Hi.  I’m Marie and you are very welcome to HopsSkipsandJumps.  


If you are reading this you are probably like me – happiest when planning your next trip (or 2…  or 3….!)

I’m a very unlikely victim of a travel bug.   Firstly,  the gene pool – my parents were of that generation that only left Ireland due to emigration. Then,  there are my own ‘limitations’- not great on boats,  can’t really swim,  absolutely no head for heights,  eat too much,  drink too much and questionable fitness level!!

But catch the bug I certainly did and almost 40 years later we are truly stuck with each other!  Two things worked in its favour.  Firstly,  I met a like – minded,  kindred spirit and married him 33 years ago.   Secondly,  we were both in the teaching profession which allowed for extended periods of time for travelling.  Any disposable cash was channelled towards travel and we looked forward to retirement as a vague period when we might head off and finally have that gap year.

Now, as recent early retirees and empty nesters,  that vague period has arrived and we find that we’re not for selling up and taking off to live permanently on the road after all.  We know we need a home base.   So we will continue to plan and travel but without the limitations of school terms.  Just imagine… no peak season prices,   actually visiting Asia outside the rainy season… I can’t wait!!!

I am now inclined to chronicle our travels.  I hope,  that in sharing our stories,  that something might catch your eye,  that you’ll say ‘that’s doable’.   So if you’ve a bit of time and money,  but still have ties – grandchildren,  elderly parents,  pets – that don’t let you stray for long,  then stick with me and maybe be inspired.

58 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Oh my God Marie you’re a natural at this! You need to write a book. Seriously fabulous writing. I love it!xx

  2. I get it. My wife and I are also retired teachers who travel extensively. Your blog has a clever title. Thanks for following my blog.

  3. Not only do we share a first-name but we also share a somewhat similar background, i.e. to quote I’m a very unlikely victim of a travel bug. Firstly, the gene pool – my parents were of that generation that only left Ireland due to emigration. Then, there are my own ‘limitations’- not great on boats, can’t really swim, absolutely no head for heights, eat too much, drink too much and questionable fitness level!!”
    Like you, I got the travel bug early but was lucky enough to meet a fellow traveller whom I married and with whom I spent many, many great travels until his death a few years ago. I’m still travelling, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, but the bug never leaves me alone. Good luck on your future travels. I look forward to reading about them.

    1. Lovely to ‘meet’ you Mari (unusual spelling – haven’t come across it often). We certainly do have a lot in common. I also look forward to your photos and stories. Happy Travels!!

      1. I’m actually Marie and vary my signature between them. I used Mari when I wrote professionally so that people had an idea of how to pronounce my name when we met! I hail from Newry, btw.

  4. Sounds like you are enjoying traveling and have been or are going to many places I have been, albeit sometimes with different priorities. My essays on travel in my blog might make that clear, but to each his/her own.

  5. You have certainly travelled a lot! A quick scan shows me two places (at least) that I absolutely loved too – Bruges and S Utah. I’m now at the responsible for elderly parent stage, so travelling these days is mostly restricted to Scotland. Thanks for visiting The Glasgow Gallivanter.

    1. Sounds like we are at a similar stage but I’m not as curtailed as yet. Well you’ve certainly got plenty of places to explore and enjoy in your own beautiful country. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Marie

  6. Hi Marie,
    Sandy and retired in January of 2017 and did not sell our house but leased it out. We have been traveling ever since. We do not feel homeless as we move to cities and stay 2-4 months so we move into a new home and nest, make it ours so that we always have a home. We never rush the touristy stuff as we have plenty of time. We just explore our new city very slowly and end up finding more about the city than most locals although we do talk to them a lot and learn a lot more. Just started looking around your site today and like it a lot. I am going back to your Boston blog and will leave another comment as that is our hometown.

