All I want is to have my peace of mind


I stated at the beginning of my last entry that the end was a couple of days away. Turned out it was nearly a week away. But finally, on Friday morning (I took the day off from work), “moving day” was over as we had positioned the furniture where we wanted it and hung art on the walls and placed books on shelves and bedside tables. The staging of our condo was complete.

At that time, we dragged the last of our tools and supplies, and our exhausted selves, out the door and down the stairs. We were in kind of a fog for the rest of the day, until the evening when, a week and a day late, we were able to go out to a nice dinner for our anniversary.

On Saturday, we spent our breakfast time together talking about our plans for Europe. Before we actually make the move, we’re going to take a scouting trip, and check out a few places. Over the months, we’ve been considering countries as varied as Italy, France, Slovenia, Albania, Estonia, Montenegro, Croatia, and of course, Portugal. Different cities and countries have gradually been eliminated as possibilities for various reasons, usually having to do with either climate or economy.

Most recently, our trip was going to focus on Portugal and France. But on Saturday, we made an important decision. I said that we’re not going to get a real feel for a place by spending two or three days there. Granted, some places you can tell pretty quickly that you don’t want to live there. But the places you like, how do you know if it’s a good place for you to live, or if it’s just a great vacation site, unless you spend more time there?

We can’t really afford to spend a lot of time traveling around trying to decide on a lot of different cities. There’s a big difference between living someplace and being a tourist there. We need to be able to maximize the time we spend on this reconnaissance voyage.

So we’ve decided that our scouting trip will focus exclusively on Portugal. This is the country that everything we’ve researched points to as the most likely candidate for our move, from a financial standpoint and our climate preferences and needs.

Now we just need to narrow it down to a few cities that we can reasonably cover and get a feel for. If, at some later time, we want to consider France or Italy or any other country, we’ll be in a better geographic location to institute a similar investigation into life there.

After our pleasant (and relaxed!) breakfast, Linda went to the studio as usual. She always spends Saturdays there, giving her voice and piano lessons. I stayed home and did my usual Saturday chores, happy to get back to that without having to work on the condo.

And we actually have a little more R&R on the docket. I booked a night at a nice place in the mountains outside of Estes Park, gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll take the dogs, get away from the city and breathe some mountain air. It’s only for a day and a night, but after the last several weeks, we’re looking forward to it almost as much as if it was a trip to Europe.