“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney
We Closed the Book
“I can’t believe we’re doing this again after just two years,” said Abi as we drove the U-Haul truck to our rented storage unit. In 2011 we moved from California (after 30+ years) to Oregon where we took on our lives as innkeepers. Just 3 1/2 years later we received an offer that could only be defined as too good to pass on, so in 2014 we moved from Oregon to northern Maryland and settled in to apartment life knowing full well there would be another move. In 2015 we bought our little brick house that sat in the middle of the prettiest five acres of land and settled in to our experiment in country living. But this past Saturday, just shy of two years from moving in, we moved out of our house. On Sunday we cleaned and on Monday we closed escrow and closed the book on this chapter of redefining our path of retirement.
The Brady Bunch
It was never meant to be ours, that sweet little brick house sitting in the middle of five acres. It was meant to be theirs, of this we are certain. Two of the kindest people we know and between the four of us we put together the house sale and never a harsh word passed between us. We had an 11th hour glitch, but that just made it all the more interesting and we worked our way through it. They are an updated version of The Brady Bunch; a newly blended family of eight. They are over the moon thrilled with their little brick house which sits maybe 200 steps away from their big farm house and their five acres of land, their horse, their goats, their pig and their dog. And, I’m fairly certain their menagerie of animals will continue to grow… rapidly. We wish them all the best in their new lives together and we consider ourselves fortunate to have played a small role in making it happen.
In the Meantime
It’s a bit surreal to purposely position oneself to not have a home, an abode, a domicile, a place to call your own and hang your hat. But, the way we look at it, our place is still out there waiting for us. The perfect little spot where we will one day unpack all of our boxes, hang our hats and declare ourselves, “home” for a good long while. A place to grow old together. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
But, in the meantime… yes, in the meantime. We are working to wrap our heads around what we’ve just done and the unknown we’re about to take on. It’s a lot to digest, but it’s all good. It just takes a bit of adjusting to a somewhat strange new reality. We are currently in Virginia where we are staying in the home of friends/family who graciously offered us their home while they themselves are touring Italy. Ah… Italy. It’s on our list.
Now, we wait. We wait for our visas to be approved by the powers-to-be in Portugal. Once the approval arrives we’ll head back to the Portugal Consulate in Washington, DC to have our passports stamped. This should happen, in theory, right around the first week of June. Once we get those magical visas we’ll book our flights and we’ll be on our way.
While we wait, we have some serious planning to do. We need to switch our brain gears from home selling to travel planning. We are SUPER excited to tell y’all that we’ve partnered with Eurail and from mid July to mid September we’ll be riding the rails across Europe hosted by Eurail. Yay! And, guess what?! We haven’t planned a thing! Oy vey! We’ve got 15 days of Eurail train travel to put to good use and we’ve got eight weeks in which to travel. So, what do you think? Where should we go?
Such exciting news! The Portugal visa is a great idea; that country is definitely the place to be at the moment, so many people seem to be moving there! I’m sure it’ll feel a bit strange as you adjust but the European adventures ahead will be incredible. As for where to go, how about Croatia? We’ll be in Prague from 17th November to 17th December if you feel like a visit!
Thanks, Amy! Croatia is definitely on our list and we will spend some time in Zagreb and Split while traveling with Eurail. We would love to meet up in Prague if we can make it happen, if not, head to Portugal!
What an awesome adventure you are on. Home can be wherever you are. And the train across Europe sounds exciting.
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I feel the same way, Gaelyn, home is where we make it!
“Moving forward” and looking forward are the perfect ways to sum up a life filled with anticipation for what’s around the next bend. And what a road that beckons! So many destinations to decide between and I’ll bet each is more tantalizing than the last. One of the best things though, is this needn’t be a “once in a lifetime” journey. With your residency visa, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity for many more journeys around and about Europe. What fun!
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The key to life is to keep moving forward, right?! Our game plan – at least today – is to cast a fairly wide net while we travel with Eurail. After that, we’ll return to Portugal and just see where life takes us. We’d love to explore Portugal thoroughly, as well as next door (border) neighbor, Spain. We loved Spain while we walked the Camino and we’d love to see more. So glad you made it to Prague, such a fabulous city!
Eurail – great! We’re big fans of Germany and since it can usually be expensive I would suggest maybe taking advantage of those free passes to go there. And Germany generally gets fewer tourists than some of the coastal places in the summer. Lots of great German towns and cities but some of my favorites are Dresden, Bamberg, and Regensburg.
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Thanks for the tips, Frank. Our first draft of our route will take us through Berlin and Dresden. And, we aim to make our way to Split, so maybe our paths will cross!
That would be great Patti!
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Hopefully, Frank (and Lissette), hopefully!
Go to Spain and Portugal! We enjoyed Solou, Spain. It’s on the Mediterrean with beautiful beaches, fantastic bike paths and easy access to the train.
It’s 30 minutes to wine country and hiking. It might be a place to hang out until your paths become clearer.
Spain is definitely in the game plan, Julie. I will add Solou to the list of possibilities!
I remember riding the trains through Europe in the late 70’s. AT that point, with a pass, you could hop on any train and ride as far as you wanted. You could change your destination at any point. Sure was fun to be that free. I did three weeks with a friend and a backpack. We stayed at hostels and pensions. My favorite ride was through Switzerland. The views from the train were awe inspiring. I would recommend that leg.
The ride from Paris to Avignon is lovely too, and I love northern France. I have always wanted to see Mont St. Michele.
I don’t think you can go wrong with most anything you do. You might try winging it for one part, just to see how that feels.
Do not take trains from Budapest to Zagreb. Scary.
The more I think about the logistics of mapping/planning it all out, the more I think winging it may be the way to go, although it will be high travel season so that’s a concern. I’m pretty sure we’ll have a grand time no matter where we land!
So exciting!!! I can’t wait to see where this next adventure leads you 🙂
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It’s a bit surreal, Kim, to take off for the unknown… but then I guess I’m preaching to the choir, right?! 🙂