2018... So What Now?
A few months ago we made the decision that we were going to leave the US for a while and focus on traveling in other parts of the world. Our post at the time explained how we came to that decision. Since then we have been trying to work out what comes next. We have checked out various cities so we could get to know them better before commiting to a year-long stay. Spain and Mexico are still the countries at the top of our list for that kind of experience. But after staying in one place for five months last year we came to the realization that no matter how much we liked that place, and we really did like Valencia, we are not ready to sit still just yet. We miss the excitement and challenge of moving around from place to place on a more frequent basis.
Once the light bulb had come on that moving regularly was our preferred travel style our thoughts turned to where and how. We've enjoyed staying in short term rentals throughout our travels in Asia, Europe and Mexico and we have found really great properties that are well within our budget in each destination. But we miss having a place of our own. Even though the Airstream is small, it is perfectly optimized for us. We have everything we want and nothing that we don't. That isn't quite the same with AirBnBs and through all our discussions we realized that we miss having a "home". During our moments of great wisdom, aka between bottle of wine #1 and bottle of wine #2, we mused that the ideal solution would be to have the Airstream with us in Europe... and so our plans began to take shape.
Actually - we are not going to bring the Airstream over the ocean. For all sorts of reasons that is not practical or desirable. But that doesn't mean we can't have an RV in Europe. So our big plan for 2018 is to buy a European motorhome and start roaming around again. Iain and I have spent more than 30 years of our lives in Europe and have traveled extensively both for work and vacations. But this gives us a chance to truly explore all the nooks and crannies of the continent and scratch below the surface of countries that we have only whistled through in the past.
So why a motorhome and not an Airstream? Well we did actually consider an Airstream. Our passion for these beautiful travel icons is not diminished and there are some super sexy models available in Europe. However, towing is a whole different ball game compared to the US. Caravans are popular in the UK and a few other European countries but for most Europeans motorhomes are much more common. Some of the better parking opportunities are only available to motorhomes, the roads are narrower, and many of the campgrounds are just too tight for a truck and trailer. Another tick in the motorhome box is that many of the European models are really pretty sweet. The old-fashioned decor that put us off a lot of American models is mostly absent in the newer European rigs we've been considering.
Now the decision has been made we have to get on with the practical stuff. We rang in the new year with fireworks and friends in Mexico City, and we still have a couple more weeks in Mexico checking out some other cities that are targets for future travels or extended stays. Then in mid February we'll fly back to California and pick up the Airstream and get it listed for sale. We have to decide what comes with us to Europe and what gets donated or sold. We've been through this before on a much grander scale so it's not a daunting task. We are not sentimental about things and will be happy that some lucky person gets to have their own adventures in the shiny, tiny home that we have loved. Once it's sold we'll be jumping back on a plane to Europe to start shopping for motorhomes. Watch this space because after a few more Mexico related posts we'll start sharing our experience of the steep-learning curve of European touring that we are embarking on next. We can't wait to get started on the next stage of our traveling adventures.