Wow! The proverbial clock has been ticking, and the intense months came and went. In the last seven months, so much has happened. It increased to a crescendo with the entire world being affected when COVID-19 spread and became a pandemic. But this story doesn’t start there. This story concerns what happened to us before COVID-19 even existed. Read on for our untold story, & why you should cherish every moment.
In August 2019, when you last heard about our travel plans, we were leaving South Thailand and going ‘off the beaten track’ in Asia on an unplanned journey wherever the path took us.
“We will not worry about seeing bucket-list destinations. But if we pass them and we want to see them, then we will.”
Read More – “About Travelling – a reflection piece on 5 years of full time travel“
The path ended up in Laos. It had been twenty years after our first journey there. We wanted to see how much a place can change in twenty years. We kind of already knew the answer to that, having seen Thailand’s Gulf Islands evolve from the remote, jungle tropical paradises to tourist hotspots.
But mostly we wanted to admire the landscape and live in the moment. The path is never-ending, and it can lead you where you let it. We had dreamed of an overland journey that had us crossing into Vietnam and China. But at the same time, we had dreamed of allowing the universe to guide our travels. The type of journey where we woke up and said “Let’s go somewhere”, and then packed our backpacks and caught the next bus to wherever took our fancy at the time.
Read about our travels in Laos and what we encountered 20 years after our first visit there –
Our Travels in Laos – A Return Road Trip 20 years on.
Turbulent Times While Travelling
However, sometimes your life can take a turn. It is why we went so hard for five years. Leaving our jobs, doing what we wanted, travelling to 30 countries and seeing as much as we could. Mostly, jumping on for the ride to experience all of life’s offerings. Because we understood that life is fragile, and we are lucky to be here!
And when this ‘turn’ happened (one of us became quite ill, and we no longer had the energy to travel), the first thing we did was stop travelling and go to our favourite place that we had enjoyed for the last 20 years. A place we could recover and rejuvenate.
It is why it’s been so important to us over the last twenty years to travel as much as possible and create memories. So the memories can sustain us when the “going gets rough.” But also, we felt if we saw as much of the world as possible, we would know exactly where our favourite places were. Places that we could go to rejuvenate our bodies and souls. South Thailand is one of those places for us!
Read now & plan for future travels-
Why we always go to Thailand’s Islands… & why you should too!
It is why you must cherish every moment. You do not know how long the great times will last. Further, if you cherish every moment, you are turning times that are ‘not so good’ into great times. In South Thailand, even though there was ill-health, we still had a great time!
Family Trip to Macedonia
Despite ill-health, we continued our travels. We had stopped travelling for a short while but had a plan to meet our family, for a ‘Family trip of a lifetime’ to Eastern Europe. So, full of anticipation for the epic family trip, we decided on visiting Macedonia. It was another country we had been to 20 years earlier. When we were there then, we had met absolutely no tourists anywhere. There was no tourist infrastructure except the start of one in Lake Ohrid consisting of a couple of hotels. There were no elegant cafes or strips of restaurants lining the lake and no shops selling tourist paraphernalia. We were eager to see how the country had developed. And along with the tourists starting to flood in after the name change to North Macedonia, we wanted to beat the impending tourist boom.
We loved our family holiday in Macedonia. Over seven weeks, we met lovely people. We had good times dining out and cherished every moment while visiting churches, lakes and national parks. And we had a road trip adventure the family would remember for a lifetime.
However, nagging health issues were still present. If we hadn’t had a once in a lifetime’s trip planned to holiday in Europe with our family, we otherwise might have gone home after Asia. These health issues saw us present at the local hospital. But we played it down, and the trip went on.
Furthermore, and the reason we have not told our story till now, despite dreams that we could sustain a blog, the time and energy it takes to produce one blog post were unavailable. That’s two days that we would not spend with family. So thus, aspirations of content creation and growing a blog did not happen.
Around the World and Back Home Again
Back home in Australia, for the first time in 6 months, we found ourselves faced with more health dramas the minute we stepped off the plane. In this case, a nasty gastric virus affected us. Plus there were the ongoing health issues to sort out.
Nevertheless, after visiting family, we rushed to New Zealand for the Summer. And to plan for a future living there. To say we were going to have a travelling break for the first time in 5 years would be a lie. Our goal was to go hiking and spend as much time as possible, travelling through the National Parks of New Zealand. We also pencilled in to return to Asia in May.
But again things didn’t go to plan as the health issues resurfaced and we raced back to Australia for treatment.
And now to cut a long story short, we recovered from the ordeal, and we spent the last three months in New Zealand getting back on track. Full of hope and inspiration, we started building a life in New Zealand, working happily on our neglected blog for the first time in months and planning future travels.
Sometimes you have to pause and reflect on the paths you have taken and make sure you have options for the future. The last few months have taught us that living like there’s no tomorrow and snatching all of life’s offerings has been the right path for us. They have shown us to be grateful for life’s opportunities and the moments that make us happy.
Mostly we have learned, that above all else without our health, there is nothing. We are not invincible as we may have led ourselves to believe. And above all else, we learned we need to cherish every moment and every activity, for we surely don’t know what the future holds.
And then the coronavirus came and locked down most of the world and changed life as we know it!
Thanks for reading Our Untold Story & Why You Should Cherish Every Moment. May your path be easy, may you be healthy and may you find happiness in the little things that make you smile.
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