Our first motivation for considering a move to Europe was financial – Tricia retiring before eligibility for Medicare. France was the early and final contender – cost of living makes the retirement funds go so far and ease of travel is a bonus – when you factor in our love of the lifestyle it has been the right move.
For the first six months or so my resolve was to stay here forever, good place to die. In reality, I would be quite fine with living out my life here, still my thinking has evolved.
Politically and culturally there is so much I love about Europe and France. So much of what is here I would welcome in the US, though at this time it would not be accepted. What I miss is friends and family, they have become more dear as the time has emphasized the distance.
In the end it is the mountains and the sea that is drawing me back to the Pacific North West. John Muir wrote, “Going to the mountains is going home.” And when I think of mountains it is not the Alps, it is the Cascade Mountains of the PNW.
Though our travels will take us many places in the next year, in the end I want to live in a place near or in the mountains. A place where even a morning walk is touched by the peaks and valleys.
Sketching this triggered memories of places far from Normandy, seasoned with memories from many years ago. The mountains of the PNW drew me in early in life, and I have found moving to France has actually renewed those feelings.
So many places in Oregon or Washington would be desirable to live after France. In Oregon: Sisters, Bend, Sunriver, Hood River, even southern Oregon. In Washington: Rosalyn, Gold Bar area, the Peninsula, and a few other mountain communities. I like most anyplace around Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.
I do love France and Europe but the call of the PNW will clearly win in the end.
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Yup; we’re Pacific Northwesterners at heart. It will always be home.
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Beautiful. I have tears in my eyes. I was thinking the other day about a question I would pose to you when we next met, and that was ‘What have learned on your grand adventure.?’ And we have your answer. Yes, you can travel and explore for the rest of your days….but after each journey, you want a cozy place that you love were you can rest, recoup, relish and recount memories to friends and family– before embarking on the next travel adventure. It seems that your thinking and experience has evolved so that in your heart you know that you really CAN have it all. Our very, very best to you both!!!!! (Love the John Denver quote….getting our my songbook now….)
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One of the key things is the difference between a vacation and living in a place. When our time here comes to an end it will be quite different from just a vacation coming to an end, that I have learned. We do travel now, and as you said we come back to our home to rest and recoup, but that is in France. When we return I know the feelings will be quite interesting.
It is pretty great here, no question. Family and friends here miss you too. We’ll be happy to have you back whenever you decide to return.
Thank you for the warm invite. Coming back will be motivated by friends, family and mountains for sure, yet there are so many challenges. The country is so divided, and the violence and such are quite off putting. Yet I imagine the attraction of fiends and family and mountains will win.