The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
23 March 2021 | Cole Harbour NS
30 May 2019 | Catamaran Marina
20 May 2019 | Shallow Sandbar by Livingston, Guatemala
18 May 2019 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
14 May 2019 | Isla Guanaja to Isla Utila
11 May 2019 | Grand Cayman to Isla de Guanaja, Honduras
03 May 2019 | Grand Cayman
25 April 2019 | Errol Flyn Marina, Port Antonio, Jamaica
18 April 2019 | Matthewtown, Great Inagua, Bahamas
14 April 2019 | Clarencetown, Long Island, Bahamas
10 April 2019 | To New Horizons... and Beyond!
05 April 2019 | Exumas, Bahamas
02 March 2019 | Staniel Cay, Cat Island, Bahamas
07 February 2019 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
28 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean

Side Effects to Season 6: ZoomZoom

25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
Stinkin’ HOT !
Once upon a time there was a lovely couple.

A lovely couple (right?) who sold their boat and bought a new (to us) one. A boat they could sail the seas on. An adventurous couple who chose to pretty much sell everything they owned, downsizing to minimalistic proportions. A boat they named Banyan, "Great Times, Great Friends, Great Food", what a lifestyle!

A couple who then sailed their boat Southwards, stopping often along the way, until, almost a year later, they reached Grenada just in time for H-Season, haulout and storage! And then flew home for the summer.

A few years later, this lovely couple decided to change things up for H-Season (aka Summer), so they sailed their boat back to the United States, and bought an RV, sight unseen to spend their summers in, and tour about exploring the roads in the great wide area that is North America. And so they could live in it while simultaneously renovating and reseasoning their boat. They called it their MoHo. And of course, they went home for the summer. OnOn!

And thus, every H-Season (aka summer/fall), when we're home in Halifax, we take a bit of a hiatus from social media. It's a time for some R&R. It's a time that we LOVE to spend reconnecting with family and friends. And it's the perfect time for me to write my Side Effects Blog.

What started as a simple recap one summer: Side Effects to Season One: Untitled! has turned into a much anticipated (I think?) Side Effects blog.

If you're new to us, or we're new to you, why not catch up?

Season Two: Out of Control
Season Three: Ho-Hum
Season Four: Jus' From
Season Five: OnOn!

And that brings us up to date and up to today and now. Side Effects to Season Six! What a year we've had!! Feels like every year we've done something simply amazing and gigantically grand and this year was no exception. In fact, I think the last 12 months. The last 52 weeks. The last 365 days have quite topped all sorts of WOW factors and personal records.

The Countries, and the Provinces and the States and the Islands that we've visited have all been Beyond Incredible. The people we've crossed paths with have been fun, interesting and inspirational. The times with friends we've been able to reconnect with along the way have been So.Much.Fun. We are truly Blessed. So blessed that the iPhoto library requires extra iCloud storage space, and the monthly cost is starting to add up. And the Log Books I keep? Are exploding to needing new ones. I had to flip quite a few pages to revisit our Journey of the last 12 months. And don't even talk to us about our Budget. Was that in US dollars, or Canadian?

Reader Beware however. This might be a long blog. And it surely isn't a Lovey-Dovey type of blog. This is a true story, of what happened this year to this lovely couple. This is a story that I was not ever going to write about. Not ever going to share. Because, well... how "dare we complain...", how "could we not be having a good time..." when? Right? But it's happened to us, and this blog has always been about sharing the reality of our life with all y'all.

So let's see, for just a few of the highlights, we went (in a GrossoModo type of Highway ZigZag) from: Halifax, Quebec, Ontario, Sarnia, Upper Peninsula (Michigan), The Porkies, Winkler (LTV Rally), Yellowstone,

Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde,

Bryce, Zion, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas...

Las Vegas!! Where, my honey and faithful loving partner in Adventuring started my 50th birthday celebrations. Where we stored the RV and flew home,

and enjoyed more birthday celebrations: my children and family ALL in attendance. All in one place, at the same time. Just how I like it. Family is my Everything.

Something has shifted in my Self. Something not quite yet describable. Seems like it's been happening as I turn the corner on every decade. In my 30's, I endured and survived incredible and traumatic changes and losses. In my 40's I rebounded, met the love of my life and reframed my journey. And now I'm entering my 5th decade. Who knows what these next years will hold. It feels like I'm on the cusp of another shift.

From Halifax we flew to, and explored: Ireland (Kissed the Blarney Stone and Guinness!! Right?). Another flight to London (the Queen was in!! Red Double Decker buses!).

