Let’s start with a vacation

Our quest for a new home will be delayed slightly because we need a vacation! So we’re doing touristy stuff in Great Britain beginning Oct. 5. The UK is not on our list of potential retirement locations, but we need to delay our entry in the Schengen Zone for a few weeks. Without a special visa, we can only stay in Spain, France and Italy for 90 days out of the next six months. It will be easier if that 90-day period begins in mid- to late-October.

So we depart for Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 4. We will visit Scotland, Wales and England to see the sites (Loch Ness, Hadrian’s Wall, Stonehenge, etc.) and to make pilgrimages to our ancestral homes. Leslie’s mother was part of the McAllister and Bloomfield families. We have identified their Northern Ireland hometown and are still looking for the original Scottish village from which they came. Mike is a descendant of John Rogers, who left his home in Laugharne, Wales, in 1635 at the age of 18 and ended up owning a plantation in Surry County, Virginia. We both have¬†many Irish ancestors, too. We expect to visit that lovely island in the spring of 2017.

Once the vacation is done, we plan to take a train from London to Paris, then on to southern Spain to start the first phase of our vagabond existence. This is the scouting mission. At least a month in Spain and a month in France, and probably a month in southern Italy. If we find a great place, we’ll head back to the States and apply for the visa that will allow us to stay in our new home for a year or more. If the search doesn’t turn up a perfect retirement spot, we’ll move on to other countries. The scouting mission could last a year or more. We don’t want to rush this thing!

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