Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looking for silver linings...Can we talk?

Dear friends....

I am looking for the silver linings in life....can we talk?

Background:
Some of you know that we are expats, living in England and about to move to Vietnam in a few months time. One of these days, I plan to write an 'About Me' page for my blog to explain it all. Life is crazy in Expat land at the moment. I need to talk, I need to vent... I need... not sure what to say next, except this...

Our move...
As of last week, Mr. H is officially working from Vietnam whilst I hold down the fort in England. Paperwork is flying around me like dust in a ferocious wind storm...no, make that a tornado. I have been here before. In 2009, I did the same for a year. We stayed in Auckland, New Zealand and Mr. H moved onto London. It was a challenging year... it was the year I started this blog. :)

I look for a silver lining in everything in life. I now look at the empty closets in our room and see more closet space. I am still trying to think of another...this one is tough.

Now that Mr. H is gone, in order to stay in England for the next few months, we have to leave the country. Go figure. It all has to do with more paperwork, immigration, Embassies and the like. The silver lining...we will be spending a week in NYC in two weeks time.

Our official move date from London...July 14 and counting.

Hold that thought....
In addition to the paperwork surrounding the move, we had confirmation recently that a lovely family will be purchasing our home in New Zealand, tomorrow. Choke...it was my lovely home. Can I have a tantrum now? Some may remember my post about our home in New Zealand....here



I am in the midst of bundling all the paperwork associated with the house to send onto the new owners in New Zealand. This is the last day that we will own a cherished family home ... sigh...

The silver lining....my daughter, Miss Tine, will return to New Zealand in July to finish University. Vietnam is closer to New Zealand than England...I plan to visit a lot. :)

Speaking of children....


Drawn by Miss Claire...many years ago...

My son, Patrick, is with the Australian Army, living in Darwin for the next year or so. I will be much closer to him from Vietnam and I intend to visit frequently. He called recently with what he considered to be great news....he may be deployed to Afghanistan in 2013....choke. I am still working on the silver lining to this news...

Some may recall, that my younger daughter, Miss Claire, is off to start her University years in the USA come August... Pennsylvania to be exact.  Child number three leaves the nest... I will miss her dearly. The silver lining...I will be able to spend more time in the USA, college life here I come!

I received news this morning that my son, Connor, was accepted into an International school in Ho Chi Minh. The school he attends in England is wonderful, he has flourished. The silver lining... he has been in a single sex school since Kindergarten. I have been waving the co-education flag for years.... I won.

Where will we settle? 
Mr. H and I are asked this question all the time. We ask it of each other, we ask it of ourselves. Where will we spend our time when the deed is done? We have a home waiting for us in Sydney, Australia.  Our plan is to go back...for part of the year.

A view from our balcony.

With the house now sold in New Zealand, we will turn to the USA to buy property. We are divided on where we will spend our days once we get off the Expat Express. It may be a combination of USA and Australia, in may be in just one country... it is still up for discussion. If you live the expat life yourself, this will all sound very familiar. I have learned not to think to far into the future, with Mr. H, one can't...adventure seems to always call.

We have agreed on one thing, we will buy property in New England, our home patch. Only problem...it reaches far and wide. He is thinking Maine...my heart is in Massachusetts...but then again, I  love Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island.



A summers view in Massachusetts...
Paintings by my mother


Silver lining...I will now start looking for a property... a home away from home or perhaps the ultimate home for  Mr. and Mrs. H. I will eventually share the property search with you. Care to join in on the hunt?

All suggestions welcome...

Let's  talk....Are you settled? Do you see another move in your future? If so, where would you like to live? Are you already there? Do you have any thoughts on locations we should consider on the East Coast? I am all eyes... at the moment it is like picking a needle out of a haystack.


Well thank you kindly, I do declare, I feel much better now. 

Nothing like getting it out in the open. :)

Your the best!!


Jeanne xx

78 comments:

  1. Oh Jeanne, I so understand where you are coming from ... I too live the exact same life ... and have come to a cross road. We are waiting for our eldest to finish her A levels and she is adamant she wants to return to Australia to study at university there. My husbands work wants him to stay in the UK ... I want to stay here ... he wants to go home (Aus)... my other two girls are indifferent... but I know it will be hard for them to move again!
    You are so right about the heartaches of expat living!

