As you probably know, we’ve been working on finding home for a while. Well, our long-term base. We aren’t done traveling, we’re just changing how we do it.
It’s been a tough search. We’ve been to 6 continents and almost 30 countries, and we’ve enjoyed almost all of them. That makes it more of a challenge when you’re trying to find the place where you may set down some roots. There is also the difference, which can be quite big, between liking a place to visit and wanting to live there.
I really enjoyed Ayutthaya in Thailand, but I would not want to live there for more than say a month. Then there’s that problem of there being two of us. Tigger would love to live in Australia. Me not so much. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and would love to go back to explore more of that wonderful country, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
We had a lot of items on our list for candidates:
- Near the ocean
- Near woods
- Near mountains
- Near nature
- Good, solid internet
- Doesn’t get too hot or too cold
- LGBT friendly (marriage equality is a bonus)
- Lots of opportunities for Tigger to make English-speaking friends
- Fairly close to an international airport.
Yeah, that’s quite a list. And so far the only place that has really come up for us is in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the US.
When we left, and even until a few months ago, I never dreamed that the USA would be back on our list of possibilities for a long-term base. Not only does the PNW tick all of our boxes, but it’s also more chill and has the extra-bonus feature of not requiring a visa to live and work there.
The other week my friend living in Prague spent 10 hours over 2 days dealing with their visa renewal, and they’ve lived there for 3 years now. Yeah, I’m over dealing with visas for a while.
We’ve set our eyes toward Washington state since I’m from there and currently have close friends and family living there. I took Tigger there many years ago, and he loved it as well and has fond memories of our time there.
As we’ve looked around, I have felt pulled to Bellingham, a medium-sized city close to the Canadian border. As part of my research, I’ve joined some Facebook groups for the region, and I’ve met some seemingly wonderful people who already have been quite helpful and welcoming. I’ve also had dreams about us living there, which is something that is pretty rare.
Right now we are proceeding as if Bellingham will be home. We’ll make a visit prior to our house sit just so we can compare it with a couple of other areas to confirm, but I really think it will be the place. And rather than feel terrified, I feel excited to be there. When I see photos, read the news, etc., of the region, I immediately think “That’s our home.”
Even though I’m a bit nervous about this next phase, especially because it’s life in the US again, I’m also really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to being able to visit Canada more easily and to explore more of the PNW, which is such a beautiful place.
I’m even looking forward to the rain.
I guess finding home isn’t so bad after all. Now I just have to hope the feeling of actually being there matches the prearrival excitement.