Saturday, August 9, 2014

First thoughts

A couple of months ago, Les and I were walking along the waterfront in West Seattle, when I noticed a PODS moving container across the street.  (It's a big steel box that the owner fills himself, then sends away for storage.)  This triggered an idea, and I mentioned that maybe when our lease was up in March, we could put our furniture into storage and go to Europe for six months.  To my great surprise, Les responded that he'd had that thought on his own.  From there we quickly devised a plan (or at least a concept).  Now, in mid-August, we've already researched many of the tricky topics: health insurance, how to handle mail, storing things long-term, countries we're interested in, etc.

From the start we both agreed that the focus of Europe would be "Esperantujo"; that is, the Esperanto people we already know or would like to know, and the many events held there.  We have the 2014 list of major Esperanto events, in which there are three or four week-long events every week in Europe, so the problem next year will be to choose places that are the most appealing, while minimizing train travel.  (We plan to do all in-Europe travel by rail.)

Along the way, we've learned that the Schengen Agreement limits us to three months out of any six in continental Europe.  So we'll spend two weeks in the middle of the stay in England, which doesn't count toward the 90-day limit.

The current plan is: leave the Seattle area about May 1 (either by extending our lease two months, or by living on the Pied-a-Mer for March and April); visit Minneapolis (cousin Madeleine), Toronto (3-day Esperanto event), Kingston (sister Mary and kayaking in the Thousand Islands) in May; head to Europe about June 7; return to Seattle in mid-September; go to New Zealand for November and December.

One of the items on our "to do" list is to start a blog.  We've never had one before, so we're experimenting here.  I'll see how difficult it is to keep this up-to-date and include photos.