So, two trips to Paris got me thinking about spending more time in France.
My experience in 2013 got me thinking. I was 5 years from being full-Social Security retirement age (as a baby boomer). Ariel and Miranda would turn 18 in 2018, and graduate from high school shortly after. Retirement that year was a possibility. But retirement income was not going to make living in Santa Cruz possible.
I did some research, looking into cheap places to live outside the U.S. I subscribed to International Living, and bought their report on living in France. I also read about the attractions of more popular destinations from Americans, mostly in Central or South America. Nice, but if I’m going to speak another language, I’d rather speak French.
By this time five years ago, I was thinking that moving to France was a real possibility for my retirement. And I was thinking retirement at 66, not 70. That would be August 2018.
What needed to happen in those 5 years?
First, I was not going to move several hundred pounds of LP records. So I started digitizing the collection. Same for the CDs. Some were keepers regardless, many were best saved to hard disk and sold off at Logos (RIP) or Streetlight Records, later Metavinyl. Then there was culling the other collections, compacting, reducing, recycling. Grey Bears is my go-to for responsibly reusing or recycling electronics: CRTs, computers, monitors, peripherals, cables and adapters and all that. How many printers do I really need?
Next came hard decisions, including acknowledging that I do not need to be the archivist for various magazine and other documents that are probably available readily online. Twenty year old issues of Wired and Fast Company? Nah.
And so it went.