I had parked myself at a little table on the wide stone veranda outside our room in Kusadasi, Turkey, determined to stay at my computer until I had completed a story about our transatlantic cruise. I’d gotten to the most delicious part of the article – the food – when I heard a familiar click. There was a brief pause, another click, and then a low chuckle. I glanced over the second floor railing, which was draped with a gorgeous silk Turkish carpet we had been admiring all afternoon. The hotel owner and another man sat under a broad-leafed tree playing backgammon so fast that I could hardly see their hands move.

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
A Thrilling Move (Photo Credit: Lynne, Home Free Adventures)

After winning a brief struggle with my work ethic I marched down the broad stone steps to the table, explained that I was an enthusiastic backgammon player, and asked if I could watch the match. They politely agreed, and beckoned for me to sit with them. The next 45 minutes were outrageously entertaining. Both men were experts and it was evident that they had played hundreds of games together. They passed the smallest pair of dice I had ever seen back and forth at blinding speed, making savvy, dangerous moves that I would never have thought of trying. We didn’t chat at all, but I think they secretly loved having a tall blond enthusiastic American lady for an audience, so they played even more aggressively than usual. They seldom spoke, but smiled when one or the other made a particularly delicious or sometimes a bad move.

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Back to Work.(Photo credit: Lynne, Home Free Adventures)

Finally, my guilty conscience propelled me to trudge back up the stairs to my task, and a few minutes later I was surprised to see the owner coming across the terrace toward me. I was alarmed when I saw the board under his harm. “Oh, my God,” I thought, “he wants me to play backgammon with him and I will be humiliated.” I have played the game for decades, and can win often, but he was on an entirely different level. He held out the board and said, “This is a gift from the hotel. Such a devoted player deserves a proper board.”

guest post blog Traveling Marla South Africa move
Backgammon Board. (Photo credit: Lynne, Home Free Adventures)

I was speechless. It was one of the nicest surprises and certainly the most charming gift I could imagine. Although we travel light, the backgammon board from the Caravanserail Hotel is one item which has earned its place in our caravan of luggage no matter what!


About Lynne Martin of Home Free Adventures

Lynne Martin, Nomadic Retiree Traveling The GlobeIn 2011, we sold our charming house in Central California’s  wine country, gave away the furniture, and stuffed our art, clothes and small treasures into a 10 x 15 storage unit. We said goodbye to our surprised children and quizzical  friends and now we live in rented apartments and houses internationally, putting down new roots one country at a time.

We have no property taxes, roof repairs or home insurance, so all of our spendable income is used to fund our new way of life.   We do have small suitcases, an appetite for new experiences, good computers, and the savvy and flexibility to make ourselves at home in almost any situation.

We have lived in  Mexico, Argentina. Turkey, France, Italy, England, and are currently in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland.  We visited Marrakech and sailed home for the holidays.

In February we sailed back to Europe and spent March in Portugal.  We’re now in Kenmare, Ireland for the month of April. [Update: The Martins are now in Paris, France.]

Please sign in for our email and we’ll let you know every time we tell a new part of our story.


Want more Lynne? Do like Marla does and go obsess over her blog for awhile: Home Free Adventures


Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.

Please support these writers by reading each of their guest posts and checking out their own blogs!

Thanks, as always for taking time to read my blog and comment. Although I’m offline right now, I will return in a few short weeks when we’re settled in South Africa and I promise to read all of your comments!

Love, Marla

Baz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun)
Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew
Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town
Caroline, of Currer and the Bells
Dakota Garilli
Trophos, of The Dancing Professor
Leo, of Doggy’s Style
Kayla, of Encounter Peru
Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art
Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading
Lynne, of Home Free Adventures
Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder
Jody, of Human Triumphant
Julie of J-Bo.net
Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV
Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog
Rose, of On the Go Fitness
Pierr Morgan
Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative
Colin of Uber Beast Mode
Robyn, of You Think Too Much


  1. You are amazing! Not only are you having wonderful adventures, you are so talented that your descriptions bring the reader (me!) along, making me feel as though I am having them too (excuse me while I get my new backgammon board. Oh.) You are a wonderful writer, Marla!

  2. Oh, wow, Lynne, after reading this and visiting your site, I’m so envious of your new lifestyle. While not possible for us, I think it is wonderful that you have the energy and financial wherewithal to do it. Enjoy!

  3. Love hearing the simple pleasure – that click – of your thrilling new lifestyle. Opens my mind in a wonderful way.

Comments are closed.