Our number one choice would have been to try and move here, to Oregon. Unfortunately, we do not qualify for any of the Visas that we would need to become permanent residents - so that was out of the question.
We considered continuing to live in the trailer every winter as we had originally intended - however, we are finding that accommodating my disability is more challenging than we had anticipated. In addition, we are feeling like it may be time for the girls to attend traditional school again. So, we need to settle down somewhere for at least 10 months a year.
While living here in Oregon we have enjoyed the conveniences of being in town, as opposed to a 60km round trip from town. We have also enjoyed the lower cost of living that exists here in the States - given that we are unable to immigrate here, we started considering towns close enough to the USA/Canada border that we can utilize cross border shopping. We also let our imaginations run wild and considered Spain, Ecuador, Eastern Canada and more, before settling down and considering our priorities.
This will be the third move Jose and I have made - our first home in Edmonton was a practical, affordable starter home, which we left when we followed our hearts and moved back to my hometown. That was a great move at the time - I wouldn't trade the relationship my girls have with their grandparents for anything (and they will be the hardest to leave) but this time we are thinking with our heads.
We want to find a place where:
1. We can have a lower cost of living - through reduced house insurance (we pay 300.00/month currently because we are not in a fire protection zone), more affordable internet and heating (hello cable bundles and natural gas furnaces!), less gas budget commuting to town, and availability of cross border shopping.
2. I can 'roll' in my chair to shopping, library, etc. - now that I don't drive.
3. Violet can take swim lessons (her passion) and Hazel can take dance or music lessons, and they can both go to school again.
4. We are close enough to our family and friends in BC and Alberta that we can still see them!
So far, the Boundary region of BC is looking good - particularly the Grand Forks area.
So, 2014 is looking to be an eventful year but for now we are committed to enjoying the next/last 3 months here in Oregon while we continue to consider our options.
HAPPY NEW YEAR