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.


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)


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


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.




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


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.

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



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

Rachel’s Ashes

Today my 23 year-old daughter would have turned 27. She loved to travel. In her final days her dad asked,

“How about mum and I take your ashes with us wherever we travel, so you can keep traveling too?”

She nodded.  Yes.

Rachel’s Ashes is a slideshow of the places she now lives. A legacy of love, a source of deep healing, my faith in new beginnings.

Here, There, and Everywhere

“I see blues and greens,” she proclaimed pressing her palm against my swollen belly, “…and a beautiful soul.” As if startled with revelation her eyes welled up, her voice choked. Had this wise woman intuited something she couldn’t share? 
She was indeed all blues and greens. A natural swimmer blessed with lithe, slender limbs and aquatic grace. As a young girl, I recall her slide into the deep sea swells of the Great Barrier Reef snorkeling confidently amoungst the giant clams and corals. Swimming with dolphins in New Zealand, and joining the local boys as they leapt from rocky outcrops into the warm Cinque Terre waters, stories shared from her later travels. 
Like many who watched the opening scene of Free Willy years ago, she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. During her final summer, medical treatment proving highly successful, she began to rewrite ‘her story’. Full of hope and promise she allowed herself the courage to follow that childhood dream. 

She became a volunteer at the Vancouver Aquarium, a first step and a last. I watched skeptically as my daughter, joyful and energized, researched available courses, made calls, readied a plan. A dear friend whose firm conviction that anything is possible effused nothing but praise and encouragement. I felt ashamed at my lack of faith. Clearly ‘my story’ needed rewriting too.
‘You can’t bring a new story into your life until you’ve let go of the old one,’ says Stephanie Tolan in Change Your Story, Change Your Life. ‘Feeling bad means it’s time to revise a story.’ But like everything, we need to be ready. I wasn’t. She was. 

Two years later I found myself house sitting in Bunbury, Western Australia. A dolphin haven I discovered. Every time I found myself beside the ocean, dolphins appeared. An occurrence that eluded even the locals. I began to feel that she was with them. Was one of them. Heading home from the beach late one afternoon, a lone dolphin appeared just metres from shore swimming directly toward me. It seemed to say, ‘It’s me. I’m right here’.

If all energy is borrowed and returns to the universe when we die (Avatar) then death is not an end but a transformation. Consciousness like life, is indestructible. Our bodies are merely the vessel to house our energy. 

No matter what our story, we need to stop telling it if we want to see a change. My new story is being rewritten. I’ve released the one I’ve been telling myself and others for too long. That my daughter died, why I feel justified taking a leave, and the silent, more dangerous one that goes back over recent years, more of the same. You get the idea.

Walking in to the waves that last evening, my ‘sad’ story in hand, I cast the soggy shreds adrift. Two dolphins appeared, frolicking in the salty waves. I know she’s out there having a blast, making things right in her world.