Another flight to Barcelona (Si Si!). And the last flight to the Canary Islands where we met up with friends Paul and Sheryl, of Distant Shores TV , onboard SY Zao, a luxurious 50 foot Catamaran, and became part of a boat delivery crew.

Where I crossed a few bucket list items off my list that I didn't even realize were on my list. But the biggest and most awesome accomplishment? Crossing the Atlantic Ocean!! The entire Atlantic Ocean. All of it. Every single drop of it. In fact, 21 days of it!

You can read all about that here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three And I'm not sure I even finished that series properly, Part 4 was in the making and somehow it never got wrote, as there might've been a bit of bitching going on. And then we appeared here, Cruising World Magazine.

We arrived in Saint Lucia

well fed and in need of exercise (21 days, right?) to the sounds of trumpets and balloon and champagne type of festivities, a great welcome from great friends on SV Grand Cru. The first priority was to clean the boat and return her to her owners, before moving onboard SV Grand Cru for a week of R&R, which included sailing to Martinique. And once there, we caught the next cheapest flight back to Las Vegas.

And recommissioned the RV. Zoom-zoom...

Where we went Westwards: Joshua Tree, Red Rock, California, Huntington Beach, San Diego. There were Armadillos and RoadRunners and Cactii that jumped! There were mountain ranges and skies and vistas so spectacular that our eyes couldn't even grasp the immensity of what we were seeing.

Arizona, where we stood on the corner...

and explored one of the most incredible experiments that really happened: The Biosphere. Where I paid an extraordinary amount of money for a book written by one of the original Biospherians, a book that I've wanted for a couple of decades and a book that is impossible to find. A book that I've now owned for almost a year and haven't yet read. Because? No Time!

Is it possible to have a foot (or in this case, our six wheels?) in four states at the same time? Yup!

Tombstone. The Western Frontier. Dallas, Texas, The Alamo, Louisiana, New Orleans. And back to Florida and our boat. Where we both (me especially) immediately got unbelievably sick with whatever nasty strain of flu was going around. A flu that knocked me off my feet for five days straight. I will forever remain eternally grateful to our friends who took care of us while we were part of the Living Dead.

We drove to the Keys for a very special surprise birthday, and when we got back, we needed to make up all that time and spent many hours, from sunup to sundown, working on the boat

and so gratefully living and sleeping in our clean, dust-free, air-conditioned RV.

Then Splish-Splash, it was time to store the RV, provision the boat for our Bahamian Getaway, and sail away. You figure out what you're going to need and eat for the next two months, and buy it, all at once. In US dollars! We motored down the ICW. Just a little frustrated when the Coast Guard stopped us, and issued us a warning, indicating that although we had all the stuff needed to contain an oil spill, and upon quizzing us knew what we had to do in case of an oil spill, we actually didn't have an Oil Spill Placard! And as a result we missed the bridge opening. And now have 6 months to get ourselves a proper Oil Spill Placard.

The Gulf Stream crossing to the Berry Islands was an easy motor-sail (was that because we'd recently done 21 days?). Cleared customs and paid them lots of dollars so we could enjoy their country. Then sailed perfectly and beautifully to the Exumas. Where we spent two wonderful months in gin-clear waters and white sand beaches.

Where we celebrated Dave's birthday in true beach and bar fashion, and excitedly shared our house and home and the unique-ness that is the Bahamas with two sets of friends from back home who came to visit. Best.Times.Ever.

And oh the tales we could tell of the little things that went wrong. The gremlins on our boat were playing peek-a-boo with us. Little problems appeared (and disappeared) that we just couldn't solve. Then we ran out of wine. And noticed the MailBoat (aka food) hadn't come in that week either. And we had guests coming. And even the usual quiet anchorages were unusually loud and noisy and crowded with sea-doo's and speed boats.

But time waits for no one when you're having fun and when the weather window called, we sailed to Eleuthera, and broke a 6 year drought... Hello there Fishy-Fishy!

Then Abacos, crossed the Gulf Stream back to Florida, and made it back to our boatyard just in time. Got the boat ready for haulout (didn't we just do this)? Recommissioned the RV (didn't we just do this)?? And back on the road again. Zoom-zoom.

This time we drove straight home for some urgent appointments, stopping very briefly for quick and fun reunions (can we say our friends have some of the best driveways we've ever slept in!). We had another commitment with friends in Ontario, mutual friends were flying in from Australia. And in between and En Route, "just for some US time", we decided that there were two Peninsulas we wanted to visit:

The Gaspé Peninsula (QC)

and The Bruce Peninsula, (ON).

