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Where in the World to Retire?

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the podcast, Retire There with Gil & Gene. Gil and Gene are a couple from Brooklyn, New York looking for the ideal place to spend their retirement years. When the pandemic hit and they couldn’t travel, they decided to launch a podcast and interview people who were already spending the next chapter of their lives in a new location.

I’m what Gil and Gene call a doubler, as I live part-time in the Loire Atlantique, France and part-time in Portland, Oregon. You might also call me a part-time expat and digital nomad. In the podcast, I talk about day-to-day life in France, the weather, the cost of living, real estate, buying a car and why I chose the Loire-Atlantique, which is also a part of historic Brittany. I also share my experience building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), what I love about Portland, Oregon and the pluses and minuses of living in two places.

If you’re thinking of relocating to another state or another country, the first and biggest step is deciding where. It’s important to do your research. But until you have boots on the ground, there’s no way of knowing if a place is truly the right fit. You need to physically be there — and not just as a tourist. That’s why slow travel can be your greatest tool when it comes to finding your new home.

Slow travel means spending a week, a month or more in one place and living like a local. Rent an apartment or a house instead of staying at a hotel. Shop the weekly market and the stores. Ride mass transit. Talk to locals. This is your opportunity to do a deep dive into daily life and to feel the energy of a place — not only of the terrain, the architecture and the locale, but of the people. You might even choose to live the expat life for a couple months each year in order to test out different places and see whether or not a location is right for the long run.

If you’re interested in a life in France — part-time or full-time — listen to the podcast. And check out Gil and Gene’s other podcasts to hear from people who have moved across America and across the globe.



Hi, I’m Lori Cronwell. As a writer and frequent traveler, I admire the values most Europeans embrace: choosing quality over quantity; residing in smaller, more sustainable homes; working less and spending more time with friends and family.

Those values were key in my decision to drastically downsize to a 700 sq. ft. accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with the goal of creating a simpler, more sumptuous life with time for travel.

Slow travel, that is. Spending more time in one place — even if it’s just a week. You'll not only spend less, you'll discover a deeper and more meaningful travel experience.

Please subscribe below and join me on a journey to find affordable ways to explore Europe in the slow lane and to live a more European lifestyle every day of our lives.

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