‘. . .You start dying slowly. . .
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself, at least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice.’
~ Pablo Neruda
|Arriving Athens, Greece|
In fact, those words if set to music could be our theme song right now: we are going after a dream, challenging the uncertain – and as many of our friends and family seem to think -- we are running away from what is sensible.
|At the door of our U.S. 'landing pad' in the Seattle suburbs|
In our case though, with our belongings in storage or farmed out to family and friends, we will set off in September to write another chapter in what we are calling our Last Great Adventure.
|Our Kirkland home|
The news isn’t a surprise to many of you regulars at TravelnWrite – you were reading between the lines of that earlier post when I wrote about giving ourselves permission to live differently. You saw it coming the minute I wrote our summer goals were ‘discarding and downsizing’.
Our house and neighbors are near and dear to us, but in the last few years we’ve become visitors, not residents. More time has been spent in Greece and living out of a suitcase than was spent ‘at home’.
With the new plan we are simply reversing what we have been doing. Greece will be the base but we will still return to the Northwest once or twice a year and without yard work and household chores (at least for awhile) we'll have plenty of time to visit friends and family.
Opening and Closing Doors
For that matter we have friends who’ve upended their sedentary lives in the Northwest and headed out to other destinations in the U.S. They also report that same sense of well-being that comes with change.
|Proud of those residency cards|
Fish or cut bait.
We could stay longer.
We aren’t getting any younger.
What were we waiting for?
And besides, the bottom line is, we really like living there.
But there’s a vast difference between making a decision to go after a dream and embrace the unknown and actually putting yourself in a position of doing so. First step in opening a new door is to shut another.
The Dream and The Reality
The reality of the new plan is that the time has come to put our home of 30 years in the Seattle suburbs will go on the market. (And that type of downsizing activity is not so unusual for 60-something people - many of our friends are doing just that!)
What we were dreading and rightly so it seems is the enormity of the task of cleaning out and discarding. The day-to-day tasks of packing and storing a lifetime of memories, belongings and every day things that it takes to make life run is a real ‘slog’ as one expat friend calls it.
My special doll from childhood tucked away in a bureau drawer. . .The extra deodorant and toothpaste in the bathroom cupboard. . .The clothes that are relegated to the closet by travel destination: Hawaii, Greece, Northwest. . . Dish soap and laundry detergent. . .Everything
in the house.
Everything needs to go somewhere by summer’s end. . .and getting it there is where we are right now in this journey.
|Between Stoupa and Ag. Nikolaos on a winter's day|
The Change BeginsOur summer calendar was created by our realtor. It sets out our tasks and timelines. A ‘stager’ hired by the realtor has toured our home and told us what can stay and what needs to go before it can be shown to potential buyers. (Half the furniture needs to go as does all art and decorations, throw rugs and towels. We can leave the coffee pot on the kitchen counter though!) We have photo shoots and drone schedules on the calendar. We speak realtor talk of “launches’ and ‘showings’.
|Sunset at the Stone House on the Hill|
But we are keeping in mind why we are doing all this; how blessed we are to have a chance to dream the dream and challenge the unknowns. Sitting on a deck at The Stone House on the Hill is a much better idea than at an old folks care facility – that’s for sure!
While we aren’t doing a lot of traveling in the real sense of the word this summer, it is an interesting journey we’ve undertaken. Once in Greece we’ll give ourselves some time. . .maybe a year. . .maybe just a few more months than we could stay before . . .to enjoy that other world of ours.
|Our Stone House on the Hill this spring caption|
Want to share some of your experiences with us? Leave a comment below, shoot us an email or comment on the FB post. It would be fun hearing from you and what you are up to. Until next time, our thanks for your time and wishes for safe and happy travels.
For those stopping by for the first time, you can read more about our ex pat life in Greece at: The Stone House on the Hill
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel Inspiration