During a trip to the Burgundy region of France last year, Bill (my husband and favorite travel partner) and I experienced an epiphany.
Although we had traveled quite a bit over the years, it was generally of the one week-to-10-days variety consistent with the demands of full-time employment and other life commitments. When it came time to return home, we were reconciled to our vacations ending.
The trip to Burgundy, however, was different. We simply weren’t ready to leave. In fact, we envisioned ourselves remaining there for quite some time. That’s when it hit us. We wanted to travel more often and stay longer — not long enough to become expats, but long enough to immerse ourselves more fully in different cultures and live like locals.
Renting apartments or houses, rather than staying in hotels. Shopping the weekly outdoor markets and preparing meals in our own kitchen. Developing daily relationships with shopkeepers, restaurateurs, cafe denizens, and our next-door neighbors. Walking routes that become as familiar as those at home. Not feeling pressured to overfill our days with sightseeing and experiences because, to paraphrase Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day away.
Having made some adjustments to our regular schedules and consulted with our financial advisors, Bill and I are now ready to embark on our new lifestyle. Extended stays, along with shorter jaunts and serendipitous stops — here we come.
I hope you’ll travel with us via our stories from the road.
In the meantime, click here to read my story on Burgundy that the Charlotte Observer published.