    1. Hi James – Lovely to ‘meet’ you. I have to honestly say that this is the most inspiring thing I’ve read in so long…. everyone I know will be envious of your amazing arrangement. I can’t think of anyone who would not aspire towards your way of life since retirement. It sounds idyllic (although I’m sure there are plenty of bumps and hitches). I’m really looking forward to finding out more on your website …. Marie

    2. I envy you your way of life and hope it continues for many more years. My husband and I used to do the same after we retired and we loved every minute of it. City living has always appealed to me and we especially appreciated it in places like Italy, Spain and Portugal where the pace of life is slower than the Northern cities. May luck and happiness follow you in your travels.

  7. I think we share some limitations and then we jumped head first and on landing decided to stay…Enjoyed your post…Good Luck with your travels and enjoy!

    1. Lovely to ‘meet’ you both…. hopefully it wont be too long before we’re all able to travel again. Meanwhile, mind yourselves.

  8. Thanks for following me and introducing me to your blog. I’m glad to have met you and look forward to seeing you again, maybe even in one of my Friendly Friday Challenges!

    1. Hi Sandy – you’re very welcome. I found you through Sheree and will definitely have a look at your challenge – hope I’m up to it!!! XXXMarie

  9. Hi Marie! Very happy to have found your blog! I am also a very unlikely victim of the travel bug (as you put it), but i have really and truly been bitten 🙂 I did not even have a passport till well into my 20s! I will certainly be following your travel tales for much needed inspiration 🙂

    1. Lovely to ‘meet ‘you! I see you’re from Washington State – We’ve traveled to and around the US quite a bit but haven’t made it that far yet! And you live in NYC – we love New York. Hopefully we’ll get back there sooner rather than later! Meanwhile – looking forward to sharing stories – happy reading …. XXXMarie

  10. I love this and totally identify with your love of travel somewhat conflicting with your limitations – I share most of them although I do love boats and can swim OKish 😉 But every time we plan a trip I think, will I cope? Can I climb those steps / walk that far? But I do, because the rewards are fabulous – and because I have a fitter, more confident husband urging me on 😆

    1. I don’t think enough about coping when I’m planning. So many times I’ve booked stuff thinking ‘it’ll be grand’ only to arrive at an activity and the penny drops WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! And of course its prepaid with no refund. I’ll walk and climb those steps within reason but I’ve chickened out of so much great stuff….. 2 instances immediately spring to mind – ziplining in Costa Rica… paid up, suited up, lift up to top … couldn’t do it – had to walk back down the mountain on my own! Snorkeling trip in Belize – the shallows were protected so snorkelers had to go out to deeper water – so off goes everyone except me…. I’m left on the beach …. which was gorgeous of course but I’d paid a fortune for the privilege!!!!

      1. Ha yes, I’ve done the ‘being left behind’ thing, but luckily not so expensively. I’m used to hanging around at the bottom of a church tower, steep dune or small mountain while my husband climbs it, but I usually find plenty to occupy me in taking photos 🙂 I would like to try zip-lining (and I believe I would go for it) but you remind me of an occasion at the Great Barrier Reef. We were on a snorkelling trip and were offered the opportunity to try a dive. I was keen. I got into the wetsuit and got the oxygen tanks on my back but they were so heavy and the manoeuvre to get in the water seemed so challenging, that I chickened out!

    1. Lovely to ‘meet ‘you Frank. We’ve visited the US several times over the years but never made it to Ohio – yet!
      I managed to block it out last year once I got over the shock of not being able to travel and survived quite well. But with another summer stretching ahead and wings still clipped, I’m beginning to feel the pressure a bit. If there is any lesson to be had here, its surely ‘Carpe Diem’ – seize the day….. whenever I get going again, I won’t stop until I drop – or until the money runs out!!!

    1. Lovely to ‘meet’ you both and welcome to HSJ! You’ve done so much!!! I’ve come across a few couples like yourselves through the blog who have relocated – I can’t see us ever selling up but I love the idea of maybe a few months in one place – I’d love to do that once per year. I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog – and am particularly interested in how you ended up in Panama and Columbia – Meanwhile stay safe…

      1. Thanks for liking our blog. Now that the blue water sailing is over for awhile, the Great Lakes will get a lot of attention.

Leave a Reply