“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I started my blog nearly 9 years ago as a way to prompt me to do more writing. I also wanted a way to document my travels, either physically or just travels through life, and to share photographs that I take.

When I wrote my original entry below I had made up my mind that I wanted to retire in Málaga, Spain. I had hoped to be gone by now. However, life happened and I’m still here in the twin cities and about to endure my 29th winter in the frozen tundra. This winter (2020-21) will be like no other.

Because of the pandemic, about 95% of the faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota were sent home to work in March 2020. And that suited me for many reasons, the first among them is due to my physical issues. I have low back and shoulder issues that flare up from time to time. And it’s been so nice to be able to take breaks during my work day at home to use a heating pad, or do some exercises. And not to have to go anywhere if I don’t have to is yet another benefit of the work at home life.

About mid-summer the University offered a retirement incentive as a cost savings measure to those of us that qualified. I decided that this was too good a deal to pass up so I am now retired from the University of Minnesota. However, since I’m not old enough to receive Social Security, I have a part time job until I can fully retire. My new job is also remote. I can’t believe my luck!! Oddly, I have the pandemic to thank. With all the suffering and grieving that the pandemic has brought, I feel almost guilty that I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. However, it is what it is and I’m very grateful to be able to take advantage of the University’s offer.

And so, with more time in my life I’m hoping to spend more time with my blog and writing in general. When I first started my blog, I found kindred spirits out there in the blogosphere, made new friends and I’ve even met some of them. What fun! With winter coming on (winter of 20-21 as I write this), along with a raging pandemic, I hope to be more active again and I hope you’ll come along.

My husband and I had hoped to be in southern Spain by now but now we’re not sure about that. We still love the country, and will no doubt visit again, we’re just no longer sure we want to move there. We’ve been toying with the idea of spending the winter months there. We can stay for 90 days without a special Visa. We’re just not sure what to do the rest of the year. And especially now that my retirement benefits include keeping the great insurance that I had at the U, I’m not so sure I want to give that up. So, we’re still cogitating what to do once I fully retire. Hubby has been fully retired since the summer of 2019.

To close I want to share one of my recent favorite quotes from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read the book in Spanish and when I came upon this phrase, it just hit home. Because once I decided to retire, everything fell into place and went more smoothly than I anticipated. Like it was meant to be. And so, I end this secondary intro with that phrase.

Cuando deseas una cosa, todo el universo conspira para que puedas realizarla. (When you want something, the whole universe conspires so that you can achieve it.)

My original intro from 2012:

Hello fellow travelers.  For aren’t we all but just travelers on this earth? I started this blog to write about and share pics from my travels.  And I’ll likely post more than just about travelling to other places. I might even write about my travels through life on occasion, another form of travel perhaps.  It’s a work in progress.  I’d love to hear from others so please feel free to leave comments.

I believe I got the wanderlust from both my father and my uncle. My father moved us from the Midwest to California in 1969 and I got to see more of our country.  I then became pen pals with my uncle who was a world traveler, and how I loved to hear about his travels! Thus my love of travel was born. I was lucky enough to spend my junior year in college in Madrid, Spain and so began my love of all things Spanish. It took me nearly 30 years to return to Spain.  I took my husband and my then 10 year old daughter on a two week tour of Spain for my 50th birthday in May 2010. Then 10 months later my husband and I returned to Spain to celebrate our 20th anniversary.  Now hubby has fallen in love with Spain and we hope to retire to Málaga. A ver lo que pasa eh? (We’ll see what happens.)

One of my favorite pics from our trip in May 2010: Patio de las doncellas, Real Alcázar, Sevilla

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

84 responses to “About

  1. Hello,
    I came across your website and found it very enjoyable. I just had a couple of questions so if you could e-mail me back that would be great!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) It’s so awesome to hear from fellow travel enthusiasts! Hope you enjoy my future Spain posts!!

  3. parashartales

    I am honoured to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick-up your award at http://parasharstales.wordpress.com/. Copy and Paste the Award to your blog and follow the rules of acceptance. I am very aware that some people do not wish to participate in Awards, and I completely respect that… no strings! But in any case, Congratulations, you have a Lovely Blog

  4. Thanks for liking my NY Botanical Garden post- Splendid!

  5. I am too much of a scaredy cat to travel by plane, but luckily finances won’t allow it :-). I’m a white knuckle flier, but I do love to see the US so we do that by car. Maybe some day…
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope your wish of retirement comes true. Hasta la vista, baby. (my Spanish is limited to what I learned from the Terminator and two years of college Spanish)

    • you know…I am a bit of a scaredy cat too when it comes to flying. I’ve been told that flying is actually safer than driving? hard to believe but….

      thanks so much, I hope we live out our retirement dream too! I bet you know more Spanish than you give yourself credit for ;) Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments.

