Out for a stroll with LillieBelle

Out for a stroll with our Lillie Belle on a Tennessee cattle farm. Photo Credit Donna Thorne

Dear Reader

Recently my husband and I had a conversation about travel bloggers having a niche. Brave souls out there roaming the globe, may aim to visit 100 countries or swim in every lake, river, and ocean; or attend a favorite opera in each and every opera house around the world; but whatever the case, the goal becomes a lifestyle. I suggested ours could be to visit every single castle and fortress in Europe and write about it. He asked, “Will we be wearing pants?”

I was in stitches and thought, well, what if we aren’t? It wouldn’t be the first time!

What you should know is that we enjoy adventure. We have big dreams. For me, travel has always been a priority. When we first met, my husband was made aware of the prerequisites to walk into the sunset with me: get a passport and be prepared to live elsewhere in the world. We are a middle-age couple. We have nice resumes and a combined forty-six years of work experience. We are more than ready to leave a conventionally mundane life for something much more fulfilling. We are ready to begin anew. We are prepared to work hard, on our own terms.

We are about to dive headfirst into our bucket list. It’s a significant list that we take very seriously. So seriously that given the opportunity, we’d love to be a mentor for you in tackling your European travel bucket list too!

A year after our decision to move to Europe and taking steps to join the wireless workforce, the idea of change continues to be thoroughly evaluated and considered. Some days it feels like we haven’t even started, but the truth is we embarked on the journey months ago, building the foundation and framework for our dream jobs of writing and programming. We are quite aware just how much there is yet to be done and realize that if we’re lucky, our work will never be done.

As we inch towards our departure date at the end of March, we’re like the horses that smell the stable. As a returning European Expat, I’m the pigeon hungrily close to the loft after an arduous race against the clock. Despite the risk, it is our hope the journey is inspiring enough for people to have a look at their own bucket lists, to ask the most difficult life questions of themselves, and as a result, to arrive at a crossroads of possibility.

At the age of 12, I copied a saying into a beautiful little diary: Whatever You Can Do or Dream You Can, Begin it; Boldness has magic, genius and power in it. There is some debate about which philosopher said it, J. W. Goethe or W.H. Murray, but I’ve always taken it to heart. If it was indeed Goethe, he was smart to have a disclaimer. He said: Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

We get that. We feel it. We will not be stopped. We’re grasping the opportunity of being mobile in our jobs to explore the far reaches of France and neighboring European countries … with two cats and three dogs in tow. We’ll be characters inside of our own mystery. They’re in for an adventure.

Along the way I’m sure we’ll be exploring many a castle. Just know that if you catch us not wearing pants, it probably wasn’t the intention for you to run into us.