After 2 years of non-stop around the world (RTW) travel, deciding on where to resettle after the trip has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make. And it seems like we aren’t alone, as most people that travel long-term face this same dilemma. The longer you travel the more you realize that you can truly live anywhere in the world and this makes the decision on where to resettle even harder.
Before leaving Portland, Oregon on November 1, 2012 to start our RTW trip, we were dreaming of resettling on a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific. Our plan was to come up with some kind of business catering to tourists and enjoy the good life. But after spending our first year in Europe, we decided that we really needed to be surrounded by more culture. After spending 6 months in the sweltering heat and humidity of SE Asia, we decided that we needed 4 seasons. Tropical islands are nice to visit, but we couldn’t live on one full time.
We considered Europe, but a work visa would be out of the question without a corporate sponsor and job offer. We do not have an income coming in that would allow us to get a residency visa. We are considering retiring in the South of France, but that is later on. For now, Europe is out of the equation.
SE Asia would be an option, if it weren’t so hot and humid. We also got a little tired of being looked at like walking wallets and the two tier pricing system. SE Asia is nice to visit, but we couldn’t live there.
New Zealand would happily take us, as we have skills that are in high demand. I even went as far as going through 3 interviews for a government job in New Zealand, but in the end we decided that New Zealand wasn’t for us. It’s a beautiful country and the people are very friendly. The problem is that we would spend all of our free time and money visiting family in the US. And with the really high cost of living in New Zealand, it would be years before we would be able to afford a house, if at all.
A few months ago we decided to prioritize what we wanted in a new home and this is what we came up with:
- Someplace new and different to explore
- Family friendly
- Easy access to family/friends
- Easy access to Europe
- Affordable housing
- Four seasons
- Bicycle and pedestrian friendly
- Good schools
- Culture: Museums, art galleries, theater, etc.
- Easy access to hiking, skiing, camping, and other outdoor activities
- Near a large body of water for sailing and kayaking
- Near horse riding
- Easy to get residency and work visas.
We are planning on two business start-ups once we resettle and those requirements are:
- Tourist destination
- Good real estate market
- Not a lot of competition
Now that we had our list, we just had to find the location that matched our criteria. We had been focusing so much on looking outside the US that we decided to broaden our scope and look at the US as well. There was only one area in the US that met our criteria and was a place that we could see ourselves living. We began our research and narrowed our choices down to only a couple of cities in that area. After further research we narrowed it down to just one city.
We had so wanted to become expats and live outside the US, even for just a few years. But the more we discussed it, the more we realized that our dreams are not to live in a different country. Our real dream is to keep traveling and to continue having adventures. There is still so much of the world to see and we want to see it.
Besides coming up with a list of criteria on where to resettle, we have also been coming up with a list of future adventures. Our future adventures include:
- Bicycling across England along the canals
- Trekking in New Zealand
- Drive the Americas (Alaska to southern tip of South America)
- Drive Africa (Cape Town to Northern Africa)
The big question was how could we do these things? The simple answer was that we needed to find a way to earn an income while traveling. Easier said than done, but one of our business ideas would do just this after we get it established. So once we get our business established, we can continue traveling. And the easiest place for Americans to start a business would be in America, so that is where we have chosen to make our new home.
So where in America did we decide to resettle after 2 years of around the world travel? A place that would give us what we want in a new home. A place where our business start-ups will hopefully do well and fund future travels and adventures. It was a long search, but we have chosen Portland, Maine as our new home! We have never been to New England, but it meets all of our criteria and we plan to give it a try.
Over the past 2 years we have learned that long-term travel is amazing, but it can be tiring. Even long-term travelers need a vacation. The place that long-term travelers go for a vacation is called home.
Portland, Maine will become our home city where we can grow roots, make friends, become part of the community, and hopefully be successful in business. Once we can earn an income without having to be in Portland, we can go where we want, when we want. We can explore the world once again and see more of it’s wonders. And when we are not traveling and exploring, we will come back to Portland. Our new home.
We will be flying into Portland, Oregon on January 12 completing our circumnavigation of the globe. At that time our mission is to find a comfortable used vehicle worthy of a cross-country road trip in the middle of winter. That’s right, we are driving from Portland to Portland and this will be our next adventure…