Welcome Gentle Readers,

This website is dedicated to exploring thoughtful, gentle living.  Since we retired in 2017,  we've done our best to share genuine accounts of our transition from the relentless pace of the workaday world in the United States --a pace akin to a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle when the load is out of balance -- to living gently in the world.  When we unplugged from that thumping, shuddering lifestyle we set our lives on GentleCycle.

We experienced a kind of freedom we hadn't enjoyed for decades.

In 2017 we thought we'd reached a point in life where we would take a completely different direction from the one that made us who we were.  We thought we were ready to rekindling some of the dreams that had been dormant since our youth.  Dreams like:

  • connecting with people in other cultures,
  • learning simply for the love of it,
  • pushing ourselves to explore new ways of leading our ordinary lives in a meaningful way, and
  • doing some good along the way.

Honestly, our planning for retirement was pretty darned good on the financial and budgeting side.  When it came to what we were going to do with that "open and unstructured time" we so anticipated, we didn't really dig deep enough.

For example, moving to Valencia, Spain was our main focus.  What a grand adventure it was going to be.  We figured that it would be a good idea to just sit back and relax, sort of catch our breath for maybe six months.  You know, slip into retirement gradually.  Then by somewhere around the second year we would have built a good foundation for life in Spain.  We’d delve into Spanish history and culture.  We’d pick up conversational command of the language too.

Well, so much for good intentions. What we didn’t know when we filled out our Spanish resident visa applications was the astounding diversity of regional histories, cultures and even languages we’d encounter.  One of us didn't realize how different life in a "big" city was going to be.  We underestimated how difficult learning Spanish would be for us too.

And we didn't plan for being actually retired.  Jamie was totally unprepared for that.  We didn't give enough thought to how our daily lives were going to change when going to work wasn't part of the plan.

Re-evaluating the world and our place in it…

When in the spring of 2020, as first China, then Italy and Spain, and finally the world came to realize that the CV-19 pandemic was going to be a bigger problem than any of us anticipated, as the weeks of social distancing and enforced lockdowns continued to roll out, we took the time to anticipate, to explore, how we want our life’s journey to turn out -- again.

This retirement thing,  if it is to be meaningful,   is going to take a lot more thinking and talking, more research and compromise than we figured on.  We’ll be reconsidering old, and making new choices based on the best information we have.  Our lives and consequently this website  are likely to be quite different than what we left behind in March 2020.

We hope to make GentleCycle a creative, meaningful, and helpful resource.  Like the unfolding of all new efforts, all change, sometimes our aspirations far exceed our actual capacity.  Bear with us as we endeavor to fill GentleCycle in the coming months and years.  We promise that what we produce will be our best effort.

Jamie and Susan are Retired Americans Living in Vallencia

No Sponsored Content

We don't have sponsored content on GentleCycle.  We want you to know we aren’t being paid to say or promote anything.  This is because we aim to keep our content honest.  If we link to third party websites it is because we found the information there to be worthwhile