Fun Facts and Figures For 798 Days – CHECK IT OUT

I wish I knew how to create graphs and charts to make things eye-catching, but I don’t.

Formulas on a whiteboard

With the arrival of a New Year and writing about my travels, I figured compiling some facts and figures about my recent mobile lifestyle might be fun.

HERE’S WHAT I FOUND

Days with no fixed address – 798

Keyboard with search button

Homes Slept In  – 29 (see below)

(17 as house sitter, 12 visiting family or friends, 3 a combo of)

HOUSE SITS

7 house sits were found through my profile at House Carers and Mind My House

4 house sits were for teaching friends

2 were for friends of friends

1 house sit was for a couple I met in Ireland

1 came from a chance meeting while cross-country skiing

1 was a family member

1 was a business acquaintance

VISITS WITH FRIENDS

My friends in Melbourne and New York City I met in Ireland on a walking tour with David Whyte in 2010.

I met my friend from Perth while she was on teaching exchange at Hollyburn Elementary in 1997.

My friend in Switzerland was a homestay student with my sister. She helped paint my house in exchange for dinners.

My friends in Whistler I’ve known since I first came to Canada in 1982.

THANK YOU

 

LONG STAYS AND SHORT

I visited my daughter in Castlegar 14 times (65 nights in total)…and she still loves me. My sister in North Vancouver put me up 14 times (34 nights in total). Bless her.

Longest stay in one place 64 nights (Llucalcari, Mallorca). I rented the home from a lady in my Zumba class

Number of one-night sleepovers 48 (9 in India), two-nighters, 23 (4 in India)

That’s a lot of packing and unpacking.

OTHER SLEEPING SPOTSOur welcome at Fort Madhogarh Fort Madhogarh

Hotels (24, includes 15 in India)

Planes (8)

Retreat Centres (2)

Luxury Tent (1)

B & B (2)

Homestay (1)

Train (1) – top bunk of three, Pushkar to Delhi, never say never, but never againIndian train

AIR TRAVEL

Airlines flown with – 15

Singapore AirlinesThai Airways check-inQuantas flight Launceston to Melbourne

Best service – Singapore Airlines

Best food – Etihad Airways

Longest flight – Melbourne to Manchester, 27 hours (via Abu Dhabi)

Funniest safety briefing – Frontier Airlines (Spokane to Denver). Guy should be a stand-up comic.

Most entertaining – easyJet (Zurich to Luton). Check out this blog if you haven’t already. http://blivingrock.com/2011/09/ezt-2046-zurich-to-london-row-11/

Of Note

In the three months at my new apartment (Oct 2 – Dec 31, 2013) I have spent three weeks away, at six different locations. Guess it takes a while to change gears.

***********

Bob’s brain tumour affected his mathematical abilities, tough for a man in carpentry. Today  he would have turned 56. So, this little data fix is a timely one.

Be grateful for all your brain does for you

***********

DATA

Homes(29)                                          # of Visits                    Total nights

Castlegar, BC (daughter)                      14                                65

North Vancouver (sister)                        14                                34

Manchester, UK  (sister)                         8                                 19

Langley, Whidbey Is.*~                          7                                 19

Leicester, UK (mother)                           7                                  16

Seattle*~                                                6                                  31

Leicester (father)                                    5                                  10

Nelson, BC*                                           3                                  49

West Vancouver (JR)*                           3                                  39

Melbourne (friend)                                 3                                    7

Berkeley, CA*~                                      2                                  54

Perth, AUS (friend)                                 2                                  44

London (nephew)                                   2                                    2

Mallorca, Spain (rental)                          1                                  64

New York City (friend)                           1                                  40

Tasmania*                                              1                                  54

Duncan, BC*                                          1                                  27

Bunbury, AUS   *                                    1                                  27

Leicester (aunt)*                                     1                                  22

North Vancouver (SS)*                           1                                  19

Nelson (RE)*                                           1                                  18

Edmonds, WA*                                       1                                  17

West End, Vancouver*                           1                                  13

North Vancouver (AH)*                          1                                  13

West Vancouver (SSh)*                          1                                   9

Langley, Whidbey Is. (SD)*                    1                                    7

Biel, Switzerland (friend)                        1                                    6

North Vancouver (SRK)*                         1                                   5

Whistler, BC      (friends)                        1                                    4

*    = housesitting

*~ = combination of house sitting and visiting

Problems Getting Back in the Saddle?

