It was time to think outside the box. I had been focusing too much on traveling by boat and had finally come to the conclusion that by traveling by boat, you become a slave to that boat. Everything in your life revolves around maintaining the boat. The main focus of our trip should be on the experience of travel. Experiencing new countries, new cultures, new foods, and not trying to find new boat parts. I would rather spend my free time inside a museum rather than inside the workings of a marine toilet.
The simplest form of travel is to just go somewhere. So, maybe we should just move a new country for a year or two and use that as a home base to explore the neighboring countries. This would let us fully immerse into the new culture and give us plenty of time to explore. But which country should we move to?
France was still fresh in my mind after looking into living on a barge. It offered plenty of culture, museums, historical sites, excellent skiing, and really good food and wine. It was also centrally located in Western Europe and would be an excellent location in which to visit the other European countries. The only downside was trying to convince France to give us a titre de sejour residency permit, which would allow us to live in France as a resident, or apply for a carte de sejour temporaire temporary one year residency permit. The application process looked long and difficult and then you would be at the mercy of the French government to grant you the permit. Once granted, you would need to pay French taxes for any income you earn, even if it is just interest in a US savings account.
Spain was also a good option as it offered warmer weather and cheaper prices. But from researching Spain, homeschooling was actually considered illegal (grey area) and parents have actually been placed in jail for it. Having Sydney attend a public or private school would not let us explore the museums, historical sites, and other countries that we hoped to do as a family.
The other European countries offered much the same. Long application processes and lots of rules and regulations, all of which were in a foreign language. This could cause problems if we misread something. It would be worth it if we were trying to permanently relocate to a new country, or planning to retire there. But it seemed like a lot of trouble for just a year or two. It was then that I saw the light and figured out the best way for us to travel the world. It was so simple that I wondered why I had not thought of it before. We could become permanent tourists!
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