“When it came right down to it, our dream trip felt like falling off a cliff.”
After early retirement, in 2017 Pam and her husband Dave packed four suitcases and one beer cooler full of insulin and boarded a one-way flight to Italy for a year-long dream trip.
The dream was to live like locals, find out-of-the-way restaurants, and watch the seasons change. But behind every dream, there is the reality.
What happened when two people retire from their full-time jobs and realize they have developed separate lives? Is it possible to reconnect, despite the stress of traveling, while living alone together, 24/7, in small apartments? Is there such a thing as too much togetherness? Their dream trip came with other challenges—managing Pam’s Type 1 diabetes, dodging political unrest in Barcelona, and navigating water restrictions in Egypt.
Through the ups and downs of travel, Pam and Dave start to rebuild their lives together… and look for a little adventure.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When we began planning our year-long dream trip, I spent hours searching for information on HOW to live in Europe for a year. We had to get a visa, find insulin, make our phones work, and keep in touch with family. I wrote this book, in part, to help others travel, especially those with medical issues like diabetes.
After early retirement we dusted off our plans for a dream trip, a "Bel Sogno" and plunged into a year of turning it into reality. At our “mature” age, we were ready to shake up the routines and put our everyday lives on hold, surprising our blended family of five grown children, who questioned us closely about our plans. We agreed to leave the U.S. in September 2017 and go to Rome in central Italy for six months to spend the fall and winter. Then in 2018, as the weather warmed up, we would move north for six months to Venice to spend the spring and summer before returning to the U.S. in 2018.
Like giddy kids, we bought two one-way tickets to Rome.
Almost immediately, I felt overwhelmed. I had taken Italian language classes off and on for years, but I was not at all fluent. Can reading dozens of guidebooks and travel memoirs really prepare you for this? We would be far from friends and family for an entire year. Would we get homesick? A lot could go wrong. What do you do with your mail for months at a time, and how do you refill your prescriptions in a foreign country? Our usual doctors and pharmacies would not be available. Complications from diabetes had landed me in the hospital emergency room twice. If that happened in Italy, it could be dangerous. There could be other sudden health emergencies, accidents, or illnesses. What would it be like to live in a small space with Dave, completely alone together, 24/7? Our everyday lives began to look more and more warm, comfortable, and safe.
Now that we were leaving everything behind, I realized how much I liked my habits, schedules, and routines. Spontaneous, powerless, messy situations usually made me nervous and uncomfortable. On this trip, I wouldn’t be able to control very much. We were upending our lives, by choice, and I couldn’t clearly see what would replace our norms. Would we even like this new life in a foreign country, or would we want to return home after a month? When it came right down to it, our dream trip felt like falling off a cliff.
So we held hands and walked over the cliff.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Braving the World: Adventures in Travel and Retirement Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy Braving the World: Adventures in Travel and Retirement On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.