This is another break in the Slow Nomads Blog timeline. Though the blog is about to take us to Iceland, then Montreal, before we return to Florida, in reality we returned in October. As our adventures evolve Jeannie writes a recap of our past three years and a glimpse of what is to come, as well as some of the adjustments we have made. The normal timeline will resume shortly, as I have to get caught up before we depart again.
Three years ago in 2014 we shifted the base of our life from a home with cars and work, to no home or cars or work. Well, no paid employment as we found that our life of travel takes a lot of work, but very different goals and tasks, and with no salary! We easily (well, most of the time) worked out a division of responsibilities that works pretty well, each of us using our strengths and taking on the tasks best suited to us and those we enjoy, while avoiding those best suited to the other. (Jeannie is chief financial officer and project planner while Chris is chief technologist, journalist, navigator, and photographer, oh, and Sherpa!)
Our initial phase began 15 August 2014, with life in France, and ended February 2015, six months later in Italy. Returning to Florida a brief six-weeks, we departed again 25 March, with plans to travel almost eight months this time. The initial week consisted of short stays in Norway and Sweden, before settling in for three fabulous months in Lyon France, then two months in Strasbourg France, and two months in Spain, split between Madrid and Barcelona. Our return to the US was a slow but pleasant 13-day cruise to Ft Lauderdale, arriving back in central Florida on 9 November 2015.
We then spent almost four months back in Florida, most of it in an apartment in New Smyrna Beach, and worked on plans for the next segment of travel. The list of countries to see grew, a route was planned, and 2016 became a very busy year.
We visited seven countries in seven months, most for a month or longer and a couple for a week or less. In a way, this was leisurely compared to some tours that cover seven cities in seven days, but still it was too fast of a pace for us. We started our journey in Ireland, moved into England, then Edinburgh Scotland then, after a short stay in Copenhagen Denmark, including a ferry to Bornholm with our friends Niels and Jette we made our way to Norway, to the northern city of Bergen. After a short stay in Reykjavik Iceland, we returned to North America. Montreal, Canada is a fabulous city and after a month, we turned south to Sheboygan Wisconsin for a short family reunion.
As we moved from place to place this year, we debated how to continue our travels. Returning to the US, to another short-term apartment or a good friend’s place, with frequent visits to our storage unit, had become too much like work. We considered buying a condo, but quickly agreed we didn’t want the responsibility of home ownership or a longer time commitment as we tried the home-based approach to travel. So we found an apartment and signed a one year lease. Now the home free travelers are home-based nomads. (You can see this and all of our travel apartments here)
After a couple of months of settling into our apartment (less than two miles from our prior home), we have begun to look ahead. Where to go next year? When to go? How long to stay away? We have most of the answers, but still more details to plan. Also, since we will have the ongoing expense for our home base, we will likely be limiting our time away to six-months.
So on 20 March, 2017 we’ll take off for south central France, the city of Toulouse where we will live for three months. Since we no longer have a French visa, we are limited to three months in the EU/Schengen so we will then travel to England and spend three months in the Cotswolds. We look forward to many more walks in the country, across fields with sheep and cows. At this time we don’t yet have a return date but it will likely be no later than October 2017.
When we first embarked on this journey, we established three criteria for continuing this nomadic life: Desire, Health, and Finances. We are happy to report that all indicators are still pretty solid for our travels to continue.
Our Desire to travel and experience “living” different places continues. Our good Health enables us to pull luggage, climb stairs and walk miles across cities and pasturelands. And our Finances will allow us to travel, though we’ll be on a slightly tighter budget due to the new cost of keeping an apartment in Florida.
So it has been a great three years, and we look forward to more adventure. Two things energize us when our nomadic life is a bit tiring. First, we continue to meet people and make new friends, and with FaceBook and email we are able to keep our new and old friendships alive. And second, we are able to share our experiences with friends and family through this blog, and your comments help keep us connected, and give us encouragement to continue to share.
You can see our path, where we’ve been and where we’re going here: https://slownomads.phoosh.net/the-slow-nomads-path/
Thanks for joining us, we look forward to more experiences and sharing in 2017!