Monday, August 11, 2014

Second thoughts

(Often "second thoughts" conjure up a change of mind, but not in this case; I'm just adding to the first entry.)

We couldn't have pursued this idea until now.  When we owned a condo or house, neither of us liked to be away for more than two weeks or so.  We worried that something would happen: a water leak, grass getting too long (even with somebody else doing it), packages being left on the porch, etc.  I know, I know, everybody else has solutions for all these fears, but in our case nothing helped.  Then, when we rented at Ten20 for four years, we had no such worries, and we didn't mind traveling for three weeks or more.  But, on the other hand, it seems kind of wasteful to be paying rent for an unused space.  We never would have dreamt of waiting for the lease period to be up, storing the furniture, and going off for an extended time, because Les loved our particular apartment at Ten20 so much that he wouldn't take the risk of losing it.  Our new apartment at Palazzo is fine, but we're not in love with it, and don't mind at all leaving it after one year.  We're actually looking forward to some new options in January of 2016, after our first trips: perhaps rent a floating home for a year, or a studio apartment in Belltown in order to live partly there and partly on the Pied-a-Mer.

Universala Kongreso in Reykjavik
So far, we have three "musts" for our trip to Esperantujo, each one lasting about a week.  The Universala Kongreso next year will be held in Lille, France, at the end of July.  We've been to two of these international conferences so far: Yokohama in 2007 and Reykjavik in 2013.  We enjoyed both, so we're looking forward to Lille.

Then I've always wanted to spend a week at Château de Grésillon, which is an Esperanto castle in France, far from any city.  Every week of the summer they have a different theme: excursions, family week, a certain topic to explore, etc.  When we see the schedule for 2015, we'll pick the most suitable week for our visit.

Family gathering in Xanten
The third "must" is REF, a gathering for families that use Esperanto as their everyday language.  They often meet in Sweden, but next year their meeting will be in Hungary.  We have a pretty good idea of what this will be like, because we attended a similar gathering in Xanten, Germany, in late December 2012.  We hope to see some of the same people we met in Xanten, and also meet some new families.

If the timing works out, we'll go to the annual 5-day Summer Esperanto Festival in England.  And sometime we'll definitely spend a few days at La Chaux-de-Fonds, an Esperanto house near Neuchâtel in Switzerland.  And we have dear friends in Leipzig and other cities, whom we'll definitely visit.

We're looking forward to a new release of Pasporta Servo in January.  This is like Servas, in that people offer to put up guests for several days, at no cost.  We used to be in the book about 20 years ago, and enjoyed hosting Esperanto speakers from China, Germany, and other places.  Also, Les took advantage of it occasionally when he was in East Germany 25 years ago.  So, once we have an idea of what our travels look like, we'll contact people in the book to see whom we might visit during our European stay.  Even though they're only promising a bed, they often also give meals and sightseeing tours and other help, and it's nice to get a view of local life that you don't get from a hotel.

The two months in New Zealand will be a lot less researched, I think.  We'll wait until we return home next September, and start thinking about how we'd like to spend our time there.  It's too difficult to be thinking simultaneously about two completely different regions.