Thursday, July 03, 2008

Around the world

So I met this girl, Trina, a few years ago when I got a job in Tigard - she was the company's marketing genius - and tomorrow she is embarking with her husband for a year-long journey around the world. They are going to:

Czech Republic

While I'm envious of such a trip, I'm also sure the marriage Darr and I currently enjoy would not last outside the country for that length of time, although we are fond of the idea of moving for a year to one specific location - like Tuscany, Italy. Or maybe London. How does one go about planning for such an adventure? If you own a home, do you sell it before you go? Do you rent it? What do you do with your pets? Jobs? Where's the best place to start researching the requirements that must be met in order to work outside the country? Will we need visas?

Anyway, Trina and Ron have their own blog where they'll be sharing their experiences if you're interested in what it would be like to completely uproot yourself and head out into the world.


Elizabeth Prata said...

We did that. Couple of times. For our house: We had a housesitter come, we didn't charge rent but they paid utilities. Worked out for all, our pipes didn't freeze and the vandals stayed away; they saved enough that year living rent-free to put a downpayment on their first home when we got back.

Pay your bigger bills ahead: property tax, car insurance, so they will still be viable when you return.

Research visa requirements,length of stay- (many are 6 months only) inoculations, and thoroughly research the place you want to go in terms of safety and stability. If you are on medications will they be available in your travelplace, and how far is the nearest hospital? (Henry). Weather: storms, cold, heat. Florence is in a valley that gets hazy and over 100 in the summer. No breeze. The hills of Umbria are so steep a few hundred feet up makes a huge difference. We got sleet in October in Tuoro.

Think of the language barrier and also if the place you want to go is receptive to foreigners. It makes a big difference betwen subsisting and living. Italian agriturismo is nicely set up to accommodate foreigners but give a flavor of rural Italian living.

Sometimes agriturismo stays are less than one year but a good thing to do is perhaps stay in two or three places in different regions over a year.

One place you might be interested in, in Tuscany, near Siena in the heart of Chianti country, is an organic farm complete with a castle called Spannocchia. You can rent a farmhouse on a working organic farm. I have stayed there. It is run by English speaking Italians. So consider an agriturismo stay.

Tuscany is rural so consider the costs of a long-term car rental...& learning to drive in a foreign country.. If not, then stay in a city or near a city and use public transport. In my opinion. Perugia, in the border of Tuscany-Umbria is often overlooked.

After that, we found the best thing is to just do it! You will never learn enough to be satisfied on all angles and preparing can tend to take the place of going, so after learning the basics, (safety,health, costs) then just go!

Ms. A said...

You are wise to be cognizant this type of travel is not for everyone. Brian's brother and now wife did that a few years ago. The planning was complicated by the fact his wife finished up a masters program in Sweden just before the trip. They had a fantastic time, no house, no kids. We met up with them in Italy for a week. We were quickly aware this type of travel is not "vacation" either - it's a lot of work. But very rewarding.