F it! We’ve decided.

Ever since I last wrote about our ongoing decision-making process to pick where to base ourselves, I have struggled. My mind just wouldn’t give up stressing about it, and that’s usually an indicator to me that I know the answer and just need to move forward.

As I continued to argue with myself ponder the situation, I had to agree with some of the comments I received—It really comes down to what matters most.

In doing more research about the area in the US we had selected, looking at rentals again, checking the job situation, etc., it helped me lock onto what mattered most.

And that is quality of life. Really, no further discussion was necessary at that point. We’re returning to Romania.

quality of life, brasov

Quality of life

One thing became glaringly obvious, and that was the fact that I would have to work many more hours to be able to afford just the basics if we remained in the US. It makes no sense to me to willingly put more energy into working than living just to get less out of it.

Even though Tigger spends most of his time in his man cave, I’m here for him whenever. He will still go out exploring, go on walks, etc., with me. If I’m spending my time working, though, I will greatly reduce the amount of available time we have together. Our spontaneous outings would greatly diminish.

I simply refuse to give that up.

I relish being able to take advantage of a break in bad weather to go for a walk, or to simply close the laptop and head out because it’s a gorgeous day. I’m getting so much more out of life by not having it filled with other things. Why would I surrender all that?

I’ve also noticed that Tigger’s anxiety has increased. It began once we were getting close to leaving Mexico and has remained while we’ve been here. There could be other factors, but I can’t ignore the coincidence.

There are some other factors as well.

quality of life


Obviously, Tigger will probably have an easier time finding friends in the US; however, he really isn’t going to go out and do that on his own. He has enough anxiety left that he uses me as an anchor in new situations until he’s comfortable, then he’s perfectly fine forging ahead on his own. If I’m spending most of my day working, the opportunities for us to be involved in things that will give him the venue to meet new people will be greatly reduced.

The fact he’s a foreigner might also make him more interesting to local kids. So being elsewhere could actually boost his chances.

The initial concern that I would have to live in the closet was removed by chatting with some gay Romanian friends. The concerning issues really only exist if you’re Romanian (family & job being the big worries). Foreigners don’t have the same issues.

Yeah, it could be a little more difficult to date there, but it isn’t like I’ve ever had that much luck dating in the US! PDA isn’t recommended there, but I’m careful with that everywhere.

Romania is also one of the few places that just felt like home when were there.

quality of life, sighisoara


While Tigger is over the constant movement, he does still want to travel. He’s thinking a situation of being home for 3 months, taking a short trip, returning home for 3 months, etc., will be great. That isn’t so easy if we stay in the US. It’s tough saving up enough money for starters, especially if you aren’t working full time. Plus, anywhere else really interesting internationally involves long flights.

If we live in Europe, “Let’s go to Germany for the weekend” is much easier to pull off, especially if we have a home we still have to pay for.

Not to mention how much easier it is to fly in Europe. TSA just sucks here.


The lack of good public transportation in most of the US is such a frustration. All over Europe it was never a concern to get from point A to point B. There was usually a train, bus, tram, etc. Just going between two cities in the US can be frustrating and expensive.

I like driving, but I’d rather not have to have a car.

Health care

It’s so much more complicated in the US. In almost every country we’ve visited, I can go to the pharmacy and refill my medications without a prescription, and they are generally much cheaper than even an insurance copay. Travel medical insurance is much cheaper for the big things than even basic insurance coverage here. When you can go to urgent care, be treated, and walk away with meds for $35 USD total. . . Remember my $220 emergency room visit in Australia?


There are many factors we’ve considered, but I have to say the bottom line is quality of life. We can’t “live without regrets” and ignore this category. It’s just too important.

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  1. Cool stuff! Congrats on the decision – now I have another reason to visit Romania!

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  2. You must be so relieved now the decision is made! The good thing is that even if it didn’t work out for you in Romania for some reason, you can reassess and move somewhere else. There never has to be a final decision 🙂

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    • Absolutely correct on both parts. It is a HUGE relief to have the decision made, and definitely nice that we aren’t “stuck” either way.

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  3. Great choice! Romania is amazing and living in Europe amazing. But you know that already.

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  4. That sounds great. I hope you are happy, and so is your son. Best of luck in whatever comes next.

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  5. I am happy that you two have come to a decision. I suspected you would choose Romania, since you’ve mentioned many times, how comfortable you were there and all the benefits you’ve mentioned.
    I, too, can relate to Tigger’s anxiety in the USA. I feel the same, when I am there and cannot wait to get away from the madness.
    Quality of life means many things and you have cited what it means to you.
    I have no doubt you will both find a community of interesting and supportive friends in your new home base.
    I will continue to live vicariously through your adventures on the other side of the pond.

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  6. Yay! Quality of life wins the day! It sounds wonderful. I’m happy for you two!

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  7. Congratulations on your decision and your soon to be new home base. I hope that Romania works out well for you and look forward to reading all about your adventures there! 🙂

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    • Thank you. We look forward to exploring more of Romania as well. It’s such a beautiful country.

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  8. Great news and congratulations to you both. Quality of life is ‘everything’. We look forward to reading more about everything really

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  9. Funny, I hadn’t followed your recent agonizing over your decision, yet when I saw your FB post I immediately thought “Romania”! Maybe it was something the seeped through in your writing about that country, because it always seemed like a place where the two of you were very happy.

