By Mary Gilbert
I guess it’s only natural that the idea of wanting to travel more would come during the midst of a great vacation. At least that’s how it happened for my husband, Bill, and me.
We were nearing the end of a week long visit to the Burgundy region of France last fall and we didn’t want to return home yet We had traveled quite a bit previously and, while we were sorry when those vacations ended, we generally looked forward to resuming our “normal” lives and familiar routines. This time, however, there was a profound difference.
It wasn’t just that we were going to miss Burgundy’s world- renowned pinot noirs, regional cuisine, historic villages, and picturesque countryside overflowing with lush grape vines. Rather, we felt that we could, and should, actually live here and in other enticing destinations for awhile -- long enough to become ingrained more fully in the life and lifestyle of a place than a brief vacation allows.
We decided we would experience extended stays (and more frequent trips of shorter durations) and live like locals. We would plan our daily schedules knowing that longer spans of days and more and varied opportunities awaited. As consultants, we could work virtually anywhere as long as we had access to wi-fi.
I started a blog called The Roads Traveled to chronicle our adventures and share stories from the road.
We’re currently on our first extended stay -- six weeks in the town of Glen Ellen in California’s Sonoma Valley. We live in (rent) a cottage built around 1900 and previously occupied by railroad and vineyard workers. We walk to the local market for provisions. A farmers market is a short drive away.
We’ve met our neighbors. We’ve invited friends to stay with us, and new acquaintances have invited us over. Restaurateurs know our names. We’ve seen sites and made discoveries that even some full-time residents have yet to encounter. Living like locals indeed.
Now we face a new issue….how to extend our extended stays.
When not on the road, Mary lives in Charlotte, NC. You can read Mary’s stories at: The Roads Traveled blog: http://theroadstraveled.com
Follow her on Twitter: @roadstraveler
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