One day before we get Stevie J some major service we thought it would be a good idea to spend the night at Emma Woods Park in Ventura, California! It was beautiful!
So it has been a little while since our last post. With all the farewell parties while in Johannesburg coupled with all the welcome back greetings in California, sandwich in a work trip to Atlanta combined with picking up our travel trailer and beginning our nomadic lifestyle. To say it’s been a whirlwind, seems to be the understatement of the century! We are super excited and constantly on the move but life has been a constant case of fun with family and friends and endless adjustments (This is Leigh…and work. he keeps forgetting work). We have changed our plans since we left South Africa no less than ten times and have now resolved ourselves to just making plans on a month to month basis to remedy the situation (For those of ya’ll who know me & my A-type personality, I am going a bit crazy, but I am learning to cope). The funny thing is as I am typing this post, we are contemplating adjusting our plans again to accommodate both work and travel situations. Brings to mind a DMX tune…”here we go again.” Lol. Such is life!
We would like to thank all of our South African family for such a warm send off and the persistent feeling of home we felt while in your company. We are eternally grateful and humbled by your hospitality. We feel completely loved and accepted and are already planning our return trip (In pencil, of course). We are also holding to task those of you that promised us that you would come to the USA. We look forward to returning the warm hospitality. We are waiting to hear from you!
We are also really thankful for those of you here at home that greeted us so warmly and welcomed us back to our native soil. We have not been able to see everyone yet but know that you are on the list and we are moving in that direction as quickly as we can!
So on to this intoxicating lifestyle of ours.
We picked up our travel trailer on April 14th and I have to say for me it was all that I had hoped for and all that Leigh and I had discussed. We stayed at a KOA RV park in Las Vegas the first night we got it. The small quarters were quite cozy and intimate. There was enough room for the things that we brought along with us to get settled in. The second night we decided to stay on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) and see what this boondocking phenomenon was all about. We found a piece of land where I-40 and Historic Route 66 intersect in Ludlow California. The space was clear and there were no other visitors staying that could be seen (Some showed up later, but left driving further into the abyss). The view was breathtaking. Mountains surrounded us and we were able to view a spectacular sunset over the crest of a mountain top! So yeah! Now we get the whole boondocking thing. We look forward to more and more opportunities to do so! Something about being out in nature with our home and a panoramic view that sets the soul free and we are hooked! OMG! Words cannot describe the bliss we felt waking up to such serenity.
Now on to moving past the last vestiges of our former life. Betty our beloved Mercedes has now moved on to a new owner. Breezy my BMW X5 has also found a new home, both gone on to family and friends that will love and appreciate them as much as we did. Bonus is at least get to see them when we come to visit and maybe even get to take a drive still! (That was his baby ya’ll)
On the flip side, we picked up Gizmo, our tow vehicle, a 1995 Geo Tracker. It is a fun little vehicle that we think will make a great grocery getter when we are out on the road and need to get to places that **Stevie, our new-to-us 36ft Foretravel dare not go! Thank you, Becky and Joey, for your hospitality and generosity during the purchase. It was great to meet like-minded folks and the homemade Enchiladas were amazing! (They made me want to slap my momma!) We look forward to seeing you guys on the road. Speaking of our land yacht, we are here in North Carolina only days away from taking possession of our new home (Every second feels like a year…seriously). Just a few adjustments left to make at the shop and we will be on our way. Special thanks to Momma Jean and Poppa Jim for being our rock and helping to make all of this possible with your support and love! We love ya’ll to the moon & back.
We are super excited to get going. Plotting and planning places to visit and stay for a while is part of the fun and we cannot wait to get going. (tick, tic, tic, tic)
Til next time
Peace and Blessings!
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I am my mother’s oldest. She is no longer here with us and I am not about to tell you she was some kind of saint or romanticize her existence. She was just as flawed as every other human walking this planet. She was, however, my mom and she was awesome! (Leigh here-wifey, I can attest to that. His mother was awesome. I miss her so much) Her words, via my memories, still inform me to this day. They set my feet upon this path whether it is the popular choice or not. She gave me the freedom to explore who and what I was to be without being judgemental. The thing I miss most about her is our many talks. We would dream big dreams together and one such dream was a trip to Africa!
