The Big Transition
Not-So-Great Expectations

Downsizing, Part 1

The greatest challenge of downsizing is letting go of “stuff”. So this subject is going to take more than one blog post. Stay tuned.

On Sunday, in a box from our attic eaves marked “Travel”, I found a pile of well-thumbed maps, including maps of Alsace, Santiago, Cape Town, Berlin, Rome, Sydney, and Delhi. More important, I found thirty years of travel journals. I agree with Peter (my husband) that writing about an experience, makes you notice more. So, at the end of each travel day, I wrote. Often those journals became sources for newspaper travel articles that I published, but that’s not why I wrote them. I wrote them to process my experiences.

There were too many journals to read them all. But I did notice a couple of things, like the summer that you could get a Euro for only 95 cents. I was reminded of the time that Peter bought only one ticket for a flight to take us from Harstad, Norway to Oslo to catch a flight home the next day. I was able to get a ticket for a flight three hours later and meet him in Oslo.

That was only the beginning. We didn’t know that there are two international airports in Oslo and that our flight from Harstad took us to the wrong one. So we missed our flight home the next morning and had to spend an unwanted extra day in Oslo. That was only five years ago, but somehow I had forgotten.

Then from a journal that I wrote in 2001, I learned that we owed our friends Harvey and Tina $80 after staying with them in their rented villa in Italy. I hope I paid it.

Writing in my journals at the end of our many biking vacations I had often expressed gratitude, appreciating the fact that we wouldn’t be able to bike forever.

And now forever is here.



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