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.

40 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

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