Writing Your Chapter

Life is a chapter book and we are now looking ahead to our next chapter, considering how we'd like it to start.   This chapter has been about life changes for both of us, meeting one another and establishing a life based on our values.   This property and our animals have been a priority for us and have brought us a lot of peace and happiness.   But we see this chapter ending as the animals grow older and so do we.   There are things we don't mind doing when we are a little younger, but they become more tedious as our bodies grow older.   The honest truth is, we don't want to take care of 5 acres once we retire.   One acre?   Sure, Erik likes to cut the grass and I'd like to grow more flowers.   But we are not interested in taking the life we have here and transplanting it somewhere new.   

When we were younger, we both had the opportunity to do some traveling.   Not a lot, but enough to know there is a whole world out there to explore.   We are discussing the possibility of spending time in other countries that are much more affordable than ours.   We are also talking about moving to some part of our country that is much less expensive.   Unfortunately most of those places don't have the best weather in summers and winters.   

I recently visited my sister in Virginia.   It's really a lovely state with mountains, woods and lots of green grass.   It's peaceful and clean and offers a nice lifestyle.   I really don't mind a little bit of Winter with moderate snowfall that doesn't stay long on the ground.   The issue for me is that I have asthma.   The Summer humidity is an awful thing to deal with and can cause difficulty with breathing.   I don't relish the idea of spending 3 months indoors, so therein lies the problem.   Do we move there and make a plan to spend a few months away from home?   A travel trailer escape to the mountains somewhere?   Or an inexpensive shack on the coast?   Those are expenses we don't want to carry so aren't really feasible.

We have talked for the past few years about leaving the country, at least for a while, and experiencing another culture.   Many many people have retired to Mexico and other places for a more affordable lifestyle and ease of living.   Certainly they experience some issues that take getting used to.   TV and Internet are not always reliable, electricity can be expensive and/or unreliable, and certain places have noise in the streets that takes getting used to.

Portugal is a place we want to explore as it has also welcomed many expats to its lovely climate and low key lifestyle.   That may be our first destination to explore as we research it fully.   We imagine selling most of our stuff, putting things in storage that we can't part with, packing bags and leaving for a while.   It's a way to reset, downsize, explore more of the world and enjoy something outside of our country.   There is such a strong undercurrent of stress here.   None of us can imagine how things are going to continue to change but for now, it feels disappointing.

Virginia, Portugal, Arizona, Mexico....who knows at this point?   We are doing research to write the chapter.   

 https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/06/10/11-reasons-to-retire-in-portugals-algarve


This photo is a wild daffodil growing in the woods of Virginia.   I had no idea they grew in the wild.   The next photo is a Redbud tree growing in the woods.   I was obsessed with these beautiful trees scattered among the others that hadn't yet leafed out.   

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my thoughts.



Comments

Pepper Medley said…
Each year is different. But it seems we get less and less snow each year. We have had nearly 10 inches of rain this month. Not your normal May, and sometimes June is very dry.... not sure what it holds in store for us this year. The weather used to have a predictable pattern, but not anymore. Would love to have you here. Sell your things and store some things... stay in our downstairs a while and really get a feel for Virginia. Travel the world.... Retirement will be what you two make it.... xox
I think Portugal is an amazing place and would offer a great location to hit the reset button for a few months and just enjoy a different culture and slower lifestyle while you ponder the future. What an exciting possibility!
Lynne said…
It seems like it should be so easy . . .
It just isn’t . . .
Variables wherever we look . . . imagine .. . explore . . .
Thinking of you . . , appreciating your reflecting . . .
and being kept in the midst . . .
Love your eye for the Virginia beauties . . .
Devon said…
My husband and I have discussed leaving California as he is retired and the cost of living is so expensive here. We are a bit north of you I think. When we look at where to go, the weather is the main sticking point. I love to garden and grow most of my own produce and herbs. Where else can you grow your own artichokes, asparagus, collard greens, chard, lettuce (5 types) spaghetti spaghetti squash, etc...
So, for now we stay and live as frugal as we can, but down the line I don't know if we will be able to afford California. Such a shame as I am a 4th generation and all of my family is here.
Missy George said…
Yes, We have lots of redbuds here in the East..They are beautiful when in bloom..Good luck with your decision..It sounds as though you have quite a variety of options in mind..I think every place must have some issues...Check them out carefully..

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