Friends in Ottawa beckoned. Family in Québec beckoned. Friends in PEI beckoned. What incredible fun. Then it was a direct route back home. Zoom-Zoom.

"So what's next" Dave would routinely ask me.
"Hmm..." I would reply, preferring to gaze out the window at the sights as we drove by.

"Shall we do the Bahamas again this winter?" Dave would question?
"Hmm...' I would answer, weighing all the work on the boat that still needed doing before we even went that-a-way.

"Perhaps we could cross the Atlantic. Explore the Med..." he would dream.
"Hmm...." I would answer. Another 21 days at sea?

"We could do the Western Carrribean..." he would speculate.
"Hmmm..." I would reply.

"Or cross the other ocean. You know... the Pacific? " he would taunt.
"Hmm... " I would pretend not to hear that one!

And "hmm..." became the typical non-responsive response.

And in between all those "hmm's...", I felt myself feeling sort of blah. I felt rather depressed. I mean all this incredibleness that we'd witnessed, hiked, explored, drove, sailed. Photographed. This beautiful world? All this travel? What was going on?

I was Living The Dream. Yet it felt like I was Swimming in Mud. Nothing felt clear. I felt confused. A constant state of Brain Fog enveloped me.

"You haven't blogged in a while" he'd say.
"Hmm..." I'd say, checking the date of my lost entry, and Gasping with the realization that it was... last year!

Blogging on my own personal space took a back seat while I honoured the commitment to write articles for Leisure Travel Vans because, well, they pay better! (Should I become a YouTube Vlogger? Or maybe do Patreon and get a return for my words? Should I set up a "buy us a drink/pizza" button?) Blogging took a back seat because I was forever conscious of not using up too much data sharing a photo with all y'all, never mind a full length article with (perhaps) too many photos. Never mind that the webhost I'm using is driving me insane. I want my own URL, my own domain name, my own website! (Anyone out there want to do that for me?) Blogging took a back seat because I was so overwhelmed with all the places I wanted to write about, all the photos I wanted to share? And wait, we're at our next stop, grab the camera, let's go!

The words needed to tell our story were accumulating into a ginormous jagged mountain larger than the Tetons that we viewed while standing on the shores of the lake, and yet, I coulnd't find one word, not one that would allow me to start.

And for a creative, intuitive empath like me? The inability to create and share was akin to some form of torture that I've just begun to recognize in myself.

I also noticed that we were more often than not frustrated. Impatient. Quick to irritate. Intolerant. With each respective mode of transport we were in. With society while watching the news. With impatience while witnessing road rage. With another cold front forcing us to seek shelter in the Bahamian Island Chain where there's not too many places to provide shelter. Back in the land of plenty, we found the stores were too stocked. Too packed. Too crowded. Imagine? Too much choices, we have too much stuff people!!

And always another laundromat to have to deal with, and no exact change in your purse! (At least this one's clean and, empty!)

Even in remote places, where there was no Cell Service, WiFi or TV, we were frustrated because... there was no Cell Service, WiFi or TV! (We don't even like TV!)

And how could we possibly get frustrated with these beautiful creatures that were just trying to get a drink of water from the campground water spigot, and had commandeered the whole area to themselves, just as we got there.

With all the time in the world on our hands, we were frustrated that the Elk drank up a couple of hours out of our day. I mean, honestly... how do you tell anyone you're not really having a good day, or a good time, when you're faced with adventures such as this? When you're Living the Dream?

Dave would ask me where I wanted to go, and all I could think of was... nowhere. I felt like I was constantly exhausted. To-the-core tired. And it wasn't because I wasn't getting a good night's sleep (although hormonally the hot flashes weren't helping). And while I wasn't sleeping, I wondered just what alien has taken over my body and my moods. Talk about memory problems! I was confused and having trouble remembering where we'd been, who we'd seen, and in what order it all happened.

Not having a plan is usually how we roll, drive and sail. Not having a rigid schedule the best part of it all, we usually self impose our own deadlines and then stress about it because we forget how flexible they can be. I love my life. I love that I am out here living life, exploring and adventuring.

Sometimes it's as simple as going for a walk in a new to us neighbourhood, and other times a new area with its own food, people, and culture. But the last thing I thought that would happen to me would be that I would not feel the urge to go anywhere.

The butterflies that flitted about in my tummy when Dave would talk about going here or there, or anywhere? Wasn't because I was excited. It was because I wasn't.

I knew something was wrong when one day one of us asked the other:
"Do you want to go for a walk and watch the sunset down by the beach?"
"Meh... " was the response. "Seen one sunset, seem 'em all!"

