Today Tanya and I head to New Zealand for 3 months, then back to Tucson for a few days, then on to Europe for 4 months. But this was not the original plan. Things change.
Our original plan was based on not knowing where we wanted to live. After Boulder, Tucson seemed too big and spread out. I’d done most of the hikes and bike rides I’d wanted to do around here and we were wondering where might be a better place to live.
We’d heard about Girona, Spain. It’s a mecca for cycling and is the base for quite a few pro cyclists. It’s a town of about 100,000, about the size of Boulder, with a very cute downtown area that has a river flowing through it. Maybe that would be a place to try living. So we thought we’d live in Girona for a year to experience it in all its seasons.
We didn’t want to start in winter so we planned to go there in May. That meant deciding where to go for the first few months of 2015 as our lease expired at the end of 2014. We toyed with South America, then gave Mexico serious consideration. We love Puerto Vallarta and thought that might be a good place to live for a few months. Or San Miguel Allende, an artistic town which has a sizable expat community, although no great outdoor opportunities.
Then a friend suggested New Zealand so we looked into that and decided to go there. Beautiful countryside, great hiking and cycling, they speak English – even if they drive on the wrong side of the road 🙂
Our friend recommended Wanaka and Nelson as being great places to visit, so we decided to spend six weeks in each town, with side excursion from our base.
The we started wondering about Girona. Did we really want to commit to a whole year there? Perhaps we should go there for 6 weeks and see if we liked it. Which meant we could go and ride mountains in France and Italy for the rest of the summer. The 6 weeks in Girona would tell us if we wanted to come back after the summer and live there for the winter.
Then I saw a magazine with photos of cycling in Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. The roads looked so seductive that we decided we’d spend two weeks in southern Spain, two weeks in Mallorca, and two weeks in Girona. Slowly a long stay in Girona was being sidelined by a desire to visit other places in Spain.
Then two weeks before leaving for New Zealand we impetuously bought a home in Tucson. Our new home has eliminated any thoughts of spending the winter in Girona. Things change.
We are now thinking about spending time next year doing the Shikoku Pilgrimage, a 1,200 km loop around the island of Shikoku in Japan, which visits 88 different temples. But things change.