Some people visit a town, city, country, or small hamlet and immediately fall in love. They have a “this is the place for me” moment and find their Shangri-La, their paradise, so to speak. We have friends in Panama that knew they’d found the town for them right away (they were/are also well traveled). Another friend in BC knew that she wanted to move to Chile, only minutes after landing. And just this past weekend we met another house sitting couple who mentioned their son’s girlfriend came to Vancouver and had the same “this is the place for me” moment.
So how DO you find your Shangri-la?
Some people spend their whole lives in the town they grew up in. That’s great from a network and community relationships perspective – something Shell and I have come to appreciate more and more after living abroad.
Some people who travel know they’re going to settle again, they just aren’t sure of when, let alone where.
Some people just travel here and there while keeping a home base – be it their home town or wherever they settled after school or where work brought them.
And some people retire and just wanted to enjoy life, have an adventure, and see some of the amazing places the big blue planet has to offer, uprooting themselves every now and again to explore something new.
That’s sort of what we did. We needed a life adventure, so we went on one. And we learned a TON about ourselves in the process – mainly our love for experiencing new and fun stuff rather than buying stuff.
But we’ve been bouncing around from home to home for almost two years now. Four months is the longest we’ve stayed stationary. Looking back, it doesn’t seem like we’ve stayed in over 20 homes and looked after over 60+ furry little friends.
We’re not empty nesters, nor are we retired. Maybe that’s part of our decision to “settle” somewhere. To be part of a community. To explore a region again. To experience more new and exciting stuff!
So what will our new lifestyle be like?
That’s easy. We’ll still live a minimalist lifestyle, meaning we’ll gladly drop $100 on a nice dinner out creating memories with friends instead of a buying a new shirt and/or pants that we really don’t need.
When we do find our new home we won’t head off to IKEA for some quick-fix furnishings, that’s for sure. Nor will we spend countless weekend hours at antique stores looking for that one amazing find that we may never…uh…find.
We also know we won’t live in the suburbs. Hey, it’s pretty cool living in the city and being right in the action. The amazing variety of shops and restaurants, the diversity, the endless fun activities. If I’m going to live in a city, I’m going to live IN the city, not on the outskirts – been there done that, thanks.
Is Vancouver our Shangri-La?
No, I don’t think so, but it’s a great city from what we’ve seen so far. And it could be an ideal home-base for a good five year period, maybe more! And what Vancouver will be is another fun adventure allowing us to explore the Pacific Northwest, maybe some trips to California, Mexico, possibly a return visit to Hawaii, heck, maybe even Japan! So watch out Seattle, we’ll be seeing you very soon too!
And if we find we’re getting antsy, we’ll do the same thing we did two years ago. We’ll sell all our stuff and…do something different!
That all being said, we will be settling in Vancouver for a while – short or long we don’t know. Meaning we will likely need to buy stuff. So this should make for some great blog material over the next few months – How does one live a minimalist lifestyle but has to furnish a home with…everything? We’ll soon see!
Now go sell all your stuff and find your Shangri-La!