Takeoff 🛫


➡️In a zig, ↘️a zag, and then ⬆️a zog, this will start out as one trip, turn, and end as another.

Of course, this complicates packing.

Winter in the Netherlands


In Amsterdam, I’ll continue exploring my western ancestry, looking through the windows that open in art, music and history.  I hope to compare what Beethoven says about exquisite beauty to what Shostakovich says about the power of finding beauty amid the ugly.   And I expect I will learn more about beauty, ugliness and their intersection through the mature insights of the young Anne Frank.  I’ll also explore the Dutch Golden Age, and intend to gaze in awe at Rembrandt’s “Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq,” – the “Night Watch” – and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid“, and then I’ll die in front of the most stunning still lifes ever painted.

Puffy coat, boots, gloves, scarf, dresses, tights, fancy shoes, jeans, sweater.

Next I’ll head south.

Spring in a former Dutch Colony


In Cape Town, South Africa, where spring will just be easing into summer, I’ll witness the birthplace of a nation that sprang from the Dutch Golden Age when farmers from the Netherlands colonized to supply fresh produce to the ships of the Dutch East Indies Company on its marine silk road.  We’ll hang out on the V & A waterfront, gondola up Table Mountain, and take a couple of day trips to the Cape of Good Hope for, among other things, penguin viewing, and to Cape Winelands for, obviously, wine tasting.  And again, here in Cape Town, I will be shown how to counter the ugly with beauty and humanity through the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela.

Rain Jacket, umbrella, cardigan, shirts, black jeans, runners.

Summer in the Southern African Desert – Namibia & Botswana & Victoria Falls


From Cape Town, we’ll be flying a couple of hours north to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.  After Windhoek, no cathedrals, concert halls or art museums.  We won’t be seeing the world through filters, it will be nature, unplugged.   Animals in their habitat – striped, spotted, long-necked, maned, trunked.  Animals I never imagined I would see in “person.”  Nature will also have stories to tell about beauty and ugliness that I will have to interpret for myself.  This is a vast country with only about 2 million inhabitants.  We’ll spend the better part of three weeks here before heading east through Botswana to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.  Namibia is a place described as a good entry point for a first trip to Africa and a great place for families.  Africa, for babies.  I’ll take it!

Binoculars, hiking boots, fleece, hat, linen pants, linen shirts, cotton tees, tanks, shorts, sandals.

Once again, I’m off.  Ga Verder!  Gon Voort!



Luggage:  26″ – 88 L, when expanded – hey, not bad packing!






7 thoughts on “Takeoff 🛫

  1. Beautifully written beginning to the beginning of a beautiful adventure!
    Safe travels and we will all be following along right there with you!

  2. Breathtaking already and you are barely on your way.Your gift for writing together with your eye for detail and your interest in all this world has to offer enrich the lives of all of us who love you.What an absolutely amazing trip lies ahead for you.Thank you for including me .Bon Voyage with love and hugs. Joyce

  3. Well done with the packing!! So happy you have your puffy for those chilly spots. Thanks for letting us travel with you through your awesome blogs. Safe travels and have lots of fun!

    Big hugs coming your way!

  4. You put your thoughts into words beautifully! I’m sure they’ll be matched after seeing them to life as you wend your way into their reality.
    May all of your expected hopes for this trip become completely met,
    Love, from both of us.
    😘 Loretta and Dad 🤤

  5. Are you retired? What an amazing adventure you’ve planned. Your a Woman for All Seasons from whom I learn so much just being your armchair traveling companion. Fair winds and following seas. Aloha, Candy

  6. Hi Jan,

    Firstly, apologies for not thanking you for allowing us to vicariously participate in your trip through Turkey. We had a blast…………more fun than Spain and way easier on the feet… Thank you for this new experience.

    WOW, is this ever a mixed bag of destinations. What great opportunities to broaden your travel vitae. At least you’ll be able to lighten your baggage when you head south, as there won’t likely be any need for a puffy coat, boots and gloves…

    We anxiously look forward to your pictures and acute observations of the many people and places and experiences that await you. Have fun…………Good luck with the air travel.

    Kindest Regards,

    barrie and Sue

  7. Bon Voyage Jan. I look forward to reading about your very exciting and varied journey. I love how you write. Couple with the amazing amount of research you do and your insights it is almost better than being there. I will continue to read your blog while I’m in Japan. What a contract that will be!

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