Dear Home Free Adventure Follower,
Home Free Adventures is movie' on up to the big time! We have a full-grown Website now and you can find all of the blogs PLUS a bio and nifty tools to search by topic, should be so inclined.
The new site is: http://www.homefreeadventures.com
You will see our exciting itinerary for 2012 and an actual MAP (ain't technology great?) of the places we'll be going. Please click around for a minute or two, and sign on as a subscriber in the darling little doo-hickey on the right side. If you do that I'll be able to let you know when I come up with a new story about our adventures.
I love technology, but I'm not all that handy. Credit for the beautiful site goes to Jeremy Lee James at http://writeclickhosting.com He did a fabulous job and he has patience beyond my understanding. I got frustrated, flustered and furious with myself regularly during the process of getting it together and he gently guided me to forge ahead. If you need a Website, he's your man.
I hope to hear from you soon. There's a handy "comment" section on the new site and I'd love to hear what you think of it.
Here's to a healthy, exciting 2012 for everyone!
All the best,
Lynne and Tim
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
|Lampton Park Beach, Cambria, California, our |
temporary home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Once again Tim and I have recreated our life in someone else's space. We came home just before Thanksgiving after five months on the road and we were almost immediately in sync with California life again. We can catch the rhythm of our surroundings and start dancing in time almost immediately. It doesn't really matter what country we are in, we make ourselves at home very quickly.
Everything people do involves a trade-off. We pick a hairstyle, a car, what to have for lunch, where to live, whom to marry and on and on. Grown-ups know that with each selection we leave other possibilities on the table. We chose to be on the road for a few years knowing that we would have challenges and regrets and that we would make mistakes. That's the point. Staying a step ahead of the game demands our being sharp and flexible, abilities we want to retain as long as we possibly can. It's certainly not a plan for everyone, but we are pleased to find that living home free is working for us so far.
People are interested in our lifestyle and usually new friends are surprised that we sold our home and now live internationally in rented apartments and houses. We have no permanent address. People sometimes say, "You mean you don't LIVE anywhere?" I always want to say, "Of course we LIVE somewhere! We just don't live in the same place all the time. We also have no mortgage, gardener, water heater, roof repairs or property taxes." But that would sound defensive, so I usually reply, "No, we have no permanent address. We rent properties for a month or more in places we want to explore."
Old friends have asked me privately, "Now, tell me, are you REALLY okay? Don't you miss having your own home, your things, your friends, your children and grandchildren? How long are you going to do this? How can you afford to live this way? Who makes all those plans for you?" Here are some of the answers:
YES, I AM REALLY OKAY. As Tim says, "If you're going to live in a 500-square-foot apartment in a country where you can't speak the language and don’t know anyone, you'd better really like your companion." That's our secret. We adore each other's company and we are so much alike that we almost always agree on important decisions. Yes, Virginia, two Libras really can live happily ever after together. Of course we have our moments, but they are usually brief and easily resolved.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
|View from our rented house in Cambria, California.|
We’re back on the gorgeous California coast. We had planned to stay eight weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but we were restless, homesick and starting to snap at each other. This is not our style.
I believe that if we’re not having a good time it's our own fault and we should fix it as soon as possible. This rule applies to many situations, from evacuating when we're ready to leave a place to quitting books that have failed to hold our interest. We haven't time to waste. Of course, shallowness is an optional explanation of our actions.
In this case, the truth is that I needed a good haircut and color and both of us were ready to burn our clothes, which we had come to loathe after wearing them in every combination imaginable for five months. More in subsequent posts about how our packing philosophy has changed. We had visited all the sites of Buenos Aires we cared to see - twice. It was time to go.
|Tim waiting for the train in Chatsworth, California,|
with bags full of possessions we planned to burn.
The learning curve in Argentina was steep, but the experience will help us in our future adventures. We understand now that tourists have an entirely different experience from travelers who choose to live like locals. In Puerto Madero or Recoleta, two upscale neighborhoods where there are big brand hotels, expensive restaurants, and a plethora of world-famous attractions to visit, tourists are treated with friendly deference. Many employees speak English, and service to foreigners is a priority. We were comfortable and relaxed there in what felt like familiar territory. Of course the prices matched the atmosphere.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
|It's a big country full of|
fabulous food and wine.
|Eating our way through Argentina.|
|People grab these snacks all day long!|
To give you an idea of the temptations we must endure daily, take a look at the corner where we live:
|In our building beside our|
|Diagonally from our building.|
|Directly across from us.|
Saturday, October 29, 2011
|These people speak Spantalian.|
I was getting a manicure in the beauty salon next door to our apartment building in Buenos Aires the other day. Two women were chatting and I was half-listening, catching about every third word. Suddenly an “aha” moment almost caused me to upset the table as I slapped my forehead in understanding. These people are not speaking Spanish. These people are speaking Spantalian. Mystery solved. Every day in Argentina I have struggled with the language. I don’t get them and they SURELY do not understand a damned thing I am saying. Nice women behind counters peer at me with furrowed brows and sincere concern as I try to express myself. Cab drivers contort their bodies trying to read my lips as I mutter my destination or comment on the beauty of their city. Usually gestures and a pleading expression produce results - sometimes they’re not the right results, but at least some interaction occurs.
