Friday, September 8, 2017


To commemorate my semi-retirement, I prepared this handy summary chart of how my life has changed.

Pre-Retirement Post-Retirement
Spent hours researching school supply ads from Walmart and Target and planning multiple shopping trips to each store, based on perceived need, price, and convenience all while factoring in Dollar Tree alternatives. I went to Target twice and did not visit Wal Mart.
Cleaned my city-supplied garbage cans once in a while or at the first sign of maggots. Cleaned my city-supplied garbage cans every other week.
Spent a lot of time sitting on my porch reading in between bouts of gardening and cleaning. Spent a lot of time sitting on my porch reading in between bouts of gardening, cleaning, and trip planning.

I have been planning a trip to Eastern and Southern Europe (using the United Nations definitions) or Eastern Europe (using almost everyone else's definition). This time I will be traveling with my sister. I am returning to Romania and Bulgaria, two of the places I went to in 2015, and visiting countries I missed on the first trip. 

I have made changes:
  • Convertible wheeled backpack - My beautiful, four-wheeled French suitcase is staying home - it is way too heavy and hard to maneuver on cobblestone streets.
  • Hiking poles – hopefully these will reduce the chance of ankle breakage.
  • Allrounders – A birthday present from my cousins David and Shirley - perfect for hiking.
  • Belt - Although my Bulgarian and Romanian language skills range from poor to non-existent, I am fairly certain I heard people saying “Don't they sell belts in the United States?” when I would pass them in the street.
  • Everlast Notebook – This is a notebook with erasable pages. Once the notebook is full, I can use an app to scan the pages and send them to Google Drive, Gmail, Evernote, etc. Beside the fact that I won't have to worry about losing my trip notebook, I can use different colored inks, always a plus. I realize this sounds overally complicated but I find it hard to resist Indiegogo.
I will be posting as I go -- thanks for reading (sorry about the font issues).


Fall 2019 Part II - Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria

I had a week before I needed to be in Romania for my volunteer assignment and after considering northern Romania and Serbia, I decided o...