    We have certainly learned ourselves in the past few years that “quality of life” involves what makes you the happiest (or in some situations the least unhappy). Once you know what those things are the rest seems to fall into place. Congratulations on finding “home”! 😀

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    • Very true, Larissa. We were quite happy there, and out of all the places we’ve been, it’s one that had really grabbed our hearts. We’ve often missed it.

      Quality of life is an individual thing for sure, and I totally agree with you. It’s so important to find out what matters most to you and to follow that.

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  10. Congrats on the decision! I really get what you are saying with the many financial limitations here, especially travel. Bravi!

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  11. Congrats on making the decision! For us, the decision was very straight forward – our kids had always considered Boise their home, even though they hadn’t lived here. When we decided to settle, it was a given that this was the place. It’s hard to narrow it down when the world truly is your oyster.

    I hope you two are deliriously happy in Romania!

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  12. Talon,
    Sorry I missed this, but it was the middle of the night in Japan.

    I think the last time I saw you at lunch I voiced my thought you would probably wind up in eastern Europe.

    I am happy for you both, as I feel assured this is where y’all are intended to be. Who knows, my son is recommending I try Romania also.

    Can’t wait to see where you and exactly and who knows? Maybe I will visit and learn about the country.

    Happy for you and Tigger both.

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    • I hope you do visit. It’s a beautiful country that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

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  13. LOVE, love, love your rationale for choosing a new long term base for You and Tigger! Be happy, and spend your time doing the things that you love. Life is too short to work like crazy just to make ends meet. Life in Australia was the same for us, the cost of living was insanely high. We’re in Ireland for the next few months and happy to provide a bed and a home cooked meal for one of those European ‘weekends away’ 🙂 Have an awesome 2015 xx

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  14. Great to see that you’ve both come to a decision that you’ll both feel comfortable with. It took me a long time to realise it, but quality of life is so important on how both our mentality and physical state is, so knowing you’ll be somewhere where both are catered for make both Franca and I really happy.

    Can’t wait to read more about your time there once you arrive.

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  15. So glad you have managed to make a decision and be happy with it all the best for your move. I am sure it will work out fine.

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  16. Congratulations guys! You must be so excited now, looking forward to hear about your new life 🙂

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  17. Congrats on the decision, Talon. Wishing you and Tigger the best. See you there (sooner or later).

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  18. Congratulations on making your decision! Making it is always the hardest part. Everyone has somewhere they were meant to be I think, even given it’s where they were born for many, and then again, sometimes we are meant to be in different places at different times in our lives. Going with your gut instinct always seems to work out best, even though you may angst about it forever beforehand. Lots of luck for a bright, new future!

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  19. Congrats on making your decision! I’m so happy for the both of you and I hope that this new adventure for you in Romania is everything you hope it will be & more. And I hope that getting out of the U.S. helps Tigger’s anxiety—believe me when I say that I know how life back in North American can really exacerbate that issue.

    Happy Holidays to the two of you & I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds in 2015!

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  20. Yay! I’m glad you have finally made a decision. it sounds like a good base. It make so much sense to me after living in LA for the last two years and realizing how insanely expensive it is that it’s so much harder for us to travel.

    I hope you stay in Romania a while, because it’s on our list 🙂

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  21. Well done making the choice! As we’ve travelled we’ve always looked for that “I could live here” feeling, and for us that has only happened a few times…and then to actually make that happen – wow an exciting brave choice to make!

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    • We’ve been doing that as well for the last 4 years. Nice to finally have it narrowed done so precisely. 😉

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  22. Very excited for you! You’re right about the US, so I hope you’ll have no problem getting a visa for Romania 🙂

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  23. Congratulations. And all the best in your new Romanian chapter.

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  24. Congrats on making a decision. I was curious what you were going to choose, and I think Romania is great. Brett and I loved it for the short time we were there on a food road trip. I hope I never have to live in the US again if I can get avoid it. The idea of going back to a conventional corp job in order to afford housing there makes me cringe. I feel blessed I can split time between Europe and Belize and still get to travel. Best of luck to you and Tigger in 2015!

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  25. Glad you found your spot. This must be a great stress release with having your answer. When is the big day for the move? We will look forward to finally meeting you guys in your new cave. All the best.

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    • Definitely glad to have the decision made. Was a huge release. Moving day will just depend on airfares and bank account. Hoping for mid to late January at the latest.

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  26. Sounds like a decision that makes a lot of sense! Have you decided on a city in Romania? I love that country so much – I’m not surprised at all that you felt very at home there.

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    • It’s going to be either Bucharest or Brasov. We REALLY loved the latter, but I would prefer being in a bigger city that has more going on. I think Bucharest would also be easier for Tigger to meet English-speaking kids. We’ll start out there. Have also considered Sighisoara, but it isn’t as good as a base for people who still want to travel.

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  27. Congratulations on making a decision, and after reading this it really sounds like you made the right one for your family. Yesterday, we were talking about possibly shifting our base back to the states, and this (plus your other posts) really remind me of many of the reasons we left. BTW- Romania is near the top of Sarah’s bucket list, so maybe we will finally meet face to face.

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  28. This is great, Talon. I’m excited to visit Romania and this also helps us with the decision making process as well. How do you feel now that you’ve made the decision? Does it feel like a weight has lifted?

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