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Wanderlust takes couple around world

Created date

April 27th, 2010

Upon his retirement 14 years ago, Robert Bonner and his wife, Hazel, took off. We finally had time to travel, she says. We had read about all these places and wanted to see them for ourselves. Their first trip was to the Alpine country, including Germany and Switzerland. Since then, they have traveled to 76 countries, and they look forward to visiting many more. In fact, their decision to move to Greenspring was made, in part, because of the ease with which they would be able to get up and go at a moment s notice. Living at Greenspring makes it so easy to travel, Mr. Bonner says. We have no worries except deciding which of the restaurants we should eat at when we return home.

Worry-free travel

When we started traveling, we still lived in our house, and we always had a problem when we went away, Mr. Bonner explains. One time, a tree fell down in our yard. Another time, our new patio furniture was stolen. It was always a worry. When we began looking for a [new] place to live, we wanted a home without any maintenance or the responsibilities that come with homeownership. Then we found Greenspring. And we are so happy that we did. It has been unbelievably easy to travel. We ve taken all sorts of trips, says Mrs. Bonner. We ve even traveled by riverboat and taken a freighter cruise. Her favorite destinations include Tahiti and French Polynesia as well as Australia, New Zealand, and China. The islands are luscious, unspoiled, and not commercialized, she says of Tahiti and French Polynesia. There were no large chain hotels or fast food places, the people had a charm and laid-back lifestyle, and each island offers something new and different. Another great trip, she adds, was their visit to Australia and New Zealand. The people in Australia were some of the friendliest of any of our trips, she recalls. And when we were in New Zealand, there was still some snow on top of the mountains but all of the flowers were in full bloom! They went on a Yangtze River cruise before the dam was built on the Yangtze River. I never thought that I would be able to walk in the Forbidden City or on the Great Wall of China. We got to admire the 6,400 sculpted terra-cotta soldiers, one of the world s greatest archaeological finds, Mrs. Bonner says.

Upcoming destinations

One advantage of living at Greenspring is that we are given a very generous credit on our monthly service package whenever we are away for more than seven days, Mrs. Bonner says. It s nice to know that we aren t paying for things we aren t using. The financial flexibility of living at Greenspring frees them up to go on even more trips. Two years ago, the couple concentrated their travels on South America, visiting Ecuador, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands. Last November, they returned to the continent for three weeks in Chili, Argentina, and Brazil. Most recently, they went to their native Texas to visit both of their brothers. In addition, they take a yearly retreat to Rehoboth Beach, Del. The Erickson lifestylereally opens you up for travel opportunities in addition to any number of other things you might like to do, says Mr. Bonner. As for their next adventure, the couple will depart on a 30-day cruise from Dover, England, to ports in Norway, the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, and the Azores Islands. After we had been traveling for a while, I discovered something called the 100 Country Club on the Internet, says Mrs. Bonner. Although we aren t focusing on that, it is an interesting goal to pursue. After our trip in September, we will have been to 84 countries.