    Hang in there hon ... things always turn out right in the end. I feel for you, with your children scattered all over the world ... this is how I envision life will be like for me ... and I'm sure your heart is tearing.

    Good luck with the house hunting ... life is definitely meant to be lived ... and you are definitely doing that ... enjoy it (with all that comes with it)!
    xx

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    1. Thank you Marina...it is nice to know that I am not along on this front. There are many joys in this lifestyle...but somedays...grrr.. Here's to the women who hold it together and make it happen!! :)

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  2. Jeanne... Oh, do come to Maine! Go to DownEast magazine and check out the gorgeous coastal properties.
    We're not far from Massachusetts ! Can't wait to hear all of the options and how they unfold. xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Deb! That is a great start. It has been a while since I picked up DownEast magazine. Off to google now! xx

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  3. Hello Jeanne

    What a very exciting time for you. We have moved about six times in our married life. All were good decisions with the exception of one. We purchased "the model home" in a tourist town. I fell in love with the home and was blinded to the surroundings. The town was spectacular for weekends but during the week it died. It lacked culture, everyone was new to the town and it did not have a heart. Two years later we sold and I was and am the happiest person to be away - My lesson, never fall in love with a house, if new to the area, rent for a year and get "the feel" for the place. Does it have culture or it is imported? It is always possible to find a house when one has money in their pocket.

    I am wishing you luck in your search

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen...these are very wise words indeed, I thank you! Having grown up in a 'tourist' area, I know exactly what you are saying. When winter hits...it can be ghost town. The locals love it...peace again, but if you live for the hustle and bustle, it can be a let down. I am glad you reminded me of what it is like, it has been some time since we experienced it. Thank so much for your comment. :)

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  4. Oh my, Jeanne. I don't know how you do it. I think I have a lot on my plate right now, but it is nothing compared to you. I'm glad that you are able to see the silver lining in all of it - such a precious gift. New York City - I'm so jealous:-) I so want to go. I can't wait to see it through your eyes.

    Unfortunately I haven't visited New England - it's on the top of my list - but I already see you in a Baby Boom style house:-)

    Well now to why I dropped by....

    Today was my lucky day - I received your postcard! Beautiful as always - and you are quite right. The possibilities of that scene. I see a Daisy Miller type with a white umbrella looking for trouble far from home:-)

    Thank you so much Jeanne. Again, I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do:-)

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    1. Carina...you know I will send you a postcard from anywhere to anywhere... My sister said the same thing about Baby Boom...we need to get you onto Facebook so you can join in on the chat!! :)

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  5. Oh Jeanne, what a dilemma! And how difficult having children spread far and wide. I really feel for you. Let me offer some silver linings, if they'll help:

    You have what sounds like 4 beautiful children; independent, intelligent, ambitious, worldly, socially aware. I imagine there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you have raised such lovely kids. Some of us are unable to have children and we bear our own quiet sorrow, every day of our lives. I always wished for 4 children. You sound like a great mother. With a family to be proud of. Silver lining there my friend.

    You travel to places the rest of us wished we could see. (I went to Tahiti for my honeymoon but could only afford Moorea - not Bora Bora like you and Mr H!) Enjoy the adventure while you can. There are lots of silver linings in all those destinations you've yet to see.

    New England is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Maine is extraordinary in Fall. And then there's Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Boston... (Back Bay is apparently gorgeous, full of atmosphere and architecture.) The idea of living in New England would be more than a silver lining for us; it would be a gold one!

    And then there is Mr H. A man who's obviously adored. Some people spend their whole lives waiting for The One. And here you are, with a man that seems to tick more boxes than the delivery guy will when he arrives to pick up your possessions!

    I think that's a Platinum Lining that one.

    Janelle xx

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    1. Many thanks Janelle...my children and Mr. H will be grinning from ear to ear after reading your very kind words. Just love blog talking...we learn so much about and from each other. :)xx

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  6. Do you remember that night, the one way back when you prayed hard for Change in your life...because I know you did...well here it is! And if you peel back the layers of all the chaos, I know you will find this IS what you prayed for. We can't know the how of how things will play out...but we do always know the WHY.
    Stop resisting...relax and let it all flow over you. It's like going out in the wind, so much softer to let the gusts blow over you with your arms and heart wide open, than pulling that coat tight around your body and bending hard, eyes closed.
    Yes...lots to do, lots to let go of and lots to think about...but it is all good.
    Oh yes and...been there, done that...

