We launched One Road at a Time on October 14, 2012 and as the calendar pages keep turning, we find ourselves approaching six years live and taking a few minutes to commemorate and reflect on the roads well-traveled.
Seven Years of Searching
We weren’t quite sure what we were searching for, but we figured we’d know it when we found it. As a result, over the past seven years, we’ve downsized, moved and relocated five times. One of those moves found us driving all the way across country in a bright yellow 16′ truck we named Big Betty.
If I said it’s been quite a ride, I’d be way understating it. This last move of ours nearly did us in. But, we found what we’ve been searching for and because it’s been years since we’ve felt this much at home, it was well-worth the search. Now that we’ve once again established a base here in the US, near the people we love most in the world, we can think beyond today and begin to chart a course forward.
A New Chapter
It’s the greatest perk of retirement, as we see it, the flexibility of options. When we left for Europe in June of 2017 we had no scheduled date to return. We planned to base ourselves in Porto, Portugal while we traveled throughout Europe indefinitely. If you’ve been with us for a while, you may remember a magical phone call we received while living in Porto. It was a phone call that changed the trajectory of our lives and would once again find us redefining our path of retirement while embracing the flexibility of options. We’ve titled this new chapter, Grandma and Grandpa.
After being back in the US for nine months and taking on a complete remodel of our recently purchased (built in 1942) little nest, we are happily ensconced in this new chapter. Now it’s time to fully embrace our new life on the east coast, while taking it One Road at a Time, as we continue to travel the world.
One Road at a Time
Thus far our travels (in our 40 years of traveling through life together) have taken us to four continents; Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. We’ve traveled to 46 of the 50 United States and to 19 countries via automobile, bus, plane, train, ferry and cruise ship. We even walked 350 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.
We launched One Road at a Time not only to share our journey and our thoughts on redefining retirement, but also to create a chronicle for ourselves. When someone asks me about driving Route 66 or how to travel by train through Europe, One Road at a Time provides me with a virtual scrapbook. A personal database if you will. No way I could remember everywhere we’ve gone and everything we’ve seen and done. #brainoverload
A Few Statistics
In six years we’ve written and published 470 posts, or approximately 6 1/2 posts per month, which is totally not an accurate monthly count as some months the well of words runs dry. What continues to boggle my brain (and torment me) is how much I didn’t know then what I know now. But, live and learn, right? Plus, I figure it’s all just unfolding the way it is supposed to.
- “Life is trying things to see if they work.” Ray Bradbury
Along with writing 470 posts, our site has received 5,500+ comments and each one has been read and responded to. We love getting feedback. Aside from those 5,500+ comments, we’ve also received 385,000+ not so authentic comments. If people would only put their ingenuity to good use rather than thinking up ways in which to infiltrate the work of others, life would be so much easier.
Hopefully, More Than a Few
Our most popular post was actually written upon our return from walking the Camino de Santiago in May, 2015. We wrote a 15-page FAQ guide that includes our itinerary, accommodations and a down to earth check list of what is actually needed when taking on a long trek such as the Camino. To date, over 7,700+ have downloaded our guide. I would love to know how many of those who downloaded our guide actually walked the Camino. Hopefully, more than a few have been inspired to do so.
- “Don’t come to the Camino looking for answers. Instead, come with an open heart. You may be surprised by what you find.” Jane V. Blanchard
One Road at a Time, Six Years Later
So here we are six years later, a small fish in a
huge massive fish bowl, but we’re holding our own. We’ve grown an amazing following and we’re so grateful to those who have traveled and/or retired right along with us. We continue to be in awe of the fact that we’re still in the game.
Over the years One Road at a Time has brought friends in to our lives that we would have never crossed paths with had it not been for the internet. We especially consider ourselves fortunate in that we’ve actually been able to meet so many friends, in person, at various places in the world.
We’ve also been fortunate in that we’ve established working partnerships which have afforded us opportunities we may never have experienced had it not been for One Road at a Time.
I will admit there have been times (when the well of words runs dry) I’ve thought of packing it in, but those moments fade as fast as they appear. And, there have been an equal number of times in which I’ve felt as if we’re just getting started.
The Road(s) Ahead
There are many roads that lay ahead of us and we’re excited by the flexibility of options. We’re already in the planning stages for 2019 which will find us returning to Europe in the spring and road tripping through New England in the fall. We also have a lot of exploring to do in our east coast backyard.
In just a few days we’ll once again return to Porto, our home away from home. It will be a fairly quick trip at 3 1/2 weeks, but we’ll make the most of it. We know exactly where we’ll be eating dinner on our first night back in Porto. We’ll be staying in “our” apartment, which is not at all ours but we do love it and the owners have become friends.
The main purpose of this trip to Porto is to align all of ducks and gather the necessary documents in order to renew our Portuguese residency. There is a potential glitch (I don’t want to jinx it by explaining) in our application process, but we won’t know until we know.
If our renewal is approved, we’ll glean two more years of residency. All we need to do after that is figure out how to live our best lives in the best of both worlds. No easy task, but that’s what makes life interesting. We’re looking forward to sharing the journey with all of you. So, stick around, won’t you?!
- “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” Rosalia de Castro