October something – I don’t need to know anymore.

My wife and I volunteer two days a week at a local hospital.

We do this to meet new people, get some exercise and give back because we are so fortunate. Our hard work and planning has made our lives turn out the way we had planned.

Luck did play a role in that as well, there is no doubt about that. However, all of us make most of our own luck by planning and working hard or not doing that.

But believe me, it wasn’t easy.

If you want an easy life, then have one. Your retirement will not be as pleasant as the one you could have had if you worked harder at it, but it’s your choice, I get that.

I play tennis three days a week. I do this to meet people and to stay in shape. It is important to get out into the sun as well.

If I were just starting to travel, I would go to Nepal first. It is a wonderful place filled with many wonderful people.

My wife and I went there many years ago and it changed our lives. We were there the week before the King was murdered.

We walked for two weeks in the Annapurna Mountains.

Each night we stopped in a different campsite and heard the songs and tales told to us by Sherpas, who were carrying all of our gear.

We ate breakfast one morning outside, sitting at a long table on the grass looking out at Machapuchare Mountain many miles away. It is also known as Fish Tail Mountain.

Go to Google and see the picture. If that doesn’t make you want to go there, then I don’t know what will.

We were high in the mountains away from civilization and lived life with just the basics. No bathrooms while walking from one campsite to the next, of course.

It was a great experience to go white water rafting among the crocodiles on the Ganges who only eat the locals, or so our guides told us. That was very comforting, if true.

We saw three young boys under nine years of age, floating next to us on just a large stick, having the time of their lives in their under ware as we sat in our rafts with life jackets and helmets on and thinking that we were adventurers.

We rode elephants among the white, one horned rhino in the tall elephant grass and watched them graze. We were invisible to them on top of our elephants and were within ten feet or less of them.

We also spent the day looking for the Bengal Tiger but to no avail, of course. They usually come out at night to hunt.

The next morning we saw the huge footprints of that beautiful animal and were glad we didn’t come across him the day before. The prints were almost as large as the elephant’s foot print.

We watched the monkeys run and fly among the trees and dodged their droppings.

We lived in permanent tents with concrete floors and western bathrooms that were all very clean, tidy and had electricity.

We also loved Bangladesh and have been to India twice and will return often if we live long enough.

When we return home we always appreciate what we have, much more.

Not because those people have less, because they don’t have less.

They have less creature comforts, but life is more than that.

They have family structure, purpose, and a yearning for making their lives and their children’s lives better through good old fashioned hard work and determination.

“A life without meaning is not worth living.”

What is your purpose here. What are you going to give the world?

I know what you will take.

We have become a bunch of spoiled complainers who know little about the history of the world and less about its geography, sadly.

Go the my friend’s facebook page at Ray-Andra Matthews for pictures from our travels.