03 September 2014

International Nomad

Cheering on USA in the World Cup
Did you see this article in the NY Times this past weekend? “Increasingly, Retirees Dump Their Possessions and Hit the Road

While I’m not a retiree (“pre”-tiree perhaps), the article described my life well in many ways!

“international nomad”
“…downsized to the extreme, choosing a life of travel.”
“While many…..ultimately return home or become expatriates, some live like vagabonds.”
Ha! I’m a vagabond? “a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job” No! As one of my fellow travelers said in the article, “Where I am is home.” And I work online--that's a job, right? So I’ll take nomad: “a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer.” Currently guilty. 

Where have my wanderings taken me since March?

There were about 40 of us there this year for the annual reunion on the Cape--yay for our hosts, the Tietjes!

With friends + Mom in Seville!
First, to the U.S., for highlights such as seeing my 11 year old nephew in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, spending a great week with family at an old Lake Placid camp, and catching up with college friends on the Cape at the Falmouth Road Race.

I spent 3 months in Europe (!!), starting on the Iberian Peninsula for about 5 weeks: touring Portugal & Spain with my mom, catching up with old friends, “interning” with a great vacation rental group in Madrid (if visiting Madrid & need a recommended place to stay, let me know), & trying to relearn how to conjugate  verbs using “vosotros.” :)

Cinque Terre hiking
Can a vagabond go on vacation? If so, I was on vacation in Italy & it was amazing. I did what needed to be done there: held up the Leaning Tower, tasted all the gelati that I could, sipped cappuccino in the mornings, and got sore muscles while hiking and taking in the fabulous Cinque Terre scenery.

My German family picked the right team! :)
In 1978-79, I took a “gap year” (if I can use the modern term!), living with a family and attending high school near Cologne, Germany. That was 35 years ago!! On this trip, I got to spend 2+ fantastic weeks with my extended German family (even stayed in my old room :) plus visit another German family who took me traveling with them during my exchange year. I (unintentionally of course, because what do I know about soccer??!) planned my Germany visit for the start of the World Cup, and so got to watch and cheer along with the future winners!

I have always done a pretty good job of keeping up with people over the years even from a distance, but it’s so much better to be able to visit with them “live.” The time in Europe was great for catching up with so many! Many people I met up with were from my 80s/90s days in New York City, and some I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. A gang of these folks were in Seville, Spain; a couple in Grenoble, France; others in London; and a few of us met up in Rathmullan, Ireland (& how convenient that our Rathmullan hosts recently opened Kinnegar Brewing!). As a bonus, a TNT friend & her husband nicely moved to Oxford just so I could visit them in that beautiful city. :)

It has been a fabulous few months!

1991 NYC Roomies in Donegal
As of last week, I have once again Headed South. I am currently in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (aka Madonna's “Isla Bonita”), Belize, where I’ll be til mid/late October at least. I am cat sitting (thank you, kitty, for bringing me that *iguana*!!!) and as of next week will be doing some after school tutoring at the local high school. My main goal is to get to know “my” vacation rentals here better and get Vacation-Rentals-Belize.com to have the content that VacationRentalsCartagena.com does! (Note shameless plug for both my sites :) After San Pedro, I’ll travel around Belize a bit and then continue on to the Yucatan. I’ve never actually been to Mexico but it’s about time. 

Biking through London's Olympic Village with Sara
With Deb in Oxford
Stay tuned....!


Martin Hogan said...

Great to see you, Barb. Enjoy, enjoy!

Jennifer said...

Love reading about your travel adventures!

pepe said...

Nomad or not, was a pleasure to see you again in Madrid ! Besos y hasta pronto señorita