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    1. Well Jacqueline, I can't beat that...especially as you have been there, done that...and I know, you know! I hear the voice of wisdom and of course I am sitting here thinking...did I say that? which post was that?...Your good!! ;)

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  7. You live such an amazing and full and interesting life. I can only imagine how difficult it must be at times - to handle all that paperwork, to be so many miles away from your loved ones, to establish a home in a new place... You're amazing. Truly. I love that you have a piece of your heart in New England, which of course is my own home. I am not from here, but the first time I flew back from being away, I knew this was home. Maine is spectacular - the beaches, the mountains, and still doesn't have to be too far away from Boston. (I'd imagine being near an international airport will still be desirable.) Or New Hampshire, where you can drive easily to Mass, Maine, and Vermont. Oh it's all so beautiful - I'm sure you'll find the place for you. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you Mary....nice to you appreciate the connection to New England as well. You are so right, a major airport within an hours drive is essential. Once you put this into the equation, it starts to narrow down very quickly. :) Many thanks!!

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  8. Oh Jeanne... there is too much to discuss... we need to chat... I hear all of those things that you are saying and not saying.... The confusion is the hardest part of being an expat... the 'where do I belong' bit... the 'where do I want to belong bit'... and just when we think we do... Our children leave and move somewhere totally different... As exciting as an expat life is it is not without tears... Thinking of you... My turn for lunch...xv

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    1. Vicki.. we are two peas in a pod...the toughest part sometimes, is keeping the pod together! Try as we might...when they are ready to go...they are ready to go. Lunch...absolutely! xx

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  9. Like everyone who posted, I do feel for the whirlwind of emotions that accompanies each move. My kids tell me they have no sense of "home" other than the four of us being together. Well, college will change that.

    In the meantime, the South is where I am originally from but I never fit down here with my very open-mindedness. My kids are the same and have NOT adjusted to southern culture terribly well.

    Also in the meantime, my husband is coming home talking about a new project in Brazil and another in Scotland. And...then there is the project in Angora!!

    Keep leaning on all of us out here and we'll see you through. Often, for me, just having people to 'vent' to or talk things through with puts things into perspective for awhile!

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    1. Sarah, I here you...and I think moving from one part of America to another can be just as challenging. Rewarding in so many ways but it is easy to feel a bit displaced and lost at times. Brazil, Scotland, Angora...sounds like me six months ago.. Costa Rica, Switzerland, Vietnam. I find when the kids head off to college that it does make a difference...the independence of moving as a child makes the transition to college easier. You just have to keep that sense of 'home' going wherever you are. It helps to keep you ground you as well. Thank you for commenting, it is very much appreciated. Your right...if we can talk it thu with others...it really does help to put it into perspective. Let's do this again, soon! xx

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  10. I am not much of a help, living a settled life. But all your options sound like good options. Vermont, Maine, ...

    One crucial question if we were to move would be: how close are cultural institutions such as theatres, museums etc. Mr Paula does not feel ready to turn his back to those advantages our city has to offer.

    I would choose my next home in an area where I could jog straight from the house, without having to worry that the polluted air would be a hazard to my health.

    Where would the adventorous men be without the women behind.

    xo
    Paula

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    1. Paula..you are so right, what would these adventurous women be without the women behind them! I agree with you on staying close to cultural institutions. Community is so important too, especially for those of us who lead this sort of lifestyle. So many great suggestions from this post. I really appreciate your thoughts on this one.. ;)xx

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  11. Jeanne,

    You are so right, there is a silver lining to everything. The great news is that you will be closer to most of your children and that you will have the ability to travel!

    The pain of packing and moving and all of the uncertainty, is nerve racking somedays. I have moved so much sometimes it seems like I have no "home" In the last 13 years I have moved 4 times and am getting ready for another move, where, has yet to be decided. The last move I lived like you without my husband for 7 months and I hated it, of course I missed my husband but also because I lived alone with no family and only 2 friends. It was incredibly lonely.

    But as you mentioned there were many silver linings and for that I am grateful.

    You Jeanne are an incredibly loving mother and your children and husband are so blessed to have you there to make a home wherever you land. Your encouragement and pride in their accomplishements is what every child dreams of.

    I am sure that as you move on to Vietnam and then ponder thoughts of another home in the states as well as visiting your children time will fly!