We have been here for just over six months now and there are days we are still blown away by the beauty and grandeur of this place. It has been all that we have imagined it to be and then some. While it is stocked with precious metals, stones, and many other valuable resources, to us…the truest and most wonderful resource is the nature and hospitality of its people. There is an abundance of warmth and welcoming everywhere you look here, in our experience. We are very grateful each time we think of the lifetime friendships formed with those we have met (Some we met before we arrived. Couchsurfers ROCK!).
We were planning to take a trip at some point to Kruger National Park and Wildlife Game Reserve. As fortune would have it another couch surfing friend, Prisca and her sister, Lydie, were going around the same time frame so we combined our trips. We would like to thank them again for the invite and having them there made an already awesome trip even more special!
Kruger… I have run out of superlatives for this place. The well is dry so-to-speak. It is difficult to convey properly what you feel inside when there is an animal as majestic as an elephant ten feet from your vehicle with calf in tow, not to mention an entire herd! How do you describe the wow factor of a Blue Wildebeest standing in the road with coat shimmering in the mid-afternoon sun as he grazes with absolutely no regard for traffic whatsoever? We were amazed at the sheer enormity of the giraffe in the wild as they gracefully strolled alongside, then in front of us. Almost as if they were floating on air instead of earthbound with cloven hooves.
I can only describe to you the giddiness we felt as we photographed and filmed Hippos as they playfully frolicked in the river. Happy to just catch them surface from time to time rewarding our patience and determination to see more than just the eyes and ears at the tops of their heads peaking just above the water’s edge. It is maybe possible through pictures to see the soulfulness in the eyes of the Impala. They look as though they want to walk up to your car door but think better of it as they know big cats are lurking and a moment’s distraction could be their last.
PSA: Should you decide to take this safari trek please keep your windows up and for goodness sake stay in your vehicle at all times.
We would much rather talk to you than about you!
I guess the best way I can relay the feelings of the day to you is the word connected. That is how I felt. I have visited many Zoos and while they do a decent job of displaying the animals I can’t help but feel a bit awkward (I feel more than awkward. As a child I enjoyed a zoo. As an adult, I don’t much care for putting animals in cages solely for the benefit of humans voyeurism…ijs). I mean those animals, while cared for, are still essentially in cages for our viewing pleasure (Exactly!). I fully understand that most do a good job and it is for the greater good (Not to me). It all plays a part in the preservation of wildlife and such (And money). I have to tell you now that I will probably never visit a zoo again, though (Me neither!). I prefer this feeling that we are the ones on display in our little metal boxes at the mercy of the animals. It becomes readily apparent should an elephant decide to charge that there are limited options for your escape. You are simply tolerated in their world … as it should be in my humble opinion (I love you, Boo). Also, should you decide to ignore the PSA, the risk of becoming a victim of natural selection somehow added to the experience? This became clear with the excited echoes of “you are too close” that could be heard while I was driving…I won’t tell who you are lol! Just know the car was in first gear, the road in front of me was clear and I raced manual transmissions a lot in my youth! #nofear #8000rpmredline #Icouldgetaway .
Africa has had a profound effect on me. It connected me to my mother and our dreams of this place. I have no idea of what happens in the afterlife (If there is one). Suffice to say that I hope that in some way through our visit that she has seen through the eyes of her oldest child, a portion of this magnificent continent and all the wonders it possesses. There have been times I feel like she was there right beside us taking in all its glory (She was, honey). I wish with all that I am for this to be true. There is a place that I felt this more strongly than others, but that is another blog. For now, this feeling is more than enough.
Yes, that is the word … Connected!
We are on the serious countdown! Twenty (19 baby, 19) days left til we depart for home…Bittersweet. Love this place but missing home. Very anxious to get our life as full-time RV’ers going!
Till next time
Peace and Blessings!
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