Here we were, both of us feeling apathetic. Pathetic, what?

I'm really pleased that I got to fulfill another one of my personal goals these last couple of years. I've been able to grow my passion of words by reading and copyediting. I became a Beta-Reader for a few great novels in the making.

In a recent memoir I beta-read, the author described certain situations/feelings that she was experiencing, that sounded eerily and somewhat similarly to what we were living. Feeling. Experiencing. And she had a name for it: "Travel Burnout".

Travel Burnout?

So with Fast and Furious (and unlimited) WiFi at my fingertips here at home, I Googled myself some Research. And found way too many articles on something I didn't even know was "a thing."

Articles that list the "8 signs of travel burnout" (travel blogging to travel bitching is one of them), to "15 signs you may have travel burnout" (if you can't enjoy a sunset is one of them), to "You may notice you're in a funk", no Shit Sherlock. In fact, the biggest tell-tale symptom of travel burnout? Is to... travel even faster! {{ insert head slapping - D'UH! }} Innaresting. Is travel burnout the sign we're doing something wrong? Can travel experts like us {{ wink, wink }} really burn-out?

While in San Diego we met up with friends and avid travellers Mark and Lisbet, and over a most excellent Christmas Dinner (the apple pie? OhEmGee!) we shared our stories. You can read a bit more about them and what they do here. They were a wealth of knowledge and really piqued our interest in house-sitting. And then just as Facebook is prone to feeding you advertisements, because, you know, cameras are watching you from the keyboard all the time, a "subscribe for free" opportunity popped up in my newsfeed.

So that's how Dave and I became house-sitters A fantastic program where all that we ask in exchange for taking care of your house, plants lawn (et al), and/or pets? Is a guest bedroom and some Fast & Fruious WiFi. While you leave for work, pleasure or whatever reason that necessitates an empty house, you can do so resting easy knowing we're responsibly taking care of your home, and pets, as if it were ours.

We've successfully completed a few housesits, some of them have been gracious friends offering up their house and home to us while they go on vacation. All this in an effort to build our references and resume so that when we do find an exotic house sit opportunity, say in Europe. Or Bali. Or Greece? We'll be "experienced professionals", ha. Because Europe. And Bali!! And Greece! From the comfort of someone's home. But not now. Not yet. Later. (And because building a proven resume, reputation and a list of references takes time... right?)

Funny thing is? While in a very comfortable home with all sorts of amenities, the lifestyle of the past 6 years has caught up to me. I still hesitate throwing toilet paper in the toilet. I still turn the water off when I'm lathering up with soap and shampoo in the shower. I still have trouble with what date, day or time it is. And for the girl who has seen way too much plastic on beaches and oceans, and wants to live in a world where everyone recycles, and no one gets plastic bags at the grocery store? Has discovered that living in a house with many bins and sorting rules, that recycling has become the bane of my existence. And when I'm paying for my groceries? I have, yet again, forgotten my reusable bags. Still Frustrated: Check!

I smile as I happily take my iPad into the living room and thanks to Fast and Furious WiFi, enjoy some live streams of guided Yoga Sessions. Or later, a guided meditation while I take an Epsom Salts bath. I am practicing my Reiki, Energy Balancing and Grounding. We watch Netflix. To our hearts content, and not to the length of life remaining in the battery on our laptop. I bask in a room where electricity is constant and not measured. Where I can leave the hallway light on for an extra few moments without someone grumbling. Where I can charge BOTH my camera and my iPad! At the same time! Where my automatic coffee percolator comes on by itself in the early hours of the morning, and as I'm waking up I get to pour myself a cup without having to turn the engine on in order to have my first cuppa. I get to sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of silence (until the neighbour starts his lawnmower!). Best of all? I don't have to go anywhere.

Except maybe a walk. Or a bike ride. In surroundings that are familiar and comfortable and we expect... the expected. And sometimes we turn left, instead of right, and explore a new street. A new neighbourhood. And come home and take a shower. And remember, with a smile, that we can keep the water on as there's unlimited water facilities.

And on the horizon?

I am beginning to see the faint glimmer of words floating towards me. I'm beginning to feel the slight flutter of butterfly wings stirring in my tummy about perhaps... doing something. Going somewhere. Perhaps, even... an Adventure?

Not today though. Not yet. And not Tomorrow. But soon...

Thank you for reading, my friends. It's been a pleasure sharing my words with you. And I, as always, look forward to your comments.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Banyan's Photos - Main
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Photos from the first ever sailing Regatta to raise money for Breast Cancer research
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Photos from our cruise on Mahone Bay.
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Our baby
7 Photos
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The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!