    I hope that you have a fabulous time in New York! I am sure that there are numerous things to take in while there.

    You are loved here in blog land and we are all here to lend an ear, or a shoulder when life seems to get to be too much.

    Take care of yourself and do not let the paperwork overwhelm you. Hold down your fort and continue to do the best you can do and always look for the silver lining, sometimes it does not seem like there is one but I am sure there is.

    Hugs, Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth..I always enjoy your words of encouragement and your very kinds thoughts. You are getting ready for another move?? It seems to me that you just got settled...hmmmm....this is sounding very familiar. I can see why we enjoy writing to each other. Very best wishes to you and safe travels... :)x

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  12. Crikey Jeanne I don't know how you manage all this juggling...other than the fact that you have travelled to some great places, how on earth have you managed to raise such wonderful children. Hats off to you 'girl' you are a champion.

    With your experience I know that you will make the right decision with everything, and the best 'silver lining' is how close you will be to your children here in NZ and in Australia.

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    1. Crickey is right Angela! You are right, the proximity to Australia and New Zealand is a huge bonus...perhaps we can finally meet when I am next in Auckland.. :)xx

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    2. It would be fantastic to meet up with you when you are next in Auckland. xx

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  13. I would love to see the world like you are getting to but, at the same time, I know I would hate each and every move. I tend to get accustomed to places ...

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    1. Loree....I have a theory on that as well. Give me two years and I can move. One day more and I start to set down roots. We lived in New Zealand for four years and in Australia for 12 between two postings. We are just coming over two years in England...and the ground is feeling a bit shaky, the roots are starting to spread. I hope we come back one day. :)xx

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  14. Saw your Dickens
    comment at Elizabeth's
    and popped on over.

    Wow, you have had
    SOME adventures, no?

    We moved quite a bit
    the first 15 years we
    were married, but have
    been in the same place
    now for 10 years. I grew
    up moving with my dad's
    job, so I get antsy, most
    especially in the spring,
    when we would usually
    find out about the next one.

    I met one of my dearest
    friends when we lived in
    Indiana. She and her hubby
    moved back to Auckland,
    their native country and I
    have visited, once.

    My aunt and uncle were
    transferred to London for
    five years and I hope to visit,
    this summer....

    Sorry for the ramble.
    Exciting times for you and
    YES, silver linings!!!

    xx Suzanne

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    1. Thank you Suzanne for stopping by. I know the feeling...getting 'antzy' for another move. For me, it is five years. Once the travelling bug sets in it is hard to let go. I hope you get to visit London this summer..it will be the absolute best time to visit with the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics. Once in a lifetime! :)xx

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  15. I feel for you, Jeanne. It isn't easy to juggle this many balls. I admire you for how you've found silver linings in challenging situations. I know, from living in Hawaii, many Aussies have homes in Hawaii. (Since seasons are reversed they leverage by renting out.) We've lived somewhat like gypsies, so know what you mean about putting down roots. The deal hub and I struck was, since I followed, I get to choose where. That's going to be Louisiana. Call in your chips, hon!

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    1. Kittie..I like your way of thinking. It is true..since we follow, we should choose where. I am working on that one...slowly but surely. Louisiana sounds perfect for you. :) xx

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  16. Oh dear....it's all too frantic and up in the air, but you'll ride the wave and the fog will lift.

    In the meantime, I'll have a pot of tea or a glass of wine ready for you. I can be a good anchor and organizer. Will keep my eyes peeled for interesting properties (I have access to Vermont and N.H. listings)and know that wherever you land in New England, you'll have lots of friends and family surrounding you.

    Big hugs xxo

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    1. Lisa..I know I can count on you! Pot of tea...glass of wine...properties in Vermont...N.H... this is all music to my ears... :)xx

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  17. My dear, you really must meet Heather at http://wattsfamilybythesea.blogspot.com/

    The two of you have much in common. (I've told her the same thing.)

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    1. Many thanks Rebecca...I will be sure to stop in and say hello. :)xx

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  18. Ah dear Jeanne, as long as you blog, you'll never need a Therapist 's couch, the free advice given so far by your wise & worldly fans is gold! I think you are adventurous enough to live the motto 'Have passport, will travel'. If you have to get on a plane to go see the kids & Mr.H, then just do it. For the first time in my life I'm stuck in the same old rut doing a job I hate, with not a glimmer of excitement on the horizon. My issue is I've always been the primary income earner, so the pressure is immense. I need to ask for the Change you did before I lose the plot entirely. Keep these 'out loud' thoughts coming, no point in keeping them bottled up.

