Touching, and being touched….

If you write a book or a blog or, it seems, even post naked picture of yo’ fine self on social media, some people will be touched (settle down, no worries. I ain’t going all Kim Kardashian on ya). The blogger-author has no idea who gets ‘touched’. Some of those who are touched, sometimes touch back. They usually just write. Comment section, emails, the very, very occasional ‘meet-up’ (if they are in the neighbourhood) ensues and a relationship may form. Maybe. Dave-up-North, NonCon, Wim, Aldo, Margy and Untidy mind come to mind. They are friends. I have been touched (OK, teched! But you know what I mean!). Anything more than that is a special kind of magic…human magic….very good stuff.

And this week, we had a bit more than that more common-ish but still weird magic. J, H and their daughter K left South Africa and settled in the U.A.E a couple of decades back – the United Arab Emirates in the middle east. They settled in. A year or so ago, J got an itch and, like a select few others (D&K, DW and wife and a few others), started (as I did) sniffing around the internet kind of pointing unconsciously in the OTG direction. He was mostly responding to his feelings (see last blog). One thing led to another and he found my blog (not easy) and then bought the book! I had a reader from the Middle East! They have desert there, fer Gawd’s sake! Sheesh!

A few emails later and a Covid year, J, H and K left the UAE, got Canadian residency (even more magic) and flew out in a direct line to BC. OMG! A few days in transit and they end up at the end of the road and we have guests for the night. Did I mention…DIRECT FROM the UAE?

A quick reconnoiter of the area was conducted the next day and even the still-quite-reluctant H was making tentative plans to move here.

C’mon! that is incredible!

What does it say? Well, that J, H and K are adventurous and unafraid is obvious. That they responded to my book casts them in a suspect light but maybe it was the humour. C’mon, face it – there was not a helluva lot to go on regarding living OTG in that book except that we were so ill suited and unskilled and yet still made it work. Somehow, they saw some appeal in blood loss and ravens – go figure. It also suggests that they are already committed to something OTG. Think about it: it had to have cost them $10,000 for that journey – probably more. J was a sponge for OTG information. H was hesitant. K was keen on her parents leaving to go OTG (she was returning to the UAE). She has a boyfriend. This could be win-win for her.

He is skilled and has a South African farm-boy background. The guy knows enough. H is hesitant but most urban wives are. Sal was. But 80% come around and many have stayed even if the hubby left. This place has appeal for both genders but it is not as clearly evident to the urban female at first. I could be wrong, (right, Moira?) but that is what I have seen. Makes no never-mind. A couple (or three) of years is all it takes. You either fall in love by then or you don’t.

They are, however, pushing the age envelope. They are already 60. My own measure of the challenge is that after 55 it gets too physically difficult. Still, that is an individual thing and he is in good nick. And money can buy some time. H, too, kept up well on treks and hikes. They may be on-the-edge age-wise but, with some hired help, they could pull it off. It is kinda neat watching dreams grow. In fact, it is very human and very touching. If they make the leap and pull it off, it truly is a dream-catcher event.

I am touched they chose to share that dream with us.

9 thoughts on “Touching, and being touched….

  1. I too wish them well and so much luck and success, but I was 60 (holy Sh*t!!!) when WE moved here, Amy being considerably less, and once moved in, which damn near killed me – it’s a bit of a story – and rested/recovered from that, We seem to be doing REALLY well. We get lots of sleep and tend to do a wee bit of ‘something’ each day, and Life just feels FAB!!! Amy seems even happier! She is thriving on the challenge and so enjoying the success. When thinking of failures nothing comes to mind,except of course our dealings with Service ONTARIO – which is another story! – but this place is just sooo Beautiful and the air so fresh, every meal tastes GREAT, and we never wish to leave… so far. Some travel would be nice tho as that is simply another love. If anything I would only wish that others, of my age, if reasonably fit and healthy, can still have Their Dream, if OTG in this neck of Heaven is it… or anywhere. Life is just so good,and so much better than we had known. I HIGHly recommend Following Your Bliss!!!
    Take care all. dlw


  2. I always thought it was nearly impossible to get Canadian residency? Seems to have gone very fast for them! But good on them, I am glad they can fulfill their dreams, even if they are 60. They might not have taken the easy road, but for sure it will be a rewarding one! But Read island is going to be SO different of UAE. I’ve been there once for work, and the place is as artificial as hell, so completely the opposite of Read Island. I wish them all the best. And Dave…I’ve been touched too by you, Sal and your regular readers..


  3. I have a few friends here in Vancouver from S.A and they are very concerned about the corruption and chaos there.
    I’m not surprised that these folks decided the U.A.E. wasnt for them.
    I suspect a lot of Middle East countries that are somewhat westernized will fall like dominos when the U.S. decides that backing Oil producing states in the time of Global Warming is a losing game.

    To see them moving to a remote island on the west coast of Canada doesnt surprise me one bit.
    I hope they like rain……



  4. Well, as part of the subject matter discussed above, I do feel touched and so do H & K. We are very grateful to have been exposed to the magic of the islands and the hospitable community. It was great to be part of lunch on the dock. I am sure there are hardships, but Sally & David made it all seam quite doable.

    To end off a fantastic time in the islands, we were blessed by a meeting with the whales!

    Sally and David, we will be out again and we do intend to stay- once we find the right place. You have been a great inspiration to H & I, and put K’s mind at rest. We just have a van trip to complete – best wishes from Paradise Plodders.


    • Well, you were inspirational, too. C’mon! That trip alone was a significant part of the work required in turning dreams into reality. Yeah, we did it, too, but we only moved 150 miles and stayed within the same country. South Africa to UAE. UAE to BC…….that is impressive. But, as you may have read from the latest rant/blog, we may not be far enough. Next time, look to go an extra 100 miles or even Haida Gwaii. I don’t know if it is OK but the people who live there are pretty fond of it. And I have connections.


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