Living in Europe, I’m not often called upon to define, defend or describe that life. In Montpellier, everyone I know is living the same life. In Rome they’ve been witness to it literally since day one, and now I’m an established part of their lives.

The first time I came back to the States, the people I spoke to wanted to know all the details of my shiny new adventure. In subsequent visits, it still seemed like a novelty and there were questions about whether or not it was really going to “take.” But it’s been three years since the last time I was here, and seven years since I moved, seeing kith and kin has taken on a whole new vibe.

Like some sort of reverse canary in the coalmine, it’s almost as though now that I’ve made it work – really work, it’s my (not so) boring old daily life now – people are serious about wanting to know how they can do it, too.

But something else has been happening: It seems that, either directly or indirectly, I’ve been inspiring people. And in return, they’ve been inspiring me, too.

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