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    1. So true Millie, I feel pretty lucky just in the responses here. All great advice. Sounds like you need a big change Millie...beware MOTH..it is coming! :)xx

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  19. Wow, so many moves, so many family spread around the world, so many travels for all of you! Stay strong and focussed Jeanne.

    Today we put in an offer on a new home for ourselves here in Portland Oregon. How exciting! I cannot wait for our containers to arrive in 5 weeks and to be unpacking all our things into our new home.

    Who knows where we will go next, if we will go anywhere else. I'd like my chidlren to continue with one education system - so far Dutch, British and now US. - until graduation. Maybe we are here for life, or back to Europe again? One year ago we thought we'd be living a life in Singapore. What a difference a year makes.

    Looking forward to your stories these coming months.

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    1. Victoria...I am so so excited for you. Congratulations on your move. It is so exciting when you first settle into a new place. I am really interested to read what you think of it all. The USA will be a big change from the Netherlands. You are settling into a beautiful spot. I have been there briefly but loved what I saw. Good Luck :)xx

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  20. Hi Jeanne.. great post.. I say you'll know where to when the times right.. and what's permanent in this life anyway.. its wonderful to be a nomad.. always experiencing life's challenges.. as my mother said.. 'settle down.. not good always to be that rolling stone.. it gathers no moss.. but I say.. 'who wants to be a moss gatherer?.. keep rolling!
    Ps.. your daughter and I share the same b'day.. and you/I share adore the same perfume.. Shalimar and #5.. aah, le classicas - :D Jean

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    1. Thanks so much Jean...why am I not surprised that we share the same interest in so many things? I like your mother's thinking...wise woman! I am enjoying your posts...you have inspired me for the move to Vietnam. To that I send a very big thank you. :)xx

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  21. Vancouver Island is lovely!
    We often talk about where we'd like to retire...do we stay here in our beautiful home or do we move? So many choices!

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    1. Carole, based on the artwork you are producing on Vancouver Island...I would say you have found the perfect spot!! :) xx

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  22. Dear Jeanne:

    Trust me (please don't) when I say that I am still figuring out things. Being young and inexperienced in this sort of a thing, I am completely at a loss for words. We, as a couple are also experiencing some things in your fashion. We are wondering about a permanent job and where should it be and etc. etc.

    But whatever you decide will be from your gut, I know.

    All the best with everything. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan...so nice to hear from you again. I remember those days, just married, planning our future...it sounds like you are in the same place. Have faith, I know that you always do..my thoughts and prayers are with you both as well Susan.. :)xx
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  23. Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
    Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
    xoxo

    http://nikandpic.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Nik...you are very kind to say so. You are a very talented artist yourself! :)xx

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  24. Jeanne what a moving post. I would so love to just pick up the phone and 'talk.' I've never wanted to be settled but Frenchmen aren't good at pulling up roots so have been here17 years… Would move back to Aussie or NZ at the drop of a hat. But no where else until 'other matters' are settled here. I so admire you and think the life you've given your kids is amazing, in spite of the many sacrifices you must've made and keep making. The silver lining is always there. We make our own silver linings anyway don't we ;-) Thank goodness you blog. I may just have more chance of meeting up with you one day too - it's a small planet :)
    Much love and I'm around for a chat whenever you like, where ever you are
    `xxx
    PS - My brother was sent to the Gulf war just after he was accepted into the Australian Navy. He's just left the Navy and started his own business, 21 years later… Keep taking deep breaths and all will be well.

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    1. Ange..thanks so much, if ever there was a woman of the travelling kind..you are it. It must be a Virgo thing.. :) I have a feeling that we are destined to meet one day and I also think it is going to be in a place we never imagined. I look forward to it! :)xx
      PS..my son would like to make a career of it as well....time will tell...

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  25. Your postcard arrived today...from Marrakech! Just gorgeous...what is that hiding behind the green door? Thank you!

