We all have a dream vacation banked away in our imagination, but how many of us can claim that we actually took that trip, and further, actually lived in that dream locale?
Bill and Ina Mahoney have led the life of the quintessential wanderers – they’ve not only traveled around the world, but actually lived around the globe from Laos and Bolivia to Ukraine and France. Armed with passion and a remarkable sense of adventure, Bill and Ina sought out to learn the world through the eyes of people of other cultures. In order to learn the language of the foreign lands in which they resided, Bill would engage in a ‘language exchange’ to learn all he could about the people with home he was visiting.
“One of the most rewarding part of learning other countries language is to watch the eyes sparkle and the face light up when they hear a few sentences in their language,” says Bill. “It is an open password to gaining acceptance and their interest in getting more about you. This interest grows when it is a more obscure language like Swahili or difficult one like Arabic or Hungarian. In any case their reception is invariably warm.”
Bill and Ina funneled their amazing experiences of living abroad in a new book, Vagabonding Through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far from Our Paris Houseboat. In a light-hearted, inspirational interview, Bill and Ina can discuss:
- Bill’s time spent with others in order to tell a story in their language
- Why one should always ‘adventure’ – no matter one’s age
- The priceless lessons learned when spending time in other cultures
- Stories from their worldly travels: from spending five days on a leaky barge in Laos to going down the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia – and more!
- Traveling on the cheap: how to save money and still travel the world
Bill Mahoney began hitchhiking across the country working odd jobs at thirteen. He sailed the Atlantic as a merchant marine and the Pacific in the navy. He also fought a professional fight. He hopped trolleys, trucks, automobiles, and trains. He graduated from an adult high school then earned his B.A. at UCLA and an M.A. at Boston University. He taught world history in Paris for ten years. His second book, Is Muldoon Still in Paris, recounts his delinquent childhood and a third book, Mission Paris will appear soon. Bill speaks five languages and can tell a story in a dozen others.
Ina Garrison Mahoney grew up in the small Texas town of Blooming Grove. She graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in speech and drama and an MA from the University of Houston. She went to France in 1958 with a one-year leave of absence from her teaching job in Victoria, Texas. When she returned to the U.S. to live five years ago, she had to begin learning how to live as an American once again.
Vagabonding Through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far from Our Paris Houseboat can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through all major booksellers