Let’s explore what it takes to travel slow enough to notice the journey, experience the local culture, color, and pace of life and grow along the way.

Our Gentle Journey motivates us “to find out what’s inside us, to make our souls grow.”  We write about our personal experiences and what we learn from the people and places we encounter.

When we retired in 2017, we imagined that we'd live in Valencia, Spain until we learned Spanish.  After three years we hadn't mastered Spanish.  It takes more time and effort to learn a language than we ever imagined.  What we did learn by living in Valencia is that one of us isn't cut out for happy urban living.

That's why, in an optimistic moment when the pandemic seemed to be easing, we decided to begin wandering around.  We planned to spend a couple months here and a few months there, moving on whenever it felt right.

The pandemic didn't quite cooperate and our first long stay in the Andalusian village of Mairena, Spain ended up lasting six months.  It was a great experience and we learned a lot but we wanted to move on. Unfortunately, Spain and all of the EU were still struggling with their response to the threat of Covid-19 in April 2021 when we decided to head back to the United States for an American interlude.  Of course, the fact that we could walk into a pharmacy to get a Covid vaccine influenced our choice.

Back in the USA 2021

Anvil Lake Wisconsin 2021
Jamie was born in Milwaukee, raised in Racine, and spent the first 27 years of his life in Wisconsin.  Most of his relations still live in or near the Badger State.  Everyone agrees Wisconsin is a delightful place to spend the summer. 

Mairena, Spain 2020-2021

Mairen, a village in the Alpujarra region of Spain
The village of Mairena in Spain's Alpujarra region is our first long-stay stop on what we expect (hope) will be a very slow, long journey.  What a difference there is between urban life in Valencia and the tranquility of a small village perched on the flanks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Our hosts, David and Emma Illsley of Las Chimeneas have gone out of their way to make our stay memorable.  
More About Mairena, Spain

Valencia, Spain 2017-2020

Valencia, Spain 2017-2020

We lived in Valencia, Spain from September 2017 until  the end of October 2020 when we decided to give slow, long-stay travel a go.  We chose Valencia because it offers so many opportunities: wonderful public transportation, safe and easy walking, culture and nearby nature.  You name it, the city ticks nearly every box for retired urban living. 

If you are considering a move to Valencia, you will find tips on how to get a senior buss pass (for 20 euros/year), who to contact for health insurance, other useful tips, and few interesting tidbits too.

More About Valencia, Spain

Moving to Spain 2017

Moving to Spain with pets from the United States

In 2017 we packed up five pets and set out for Spain.  Along the way we learned a lot about what to do, and just as importantly what not to do when retiring and moving abroad.  Many readers have told us they found our posts  helpful when they made their move to Spain.  You might as well have a look.  It won't hurt.

Go to Moving to Spain

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