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    1. I'm so glad Jacqueline...they are finally hitting post boxes around the globe..I just love hearing when one has arrived. There are quite a few in circulation!! :) xx

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  26. i would suggest n. ga. but i see its not on your list. we are where we will stay that is if the house does't fall down on us . we have lived here 11 years and hubby has worked on it all that time . it has been in his family for 5 generations and we would like to keep it standing the rest of our life. we are 70

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    1. GH...I have never been to Georgia...I hear wonderful things about it all the time. You have me very tempted! You are so lucky to have a home....five generations long, truly special and for sure, one to never let go of. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)xx

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  27. Well Jeanne, you take my breath away, but that isn't new. You cope with your family being all over the globe as if they were just down the road, and we can sense the strong family bonds that have been built between you all wherever you are geographically.
    When I first started reading your blog, remember? :), I kept on saying to myself "how come she has all her family photos and so many personal mementos with her even though she has come half way around the world?" That is your strength, you know how to re-create your home, a real home, no matter where you actually live, and that is surely what you passed on to your children.
    I remember your post about your home in NZ, I can feel the pull at your heart strings, and I also remember another post where you said that it was difficult to wish your mother 'happy mother's day' because first you had to find her! Your nomad spirit is a family affair and a family gift, believe me not everyone could do it like you do!
    Lastly - so sorry this is such a long comment - there is a silver lining you didn't mention: all the amazing stuff you'll be sharing with us from Vietnam, your blog will be most exotic and amazing one around.
    keep going as you are! love to you
    Sharon
    xx

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    1. Sharon...as always, you are so very kind and I have to admit, I grabbed a tissue half way through your very thoughtful comment. Yes...I remember when we all got started, so many of you have commented on this post. We are all still in touch, two years on, and for that I am truly grateful. I often forget what has come before me...all those posts ago. Creating this one, reminded me of the journey along the way with the various links here and there. I nearly got my whole family in this one. As for my mother, yes, I hadn't thought of it that way...(nomad)..I guess the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree, at least that is what Mr. H always says. :) Just thinking, given the French influence in Vietnam...I think it calls for a trip.. for you.. to Vietnam one day. I can see your post now... 'My French Country Home...Travels to Vietnam'... I like it!! You know where to find me... ;) Thanks so much Sharon for stopping by and offering your encouraging workds.. so very much appreciated :) xx

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  28. I have found that thinking about change is often more difficult than experiencing it. Consider yourself lucky to have such opportunity as it will provide you much adventure which is what keeps life exciting. This time in between is the hard part, both for you and Mr. H, but time has a way of passing quicker than we expect and July will be here before you know it.
    Vietnam sounds like quite an adventure to me, and I can just imagine your posts taking on a singsong tone reflecting the sounds you will hear. I had hoped to visit this year, but the trip had to be postponed until 2013. How would you like to have a blog friend show up on your doorstep, camera in hand?
    As for what happens next, you might guess that I push for Maine. I have never been happier than I am when I'm there. If you need to visit the midcoast, come on, I'll have a bed for you.
    No matter what your challenges, your glass is more than half full....kids settling in happily, a new adventure to look forward to, property that has sold, people who look forward to following you around the globe. The way I see it, you have much going for you, and I look forward to sharing. Hugs

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    1. Linda, I have been thinking about your lovely comment all day....I love the thought of a singsong tone to my future posts from Vietnam. I wonder what I will hear? :) I would absolutely welcome you with open arms if you were to visit Vietnam. I hope you will! I have come across what looks to be a very promising company that creates tailor made tours of Vietnam...and they have one for photo enthusiasts like us. Thank so much for your very kind words...:)xx

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    2. You must share with me if you find a tour company that you like. We are still in the planning stage.

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  29. Places in the US: Remember, Napa Valley, California, the wine country, north of San Francisco .

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    1. Edgar... I have never been to Napa Valley and would live to visit someday, the thought of living there is even more appealing. You have piqued my interest now... Many thanks for stopping by. :)

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  30. Jeanne, that is so much to have on your plate that the paperwork must at times be the last straw! My husband has a nomadic career as well, so I can partially identify with you, but my children are still young and always with me so my definite role is to be the stable centre, exactly what I can see you trying to do as well but in a much more challenging set of circumstances. Good luck with it: take time to stop and let your mind drift and see what is best for yourself as well as taking everyone else into account.

