2018 was admittedly lacking in Joy Adventuring posts. Don’t get me wrong, Terra and I certainly had some adventures. We logged 6,000 miles on two cross-country road trips, one of which was highlighted in this post. We took our remote work team to QuickBooks Connect in California. We managed to sneak away to Paris to take care of ‘our’ cats for a month. We even got the treat of getting to know Terra’s cousins in Colorado and seeing her grandma again. But it was all a bit frenetic and difficult to focus on posting!
And although the posts were lacking, don’t think for a second that Nate stories abated in the least. There was that time when I was questioned at length at the Canadian border and almost not allowed to enter (yes, this Canada). There was another time when we drove through a forest fire on a road in Wyoming that had literally just reopened (and perhaps should have still been closed). And then there was the time that I almost suffocated in my own tent (you will need to ask Martin and Sue Alemann about the last one). But I digress – these stories will reveal themselves further in my memoirs; now is the time to move forward bravely into 2019!
Finding our Happy Place
As you (my faithful reader) know, although Terra and I have blogged about our experiences all over Europe, France has truly captured our hearts. And even if you just casually came across the blog, you’d note that France has been tagged on 16 posts – much more than anywhere else (Spain and Germany, not too shabby themselves, are tied for second at four each).
One of the primary things we love about our house sitting experiences – which have typically lasted between two and five weeks at a time – is that we’ve been able to immerse ourselves in a way that we haven’t with shorter two and three day stopovers. Even so, we always left wanting more. What would it be like to fully immerse ourselves – to learn the language, to make friends with our neighbors, to have regular French dinners in quaint places similar to the scene below, and so much more…
So we started thinking the unthinkable. What if we moved to France for a year? No…it won’t work. “There are too many hoops to jump through,” we thought. “There is no way our aging dog (14 year-old Cammy) could handle the flight,” we surmised. “We simply can’t make it work,” we deduced. And so the dream stayed put for awhile.
But we couldn’t shake it, and one late Fall 2018 day we decided to go for it. There are many details to tell you about over time, but for now I’ll simply state what once seemed impossible out loud – we are spending 2019 in France!
When we visited France in August we began looking for that perfect spot – a city so walkable that we wouldn’t even need a car, a place with so much sunshine that it would make my Seattle friends jealous of our Vitamin D levels, a location with plenty of activities without being too overcrowded with English-speaking tourists. So we shied away from some of the typical hotspots and found something a bit off the beaten path.
Our good friends pointed us towards the region of Languedoc-Roussilon in southern France, near the Spanish border. So during a long weekend we took a TGV (high speed) train down to Montpellier, the capital of that region. It was everything we were hoping for and more – festivals, sunshine, amazing farmers’ markets, Roman ruins – and was all completely walkable. Heck, we even biked to the beach! (alas, my bike tire did explode halfway into the trip so it wasn’t totally without a #natestory) And we were sold.
As you can imagine, there were a million steps between then and now to turn our dream into a reality – and we’re still not quite to our final location yet! Trust me when I say that it was not easy to get our cute little 14-year-old dog (child) all the way to France. But as you can see from the image below, she’s adjusting to her situation quite well! Perhaps she will even learn a little French…
Many more posts will be forthcoming as we live out our adventure. What would you, my faithful reader, like to hear about? French cooking adventures, cultural differences, Cammy stories, Nate stories, or all (or none) of the above? Please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know! We’re excited to connect with each of you through this blog in 2019, and (hopefully) meet up with some of you in person as well!