Thank you to Donna for inviting me to write a second guest blog. For those of you who may have missed my first posting, you can find it here. I thoroughly enjoyed connecting and interacting with so many of you the last time. That was a treat I was not expecting! So thanks again to Donna for providing this opportunity on her blog.
The origins of my blog
In the past, my blog focused on our travels to places that I had always longed to visit. Places like the United States, European countries, some African countries, China, Syria, Iceland, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. As well, I also wrote about our lives in Uzbekistan where we had lived for six years. Our final farewell to the area took us to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan for ten days as we tried to follow the old Silk Road across Asia. We were treated to some of the most incredible countryside and sights we had ever seen. All of these travels were facilitated by the fact that we lived in South Carolina, U.S.A, Germany, Egypt, and England, and finally, Uzbekistan, which we used as a base to reach some of those faraway places. Not only were the travels rewarding but the people we met along the way remain among our dearest friends to this day. These friends have also visited us either at home in Canada, or in whatever our latest home away from home was at the time!
That was then, but this is now
Then I retired from my long-time career in education, and now we have returned to our house in Canada. During our final year in Uzbekistan, we knew it was time to retire in our heads and our hearts. However, like so many people have said about their careers, I had loved my job and all the travel it facilitated. So to return to our house, that due to its age demanded so much hard work, was a huge change of mindset and pace. Initially, all was well, as July and August felt like summer holidays. But then September came and I started to look at job postings! All I knew was I was not prepared to replace my educational passion with pulling the stubborn weeds out of my extensive country gardens.
A husband’s wisdom
Some people take right to retirement and my husband is one of those! He knew I was unhappy not working. He wisely encouraged me to either find a job, or join some sort of outside activity. Thank heavens for community-organized events! I joined a writing class, Tai Chi, aqua fit and pottery wheel throwing. Combine that with my grandsons’ hockey games, visiting family and friends and working on kitchen renovations I am now too busy to work! And oh, yes I am lined up to be a volunteer at the local art gallery. I now feel I am over my initial adjustment phase of needing to work. As a matter of fact, I sort of wince inside at the thought of working.
A new direction for my blog
Travels with Fran will now record my thoughts on some of the following topics:
- My travel goals for the future include visiting the eastern block countries like Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. For now, this will happen in fall 2018.
- Consolidating our previous travel on topics such as markets we have visited, and World Heritage sites we have seen.
- Memoir writing has finally kicked off and I would like to get feedback on topics like the story of my grandfather and the history of our current house.
- How I am adjusting to retirement.
- My new passion for pottery.
- Thoughts on mortality.
- Losing weight, engaging in healthy eating, and regular exercise.
The way I see it, I am still traveling. Travel has simply taken on a broader meaning reflecting upon the different facets of our travels through life!