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  • Here is how it begins … - 2014

    Jeannie and I have always enjoyed traveling. We are now both retired, our health is still good and we are financially secure. Retirement has made the prospect of longer adventures even more inviting. The only thing that might hold us back is the responsibility, maintenance, and expense of our home and all our stuff. Easy, we could downsize our possessions into storage, sell the house and cars, we could take a small apartment almost anywhere. The big question would be “Where?” when we considered the bigger picture, we realized that we could go almost anywhere in the world!

  • The research continues … - 2014

    A venture such as this has many facets. The biggest considerations are related to preparing and selling our home and possessions. This is no easy task for several reasons. First it is a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, and it means even more to us because we rebuilt after a fire in 2003. Second, is what to do with everything we have replaced and accumulated over the past ten years. Our realtor assured us the house would move quickly considering the improvements made during the rebuild. But there is a lot of work yet to be done.

    Project Managing - 2014

    Chris and I work fairly well together, as long as we aren’t sharing the same task. So while he is purging the garage and attic, I am working on the to-do list and budget. He is the artistic one, writing entries for the blog, and taking photographs, I am the project manager and Excel spreadsheet master. Now if I can only get him to work on the items in the listed order!

    Be Here Now - 2014

    When we first discussed the plan to downsize and travel, we established a loose target date to have the house ready to put on the market. Since the house might sell quickly, we also realized that we needed to be ready regarding the move details, that is we need to decide where to live, research apartment options, visa application, travel insurance and insurance options, banking arrangements, as well as create a reasonable budget including income streams, etc., etc., etc.

    Going is not leaving … - 2014

    One doesn’t come to embrace an adventure such as this without weighing the downsides. We spent a weekend in our college town reconnecting with friends, some we hadn’t seen in many years. It was so good to share time together again, and it isn’t easy to think about leaving such people and places behind, but we are not leaving, we are going someplace different. To me there is a rather significant difference between the two. Besides, we will be bringing them all with us, at least in our memories and hearts.

    Reconnoitering - 2014

    Sitting in Orlando International Airport we are waiting to board the first-leg flight of our visit to southern France to check out where we might want to begin our adventure. The destination is Montpellier where we have an apartment waiting for us to base a ten-day stay. Our thoughts are constantly changing, and flexibility is key. As in any research, when you find the answer to one question, ten more appear. Whether it be visas and taxes, or the desirability of locations, we are finding lots of conflicting as well as confirming information. The brain fills quickly.

    Nous sommes arrivés … - 2014

    After a tiresome, bumpy series of flights, we arrived in Montpellier close to schedule. Aurore, the property manager, was waiting at the apartment for us. She showed us all the essentials, though some were lost in translation. Then she walked us to the ATM for the remainder of the rent and deposit. The apartment is beautiful. Fresh yellow roses on the table and champagne in the fridge, we're just a little too exhausted to really take it all in at the moment. A short nap is next on the list. Then shopping for the essentials and dinner out.

    Le Premier Jour - 2014

    We were exhausted after our air travels, arrival in Montpellier, getting settled into the apartment, and several miles of walking about the old section of the city. While Jeannie continued to recover from her cold, I made a side walk to the store for some kitchen items. I love trying to get lost in places like this. While I may not understand all I see, it so fascinating. It also helps me set my internal compass.

    Torture, c’est de la torture! - 2014

    Those who know me know I have a bad habit, shopping! I have been going thru a gradual withdrawal over the last 8 years, since I left the professional, high-pay, high-stress IT life. And now that we are downsizing, I avoid the temptation to buy things since everything must soon be either sold, given away, put in storage, or fit in one suitcase (size still being debated). So it makes no sense to continue to accumulate, but …

    And while Jeannie window-shops … - 2014

    The term in France for window shopping is lèche-vitrine—literally, "licking the windows". While she is doing that I make photographs ... enjoy.