. I'm trying to convince Mr. Excitement that we should just head east and keep going around the world. Fortunately, I don't think it will take much arm twisting.

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    1. Yes, we don't have any ties to back home that would keep us there and fortunately aren't old enough or frail enough (or feed up with ex pat life enough) to move back -- yet. Oh I do hope we overlap in February, we are there until the 10th then head back to the wet Pacific Northwest for a couple of weeks before returning to Greece If we miss you in Hawaii, let us know where you'll be in the fall -- it might prompt a trip and we could rendezvous in one of the destinations you mentioned as three of them are only a few hours away!

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  7. The title of your article certainly captured my attention. I have been a Tolkien fan since my school days. This certainly made we want to head back to my library for a refresher read. Thanks!

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    1. Well I am going to seek out Tolkien and I bet it won't be long before I too am a fan - I loved these quotes! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  8. I must say that wander and wonder are not limited to expats! It's also what a bunch of us are addicted to!

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    1. You two travel so much that I think you could call yourselves part-time ex pats and no one would ever question it!!

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  9. "All of us retired boomers have the time to wander and wonder but actually giving ourselves permission to do it..." That's the crux of it right there. We have to give ourselves permission to let go the to do list and just get lost.

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    1. Absolutely Carol! And for some reason back in the States my 'to do' list always took top billing - now I think, "oh, it can wait unti. . ." Thanks much for commenting. Hope you'll be back often!

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  10. May you continue to give yourself permission to wander and wonder as you desire! Thank you for sharing your musings and your new learned facts- though I may not be an ex-pat (yet!), I love hearing about your days!

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    1. Glad you are enjoying our wonders and wanders. . .I have every confidence that if you want to be an ex pat, you will make it happen! xxx

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  11. Glad to know you will be in Mumbai for a day next month! Here's to a great day in Mumbai! Cheers!

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    1. Yes, Mumbai and three other ports of call in India!!! YAY!

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  12. Lovely shots! You're living the good life.

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  13. The diagram of roads on the GPS cracks me up!
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/11/preparing-for-winter.html

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    1. We've always recognized them to be quite curvy, but it wasn't until we got the RAV with the map that we realized just how crazy they are. Cracks me up every time I look at it!

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  14. Isn't this really a function of age, whether you're an expat or not? For us, it's about the fact that our older child is grown and in the work world and our youngest is at college. That gives us more time to wander (and wonder) since we're not responsible anymore to anyone but each other.

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  15. Keep wandering and wondering!

    Visiting from Wednesday Around the World

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    1. Will do and hope you do the same! Come back again as well!!

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  16. Love following along your adventure. We're still exploring the world wondering and wandering where in the world we'll settle down. We did quite a bit of driving in Greece on our recent visit and we can attest to those windy roads. Our friends bought a home in Tsagarada and going up and down the mountains to get to them was a real adventure, especially in the rain.

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    1. Wandering about wonders is a great way to spend time to our way of thinking. It will be fun to see where in the world you'll settle down. And where is Tsagarada?

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  17. I've always fantasized about living the expat life. It does sound so wonderfully romantic. Wander and wonder do go hand in hand. Especially when you are on the road.

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  18. Funny (or maybe not) there isn't an expat group here in Canada. Maybe it has something to do with the ugly American syndrome or because we are so close to the States. We more often get teased about our heritage. Now that we are Canadian citizens life is a bit easier, especially crossing the border and deciding how much time we want to spend on either side. Thanks for the comment on our video post. Things have changed a bit since then. We now have Internet via satellite and have removed our shore structures to comply with our water lease. Other than that it is just about the same. - Margy

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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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