My Spanglish is pretty bad, but I get along in Mexico. This is because Mexicans speak Spanish. I am convinced that in Argentina they are just pretending: their accents, pronunciation, cadence, gestures, choices of expression, menus, driving style and attitudes are all ITALIAN. The people look Italian, think Italian, drive Italian, eat Italian and behave Italian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but how could it have taken me a month to figure it out? I think of myself as a smart, mature, well-educated, well-traveled woman but sometimes I’m really slow!
The learning curve here is monumental because nothing ever turns out to be exactly what we were expecting. This challenge is actually what we had in mind when we made the choice to give up our predictable lifestyle and go live among people in places where our comfort level would be challenged. We remind ourselves of this when frustrated fury lurks behind our pleasant expressions and our tone becomes snappish.
The apartment has presented many opportunities to test our flexibility and resolve. If you have followed this blog you know about the blue button episode.
It started with the keys. A simple thing. Not so here. There are three keys on the ring that darling Marina, the manager, gave us when we arrived. They remind me of fairy castles and old timey jails. I know for a fact that they are not peculiar to our building. I see these keys everywhere in Argentina. They are large, heavy, and very very difficult to master.
The short one works the building’s front door. It’s pretty direct and simple to use. The others look alike at first glance (first week, in our case). The actual apartment key has a round top and it must be facing up to open the door. The hole where it goes is enormous and the key rattles around inside while the operator searches desperately for the way to make it find its slot. I have no idea what the flat-topped key is for. The light in the hall outside the elevator is on a timer switch, so usually, just about the time the end of the key slips into the slot, the light goes off. When this happens, the person trying to enter the apartment is blind and of course drops the bags of shopping, purse, umbrella and jacket he or she was toting and in the process, the key falls out of the door. Swearing and fumbling for the light switch, we must begin the entire procedure again. We are getting better at it every day.
|Barbie sink with strainer.|
Another issue is the camper-size sink with no drain strainer. Our worries about clogging the drain sent us on a hunt for a gizmo to contain the food bits as we wash our dishes in the Barbie sink. Of course no regulation sink drainer/stopper is small enough. We finally settled on a tiny tea strainer. It isn’t perfect but we won’t get dinged for a plumber’s visit.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|Air Conditioner - Upper Right Corner|
As seen from our loft bedroom.
|Our balcony and the business|
end of the air conditioner.
Note the parsley plant. I can garden anywhere!
The apartment manager, who is young, beautiful and very sweet, disappeared on a business trip to Uruguay a couple of days after we arrived, so we have been communicating sporadically via email with her. Yesterday it was 80 degrees here and since our apartment faces south west, I finally gave up and asked her where the switch to the damned air conditioner was located.
Miraculously she got right back to me with the following message:
The air conditioning turn on with the blue button. Then press the button "mode" and put the symbol of could (snow) if the air conditioning stay in hot (sun).
If you cant, Eduardo is in the front door. call Eduardo for help- :)
Confirm me that.
The hunt was on. Tim and I retraced every step of our previous searches and considered taking up the floorboards, but once more we failed. There was no blue button anywhere in the apartment. I emailed again in the vain hope that our darling Marina would still be in internet range. My email was exactly five words:
Where is the blue button?
The internet goddess was smiling. She replied at once!
It is on the remote.
Remote? Remote? REMOTE? What remote?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
|Along the Avenida de Mayo.|
|A plaza scene.|
Our friend David Manning sent a Facebook message saying that he wants me to quit enjoying Buenos Aires and get busy posting about it so he can enjoy it too. Others are prodding me to send information and pictures, so I will succumb to pressure and get on with it. For the record, I resent it. I’d much rather walk and gawk, which is pretty much what we have been doing since our arrival on October 6.
The first few days we wondered constantly “where ARE we?”. Buenos
Aires is not a culture shock, it’s a culture BLAST. The city feels Italian/French/New York West Village/Madrid, familiar and utterly foreign, too. If you let yourself relax into it you can imagine yourself in any number of the world’s great cities.
|Sunday Afternoon in San Telmo|