Ever had those icky post-vacation blues? Back from a long holiday, wandering and wondering where you fit in? Somewhat like an ill-fitting sweater, one that’s outgrown itself? Me too.
Even landing in Vancouver last month failed to rally the usual excitement. A place laden with memories of another life time, where we ‘did this’ or ‘went there’.
Like I’m haunting a previous life.

But it’s good to come back and feel what it feels like.

Maybe place isn’t as important as it once was. From time spent with my daughter in the Kootenays, friends visiting from Nova Scotia and Australia, and down in Seattle and Whidbey Island I’m reminded that it’s less about place than it is about people.

Living out of a suitcase however is both ridiculously simple and equally frustrating. Makes me realize how little I need. (Doesn’t seem to stop me from wanting!) My car doubles as library, pantry, and junk draw. But sometimes, just sometimes, I long to have a place to put a cookbook or hang my clothes.

Then I remind myself that having no fixed address or definitive plans, combined with a curiosity to learn more about the people that inhabit a place is a gift. A gift of time. Langley, Whidbey Island has to be one of the friendliest towns to hang out.

It’s my new favourite place.

www.visitlangley.com

As with everything, the more you have the more it grows. And the more you give, the more joyful your life and those around you. Everywhere I go the generosity of the people I meet is profound. Likewise I offer myself generously to others. If David Deida’s right in saying that, “Every moment is the most important moment of your life” then may your cup runneth over with GENEROSITY.

It’s my new favourite word. What would it take to be generous with yourself?


The Call of the Croissant

Let yourself be silently drawn

by the strange pull

of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray. 

~ Rumi ~

Does food count? It’s one of the things I really love. On occasion it does, however lead me astray. The twice-baked chocolate almond croissants from Bakery Nouveau left me way off course. 
It was on the ‘Must Do’ list left by my friends whilst here in Seattle. They’re away on an ‘active’ vacation. Crossing multiple bridges, waiting close to an hour in a jammed up four-lane highway, cutting across three lanes of snarled traffic within half a block, the traffic cop exclaiming, “You gotta be kiddin‘ lady” and I was on my way! Yes, the call of the croissant. 

The line of patient shoppers spilled out onto the street alerting me to the correct location. Didn’t need that carefully recorded street address after all. 

The multi-coloured macaroons welcomed, followed by an array of lunch-ready baguettes, “brown paper packages tied up with string”, confirmed this place was loaded with a few of my favourite things! 

Saving the best for last, the croissant display, the pièce de résistance, left me contemplating a possible new life in France. It occurred to me that not all calories are created equal, rather like men and wine. Surely croissant calories must be in a different category from those of broccoli or yogurt! More like calories on hormones.


Intrigued at first as to the ‘how-to-itness’ of twice-baked croissants, my curiousity quickly melted away and my eyes took over. To come this far the extra-super caloric punch was the way to go. Maybe this is what they mean by listening to your inner voice? 
I chose the one with the most words on the label.
“I’ll have one of those please,” I stammered as the croissant tray laden with flaking almonds, chocolate and icing sugar was seductively drawn out onto the counter. Mine to hand pick, kind of like getting a new puppy. 
I can’t really begin to explain the love-fest thereafter, the continual line-up of les amoureux de la boulangerie française said it all, only better. Something akin to warm chewy, buttery, flaky, exquisitely layered, not too sweet and thank God I only bought one.
It’s great to be led astray. It’s what makes us feel alive, usually guilty, but always certain of our human foibles. “To be constantly strong is a weakness” I recall a lovely man once telling me, and at once feel vindicated. I plan to be led astray again next week when a dear friend comes to visit. Bakery Nouveau needs to be on her ‘Must Do’ list, and I’m the driver!
Bakery Nouveau is at 4737 California Street in West Seattle.