Florence and Mike Lince are a pair of American baby boomers out to see the world and experience everything. But, as we learn, it’s not without challenges in Scotland.
By Florence and Mike Lince in Perth, Scotland.
Everyone has a different idea when asked what makes for a good quality of life. For us, traveling and living in a new place every six months, we have had to evaluate our quality of life in every new country we go too.
For example, Florence has some food allergy issues. She cannot eat peanuts, walnuts or red meat of any kind, and she also needs to be wary of products containing gluten. She has recently eliminated most problem foods by moving to a plant-based diet. Florence finds it easier to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables than fresh meat products so this lifestyle change has proven to be both healthy and economical.
We have found that all food items that are typically available in North America can also be found in Scotland. We get grapes from Egypt, carrots from Greece, tomatoes and citrus fruits from Spain and so on. The supermarket produce sections look very much like those in the United States, and since food costs are similar. Scotland, we’ve found, is not an inexpensive place to live.
One of the hardest things to find in some countries has been turkey meat. Few countries have turkey as readily available as it is in the U.S., so if turkey is in the supermarkets it is usually imported and expensive. Chicken is plentiful in most places. However, the sanitary conditions for poultry can be sketchy. We are not big fish eaters, so for us a vegetarian lifestyle makes sense. Unfortunately, one thing we have noticed is that fresh vegetables here in Scotland are bland-tasting. We have concluded that the soil has become so depleted of nutrients that the vegetables lack flavor from the time they are harvested. We have to use salt, pepper and spices to help liven up the food.
Because we don’t have a television here in Scotland, more important than food is the ability to have a good book to read. Here in Perth there are thirty charity shops that have used book sections. The prices vary a little, but when we need a book we walk from shop to shop and see what reading treasures they have for us.
Prices range from 3 books for 1 pound to .50 pence (about 80 cents) each book.
Florence reads nonfiction and biographies, so we purchase those books when we find them since they are harder to find used. Mike prefers best sellers and suspense novels, which are more common. We also joined the local library so we can always borrow a book to tide us over if we cannot find a good used book.
And yes, we have both tried the e-book readers but there is something magical about holding a good book in your hands and getting to turn the pages that an e-reader still can’t duplicate.
We both believe it is the little things that add up to provide us with a good quality of life. When you travel what are your must have’s to maintain your “quality of life?”