  6. I´ve nominated you for the “Capture the Colour” competition hosted by Travelsupermarket.com. There are only a few days left until the closing date, but you can read all about it here http://eastofmalaga.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/capture-the-colour/

    If you are a category winner you could win an iPad3 with the overall winner being awarded £2,000 to be spent on travel……not bad, eh?

    Good luck

  7. Reena

    Hi, I’ve nominated you for the Adventurous Blogger Award. Please follow the link for more info: http://reenareigns.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/adventurous-blogger-award/

  8. ausurfer

    Hi. I just came here via another blog, and really loved the “About”. I’m going to follow you now, because I know the will be a lot to read, and it’ll be enjoyable. Lots to read and enjoy already.
    I agree, we are all travellers, no matter our lot in life.
    Greetings to you from Brisbane, Australia.

  9. Pingback: Taking Care of Business… Some Thank You Notes | The Retiring Sort

  10. Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. If you prefer not to accept the award, I certainly understand, but I hope you will visit the other nominees, and they will visit you, just the same. To see more about the award and accepting this nomination, please visit my post at http://wp.me/p2ekZU-E4. All the best!

  11. Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. Some people choose not to participate, others enjoy the opportunity to visit new-to-you blogs and to be visited by new-to-you bloggers. To see more about the award and accepting this nomination, please visit my post at http://sharechair.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/brief-intermission-to-share-a-bit-of-blog-love/

  12. mlgvalcarcel

    Hi Toby I have got another prize (Premio Dardo) and I have to give this to other 15 bloggers. Your blo is one of my favourites, so one of the pizes is for you. Congratulations.
    Best Regards to my friend fron the USA.

  13. I lived in Malaga for my Jr. Year Abroad and fell in love with all things Spanish. I am so happy for you that your hubby loves it as well! So happy I found your blog! I miss my other home.

  14. greg@urbanspoon

    Thanks, Toby! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you’ve reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.





  15. nice quotations to follow!

  16. Ah, a fellow wanderer! Although I’m focusing my blogging and some of my explorations towards art schools these days: artcollegelife.com. But I have to add that I have the same photo – taken this past summer at the Alcázar in Sevilla! Spectacular, spectacular place!!

    • he he. yes, we seem to have lived parallel lives. are you my clone? :D Yes, I absolutely LOVED the Alcázar!! and I can’t wait to go back. I’m going to go check out your blog now. Nice to meet you fellow wanderer.

  17. So glad you left a comment on my blog so I could link back to yours! I’m now following ~

    • Well thank you so much! I had a bit of insomnia and was feeling the need to get back to bed but I’m going to follow yours too. Nice to meet you fellow traveler ;)

  18. I love Spain too…hope you will follow your dreams!

  19. I love your quotes, Toby, and I too share your love of travel and of Spain and Europe. Nice to meet you! :-)

  20. Bonjour Toby

    So we will be in neighbouring countries with our common passion for blogging. Such different countries but so close geographically. We hope you will enjoy your iberian adventure and share your experiences on your blog


    PS Thank you for your comment

  21. Me encanta el frase por Mark Twain <3

    Mucho gusto conocerte, Toby, y buena suerte en todo de tus viajes!

  22. I love La Alhambra, it’s a magical place!

    • oh, I agree!! but my photo up there is from the alcazar in Sevilla. the Alhambra has a very similar pool so it’s easy to get the two confused. thanks for stopping by!

  23. Hi –
    I just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Here is the link:

  24. Hello! Thanks for following A Journey of Wonders (www.journeywonders.com), I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about my travel adventures as well as my tips for saving money in order to travel more :D

  25. I love your story! Malaga will be an awesome place to retire. We were looking at places to buy and real estate seemed pretty reasonable. The market and economy is so low now. Love the quote by Mark Twain. He was such a cool man! Best of luck to you in your plans!

  26. Hi tobyo, I loved your post on street life. I am a traveller. I also have a small blog http://myjourneythroughindia.wordpress.com/ where I share my travel experiences. I keep reading travel blogs as I know everyone’s travel experiences are totally different.

    • Hello Anisha, fellow traveler! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m going to go visit your blog too. yep, everyone’s travels are very different indeed.

  27. Great story…and wonderful quotes! Travel and exploration really are the best things. Happy to find your blog :)

  28. Malaga seems like a perfect place to retire :) Nice to meet you Toby-o :)

  29. Before last fall, I’d never really heard of Malaga, but since then, we’ve visited twice, both trips into different areas around the stop on our two cruises. I can see why you consider it a desirable destination to retire.

    I’ll be looking forward to following your journeys.

    • Oh dear, this was sitting in my spam area! So sorry that I didn’t see this until now. Something told me to check my spam, which I hardly ever do. SO, oh yes, Malaga, ah……I wish we could make it work but it just doesn’t seem to be in the stars for too many reasons. BUT, I’m sure we will visit again! Thanks for the follow and I look forward to following your journeys as well 👍

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