THE DOG BLOG
Lovers of Travel
~~~Costa Rica & England~~~
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After three years of slow, meandering road travel, early in September I needed to fly back to visit family in England, many of who I hadn't seen in 27 years. For old and new friends who live in the UK, my apologies for not visiting or contacting you beforehand, but I had a feeling there would not be enough time - and I was correct. I don't like traveling quickly and out of a suitcase, nevertheless it was a good trip - though exhausting. But what is all the fuss about airline travel about? OK, you have to take your shoes off and the rules change about what you can and can't bring. But certainly security wasn't nearly the ordeal I'd heard in the news.
27 is a lot of years to catch up, but my cousins and I did our best. And old family albums were dug out from closets and history relived. Though I knew my grandfather had run away from home at an early age to join a travelling circus, I didn't know until this trip that he had a 'dog and monkey' show. Initially, I was delighted with this relevant bit of family history - until I recalled similar shows I'd seen in Morocco, where monkeys were chained and not always treated kindly. I slept badly that night, hoping this was not the case in my own heritage.
How much of ourselves is genetic, and how much individual nature? The old nature/nuture questions. My four cousins, who range in age from 7 years older, to about 7 years younger than myself have never lived much further away than the guesthouse which had caused the family to squabble and divide in 1965. And only one cousin seems attracted to animals. Instead, in these areas I seemed more alike to my Auntie Olive's caretaker who's my age and has traveled as much as I, and has recently bought a house in the Bosnian countryside. This hardly gives credence to any argument towards genetic makeup being all powerful...
During my short stay in England, I revelled in the multi-ethnic variety of peoples - although this is more so in metropolitan areas than in Devon where I stayed. My four hour wait at Heathrow airport seemed divine as I ambled through areas designated for Emirate, Singapore and other far-flung airline companies where people dressed in a multitude of different fabrics and costumes.
I got on the plane reluctantly having tasted just the tip of the possibilities in the world. I was greeted at the entrance to the beach where I live by the man who'd stayed at my house while I was gone. Riding from Texas, he is on his way to South America by motorcycle and had emailed me months before after I'd put a notice on the
Horizon's Unlimited website. offering short term accomodation. When he was in Honduras, he emailed again and since he was 'in the area' kindly agreed to alter his previous plans so he could take care of my dogs for two weeks-my location and house, sight unseen.
Click here to read his story at
You know you have a great person watching your animals when upon your return, they don't seem overly concerned you're back! Andy also says very nice things about my books on his blog, but I assure you, I didn't put him up to this!
Before he resumed his journey, my life long love affair with motorcycles was rekindled when we went on a few short runs. I'm sure this passion with two wheels is partly genetic, going back to when my father used to ride in 'trail competitions' in England after World War II, and toured with a group of like minded individuals, family members and my mother across Europe.
After Andy left, I was connected by a set of unusual coincidences to a similar 'nomadic' community called
The Long Riders' Guild
who are focused on long distance travel with their horses.
Certainly these seemingly unconnected events have nudged me to continue my travels. The past six months living in a Costa Rican fishing village and swimming daily in 80 plus degree water was what I needed. Now what? Continue with my drive to South America? East to Europe for more ethnic integration? A return north? In a few short weeks I'll be living out of a suitcase again, this time flying to Chile for a writer's convention and then America's eastern seaboard to speak at the Third International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods of Pet Population Control. I feel certain my next direction will be revealed by these events and related happenings.
Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs
Three years ago when I began this unique roaming lifestyle, I was inspired by Rita Golden Geldman who wrote, Tales of a Female Nomad. She has been nomadic over twenty years and I was delighted to meet with her in Phonix, Arizona at a group dinner after she appeared on National Public Radio. If there are those reading this thinking that all these people who've opted out of society are a bunch of good for nothing bums, click on
There's also Alastair Humphreys who I met a few years back while living in Kenya, who bicycled around the world in four years.
Rita Golden Gelman to see some of this amazing woman's projects. Thank you Rita for letting others know there are others out there who have nomadic leanings lodged deep in their DNA.
Before bicycling through Siberia, Alastair was joined by Robert Lilwall who has now cycled 20,775 km for the past two years.
Both have and are giving talks and raising money for Viva Network to help children at risk around the world.
Below is an excerpt from the book, Wanderer, written by the now deceased actor Sterling Hayden. My father recently read it at 84 years of age, and I'm sure this book was at least partly responsible for inspiring him to return to England after many years away. I hope you find the above sites equally valuable on propelling you on new journey's, whatever they may be.
Thank you for being a receptive audience.
my best, Lorraine
"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"
Sterling Hayden - Wanderer