08 November 2020

World Wandering - Time for Plan B

HOME - right now - is a boat on a canal in the south of France. 

Maggie May.

25 tons. 15 meters long. Just over 4 meters wide. 

3 cabins, 3 bathrooms. Generous galley. 
Bright, light. Beautiful woodwork. Comfortable. 

An aft deck that has been home to many good evenings with friends. 

Boat Gang evening!

But - she really wasn't supposed to be a full-time residence. 

In New Mexico, we lived in a wonderful old "adobe hacienda" for 20 years. 

It was over a hundred years old. 

Last year, we sold it. 

Sold or gave away everything inside: 
Antiques from the 1700s, treasures gathered from around the world, old Spanish hand-carved furniture, hand-knotted rugs, art, silver, first-edition books, original paintings, carvings, crystal glassware, pre-Columbian pottery, art guitars, tools, garden sculptures, bicycles, cars, motorcycles - everything. 

We even gave the cat to the neighbors. (I think she was relieved.)

The goal was - Simplicity. Flexibility. 

To be able to take off. 
Hit the road when the mood strikes. 

Travel the world.

I had this idea of living a "one-key" life. 

We did it! 
One boat key. 
That's it.

The idea was - a "lock up and leave" base in Europe. 
 No yard. No utilities. No property taxes.

Few obligations. Few responsibilities. 

We talked about  getting down to a "passport and a credit card".
That was the ideal. 
(Okay, that's a bit extreme, but - you get the idea.) 

We wanted the freedom to move easily.

Son Mikey's "Itchy Feet" comic

I love to travel.  
It keeps life exciting - solving puzzles.

Figuring out where to buy food. Where to stay. 
How to get around. 

Or even where to take out the trash. 

Mysteries of trying to speak the language.
Connecting with people who don't think like I do.

It's a challenge.

Each episode is a small adventure in feeling fully alive. 

Cow intestines, Stan?

So now - Maggie May is our base in Europe. 
Just as planned. 

So far, so good.

Then - along came a virus. 

Suddenly, travel stopped completely. 

We went into lockdown in France in March. 
Documentation was required to leave the boat.

Borders closed. 
Even regional travel not allowed. 

Plan A - totally derailed. 


Yes, things opened up over summer. 
But ah, the cost of being too social! 

 Boat Gang - and our favorite local wine distributor! 

Now France is back in lockdown again. 
Along with a half dozen other European countries. 

It doesn't feel like this will be the last time, either.  

It's not over. 

I'm glad to have made the most of travel while it was possible!
- to maybe - over a hundred countries. 

You never know what the future will bring.
No guarantees. 

But - the world is changing.

Travel has become more complicated.
Less appealing.

It looks like - it's time for Plan B. 

I have no idea what that looks like. 
It's an interesting situation to be in.
(We're already very fortunate with our situation - compared to many.)

But - what did I say about wanting to stay flexible?

So - we'll see. 

Who knows? A change may be just around the corner....

Meanwhile, it's a beautiful November in the south of France.

Even if it's VERY quiet out there.


  1. We are in Munich, my wife took a job here 6 years ago. Disappointed to not be able to travel since Feb, 20. Looks like we may be easing out of the lock down. And we have to move to another apartment. I have to go back in Sept. and straighten out our house affairs and bring our daughter over. Meanwhile we are starting the process of looking into a barge such as yours. Keep your chin up. Get your jabs and keep on rolling.

  2. Life in teh unknown. We all thought it was so simple. If you are interested in selling your barge in a while. Please keep me in mind. Best of luck which ever way you go.

    1. Hi Ralph - keep in touch. (I saw that you contacted Stan) We haven't thought about selling, (yet) but if I look at other "boat people" it seems that a lot of them decide to sell their boats after they buy a house. Who knows? It's a great lifestyle -

  3. Will do. We are, hopefully, selling our house. We are exploring the pilot's license requirements. The German written test looks scarry.
    Was also hoping for a response from a couple we met from AZ that put us on to this. Take care.