House where I was born 71 years ago in Luton UK! (I can’t count)
In September 2013 I set off as a Nomadic Intern, This name was given to me by Australian friend Tam. That’s the year I was hit by a car (not seriously), and I decided to sell or give away everything and travel.
Friends in Toronto gave me room in their home where my bedroom furniture, some art and my few possessions are stored for when I travel back to Toronto which was just wonderful.
I have traveled to over 50 locations. Some more than once, such as India, Toronto, Newfoundland, Penang Malaysia, and many parts of the UK such as Cambridge many times.
My style of travel has been to visit a place for a month or so and rent accommodations. It could be an apartment, a hotel, private home, or be invited to one of the wonderful homes of the Brahma Kumaris, throughout the world, or stay with friends.
Where have I traveled?
Switzerland, Glasgow, Palma, Mallorca, Brussels, London, Canada, where I went on speaking tour across the country under the sponsorship of the BK’S.
Arizona, California, New York, many places in UK, Leeds, York, Devon, Cornwall, Cambridge, Bath, Dorset, Bakewell, Luton, Barcelona, Spain, Paris, France, Rome, Athens and many Greek Islands.
Iceland, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, Myanmar, India, Mt Abu, Goa and Puri, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bali, Java, Dubai Kuwait, Bosnia, Croatia, Columbia, Sweden, DRC, The Congo, Rwanda, Belfast, Edinburgh, The Hague Netherlands, South Africa, Lisbon Portugal, Germany, as you can see there is no order to this list.
My purpose has been to see, experience the people and the culture. I have met many wonderful people on the way. I have been safe. The only difficulty has been some places I have stayed at weren’t as they promised, but then some have been far beyond expectations.
The most difficult was when I was asked by a friend to stay at their beautiful country home in the UK for a number of months and all of a sudden their daughter wanted the space. I was asked to leave after 2 weeks by email, with a full schedule of travel and no time to find another location.
The local Community Bus and Mark, their driver, found me another house 2 blocks away through Facebook and contacts, which worked out very well. This is a very special community bus, and this was the only time I panicked! This house was in the countryside in the middle of nowhere.
My most exotic or unusual locations
Myanmar; I am so glad I went in between the trouble. It is such a beautiful country and seems to operate in slow motion and with such gentle people. For the most part Myanmar reminded me of my visit to Bhutan many years before.
Mauritius, another beautiful country with a French influence where I walked in the jungle with 2 Lions for 45 minutes. Once in a lifetime experience! You realize very quickly who the bosses are.
Democratic Republic of the Congo; Where I trekked to see the Silver Backed Gorillas. This was a Wow in every way, tough, beautiful, hard work, and dangerous! But just amazing.
My Freighter journey across the Atlantic navigating around 3 hurricanes, again amazing.
Some comments on travelling. Ideas are by travel writer Paul Theroux, which I agree with totally:
- Travel is a state of mind, it is almost entirely an inner experience.
- Travel is at best a solitary enterprise, to see, to examine, to access, you have to be alone and unencumbered. Other people can mislead you or crowd you.
- Travel holds the magical possibility of reinvention, a new place to love, to begin a new life and never go home.
- If ones feels free and has gotten to know the world somewhat, travel is simpler and happier.
- Tourists don’t know where they have been, travelers don’t know where they are going.
In Mumbai tourists would have been in a temple, I want to go where the people live.
My thoughts, people tell me I have freedom, am fearless, love people, different cultures, and love to learn without judgment (most of the time).
I don’t think I am fearless. I have developed a 6th sense and plan very carefully every aspect of my travel.
You go away for long time and return a different person, you never come all the way back.
Life is what we make it!! I believe that 100 percent.
We lost several special people to the world during the last 5 years and I lost several people close to me.
The world lost:
- Nelson Mandela
- David Bowie
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman
- Leonard Cohen
All the 4 above impacted my life. I was fortunate and blessed to meet President Mandela of South Africa and Phillip Seymour Hoffman the Actor. I had followed his work since first seeing him in an acting workshop in New York performing with John C Riley.
