On Aug 14 2014, we embarked on a life of travel. So, here are some thoughts and images of the last five years. Lots has changed over those years, but we have changed the most ... and for the better.
The process, the gestalt, feelings and reflections, existential angst.
How do we decide on an apartment in another country ? What do we look for? It’s not easy when you need to balance comfort, location and budget. It can be pretty easy to find a place that meets two of these but adding the third can really reduce the options. So, here are a few observations on what we look for.
As the countdown continues we have begun to wax a bit nostalgic. Even though, as I said before, we don’t tend to look back too much, it has been difficult to not to take notice of the lasts and firsts. For example, last night we had a wonderful dinner with some dear friends, fellow travelers all. While the notion of a last dinner together never occurred to us, we did take notice that it was the last Saturday night we would spend in this country for quite some time to come.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright employed a principle he called “compress and release”. Creating a small space through which one must pass before reaching a larger space, Wright created a sense of tension, followed by a feeling of freedom One author described it as “Sometimes, when we are comfortable in our surroundings, we are not particularly aware of them—it is only when we are made to feel slightly uncomfortable that our senses are peaked enough to truly notice the environment that we are standing in, motivating us to move.” So, we began moving in a rather big way.
The wood floors whisper underfoot as I wander the house, alone, for the last time. The furniture has been sold or taken to storage, there is no art on the walls, no sound but the air conditioner. From room to room memories waft about, reminding me of so many good times. We haven’t shed tears over this departure; we try not to look behind us, rather ahead. Just as the house before the fire was forgotten long ago, we let the importance of the experience have its profound and lasting positive effect on us – and we move forward.
A great friend has made me peanut butter pies for my birthday or many years. Now, these are not ordinary peanut butter pies, they are not healthy, but they are exceptionally de-e-e-e-licious. They freeze well and it does not diminish the deliciousness. We woke up for the last time in our house, early as usual, made some instant coffee and pulled our last two slices of peanut butter pie from the freezer, and had breakfast in bed. What a treat, and as the sugar and caffeine kicked in, the packing resumed with a vengeance. The movers will arrive soon.
We were in Miami the other night. The next day we applied for our French long-stay visa. For some reason we kind of had pre-test jitters, even though it is merely a bureaucratic formality. The paperwork had been checked multiple times, multiple copies had been made, and we even had copies of documents we probably didn’t need, but … just in case.