Two baby boomer adventurers explore a new country and learn a new culture

For the last six months, we’ve had fun bringing you news from the Six-Monthers, Florence and Mike Lince, as they spent their six months in South America. Now, they’ve moved on for another six months to Scotland, and regale us with the nuts-and-bolts of settling not just in a new country, but a new culture … and a new vocabulary too.

Downtown Perth, Scotland.

Downtown Perth, Scotland.

We have finally taken possession of our apartment here in Perth, Scotland, a fully-furnished two-bedroom apartment for £495/month ($750 US). Our place is located on Old High Street here in downtown Perth and is centrally located with everything in easy walking distance: shops, banks, markets, theatres (their spelling, not ours), concert halls, churches, bus stops, and the train station. Perth, population about 50,000, is in the middle of Scotland which makes it the ideal location to travel all over the country. Since we are using public transportation to get around, easy access to trains and buses is essential.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe only utility not included in our rent is electricity. Here in Scotland, they have ‘keys’ attached to the electric boxes inside your units. They are pre-paid and reloadable. You buy more electricity-time at newsstands, of which there are lots in the U.K. Post offices and even many of the grocery stores also provide this service. After getting into our new place and vacuuming and doing two loads of laundry, we had used less than a British pound’s worth of electricity on our ‘key.’ We just monitor how much wattage we use and then keep adding funds on the key as needed to keep the lights on.

Perth is on the River Tay in Scotland.

Perth is on the River Tay in Scotland.

We have also purchased ‘dongles’ here in Scotland. They are pre-paid USB devices that get attached to the computer. The cost is £10/month (around $15 US). These handy little devices give us unlimited Wi-Fi internet connections throughout the U.K. There are Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country, in restaurants, hotels, hostels, even on the buses and trains. However, having the dongle means we do not have to deal with hit-or-miss internet connection time.

The Lince flat in Perth.

The Lince flat in Perth.

We also have a Skype business account for making phone calls to the U.S., which is on a subscription basis. That makes it easier to call the U.S. so that we don’t have to use cell phones or smart phones or landlines. Our computer is our phone. We have voicemail through Google Voice which sends us an email in case we are away and miss a phone call. We travel with as few electronic devices as possible and that means one computer and one camera per person.

Best of all ... a modern kitchen.

Best of all … a modern kitchen.

We are fortunate to have a washer-dryer here in our apartment. It is a European machine, which means it both washes and dries the clothes. We owned one of these when we lived in Washington State. We also have a collapsible laundry basket that folds nicely into our luggage and goes wherever we go.

At last, it’s now home-sweet-home here in Scotland and we look forward to exploring more of this beautiful country over the next six months.

Follow the travels of Florence and Mike online … click here.


  1. Being a Scot and having just returned to London from a trip to Edinburgh for the Festival and Fringe, which is a must to experience, I am surprised by the comment that there is no coffee as there are coffee shops everywhere in the UK these days including Scotland. Perhaps you meant good coffee which may be nearer the mark.

    1. Unfortunately to us Scotland is very expensive. The food costs more than in Latin America, the rent is at the top of our budget (or our comfort level) and there is no coffee!!!! When you live in Latin America and you can get good coffee from Costa Rica or Panama to drink instant or even really strong coffee burnt, is hard. I’ve switched to tea which is okay but not as good.

      Quality of life is very good of course. We don’t worry about the water supply, there are no power outages, public transportation is easy to use and get, and of course they all speak English. The people are warm and friendly and Perth has everything we need. If the costs were better this would be a nice place to stay. And with Scottish independence coming up for a vote next year this is an interesting time in Scotland as people decide their future – either with or without the UK and with or without the Queen.

      1. Dear Florence,

        We absolutely treasure your stories for BoomerCafé.com.

        This is a very thoughtful commentary about how pricey Scotland has become. I had no idea! And, no coffee?! Despite the warmth of the people, it might be time to consider moving on … perhaps to Turin, Italy, home to Lavazza coffee.

        Have fun, safe travels, and keep those stories and wonderful photos coming.


    1. My grandmother always told me that the older she got the faster time went. I see what she meant. Six months here in Scotland is going to go by pretty fast and we have lots that we want to see. So we are determined to get out at least once a day, rain or shine, and explore this beautiful country.

      It’s just nice to have such a great base here in Perth to explore from. And a safe place to leave our last few possessions as we do our exploration.

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