In preparing to slow way down, we’re trying to figure out just where that will be. This has created a bit of a conundrum, as you might imagine.
Tigger’s top 3 locations are Romania, Mexico, and Prague. Since I don’t foresee us being able to afford life in Edinburgh or Paris any time soon, my top preferences would most likely be Prague, Romania, and Krakow, Poland.
There are plenty of things I’m not exactly fond of in my native country. However, it does have some pluses like familiarity, plenty of availability of ethnic foods, English-speaking teens for Tigger, and I don’t have to deal with visas.
Also, there are some groups for LGBT families. It’s always nice for your kid to be able to hang out with other children who have a similar family makeup.
We also already have friends in the US, including places we’re most interested in living (Washington state is the main focus right now).
We have house sits coming up in Florida, Texas, and Washington state, so that will give us an opportunity to really evaluate how we feel about being back in the US and if we’d really want to stay longer. Washington is a big attraction because of the quality of life, we already know people there, and it has mountains, ocean, and woods all within close distance of each other.
One definite downside is the cost of living and the general lack of good public transportation. Thankfully, some cities have a good system, but they tend to be the exception.
I absolute adore Prague. It stole my heart in a way I had not anticipated. I can’t find much to not love about the Czech Republic or this city.
An obvious downside would be friends for Tigger. We have a friend who has lived there for 3 years, and it has been next to impossible for her son to find English-speaking friends. We would certainly work at learning the language, but Czech is a hard language to learn.
Czech is in the Schengen Zone which really limits how long we can stay without a long-term visa. We would certainly try to obtain at least temporary residency, but that process isn’t without its own headaches. If we aren’t successful, then we can only stay for 3 months and would have to leave for 3 months before being able to return.
That obviously wouldn’t work as a base in that situation.
Big pros are the low cost of living, its geographic location which makes it a great travel base, great public transportation, and it’s a fairly international city.
We both absolutely fell in love with Romania. There is a lot to love there.
The country allows border runs, so it would be a bit less painful for a longer stay until visas were acquired. There are a couple of options which make acquiring long-term visas a much easier process. Having EU residency would certainly be a benefit for some travel purposes.
If we live in one of the larger cities, chances are higher that Tigger will be able to make local friends. Romanian is also easier to learn as it’s Latin based. I was able to pick up quite a bit during our last 3-month stay. It would be an easier language for Tigger to learn as well.
One big downside, however, is the Romanian attitude toward gays. Later this week I’ll be posting another interview but from someone who lives in the capital city. His experience hasn’t been much more encouraging than the one whose interview I shared recently.
I really don’t want to live in a place where I feel I have to be in the closet again. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. I’m not interested in living like that again.
So we have quite the conundrum. One possible workaround would be to go to Romania long enough to get residency and utilize EU residency to live in Czech, but I’d need to investigate that further. And that would also mean waiting for quite a bit to settle down. I’m tired, and I’m ready to slow our travels way down. I’m just not sure I want to play that game even if it is legal and feasible.
Our Washington house sit ends around mid January, and I aim to have a solid plan before then. We’re both ready to start this new phase. I just hope the answer is nice and clear when the times arrives.
How do you work out a conundrum?