Preamble to ‘A Year in Vorarlberg’.

And it Begins…From above Ubersaxen, a heavenly winter wonderland

Preamble to ‘A Year in Vorarlberg’ Blog – Eighteen months ago in a very, very cold, dark and wet Alaskan day, Ursula and I sat in the Islander Bar reviewing our last year and half since retirement and trying to figure out if we’d done the right thing by leaving Europe, Corporate opportunities, studies and moving to Big Lake. Opposing views often produce better solutions, particularly when the parties are amiable to compromise as husband and wife should be, but regretfully often are not.

I was emphatic that we were on track with our three year plan to ‘set up a base of operations from which we could travel and experience the world while in retirement’. Ursula was impatient for the change to begin and now was the time to set new plans to build on our old plans.  Change was what we had all been about since retirement. We had moved from Europe to Alaska; bought and remodeled a new home on the lake; became members of our new community; fished, snow machined into Canada; traveled to Europe and the East Coast; and involved ourselves in local politics, arts, crafts and generally satiated whatever latent desires lay hidden within a normal 10-12 hour work day of our previous existence. But, after 18 months, we set big plans for the future beyond our three year ‘posting’ to Big Lake.

That afternoon we comitted to two plans to begin to fill up our ‘bucket list’.

Plan One

Complete the Comino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James), which we did. You can read all about it in another tab in this web-site.

Plan Two

Live in Austria for a year (for a ‘Short Tour’); I was to follow Ursula for a change.

Ursula and I met when I was a young Major reassigned back to Heidelberg, Germany in 1998. Since then we had been inseparable as she followed me from assignment to assignment over the next 18 years. In all the time that we’d been together, she’d yearned to move back to Vorarlberg to experiment with daily life there and see if she could prove Thomas Wolfe wrong when he wrote that “you can’t go home again.” She left Vorarlberg as a young lady of 18 and had only returned for short visits over the next several decades (propriety to protect a lady’s image dictates I not say how many decades!). She wanted to know if her hometown was everything she had dreamed it was over those years and use this experience to determine if it might be a suitable post retirement-retirement home when the Alaska winters finally got too dark and too cold.

With the Camino adventure complete, we are now traveling to Vorarlberg Austria for year long ‘experiment’, and to use Vorarlberg as a modified ‘base of operations’ to experience all those out of the way places and activities we could never get to when I was working there. This Blog is dedicated to this adventure. Come along and join us if you will.

– Darren



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