My travelling for 10 years has been Yin and Yang; very difficult on relationships, but also very good.
First of all, my family. I am very difficult to explain. I am not a normal mother and never have been. Over the years I have really tried to explain my decisions. My children and my ex-husband all think I have piles of money, which isn’t true. I will run out. One of the reasons I don’t think that ‘normal’ is a word that fits me is that for most of my life I have had to make decisions that rely just on me and as luck would have it, I have been very lucky…most things that I have tried have worked.
Second, my somewhat professional life. My business for 25 years, my charity for 11 years and travelling for 10 years (as the Nomadic Intern) authoring two books, and now even Mexico which seems to be working out. My new project is helping people Create Inspiring Trips with a colleague in London.
I just turned 80 and never thought I would live this long. My father died when he was 43 and my mother when she was 59. I am an only child, so my genetics are terrible. But here I am, healthy and happy.
I have now met people and have friends all over the world in many countries and cultures. I work very hard to keep in touch through calls, Whatsapp, etc. At Christmas I write individual emails to my friends. It takes a few weeks to do; I have about 600 contacts in my phone!
The Brahma Kumaris (BK)’s have been a source of friends and contacts from around the world. I am so lucky to have this network, all from very diverse backgrounds. They have assisted me in so many ways and, as a friend has pointed out, they are the longest relationship I have had in my life.
Some of the examples of friendship that have come out of my travels are:
- The first travelling friend I met was Keith from Penang, Malaysia. We met at an international conference in Mexico at the beginning of my travels. He was the first person to call me a traveller, and Penang was the first place I travelled too.
- My friend Dr. Sharma in India—a true Renaissance Man as a doctor, writer, musician, playwright, and poet. I always enjoy rides on his motorbike whenever I am in India.
- Geeta, a hotel owner in Mount Abu, has been very kind to me in so many ways.
- Jenny from England—a very bright, capable lady who is a wonderful friend.
- Barb, from Newfoundland, one of my heart homes.
- Jenny from Canada. who is there for me.
- Michael, a friend of 40 years who always sets me straight.
- Jeffrey from Toronto, a wonderful friend and a rock.
- Eric from Montreal, a good friend and just a lovely, lovely human being.
- Rochelle from Toronto, who has become a special friend through odd circumstances.
- Shannon, my friend from The Rock—Newfoundland.
- Linda and Frank, in Cold Lake, Alberta…always there for me.
- Charu in India, who has been in my life in different roles for many years.
- A very special one: Dadi Janki, who passed away three years ago. Dadi was someone whom I had a relationship with since 1990. She was the former head of the BK’s. More than that, she was an inspiration, she was tough, and she was loving, Dadi was a constant in my life who taught me so much. I will always miss her, and I think of her every day of my life
- All of my new friends in Ajijic such as Luna and Judy and all of the Namaste Community, as well as Brian, an old friend from 35 years ago that just happens to live in Ajijic! I am sure I have forgotten some people.
And there is Doreen, my bookkeeper…oh, I forget how many years—over 40. Having her in my life allows me to travel as I have.
To all of my friends and contacts: thank you for being in my life. My life is all the richer because of you!
P.S. On a completely different note, something new in my travels: I walked across the US/Mexician border into an airport that was modern, very organized and gets you onto a Mexician airline rather than taking an American airline…so much cheaper! You would never know you were in Tijuana!
P.P.S. These pictures were taken on a trip to Kansas City and San Diego…enjoy!
Betty, I feel very honoured to be included on your list.