It was late summer, 1974. A friend and I were staying in a villa overlooking Florence. One afternoon, the villa’s gardener offered us a tomato. Resting on his palm was a fruit worthy of a Renaissance still life, and, ever since that moment, I’ve had the notion I’d live somewhere other than the U.S. at some point; Florence, the Lake District in England, or a town outside of Paris, perhaps. But career and family choices kept this plan out of reach, and now, I believed, it was out of my price range.
Then, by chance a lunch companion said, “Did you know you can live in Portugal for half of what it costs here?”
“I did not.”
Is this true?
It’s true. Not only for Portugal, but for parts of France, Italy, and Malaysia. For Belize. And Ecuador.
Could I make it true for me? Now that my sons are on their own, could I navigate visa regulations, foreign real estate offices and languages, solitude in a strange neighborhood? Could I write my next novel somewhere other than my Connecticut studio? Somewhere utterly new?
I could. I can. I will.
Over the next year, if all goes well, or even reasonably well, I’ll be on a journey I wouldn’t have expected even a few weeks ago. You are invited to come with me via this blog where your comments, support, and laughter will be more than welcome.