Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Month: November 2016 (page 1 of 2)

In Memory of Darwin, Our Cute Boy

My Wednesday post this week is a bit different. First, it is even less wordless than usual. Second, the WordPress theme does not resonate with me. “It’s Not This Time of Year Without..” is supposed to be the topic of our photo(s). The one thing without which my holiday season could never be complete is … my husband, Mark. I know this sounds cocky and very unimaginative. And, I am sure he would not appreciate being the center of my blogging attention this week, having his face (or both of ours) splattered all over this page. He already cringes when I take photos of him and, this week, I just happen to create a 2017 calendar for our parents and my oma with a different photo of us livening up every single month. 🙂

Why does the holiday period not resonate with me? Continue reading

Then and Now – Thanksgiving

This blog follows the theme from last week, but with much less color! 🙂

Thanksgiving didn’t mean anything to me as a Belgian, until I started visiting the US over a decade ago. Being married to an American made me appreciate this day of thanks, and I am always happy with an extra day off, of course. Thanksgiving is Mark’s favorite holiday, since it is not commercialized and involves no gifts. Instead, the focus is on good food (lots of it) and being with friends or family. Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – Magic

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays.  Also, I can’t manage “completely wordless”, but I’ll try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

I have archived thousands of photos over the years and can’t easily pick what to post, so I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “magic“.

During all the years we lived and sailed on our boat, Mark and I have experienced a lot of magical moments. Amazing sunsets, wildlife encounters and residing in blissful pieces of paradise are part of those. But, since I have been posting quite a few photographs of those topics in the past, I figured I’d share another magical part of nature: rainbows.

I have a hard time capturing a full, end-to-end rainbow in one photo, so here you have two sets of one of those magical paintings in the sky.

Full rainbow in the Caribbean Islands Continue reading

Are We Lost?

I have mentioned before how Mark and I love our current lifestyle of house and pet sitting… The variety it offers, the different areas we experience, the wonderful pets we get to adore and take care of, the low cost, the comfort and conveniences of living in a house, the adventurous aspect of packing up and moving every few weeks or months. Yet, there is one, big, not to be underestimated negative aspect when committing yourself to full-time house sitting. One we only slightly realized while in New England, but that has bubbled up since we have been in California. Every day, it appears to become stronger: we are feeling lost! Not so much in a literal way as in “we don’t have our own place to live in and don’t feel like we belong anywhere”, which is true as well, but we knew this ahead of time when choosing this lifestyle. No, I mean socially lost. Mark and I don’t know anyone wherever we temporarily live and that does not seem to change for the better. We are isolated. Continue reading

Then and Now – Fall

Now that Mark and I have been house and pet sitting throughout the US for over a year, we often think back about then, when we were still full-time cruisers on Irie. I am hoping to post a few photos about the difference in lifestyle, views and perspective the coming months. For this one, I was inspired by Terri’s blog link-up Seasonal Sensations – Autumn Leaves.

Autumn in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2009)

Autumn in Venezuela (2011) Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – Tiny

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays.  Also, I can’t manage “completely wordless”, but I’ll try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

I have archived thousands of photos over the years and can’t easily pick what to post, so I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “tiny“.

Bahamian sloop against a giant cruise ship in Nassau

Bahamian sloop against a giant cruise ship in Nassau

When you compare local boats to cruise ships, they look tiny. When you climb to the top of a hill or mountain, things down below are tiny. Continue reading

Sunny Sacramento

Horse and carriage with "new Sacramento" in the background

Horse and carriage with “new Sacramento” in the background

Mark and I drove across the country and temporarily moved to California to enjoy a warmer winter than last year in New England. So far, we cannot complain. It is not as hot here as in Southern California or Florida (or French Polynesia :-)), but the 70 degree daytime temperatures (20s Celsius) have been very pleasant.

Because it will get colder and rainier soon, we take advantage of the sunny days by going on long walks and hikes with Herk (the cute rescue dog we are currently caring for), even during the week. Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – Chaos

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays.  Also, I can’t manage “completely wordless”, but I’ll try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

I have archived thousands of photos over the years and can’t easily pick what to post, so I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “chaos“.

While I feel chaos is about to ensue in the US (and the world), I will not dwell on that. From a travel-perspective, chaos to me means border crossings and local markets. I don’t recall any happy memories from border crossings in Central America or Southeast Asia, which are busy, loud, hot and overwhelming. Visiting markets, with their vibrant colors, diversity in local produce and determined buyers and sellers, is much more fun!

Chaos near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Chaos near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Continue reading

Election Day in the USA – 17 Propositions in California

Tomorrow, November 8th 2016, is a day that many Americans have been waiting for. It is the day when the 45th president of the United States will be elected by its citizens. Too much has been said about this election and its candidates. We will all let out a sigh of relief when Wednesday comes around. I have no idea what the media will focus on then. I can’t believe Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have any energy left after these grueling last months. We lost our fierce energy for caring and being upset a while ago. Following all the pre-election news, debates and arguments is exhausting and, since this is the first time Mark and I are in the States during this period, we wonder whether it is always like that leading up to a presidential election. We hope not! Life was less hair pulling on our sailboat… We could be happily politically ignorant there. 🙂

Since I am a Belgian citizen, I cannot vote, but Mark cast his ballot by mail a little while ago. People familiar with our lifestyle and ideals, will surely know who he voted for. As a Belgian, I am not a fan of the “two party” system. Not everyone fits in just one defined box. But, this blog post is not about the presidential candidates or anything that surrounds them. It is about the Official Voter Information Guide I stumbled upon, here in California. Continue reading

Monthly Expenses – October 2016

Expenses - image

Every month, I post a report of our expenses to show that it is possible to live a comfortable, exciting and relatively adventurous life without being rich. Or even without owning/earning a lot of money. That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is car, plane, travel or computer-related. Luckily, we live totally rent-free and in comfort, wherever we end up. 🙂

This report includes ALL of our expenses, in US$, for the two of us. Under groceries we incorporate all the food, produce and non-alcoholic drinks (100% orange juice, oat milk for Mark and organic 2% milk for me) predominantly bought in supermarkets. Toiletries belong in that category as well. Dining out means eating at a restaurant/event or purchasing take-out food. I read somewhere that "dining out" is meant to happen in fancy places. Not in this list! But, I do like the term "dining out" better than "eating out", so I'm keeping it. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always Skype-related, now that our internet is free and our phone costs are business-deductible.  You don't see health care costs, because Mark and I are eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts, since our income is  in the lowest bracket (for now). I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on at the end of the year.

Here is an overview of our expenses in October, which are much higher than usual, because of our Annapolis Sailboat Show event and all the traveling we did.

Continue reading

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