People that impacted my life personally,
Anthony Strano; a wonderful spiritual teacher, who had such clarity about life and taught me much over the years.
Karl Kinzinger; Former Director of Education in Canada. I worked for and with him for many years. He was my mentor and a very wise friend.
Ted Gould; also someone I worked with for many years in the community, and a very good friend. Cute story, when I bought my house after my divorce. I fell in love with a house I couldn’t really afford. Ted dealt with the real estate agents and the offers, I couldn’t cope. I sat in the corner and drank red wine.
Robert Jarvis; A friend for many years. A lawyer, tough on the outside, jelly on the inside, you just had to get past the yelling. He was very smart and loved talking about Winston Churchill, his idol.
Annie Steinhauer; My niece. She was a very sweet lovely soul who died far too young.
Meredith; My friend. One of my best for many, many years, much younger than me but so wise. I received a letter from her after she passed telling me to still talk to her, so I do. I still hear her words in my head and in my heart.
On the happy side, I went back to Canada for 3 family celebrations for my grandchildren, Megan, Dawson and Benjamin plus I visited Spencer my oldest grandchild at University in Nova Scotia.
Lessons I have learnt and comments.
I enjoy being by myself, but also enjoy people, that is Ying and Yang.
Everyone in the world looks the same to me, I don’t notice color etc, if someone is pleasant wonderful, if not that’s fine too.
I try not to be judgmental and enjoy people wherever they are at. I haven’t quite perfected this skill totally yet.
When I started my journey, I was looking for my mountain top. I now realize I have several mountain tops, wherever I go I feel at home very quickly. Good place to live, good food, coffee, cinema, BBC or CNN news, good communications and nice people, that’s all I need.
I realize I love the movement, walking, driving, flying, I just love the adventure and the newness.
I get bored easily!
My friends all over the globe are very important to me and I do my very best to stay in touch. I start my individual Holiday greetings in November, it takes a while.
In many ways my friends are my lifeline to the world.
When I started my journey, I met with Dadi Janki, my mentor. I told her what I wanted to do, she said wasn’t I too old? I was 70 at that time. I said I really needed to do this. She just waved her hand and said GO.
There is a massive amount of unjust activity, and mental illness across the globe. Poverty happens at many levels, from the poverty that we all recognize, to the tough every day survival by many people that is hidden, and I believe is a form of poverty.
I have also seen, depending where I am in the world, different levels of respect and involvement with the aging population by their families.
India, the UK and the Caribbean seem to be the best as far as respecting, involvement with and taking care of their elders.
A very special thank you to the Brahma Kumaris community all over the globe for putting me up, giving me a meal, being at the other end of a phone, organizing my travel and just allowing me to be part of the family, whenever I needed to. The Bk’s understanding of diversity is like no other organization I have experienced. The BK’S for the most part try to get it right! I spent a month in Australia. Charlie who oversees the country arranged all my visits and travels, and every Friday afternoon he would call me to check in without fail.
Just brilliant! To the Toronto Bk’S who always welcome me back to Canada whenever I appear, and to my Toronto family where I stay, massive thank you for being there.
Also, another big thank you to Paul. My friend in Cambridge, who stored numerous suitcases for me. Paul would just nod his head when he counted the suitcases, the number was constantly changing.
I am working very hard on my book. I have completed 28 interviews. Now the hard work begins; reviewing each interview and making decisions.
I am always asked if I am independently wealthy. Absolutely not. I must manage very carefully and am not sorry at all about the risks I have taken. I never thought I would be still alive!
Do I want to settle down? I can’t, as I said I love the movement. At some point my body will give out, but for some reason I am not worried.
Plans for the next few months are, Toronto Canada, New York for BK retreat entitled Call of the Time, back to UK for week, then India, Barcelona in early November and Venice later in November to meet Canadian friends.