Caring for your Health While Living on the Road

Living on the road causes a few health issues with people’s feet. One common problem is circulation in the legs and feet. If the person sits for long periods of time without getting up to walk, such as on a very long drive, he or she can suffer from blood clots which can slow down or prevent circulation to the feet. The symptoms of this condition can be pain in the calves or feet, coldness or numbness in the toes, swelling of the feet, pins and needles sensations in the feet and redness of the toes. This is a serious condition that if allowed to continue untreated, can result in gangrenous feet and amputation. Travelers should keep the circulation moving by stopping to stretch from time to time and keeping the legs moving even while driving.

Corns are a constant concern, especially with tight fitting shoes. If they are uncomfortable to walk in, they aren’t good for sitting in either, particularly on a long journey. Change into larger, comfier shoes at the first opportunity and avoid those pinching problems that result in bone deformities in the feet. Hammer toes are one symptom of wearing too tight shoes and they can be very painful so it’s important to wear shoes that fit properly at all times, especially when traveling. People with diabetes need to have unrestricted blood flow to their feet if possible, so wearing restrictive shoes and socks that pinch, can result in problems with the feet for people with this condition.

Athletes foot and toenail fungus are problems that can occur while driving for long periods of time. Basically these conditions result from not washing the feet enough and not changing the socks and shoes often enough. The retired traveler should spend a little time barefoot between driving sessions to air out the skin of the feet. Sweat can accumulate in the folds between the toes, which can result in bacterial infections that cause itching and irritation, such as athlete’s foot. Toenail fungus results from moisture being trapped against the skin and if the feet have lowered circulation as some elderly people have, the situation becomes worse as the body can’t detect the problem as easily. Visiting a podiatrist for all foot symptoms while on the road is an excellent choice to help prevent reoccurrences.

Ingrown toenails cause considerable pain due to the pinching and cutting into the flesh that happens with improperly formed toenails. The nail digs into the surrounding skin rather than simply sitting on top of it and the result can be serious infections. Once again, this problem can be exacerbated by wearing tight shoes, where the toes are restricted in their movements. If the toes are restricted, the toenails are probably going to become malformed at some point. This can be treated by visiting a podiatrist and also by keeping the nails trimmed closely at all times. Cutting the nails straight across and giving them time to heal before hitting the road again is helpful.

Travelling around Australia in a campervan – Part 4

Australia_NSW_Byron_Bay_4d127c846bd444c4b1b749e0858329a1

Hello everyone, this is the final entry of our roller coaster, coast to coast, cross country trip with our friends Carol and Alan.

We arrived back in Melbourne a couple of days ago, all pretty exhausted but so pleased that we completed the journey. It truly was a lifetime experience and we all feel that it was something we’ll never forget. The country is really huge and living here, you never really think about it. It makes the adventure all the more meaningful because you feel that you’ve really connected with the environment and understand the land you walk on every day in a more intimate, personal way.

Anyway let me quickly take you through the last few destinations we visited. After Gold Coast we headed for Byron Bay, in New South Wales. The town is a favourite hangout for young surfers and was apparently named after the grand father of poet Lord Byron who was a famous navigator in the 17th century.

Next in line were Newcastle and Sydney, the two biggest towns in New South Wales. Newcastle as you can imagine was named after the British city port. Historically, Newcastle was an industrial town and its port remains a vibrant and very active trading centre. Newcastle also has one of the largest universities in the country. After Newcastle, we arrived in Sydney, which of course needs no introduction as a city. It is the most populated city in Australia with almost 5 million people living there and it was the first British colonial settlement in Australia. The city is a very strong economic centre and the richest town in the country dominated by very strong services, banking and technology industries. It is also one of our most culturally diverse cities, both culturally and ethnically, with people coming from places as diverse as Lebanon, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, India and Greece.

Sydney also has iconic architectural structures, which are very much symbolic of Australia all over the world. To name but a couple, the Anzac bridge, across Johnstons Bay is a unique construction built in memory of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who contributed to the War effort during World War II. And of course, the Sydney Opera House, overlooking Bennelong Point, undoubtedly one of the most famous and instantly recognisable buildings in the world. It was built by a Danish architect and officially opened in 1973.

After Sydney we travelled to the city of Wollongong, an industrial town which has considerably modernised itself over the years, and our last stop before coming back home to Melbourne was the city of Canberra. Canberra is the capital state of Australia and not Sydney as people often think. Most of our political life takes place there and it is a city with its own character, displaying great architectural works like the National Museum of Australia, the Shine Dome and the Australian War Memorial.

That’s it folks, it’s been a blessing for us to undertake and complete this journey, I hope it will inspire to go out there into the great wide open and find out for yourselves what a beautiful country this is.

Spending the Kids Inheritance Responsibly

When I was working I could not wait for the day that I would be able to retire. Now that I was able to stop working all is not as peaceful as I though it would be. I was not worried about myself and paying for my expenses. My house is paid off, my car is working fine, and I had a decent job with a nice pension plan. I am worried about my adult children. When I die I do not want to leave them with a large amount of debt. There are things that I am taking care of while I am still alive and in sound mind. Instead of leaving them an inheritance I am using the money in responsible ways in order to get all of my affairs in order.

I know the costs of funerals are very expensive. That is why I am prepaying for everything. I do not want a big affair but just the basic services can cost several thousand dollars. I want to be cremated when I die and I have already chosen a provider and paid for the cost of cremation. The urn is already bought and paid for too. I found a funeral home and already paid for a simple service. I went to the cemetery and bought a plot for my ashes. When I go I want to be put in it with my wife, whose services and cremation are paid for as well. I have some money set aside in a separate account if the children want to have some kind of service after the funeral.

