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Ya kwanzaa: the beginning

This is where we begin again. Back where we started, on a stretch of wild, neglected beach on the Swahili coast of Tanzania. Slow travel. Redefining the concept of working remotely, juggling laptops and backpacks. Seeking expansion.

I should be royally pissed off at Africa. We moved here for the first time in 2008. It was actually the second time around for Shaun. He was born in Tanganyika-now-Tanzania and had one of those idyllic, expat childhoods cavorting around an enormous chunk of fertile farmland on the western slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Escaping the cold Rocky Mountain winters, we were determined that this was it. We were headed to our piece of paradise. We sold our home and most everything else, practically pushed our barely adult daughters out of the way, and went to Live in Africa, rose-tinted glasses firmly planted on our noses. But after five years of a glorious but financially frustrating life in Tanzania, we decided to go back to Canada to re-group. Our money had slowly eroded down to a tiny nub by the surprising cost of living and doing business, coupled with the global financial meltdown. We desperately needed a steady double income again. And I swear Africa was pushing us out, urging us to leave because we had to deal with what I called the 3 Ms:


Malaria: Not a problem for five years and two previous visits. But one month before I was scheduled to return to Canada, wham.

Melanoma: I discovered a small mole on my shoulder a few months after I returned to Canada, but thankfully it’s all okay now. I just have to pay more attention now when living in the tropics. It’s been an adjustment embracing my pale skin.

And yet.

After three years we packed up and shipped out again to Tanzania, although this time it was different. Less stuff to sell or store. No guilt over leaving our daughters. Okay, not as much. And we felt more prepared. We knew better the rules of engagement in Africa. This is just an extended visit to see family and friends, after all. A freer perspective.

What can I say? We missed Tanzania terribly when we left. The landscape, the ocean, the people, our family and friends. It gets under your skin. Africa is extreme and you either love it or you hate it. We love it, so we needed to make this our first stop.

We’re just a couple of late boomers who still feel young enough and who decided not to settle for the status quo. I don’t know where we’ll end up, and how this experiment in remote working and living in countries with lower living costs will go. But so far it’s working well. We’ve been here for four months now, with another month to go before we leave for Cambodia. We’ll play it as it comes and see how long we’ll stay and where we’ll go after that. This is our new world order, and I’m curious to see what you think.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Hi Lori –

    I saw your guest post on the latest newsletter from Gina Horkey and I just had to visit your new blog. I’m so glad I did! Your story is amazing, to say the least! Rather, it’s inspiring because I hope to be in your shoes one day. Travel has been my love since I was a young teen and now that I have a toddler and one on the way, I’ve been stagnant for some time. Living vicariously through you is an option, right?….Right??? Please keep us up to date with your happenings (Cambodia – how cool!!) and stay safe!

    1. Hi Chelsea – so great that you took the time to comment, thank you SO much for your kind words! As you can see, I’m still getting my sea legs and haven’t done a thing since my first post, aarrgh! But your comments have definitely lifted me up and inspired me to get my butt in gear, now that I see someone is actually listening! Wow. I am thrilled and honoured that you stopped by. I hope to see you around here again.
      ps We love Cambodia by the way…
      cheers, Lori

    1. Hi Bridget – thank you so much for stopping by! I’m honestly kind of floored that anyone is listening, so now that I know, I’ll get going on posting some more stories and photos! We’re in Cambodia now, but I still have some things I want to write about our time in Tanzania, so stay tuned. As I’m sure you know, there is no other place like Africa, it gets into your bones and never lets go, right?
      cheers, Lori

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