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From Seattle to South America to Scotland: Applecore

16 September, 2013 10:13  Erin Erin

applecore Mike and Flo in Argentina Hello, we are Mike and Florence Lince.  Florence was born and raised in Buffalo, NY.  Mike is a fourth generation Washingtonian from Seattle.  We coined the name "The 6 Monthers" because we have chosen to live in a new country every six months.  We are currently living in Scotland.  We toured much of Latin America before settling in Boquete, Panama, and then Cuernavaca, Mexico.  We sold what we could of our house, cars and other possessions.  We gave what was wanted to family and donated what was left.  Now we carry everything we own in a suitcase and a carry-on bag.  We have a list of twenty countries in which we would like to live for six months at a time before we get too old to keep traveling.   

1. Why did you move abroad?
We wanted to travel.  Mike retired at the age of 62 to make time for travel. We also started out with the idea we could live more cheaply abroad.  The idea to keep moving every six months just sort of happened when we realized living in one place would not satisfy our desire to see more of the world.

2. How do you make a living?
Mike is retired.  So far we have been relying on his social security income.  We have not had to tap into his other two pensions, and we do not plan to for another couple of years.  Florence offers her thirty years of travel experience and marketing knowledge to advertisers and sponsors in the travel industry through her extensive social media networks.

3. How often do you communicate with home and how?

Mike calls his grandsons via Skype once or twice a week to share story time with them.  With his background as a storyteller, books are his avenue for staying connected with them.  Florence calls her parents several times a week, too.  We feel that we are actually more connected with family and friends since we live this lifestyle since everyone makes more of an effort to stay connected.

4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Scotland?

We are not expats in the traditional sense.  We would probably best be considered “travelers.”  We stay in a country longer than tourists and we establish a base from which to see the places that most interest us.  However, we do not seek resident visas for longer term stays.  In Scotland there is no shortage of scenic and historic sites, and that would be the best thing about Scotland.  Beyond that, the food and drink are great!

5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Scotland?
They say it rains a lot in Scotland.  We may come to find that is true.  However, so far we have had great summer weather.  I won’t mind if it gets cold because I miss skiing after missing the last three ski seasons, and I hope to get back on the slopes later this year.

6. What do you miss most?
We honestly do not miss anything. Sure, I would like to play more with my grandchildren.  However, even when we were living closer together I did not see them much more than I do now. We look at this next ten years as our time, and we are using it to see as much of the world as we are able while we can.

7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?

We met a few Scottish locals online via Mike’s blog.  From them we got a few suggestions about where to begin looking for a place to live.  Other than that, we meet people as we go, and we have been fortunate to meet people who are friendly and helpful. Our apartment search was through property management offices and we were fortunate enough to find what we think will be the perfect spot for us for the next six months.

8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
They speak English in Scotland and the terminology is sometimes a bit puzzling.  Other than that, lifestyles are not that different than what we are familiar with in the United States.

9. What is a myth about your adopted country?

The most famous myth in Scotland is the question about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.  Perhaps the second most common myth is about whether or not men have any undergarments on beneath their kilts.  That myth will likely last forever since it is not polite to ask.

10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
We most recently live in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  Generally, Mexico is a poor country even though there is a wealthy class and a prominent middle class.  Scotland is a far more prosperous and industrialized country.  The biggest difference is not constantly being in the presence of a large number of unemployed or underemployed people.

11. What advice would you give other expats?

  • Learn a foreign language.  Any language will do.
  • Be aware that people throughout much of the rest of the world view Americans as condescending.  This view is fed by the fact that a relatively small percentage of the American population owns a passport, and many who do travel rely on English-speaking guides or for everyone in the service sector to speak English.  
  • Be humble.  Learn as much as you can about a country you plan to visit.  Ask questions.  Let the locals share information about their country.  Most people are justifiably proud of their country.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.  Some of the most memorable travel experiences come when things do not go as planned.  Expect that and embrace it.  

applecore scotland12. When and why did you start your blog?
Writing is something that always interested me and I never took time to pursue it outside of work-related projects.  Once I got started my blog took on a life of its own.  I seldom know what I will write about next.  However, while we are traveling there seems to be no shortage of inspiration.  The blog is also a great alternative to a logbook and to communicating with friends and family.  The blog is like a window into our world for those interesting in taking a look.

Blog LinkMike and Florence's blog, Applecore

Guide for expatriates in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
Find out more about being an expat in Scotland with EasyExpat's 

Guide to Edinburgh


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