Since all the final expenses have been paid for I am also making sure there is no outstanding debt that will be passed down to the children. I paid my car in full when I got it. I had to save for a couple of months but there is no car payment to have to worry about. I pay my credit card bills in full every month so there will be no debt with them. The taxes on the house are paid a year in advance. The car insurance is paid yearly instead of monthly. This will ensure that everything is current and up to date. There will be no outstanding debt to creditors. However, we still have plenty of money to travel and see Australia and the world as well.

While many people work hard to get leave behind an inheritance for their children I would rather leave them free of debt. They will not have to worry about coming up with money for my final expenses and outstanding bill. This way no one will have to fight and argue about who is going to pay what as well. While there is not going to be a lot of money left in my bank account everything will be taken care of so I will not have to worry about my family in my final moments.

Travelling around Australia in a campervan – Part 3

cairns-city

Hello my good readers and welcome to Brisbane on the South East Queensland state.

It’s been a bit of a trek since the last blog so I’ll try to fill you in about what happened. We left our van in Ayers Rock as you might remember and flew over to Cairns as planned. We had a good flight and it was a bit strange to think of how many miles we had covered over the last few weeks. Cairns is a big sunny city, which is the ideal spot to start exploring the Territory of Queensland. One of its most famous attractions is the Great Reef Barrier, which is a breath-taking site.

This part of the country has always had to deal with extreme weather conditions. Cyclones are not unlikely to take the area by storm and it can be a bit overwhelming to live here sometimes I must admit. It is still a very popular tourist destination, not least because it is a good entry point for Chinese businessmen and visitors throughout the year. It is also a town which Australians like to visit during those cross-country trips. A bit like the one we’ve undertaken just because it has that sense of being a part of the journey as one of the country’s major cities.

Before arriving to Brisbane, where we are now, we stopped over by Townsville, on the North east coast of the state of Queensland. The city is known for the crucial part it played during World War II for the Allied soldiers. A lot of the American troops that battled against the Japanese during the Pacific War were stationed in Townsville. They still have many historical sites in memory of the veterans who gave their lives and I think they even have a couple of American military bases stationed there too.

So after Townsville we arrived in Brisbane yesterday. This is about as big as you’re going to get in terms of population for a city in Australia, there’s almost 2 and a half million people living here. It’s a city that has gone from strength to strength economically, it’s one of our most modern cities. There’s a lot of money going into high tech industries and information technology related businesses. Brisbane also has a lot of major cultural events that are renowned internationally. The Royal Queensland Exhibition, the River Festival, as well as the Queensland gallery of Modern Art are very popular and attract a huge turnaround all year long.

After Brisbane we’ll be leaving for the Gold Coast, another “must see” sight for cross-country trekkers like us. It has splendid weather all year long and again very popular with visitors to Australia. We do have the advantage of being a country with great weather almost throughout the year and it certainly helps our economy a great deal. Another thing we will be looking forward to see is the works they might have started doing there for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. We’ve always been a proud participant in the Games and it will be an honour to host the event.

I’ll look forward to catch up soon. Bye from Dave.

Travelling around Australia in a campervan – Part 2

images

Hello good readers! Sorry for the lack of updates on the road – the internet connections have been less than reliable until we’ve arrived here in Broome.

We’ve been in Broome for a couple of days now and it’s lovely to be here. Broome is a seaside town famous for its oyster pearl culture. The city has historical ties with Japan, since it was Japanese immigrants that were initially employed in that industry. Broome is a very dry place in the summer apparently and you’d better make sure that you are not overexposed to the reflection of the sun if you don’t want to get burned.

Last night we saw some of the celebrations for one of the festivals that celebrate the Asian influence in the community, “The Festival Of Pearls“, a lovely name for a very nice event. We drove up to Broome from Perth, which is further down on the West Coast of the country. Perth is the 4th most populated city in Australia. It’s a big place with lots of Arts events all throughout the year. A very busy town indeed and a tourist favourite, not least for its great architecture.

The next leg of the trip is going to take us to the Northern territory to the cities of Katherine and Darwin. Katherine is a renowned stop over for people in their 60’s like us, who undertake this kind of journey. It ‘s a little bit like a sort of “rendezvous” point. The town is literally swamped with recreational vehicles and it’s a lovely atmosphere, you meet a lot of nice folks on that part of the journey.

Next is Darwin, which is a few hundred miles North of Katherine at the tip of the country’s Northern Territory. As its name probably indicates, Darwin was named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin whose ship the Beagle sailed into the town harbour in 1836 on its way to the Galapagos Islands.

Next it will be Alice Springs, which is further down the road but still a part of the Northern Territory. It’s a nice settlement, which is well known for its support to Aboriginal art. From there, on our way down to Ayers Rock. Now I must admit that’s something I’ve been looking to see for a long time. The Aboriginal name of Ayers Rock is Uluru. It’s a very large Earth mound formation, almost right in the middle of the country. The area is so popular that it’s become a National Park that attracts almost half a million visitors on a yearly basis. It is reputed to be a stunning sight. The climbing of the site was allowed until a few years ago but disorderly behaviour in some instances forced the authorities to discontinue the climb. But we’re still very much looking to catch a sight of that unique example of Earth formation. That will also be a bit of a turning point for the journey, as we will be leaving the camper van there. We will be taking a plane to Cairns, which is located on the Eastern tip of the State of Queensland. We’ll carry on the travel blog from there.

Cheerio.