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One Year Homes
Old 11-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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One Year Homes

Prior to my retirement in 2008 DW & I engaged in a mental exercise to envision our retirement. We wanted to travel but not be 'permanent travelers'. There were a lot of places we wanted to see and we did not have the same focus, I like cold places (UK, Bhutan, the arctic) and DW likes warm places (Tahiti the Mediterranean, Bali and so forth). And we didn't want to just be tourists, we wanted to stay long enough to get to know a place and meet the people.
So we made a list of 'one year homes'. Places we wanted to experience. DW picked Paris and I wanted a year on a canal boat in England (have rented them twice in my life for one week so some experience there). DW wants Tahiti or off islands or maybe Rarotonga. I would pick Whitehorse or Dawson City YK or maybe Haines AK.
Now our plans shifted significantly when the grandchildren arrived and DW kind of said ain't no way we are going to not see them regularly. And more significantly DW's mom is in decline with serious memory issues and we are at her senior home almost every day with many phone calls each day. So for a while our plans are on hold.
Still, it seems like a good exercise to ponder such travel possibilities, where would you like to live for a year?
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #2
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...where would you like to live for a year?
Same place I've been living all these years ...

We have traveled the world for the last 15+ years to "taste" a bit of different cultures, but we know we are not the kind of folks to want to live in any foreign country, for any period of extended stay.

As you are becoming aware, "family needs" often trump your personal plans or vision for the future (as has been in our case, for many years).

There is dreaming, and there is reality. A mixture of both works for us...
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:52 AM   #3
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Looking at Ireland, then France, and then Italy just to see if we like the European lifestyle. Looking @ 90 days to 6 months in each country to test the waters and get to really know the places before commiting to one. DW's family may be an issue since she likes them close, but does not seem to want to spend time with them (I don't understand that one) Both sets of parents are gone so no real commitment there to worry about.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:00 AM   #4
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Still, it seems like a good exercise to ponder such travel possibilities, where would you like to live for a year?
I would spend the year in England but I have a daughter & grandson who I visit three times a year and a Mom living in an assisted living facility . So it's nice to dream but the reality right now is shorter trips .
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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I love your idea, yakers, and I'm sad that it has taken the backseat to more pressing family concerns.
We have a friend who plans to Snowbird in Belize for half the year or more.
I guess what I've learned is that we love to travel, but I really also like where we live. So I think a perfect world for us would include 4-6 week trips to somewhere new, with time at home in between. I would miss my life and friends here if we were gone longer.

Plus I think there is an element of loneliness that pervades the long-term travel experience. You are always *having* to meet new people and say goodbye to ones you just met. I am fairly introverted, and making and keeping friends is already work enough.

But on my list for those shorter trips are lots of places: New Zealand, back to Mongolia, Iceland, Nicaragua, back to the Bahamas, and a road trip on the Pan American highway.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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I guess what I've learned is that we love to travel, but I really also like where we live. So I think a perfect world for us would include 4-6 week trips to somewhere new, with time at home in between. I would miss my life and friends here if we were gone longer.
I think we have come to roughly the same conclusions. But probably more like 3-4 weeks is ideal. Long enough to spend some time living like the locals and getting to know the place but not too long such that homesickness sets in.

We like where we live and everything is "comfortable". Waking up in the morning in your own bed, brushing your teeth in the potable water from the tap, speaking (in general) the same language as cashiers and waiters at stores and restaurants, hopping in familiar cars and transit vehicles, driving/walking on familiar roads and sidewalks, etc. Low stress!

But we might be persuaded to live somewhere temperate for a year if it was a short flight from here - I'm thinking somewhere in Mexico would fit this criteria since we are familiar with language and culture, and some spots are temperate year around. If we were confident that we had a near zero probability of being harmed by the drug wars.

We have definitely ruled out international trips of a week or less since you spend close to a day in transit. We did Argentina and Uruguay a year ago and had 8 nights there, plus a day of travel on either end and I think that is the absolute shortest we could deal with.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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I like cold places too. I would enjoy living for a while in places like Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Iceland and so on.

With 2 young cats at home and DW still working, we will have to keep our trips short for years to come. But dreamin' is good.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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I would spend the year in England but I have a daughter & grandson who I visit three times a year and a Mom living in an assisted living facility . So it's nice to dream but the reality right now is shorter trips .
This is not a knock on your post... but on a lot of these kind of posts... just using yours as an example as I have some experience with England...

The problem with just saying a country is that it does not say enough... that is like someone saying 'I would like to live in the U.S.'... there are a lot of places with a lot of different experiences... if you stayed in NYC, it is a lot different than in the middle of Nebraska... (decided to add later... but look at the difference between Alaska and Hawaii!!!)..

The same for England... London is a lot different than Penzance... but both are 'England'...

I am sure you would travel around the country to see the different sights, but living is vastly different in the two places...
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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I suspect we will stage out of Colorado and I doubt I will ever get CINC house to stay somewhere else a full year. I can see 2-6 month intervals with the summers in Colorado. Here is a list of places interested in.

Sydney
New Zealand
Paris
Florida Keys
Pacific/NW/Vancouver
Iceland
Phx (spring training)
Japan
Singapore
Bavaria

JDARNELL
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #10
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Interesting thread! Even though I don't like travel, living somewhere for a year is a lot more appealing to me than travel could ever be.

Assuming an ideal situation with infinite time and money, and unbridled enthusiasm from my dear companion F., here is my list:

Honolulu
Springfield, Missouri
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hobart, Tasmania
Key West
Manhattan
Greek Isles

Honolulu, Hawaii, because it is my family's home. Problem is, if I ever moved back for a year I would never leave.

