Where my friends and relatives are around the world

We are nearly at the end of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, and the theme today is, "Living the Dream: What Does Yours Look Like?" and our question is,

"What does your blueprint for living the dream look like to you?"

Natalie gave us three prompts to help define our answers.

1 What do you want in your life beyond all certainty?
2 What’s a non-negotiable you are not prepared to give up for anything else?
3 What don’t you mind forsaking in return for having more of something else?

1 The thing I want in my life beyond all certainty is to have the freedom to travel, and the funds to sustain my lifestyle while doing it. I would like to continue this as long as possible. I have friends and relatives all over the world, who I try to visit as often as I can. I would like to continue this forever.

2 My non non-negotiable is my camera. It goes where I go, and, as photography is my passion, I cannot be without it.

3 I don't mind forsaking possessions and material things in the pursuit of my dream. I have already cast most of them aside, and I like the freedom of a minimalist lifestyle.

My blueprint for living my dream is simple. I want to build my location independent business so I can continue travelling. I am already constructing my website and adding content. My aim is to have it up and running by the end of September. This might be over ambitious, as I have two week-long photography workshops in September. And these will be full on. Wish me luck!

30 day challenge


30 Day Blog Challenge, Day 28

Where will I go to next?

Today in the 30 Day Blog Challenge, we learned about, "Travel Tools and Accessories: All You Need to Get Moving and Go Mobile." So our question today is,

"What travel tools and services are most important to you when taking your business abroad?"

One of my most useful tools is my Ultimate Laptop Travel Kit. I have had it for some years now, so it is probably out of date. But I still  find it very useful. It has laptop plugs in every shape and size for everywhere in the world; a flight light; a phone charger with various fittings for different phones, including a USB charger; a surge protector; a voice and data cable; different kettle plug adapters; modem and TV cables (probably redundant now).It has all sorts of useful items, all neatly packed into a leather case, the size of a pencil case.

Another item I never travel without is a backup hard drive. I am a photographer, so I don't want to lose any images. I keep all my photos on their memory cards until I get back to base, where I save them onto the hard drive, but I don't erase them. Then, when I get home at the end of the trip, I back them up again onto another hard drive before erasing the cards.

And then there is my Kindle, with a whole library of books to keep me amused, or educate me, depending on my mood. As long as I have my Kindle, I don't stress about delays. I just quietly get on with my reading. Bliss!

One major problem I have is with travel Insurance. It is difficult when you are older, as many will not insure those over the age of 60, let alone those travellers over the age of 70! A major problem for nomads is, even those companies catering for the older traveller insist that the insurance is only valid if you begin and end your journey in your country of origin, even if you no longer live there.

However, I wouldn't change my life for anything. I really am a happy travelling nomad!

30 day challenge


The 30 Day Blog Challenge, Day 27

While we can't all afford a private plane, travelling in comfort is the 
next best thing. We all love an upgrade!

Today, in the 30 Day Blog Challenge, we learned, "What You Need to Know to Become a Travel Hacking Pro". And we were asked, "What’s your best travel hacking story to date (where you scored a free upgrade, used miles or just got a bonus perk)" OR "Name 2 ways in which you’re going to become a savvy travel hacker in the next 6 months."

As I am a frequent flyer, I try to keep my loyalty points for Star Alliance topped up. This enables me to use the Business Class lounges around the world, book in at the Business Class counter, use fast track emigration and immigration (which saves an enormous amount of time), and I occasionally use my points to upgrade. But serious travel hacking sounds a lot of fun.

However, my best story was when we, as a family, flew from Buenos Aires, via Rio and Cape Town,  to Johannesburg. Our flight from Buenos Aires to Rio was late, so all the onward passengers were taken to a special area to be checked in quickly, as the flight was about to leave. In front of us was a man on his own. The check-in clerk asked him if she could change his seat. He was furious, and shouted at her that he had booked his seat and that was the one he wanted. So she apologised, and gave him his original seat.

When my husband and I, with our three daughters, stepped up, she said, "Well, I suppose I will have to upgrade you instead, if you don't object!" The upgrade wasn't to business class, but to South African Airways First Class. So we all travelled in style from Rio to Jo'burg. Therefore, my travel tip is, always be patient and polite, you never know where it might lead.

Our upgrade was definitely meant to be, because a strange thing happened that day. My youngest daughter's earring popped out at some point while we were hurrying for the plane. Fortunately, she managed to retrieve the earring, but she lost the sleeper. When she went to take her seat on the aircraft, there was a gold sleeper in the middle of the cushion! How weird was that!

30 day challenge

The 30 Day Blog Challenge, Day 26

When changing hemispheres, I can move from a bright, hot sunny day 
to this, in the space of  10 hours

The theme of today's 30 Day Blog Challenge, is "How to Pack Like an Expert and Adapt to a  Minimalist Lifestyle". So the question is "Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?

Our lifestyle is very minimalist, having given away most of everything we own, apart from a few precious personal items in storage. So I am used to moving around with the least possible possessions. My packing, however, is still not perfect.

I travel regularly, every year, and have done for most of my life. But I am still looking for that perfect set of travel items. I am constantly seeking non-wrinkle clothing, that serves multiple purposes, and the best way to carry my camera and all my equipment. Yes, I have the added burden of camera, lenses, and a tripod when I move from one place to another. At the moment, my camera, computer, Kindle, and all the paraphernalia associated with them, go in a wheelie cabin bag. And everything else packs into my trusty Eastpack Tranverz holdall, with its two separately zipped compartments

One aspect of packing for travel that I find very difficult to cope with is moving from one hemisphere to another, which I do regularly. When I am in summer, I find it almost impossible to imagine the cold of winter, and vice versa. I am forever under or over packing for my destination. In the space of only 10 hours, I can move from stifling heat to freezing temperatures. I have done this so often that you would think I would have cracked it by now. I know layers are the answer, but which layers?

I am searching for some lightweight, thermal underwear that doesn't have special care, but is suitable for arctic conditions. If you have any suggestions, I would be eternally grateful. I do, however think that a lightweight cashmere sweater would be invaluable, and I am currently going to add that to my wardrobe.

30 day challenge

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I couldn't resist this one!