I haven’t published a post in a couple of weeks now. Mostly because we’ve been busy, tearing around Romania in our vomit inducing Dacia. The car sickness has plagued Boo and I, D as always, just reads for hours in the back seat as we explore this fascinating and stunningly beautiful country. The posts on Romania will come soon.
When we’re not in the car we’ve been visiting historic sites, learning about the local culture and eating far too much wholesome Romanian food while persuading reluctant children to do a little tangible written or online work before they get their hands on the laptops. A new regime that I’m struggling to enforce, routines are the best way to ruin my day.
We’ve also been doing some deep thinking. What are we going to do next? Do we continue to travel in the backpacking style of constant relocation, our preferred method, or do we spend a few months here, a few months there. This later option really doesn’t appeal, we like to get to know a country well but not from just one spot, we’d be bored. We don’t want to rent apartments, we prefer hotel and guest house stays for many reasons, but staying put in one small hotel room for more than a week isn’t the greatest plan.
For us to settle short-medium term we need either a really vibrant and diverse base like London, or a quieter location and a good supply of our own resources. We need books, learning tools and toys, excellent wi-fi and enough computers and power adapters to go round comfortably. We can’t carry all that stuff. We get by with what we have on the road, but for any sort of prolonged stay we need more. Bikes would be good too, and safe roads to ride them on.
Any base also has to be affordable, we’re not rich, and permanent, a second investment. We have no intention of returning to full time work and mortgage repayments, that’s soul destroying. We don’t want to rent because our stuff needs a permanent home, we need to be able to lock it away and leave anytime we like, knowing it will still be there for us when we return. The travel bug and the urge to explore is still very much with us, there’s no way we’re calling it quits, but we need more down time between trips, for the kids and for me to develop my online income. It’s impossible to work full time on the websites, with kids, on the road. Sure, doing this in London would be great, but Chef would have to work himself into an early grave.
Asia is our usual preferred part of the world, but the kids need a little independence now. I’d never let them out to roam on Asian roads.
We need a base that we could possibly rent out or house swap, maybe somewhere that house sitters or volunteers would be keen to visit so that we can have an animal or three. We need somewhere interesting and enriching, somewhere that we’d learn something from and, of course, somewhere that has no visa issues or property ownership restrictions for foreigners.
We like Romania a lot, we’ve seen a few houses for sale, some under $10,000 AU, all come with lots of land and potential and a big renovation project. Chef and I renovated two houses in London and, before he met me, James helped his family build a farm in the Australian mountains. We’ve done this before and come out smiling. We’ve been through a British winter with no heating, kitchen or hot water, we managed and have happy memories of those times. We can do this.
We’ve seen a place we like a lot, we have the right people to help us and an interesting and welcoming community to belong to. We like the climate with its well defined seasons and the things that grow are familiar to me from childhood. We love that this environment is safe for the kids. We love that we’re just a short cheap flight from London or Asia, we love that this country has great shops, you’ll find the supermarket giant Carrefour here along with Ikea and H&M. Ancient and modern co-exist nicely. We love that the language would be fairly easy to learn, it’s similar to Italian and studded with words from my schoolgirl French.
I think we’re buying a house.
We’re not 100% sure yet. This project will eat all of our cash buffer that’s been sitting in the bank doing nothing since we left home two years ago. It’s better to use it and possibly grow it than let it just sit, I guess. This is a big step and I’m quietly having anxiety attacks over it, but every day it’s becoming more and more likely. Chef and the kids are more sold on this idea than I am, but I’m pretty happy to go along with it.
I just want to make it clear that this will be just a project and a base. We are not going to “settle” in Romania, we will not become “normal”, slaves to never-ending bills. But we will have a home for when we need it, a peaceful bolt hole, plus a whole heap of new experiences.
Above is our thought process. Maybe we’ve not thought of the possible negatives. Can you think of anything we should consider?