Tell us about you, how did you meet? How long have you been together.
Marci & Kathy: We are both retired, full time travelers, lovers of life, grandparents of 4 fabulous beings and 3 wonderful adult sons. We met almost 12 years ago on a "Sisters at Sea" 3 day lesbian cruise. It was quite honestly love at first sight and we have been together pretty much since then. We married in Cape Town, South Africa on September 6, 2008.
Why did decide to travel the world?
Marci & Kathy: It was a dream that we shared, even before meeting one another.
How was the planning process? Who took charge? Who went with the flow?
Marci: We pretty much begin planning from the beginning of our relationship. When we first met Kathy was on her way to Zambia, Africa for a stint in Peace Corps. So planning for that and for my coming to see her was big. Once she returned home we were always planning one trip or another. As I approached 60 we began to plan retirement and for a life of "home free" travel. Kathy takes the lead in finding locations and doing that type of research, especially internet searching, reservations, finances, etc.
Marci & Kathy
Current Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
What has surprised you the most at the beginning of your journey or even during the planning process?
Marci: I think what has surprised me the most is how much I love the nomadic life we are living. I was always a person with a bunch of "stuff"...a home, lots of clothes, household items, etc. I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy living a more minimalist lifestyle. Pretty much everything we own can fit into 3 suitcases and I feel so much freer than when I had so much stuff.
Kathy: The thing that surprised me, during planning, was how much information there was about Southeast Asia. People seemed to love how inexpensive, exotic and comfortable it is for western people. At the beginning of our journey I was surprised by all the squat toilets. Even in the most luxurious places there were squat toilets. They were not, as I supposed, poor people's toilets. They are the toilet technology of Asia.
Favorite city/country so far?
Marci: Part of my spiritual practice is to not have favorites. I can honestly say I have loved something in every country we have visited and usually many things. I can tell you that China was probably the country I would be least likely to return to.
Kathy: My favorite place is Arusha, Tanzania because we got to visit our dear friends Charlotte and Pete Hill O'Neal. https://www.uaacc.net/
Anything you would do differently? Places? Planning? Regrets?
Marci & Kathy: Animal tourism (Tiger farm, Zoos, etc) are no longer places we frequent. Also, we learned (the hard way) that when traveling by train to make sure we have comfortable seating. Trains vary vastly between countries and a 10 hour ride on hard, wooden seats was a learning experience.
What advice would you give to a solo or group traveler who is thinking about leaving the U.S. for an extended period of time?
Kathy: There are several tools you can use to get good deals on housing and flights. Overnight train travel is great as you can travel, save a night's hotel cost and wake up in your destination. Greet the world with a smile, people are kind, if very curious about Black Americans especially.
Marci: Don't listen to what "they" say...Go and see for yourself!
What is the most significant thing you’ve learned about your wife so far on this journey?
Kathy: That Marci can handle difficulty and uncertainty with grace and a sense of humor.
Marci: This may sound funny, but I have learned that she really, really loves me! I can be a handful and her commitment to me and to our marriage is something I had to learn to trust.
What's next for your family?
Chiang Mai, Thailand with short hops to other spots in Southeast Asia until February 2019. Back to the states then. Hoping to attend Girl Trek's Walk for Harriet from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in March 2019. http://www.girltrek.org/ Traveling the states in our RV for a while along with a short family cruise (Los Angeles to Ensenada) in July 2019. After that, who knows?
Thank you so much for carrying the traveling message! We look forward to seeing you both at some point in our travels and don't forget to follow our traveling journey at www.boltraveling.com.