If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?
Europe. Italy, France, and Scotland. I need a place where I can find: great food found at the farmers market, language tutors, artists willing to give lessons, and beautiful scenery. I want the chance to live in a place rich with history. I want to go see the smaller things that make this place unique, learn the language of the land. And paint. Learn to paint beautiful oils; coming home with boxes of large finished canvas’s. Or maybe never coming home. Finally there is the food, deep rich flavors made with love and spices I have never tried.
Fell in love with italy a few years ago when Bob and I visited Rome and Venice. I was determined to get back there, especially after learning how cheap one can rent an apartment for a long period. On AirBNB, there are houses on the tip of Italy one can rent with private beaches for a couple thousand euros per month. Or an apartment in Tuscanny for 1500 euros per month. It wouldn’t matter. After all the italien language has these wonderful lyrical sounds. The food and wines are exquisite. There are fields of thyme where the herbs attract bees and scent the air. I could be happy spending a year in Italy.
Or northern France on the Brittany coast. Imagine the big sur coast in california with 100 foot cliffs instead of 1000 feet drops. Huge tides, wonderful fogs, incredible scenery, history, and again great food. We ended up in a small town on the beach last summer instead of italy. I fell in love with the landscape. The day Chantal took us to see the devils cavern; an area of incredible beauty where the river flows underneath giant boulders; was the day I decided I wanted to live in this place. By that time I knew how to buy food, find great sites, and locate potential art teachers. With a tutor I could be speaking french well in 6 months. At least well enough to get along.
In Scotland, language is not a problem. Scenery is beautiful, especially the windswept northern regions. It rains all the time and has bad weather. But there is a wild spirit in the land that calls. One feels that life is harsh and survival is something to achieve. The opportunities for painting with glorious light abound. Again, this is a place with history and mystery.
The reality is that I can be happy almost any place. I like my home. I love my family. I enjoy my job. And yet I still dream of different places like this road in Ostica, Italy. Someday it might even become real. But until then, I’ll be happy with the love and richness of life in southern california.