When I retired from a life that had revolved around a lot of travelling, one of the ideas that my late wife Urmeela and I seriously contemplated was to invest in a mobile home and to travel all over India. She wanted to visit many places that she had not visited but about which I had talked and also meet some of the people that she had not met. I too wanted to visit ancient temples and archaeological sites besides towns that I had not visited ever but, which were historically important.
Motor homes were not available in India and I wanted to buy a Tempo Traveller now known as Force Traveller and convert it into a mobile home so that the two of us could travel. I had even identified the garage which was capable of converting the van into a mobile home and had drawn elaborate plans on what we should carry in the van etc. There were many evenings that we spent dreaming about all these plans when Urmeela was struck down with illness which put paid to our plans.
The other idea was to live in a farm house close to a town named Ranjangaon which is about fifty kms from Pune where we live. Ranjangaon was chosen as our son is named Ranjan. In Marathi and Hindi “gaon” attached to a name meant that the village was named for either a person or a deity in that village.
I had put down the first payment to show interest in a deal for a very compact and nice farm with a small cottage in it when the same illness put paid to those plans as well. Fortunately, I was able to recover my entire down payment plus a bonus, as the seller found a buyer who was willing to pay more.
The eight years of caregiving for Urmeela also enabled us to learn to live as minimalists and we got rid of many things that we had accumulated over the years but which served no purpose in a rapidly changing world like vinyl records, cassette tapes, player/recorders, VCR and video tapes as well as CDs and CD players and so on besides many clothes and accessories. When she finally died, there was hardly any clothes left in her wardrobe to dispose off.
Recently, I too finally got rid of all my suits, jackets, ties, cufflinks, tie pins, belts, suspender belts, etc and streamlined my wardrobe so that now I find that I can get rid of one of the cupboards in the bedroom!
All these thoughts came to me after reading an article that my friend Megh sent to me about a couple who live the life that I could have lived had fate decided otherwise.
Have you had such disappointments that destroyed dreams?
14 thoughts on “Man Proposes Fate Disposes.”
So far as travel, my desire to travel about the United States has only had one disappointment that radically changed things, not counting this year, of course, where we are not traveling at all.
In late 2006, we bought a fifth-wheel trailer, which is a trailer that connects to a hitch in the bed of the truck. It had quite a bit of living space and was very comfortable for being out and about and traveling. It was a high profile trailer, which you can see in the image in the top left in this post. https://exit78.com/travel-photos-i40-in-arkansas/
If you click on the image it goes to a larger image.
We took 3 trips with that trailer in 2007 and were away from home for several months.
The next year, Karen told me that she was not willing to go anywhere with that “thing,” that it scared her when we were traveling down the road looming over the top of us and that she was scared that it would tip over when I was trying to park it sometimes. That was a real disappointment for me.
Not long after that, she showed me a picture of what she would be willing to travel with and, within a couple of months, the fifth-wheel was traded in, for a significant loss since we owed quite a bit on it, and we were traveling not long after that in a motor home just a little bi larger than the one in the article you shared. We just travel from spot to spot with it and do our exploring with our car, which we tow behind the camper whenever we travel to the next area.
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I have followed your journeys in the camper about which you used to blog with much envy.
A moving account, my dear Ramana, of dreams dreamt and not quite coming to fruition. Reminds me of my beloved grandparents who had a full life, an emotionally fulfilled life. Yet, no sooner had my grandfather retired, with all the time in the world stretching ahead of them, another future on the horizon, she died. I wept. Everyone wept. I weep. To this day.
In answer to your question: I wouldn’t put it as starkly as “a disappointment destroyed your dreams”. However, there is a regret of mine, going back a long long time. Nothing that can be rectified now. The ship has sailed. The consequences of which I will have to live with, am living with. The art, and I am only just beginning to master it, to not blame those who could have easily helped me into my desired saddle instead of letting the horse bolt before I had a chance to get hold of its reins. I ran after the horse. For a while. It might have even stood still and waited for me. Alas I got distracted. Dust . . . some of us can’t see it – for dust.
In some respects our life journeys have paralleled each other and I can relate to your state of mind now. I have learnt to live with my disappointments and have even found ways and means of being comfortable with myself about which you will read this coming Friday in my blog.
My husband and I, too, planned to travel but he developed health problems preventing our doing so as occurred with you and your wife. Sorry you didn’t realize your plans. Perhaps in another life.
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I don’t want another life and am doing everything possible within my spiritual power to reach that stage.
I suppose the do it now philosophy is a good one, just like the couple in the article. Recently a neighbour of my daughter had put her dreams on hold, to work and caretake her much older husband who then died. So she retired and bought herself the longed for smaller car so she could travel all around the island with a recently acquired puppy and two days later she dropped dead of an aneurism. I find that heartbreaking.
I kind of “did” things fairly immediately so I have no regrets, others have told me they left things too late and I’ve observed that. Now is really important. But I hear you on the health issues of Urmeela.
After Urmeela died, I had four more years of caregiving for my father. By the time he died I had developed my own health issues and since then, have reconciled myself to my current lifestyle. Except when some thing triggers old memories like the article in the post, I have no regrets.
I’m not sure if a “dream was/is/might be destroyed” and I’m not sure if I know what I mean…
Interesting that catching up on blogs, that someone was talking about “camping” and suddenly I remembered I’ve always wanted to go camping…now I’m considering finding a camp ground that has cabins or caravans for hire! It will probably be the same as the hostels I’ve stayed in last year, where you have access to a communal kitchen and bathroom.
Time will tell, if I go down this route, when I’m better than I currently am…
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Knowing you as I do now, I am sure that you WILL go camping and share your experiences with all your readers in your blog posts.
Glad to say I haven’t had any such disappointments. Jenny and I have done plenty of travelling so no upset plans there. We even managed tours of New Zealand and East Coast Canada before the pandemic came along. We’ve done all sorts of interesting things and don’t feel we’ve missed out in any significant ways.
A shame that your own plans were sabotaged by Urmeela’s illness.
I am happy for both of you that you have been able to travel around. It is no big deal now after all these years to reconcile myself to my present inability and be content with what I have.
I can’t think of anything in my life that has not exceeded my expectations – from my children – to my travels – to my opportunities. It’s always possible that I had low expectations but I really feel that I have been super-fortunate in my life. My husband and I did not have any travel dreams because he doesn’t like to go anywhere. I, on the other hand, love to gad about the world living within the cultures of the places I visit. That may be over and done with. My stroke slowed me down a bit and COVID ended travel for now. Maybe I just my expectations to my capabilities. But, oh, the memories!
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To compensate, I do have many wonderful memories of travelling with my wife to many other places before I retired. Those were done in style and comfort and we inevitably came back with fulfilled expectations. These two disappointments were post retirement.
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