SimpleTravelOurWay – a 6 ½ year journey by Kendal residents

For six and one-half (6 ½) years, Beth and Joe traveled “here and abroad” after their retirements and before moving into Kendal. During that time, they kept a travel blog with Beth as the author and photographer and Joe, proofreader and editor. “Beth tells our story of living for a few months at a time in different countries around the world, using photos and brief accessible narratives for each blog post.”

Go on the journey with them as they share their adventures and experiences:

Beth and Joe were kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Here are my questions and their responses:

Q: What was the purpose behind starting your blog? What were you hoping to accomplish and who were you hoping to reach?

A: As we approached retirement, we were busy planning a number of years of continual travel with no base. We began our blog, “simpletravelourway,” to share our experiences with our family and friends — our 3 adult children, our siblings, former colleagues, school chums, etc. To our surprise, after a few years of blogging, we had 1,500 readers in 64 countries who followed our travels— some of whom became hosts, travel companions, and new friends.

(We did a separate, fictional travel blog just for our 4 grandkids. To our surprise, some of their classmates started following that one, “Tales of a Plastic Jurassic.”)

Q: After all your travels, what are your top 3 travel tips and advice?

A: We’ve done a blog post about our top travel tips, but here are 3, briefly stated: 

  1. Go light: lay out just what you think you will need. Pack what you have in a roll-on size suitcase. Does the suitcase close with ease, with a little room to spare? If not, consider what you just packed and start eliminating items till the zipper glides easily in closing. Plan to check the roll-on, rather than carry it on. Use a small backpack, that is a day pack or shoulder bag, for computer items, pills, and what you need access to as you go enroute.
  2. Stay put: live in a place for two weeks to three months; walk; don’t rent a car; don’t run all around the country; get to know the neighborhood, customs, and food. 
  3. Listen & learn: don’t try to visit every museum and must-see on a guidebook’s list. Take time to wander and explore. Be open.

Q: How has COVID impacted your journey?

A: We ended our 6 1/2 years of living around the world early in 2019, so COVID did not impact our travel. In that sense our timing was good. We have wondered what would we have done had we been abroad when the pandemic hit? That would have been complicated, except perhaps had we been living in New Zealand, one of our favorites, or the Greek Isles, which have had very few cases. In that instance, it wouldn’t have been as complicated but may have been expensive.  

Q: What were the most impactful and/or meaningful lessons you’ve learned from your experiences over those last 6 ½ years?

A: The world really is like walking into “National Geographic.” There’s so much to see and take in, so much to learn, discover and enjoy. People can be very kind, helpful and friendly. It was a great adventure. But all this will NOT happen without an open attitude and an appetite for learning.

Q: What’s next for Joe and Beth?

A: Our adventure continues at Kendal at Longwood. We love pursuing arts and crafts (Beth) and bike riding (Joe), neglected activities in 6-1/2 years on the road.

From the first post Iceland: Heading north, posted on October 30, 2011, to their “final” destination, right up until their most recent post amid COVID, and everything in between there are a lot of gems of advice and amazing experiences. Enjoy and happy travels!

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