These are the questions people ask us most often. There will be updates and edits. Life is like that.
I’m confused. You say you’re expats. Where did you go and when?
For a year our plans were a moving target, chameleon-esque, adapting to the environment according to our research and our whims. We didn’t do it because we had to; we’re did it for the adventure, and part of the adventure was the freedom to change our minds.
That said, here’s what we did and when:
- We lived in Girona, Spain through June, 2013. We planned to stay longer, but there was the visa problem. A video of our high-tech, groovy apartment is here.
- July was spent on the island of Crete, in Greece. Look for posts from Greece on the blog.
- August was spent in Bellagio, Italy, on the shores of Lake Como. Tom visited there ten years ago and swore to return. Sometimes these things actually happen.
- In September we moved back to the US to visit our children, all of whom are scattered up and down the west coast.
- From October, 2013 through March, 2014 we lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in a development called Los Tules—a coconut-palm plantation on the outskirts of town. That rounded out our “senior year abroad,” although the word “senior” in this context refers to a stage of life rather than a scholastic event.
- In April of 2014 we returned to Portland, rented a new apartment, bought another household full of furniture, and became reacquainted with our friends and family. Why did we return? See this post and this post from the blog.
Why did you do it?
Because we could. Because it was an adventure. Because adventure is the best way to keep from growing old.
Didn’t you get tired of the same clothes?
Louise says yes, definitely. Tom wears the same clothes most of the time anyway. Our friends at Gallivance.net put it this way: “We’ve developed a morning habit of complimenting each other’s attire (even if you saw it…recently) and asking, ‘Is that new?’ It’s always the first laugh of the day.”
Didn’t you miss your friends and family?
Yes, of course. But we communicated with our families mostly by email and text even while we lived in the US. Besides, many of them came to visit us on the road. They all got free rent in exotic places, after all.
How could you possibly live without a home?
We are citizens of the world! We have moved nine times (now that we’ve lived in Spain, Greece, Italy, and Mexico)It hasn’t been traumatic (in fact, it has been cathartic); turns out home is where the head is.
What did you do with all your stuff?
We sold, donated, stored — and brought what little remained. See “cathartic,” above.
How did you afford it?
We actually saved money compared to living in the US. See this post.
Where will you go/what will you do next?
Don’t know yet. We’ll figure it out later. The best part of life, it seems, is unplanned