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    1. Thanks Mise, it is nice to know I am not the only one with a nomadic husband. Somedays you want to bang your head against the wall...repeatedly and others, your happy to for the adventure. I like the idea of stopping to let my mind drift...it seems to get easier and easier to do as I get older....getting it back on track is the problem. :) xx

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  31. Ahhh, Jeanne...so many places, so little time...I don't know how you manage it all but I know you DO! You have a mind as quick as a fox and I count you among the lucky ones when it comes to adventuring :)

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    1. Becky... I love that you think I have a mind as quick as a fox. I intend to pass that onto my children. They may beg to differ on that opinion...they just don't realise, that truly, I am a sly fox. :) So glad you have been able to come along on my adventures with me...I love sending you postcards as I go! :) xx

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  32. Thank you all for your wonderful comments...so very much appreciated!!

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  33. I really can't relate to your sashaying around the world, but I know you will accomplish everything you set out to do, and do it in style. As long as I can read your blog, and maybe get a postcard now and then, it will certainly make my day!

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    1. Absolutely! So very happy to send you postcards!! :) xx

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  34. Hi Jeanne...love lulumusing's reply...

    "No matter what your challenges, your glass is more than half full....kids settling in happily, a new adventure to look forward to, property that has sold, people who look forward to following you around the globe. The way I see it, you have much going for you..."

    Moving is stressful, annoying and energy-sapping. But in fact it's also exciting and adventurous. Through all my moves my faith has kept me going and I've learned to take every day and its challenges as they come...not forgetting to add a bit of humor as I go. Your kids have the added benefit of being able to settle anywhere they wish - you've given them opportunities and choices that many don't have.

    Just hang in there...take it day by day and don't forget to laugh! Expat life is a privilege.
    xx

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    1. Thank you Ilse...very wise words from both you and Linda. So glad we found each other thru our expat travels...I think yours have been far more adventurous! Yes...I agree, laughter is one of the best remedies
      for turning down the stress. Fortunately, laughing at myself keeps me laughing a lot. :)xx

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  35. Well first of all, I do hope that if you have even the sparest moment of time while in NYC we can get together for coffee at the very least. Please try! I will send you my phone off line.

    You've lived such a different life from most I know. When I moved from New Jersey to Manhattan a few years ago, my friends were astonished. Most people I know pretty much do what they've always done. How adventurous of you both to choose your course at each turn!

    New England is so lovely. Vermont and New Hampshire are my favorites...Maine gets a bit far out there and much colder in winter.

    It's hard to let go, isn't it, to the sweet memories?

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    1. Teri, I would love to meet with you! I look forward to hearing from you. :) New Jersey to Manhattan is a big step. When I first started out, living in Stamfor, Connecticut, before the days of Mr. H...I often thought about moving into Manhattan. I was not adventurous enough...then. You have a wonderful city at your doorstep. One day, I hope to have a similiar experience, live in a big city. I seem to always be on the outskirts. So glad to have met you Teri...and think of it, it started with a poem. :) xx

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  36. Oh Jeanne, my gorgeous FBM! You really do have so much on your plate at the moment that I'm not surprised it's feeling rather overwhelming. I wish you only the best for your move. You must really feel 'betwixt and between' at the moment - this limbo life must be so unsettling. I'm fascinated to see where you ultimately end up but am also grateful that you'll take us with you on your journey. You know that I travel vicariously through you, don't you? Oh, and thanks for the divine blue door card from Marrakech - it was so *me*. As you well know! J x

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    1. Thank you Jane..so glad the postcard found it's way to you! So glad you can travel with me...and I loved reading about Joshie and the Tooth Fairy. Such special moments in your home now...It brings back so many sweet memories for me. :) xx

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  37. i cannot imagine how difficult this is.
    i am not at all good with moving.
    and you said my DIRTY WORD;'PAPERWORK.'

    if the states are where you want to live....
    do you want a 'cozy picturesque' town to live in...
    or 'serious urban lifestyle?'

    if i knew that i could tell you manhattan for sure - upper east side
    and for quaint...can you take the cold?
    because new england is a fantastic place.
    or.....
    move to Connecticut, or westchester (ny) and you can be in nyc in no time.

    okay...there's my 2 cents

    xx

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    1. Many thanks Renee...you have lots of good choices here. We lived in Greenwch Connecticut for several years...it was the perfect place to get a bit of both the country and city life. I know excactly what you mean!
      I appreciate your 2 cents, very much! :) xx

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  38. Grab a comfy home base and then travel where the urge takes you. That would be a wonderful retirement. :)

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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