Springfield, Missouri, because it is still at the top of my list for places to move to, should we decide to move away. I wonder if I would like it as much after living there for a year.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, because of the scenery and fishing, and the fascinating stories of life there from friends who are Nova Scotians.

Hobart, Tasmania, because I almost took a job there once and became intrigued by this amazing and utterly unique place.

Key West, Florida, because of the ocean based lifestyle (swimming, snorkeling, shell collecting), and history.

Manhattan, because people seem to love it there and I can't figure that out from here. The walking lifestyle appeals to me.

The Greek Isles, because of the natural beauty, nearness to the sea, culture, and history. Not sure which island, though, and they are so different from one another. I'd have to spend a little extra time there to decide.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:12 AM   #11
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This is not a knock on your post... but on a lot of these kind of posts... just using yours as an example as I have some experience with England...

The problem with just saying a country is that it does not say enough... that is like someone saying 'I would like to live in the U.S.'... there are a lot of places with a lot of different experiences... if you stayed in NYC, it is a lot different than in the middle of Nebraska... (decided to add later... but look at the difference between Alaska and Hawaii!!!)..

The same for England... London is a lot different than Penzance... but both are 'England'...

I am sure you would travel around the country to see the different sights, but living is vastly different in the two places...
You are correct . I would base myself somewhere near London and then travel the countryside .
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:24 AM   #12
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I suspect we will stage out of Colorado and I doubt I will ever get CINC house to stay somewhere else a full year. I can see 2-6 month intervals with the summers in Colorado. Here is a list of places interested in.

Sydney
New Zealand
Paris
Florida Keys
Pacific/NW/Vancouver
Iceland
Phx (spring training)
Japan
Singapore
Bavaria

JDARNELL
This year we spent 7 months in Yorkshire, England. Next time (2013) we plan a 3 location vacation, Yorkshire, Devon and somewhere to be decided, plus some weeks in Cheshire, Durham and Scotland visiting relatives.

We have twice spent a month in Australia, in Queensland (Brisbane and Townsville) and in Sydney. We would like to spend a few months here sometime, plus a month in New Zealand.

Last year we spent a month in Colorado (in the summer) and would definitely like to go again.

Next year we have a couple of months planned for the Pacific NW.

Iceland is also high on our list for a long vacation.

We've not been to the other places on your list except Phoenix, which we liked, but they look pretty good to me.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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I like cold places too. I would enjoy living for a while in places like Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Iceland and so on.
I wor*ed for extended periods in Sweden. I would suggest that you only go there during the temperate summer months, when the sun is out and you can get around without a flashlight .

The winter's are rough for those of us who want to see a big more sunlight (although it's a good reason to drink to pass the long nights )...
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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I wor*ed for extended periods in Sweden. I would suggest that you only go there during the temperate summer months, when the sun is out and you can get around without a flashlight .
Sounds like something interesting to experience! I have a good flashlight.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:00 PM   #15
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Still, it seems like a good exercise to ponder such travel possibilities, where would you like to live for a year?
My spouse and I got to answer that question 19 times in the military. Several were shorter, several were longer...

Last year (when I turned 50) marked the longest continuous period of my life when I've lived at the same address: 10 years. I'm hoping to improve that by a factor of at least 5x.

It's been fun to watch all the old addresses roll off my credit reports.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #16
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A year in one place seems like a long time to me. Make it two months and it's a deal.

I grew up in New York City (Brooklyn, actually), and although I have no interest in going back, I still visit friends there and I can definitely see the attraction for someone who has only heard about it.

Places I lived for at least a couple of months, up to a few years, during my military days include (east to west) Rio de Janeiro, NYC, Syracuse NY, southern Alabama, the Florida panhandle, Dayton OH, St. Louis, San Antonio, Denver, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, and Monterey. The only one I would consider spending any more time in is Monterey, but I couldn't afford it so that's a non-starter.

Of places I've only spent a week or two, I would love to spend more time in Iceland, England's Lake District, Belgium, Bavaria, Taiwan, and Alaska.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #17
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Best of both worlds: Rarotonga and New Zealand. A huge proportion of the Cook Islands spend part of their lives in NZ for schooling and/or work. The two cultures are inter-mixed.

If you time it right, you can hit NZ in the cold season (say March to September), then move on over to the Cook Islands. Their summers are glorious - although it's warm, I have never found it oppressive. Plus, you can always throw yourself in the ocean. There isn't much to do there and I would imagine that "rock rot" would set in pretty fast if you were someone who had to be on the go all the rime.


All of that said.... I would move to Raro in a heartbeat! It's my favorite place on earth!
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:18 PM   #18
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #19
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DH and I have been having this discussion very often lately. Since he still works a few days every other week we can't commit to anything longer than 2 weeks but we're working on our "extended stay bucket list" as we call it. Our plan is to rent a condo/home for 2-3 months and then head back home for 6 months or so. And then set off to another place for another 2-3 months followed by coming home again for awhile.
Years ago we thought we'd like to buy a vacation home but have since decided there are just too many places we want to try out and, at this time of our lives, don't want to commit to just one location.
Our current list includes:
Northern AZ/Southwest UT
Central/Northern CO
Vermont
Montana
And, of course, anyplace that the grandhildren are living. (one family in military so that can change often...the other on west coast for now but that could change anytime)
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:02 PM   #20
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Iceland is also high on our list for a long vacation.
+1, I had 3 amazing weeks there last summer.

Inspired by Iceland Video - YouTube

It's nice to imagine where you'd like to live for a year, but it's not possible for many places because of visa issues and if you do get the visa an extended stay in a country will probably mean you'll become resident there for tax purposes and, if you are a US citizen, you'll have the joy of doing taxes in two countries.
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