The Sun Shines Bright on the New Basecamp Gallivance

tents-with-rainbow - Version 2

The truth is we’ve been, umm … a bit distracted; buying and selling real estate and a move will do that to you.

We’ve bounced around for a long time, and our very supportive family and friends know that, except for our relationship, permanent doesn’t stick to us. Whether traveling or living overseas or moving to a new city in the US, we love experiencing new places, and lately, the “new-place itch” has needed a scratch.

So with that drumroll … the Real Estate gods have smiled on us, and over the past few months we sold our condo on St. Simons Island and bought a tiny townhouse in lovely Lexington, Kentucky – the “Horse Capital of the World” and “Athens of the West” … and the new location of Basecamp Gallivance

KY Horse Park

We loved living on St. Simons, but after decades of living overseas, followed by long drives within the US, we wanted to be closer to our families, and this seemed like the perfect time.

We’re writing this surrounded by our few possessions, sitting in our new “lock and leave” townhouse. The move is over and the next phase has begun. We’re very excited to be back in our old university haunts, and much, much closer to our families. Watch this space for details.

Happy Trails,
James & Terri

Mare and Foal

Photo Credit:
1. Courtesy of Yellowstone Under Canvas
2. Wes Blevins
via Wikimedia Commons


We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

84 thoughts

    1. Thanks Cheryl. We went to college in Lexington, and as preoccupied students we didn’t have time to really appreciate what the area had to offer. It will be wonderful to fully explore – horses and all. ~James

  1. That’s great news! I was pleasantly surprised by Louisville – really beautiful in the fall and it had a great vibe about it. There’s a lot to be said for being closer to family. Wishing you all the best, Lynda

    1. Thanks Lynda. Louisville has had quite a revitalization program going and it is a neat place – and only 75 miles from Lexington. We’re looking forward to exploring Louisville as well as Cincinnati (75 miles). ~James

    1. Thanks Anita. It’s great to be closer to family, and it’s always good to be in a new location that provides fodder for the ol’ bloggin’ mill. I can promise posts about horses and bourbon. ~James

  2. Congrats on your new basecamp! I’m looking forward to the back story. From wonderful sunsets on the island to magnificent horse properties in Lexington, quite a dramatic shift. It will be nice for you to be closer to family and friends. It seems like just yesterday I was following along with your remodel project. What’s the longest you’ve ever lived in one place 1. in the USA and 2. abroad?

    1. It is a dramatic shift Laura, but one we’ve talked about for years. Interesting question about how long we lived places. In our corporate days, we lived in Dallas twice, and it wins the award at 4 years and change. We lived in London for 3 wonderful years, making it our longest overseas home. I haven’t done the math, but our average is probably 2 1/2 years – and it’s been a great ride. ~James

  3. Congratulations and good luck in your new home!!

    I envy your ‘new beginning’ 😉 I love moving and the excitement that a new place offers. Ironically however, it seems my lot in life is a sense of permanence.

    Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Joanne. I can imagine the comfort, convenience, and piece of mind that comes with permanence. In our corporate days, after 3 moves in 3 years we were craving a fixed address for a while. And we really didn’t set out to move so much, it just happened that our jobs provided lots of opportunities for gypsy souls like us. And gradually, it became our way of life. The new basecamp should be the perfect combination of movement and permanence. ~James

      1. “Gypsy souls” … I think that’s what I have, I’ve just never been able to let it off its leash 🙂

        It sounds like you are going to enjoy this new phase!

    1. We love new beginnings as well Tess, and are particularly excited about this one. We were preoccupied, poverty stricken students when we lived in Lexington before, and now we’ll have the chance to truly explore and discover what the area has to offer. ~James

  4. Congratulations on your recent relocation! We family members could not be happier. We know you will bring us new adventures, meals, laughter and love! -Sue C.

    1. Thanks so much Sue. We couldn’t be happier with our decision, and we will never take for granted all the love and support that our families have given us in our vagabond life. It will be delightful to spend some time with everyone and get to know each other better. Love, James

  5. Good to have you back in your old Kentucky home. I know your families will be glad to have you closer. There is nothing prettier than driving into Lexington and passing Keenlend on the left. With that said, the BBN also welcomes you home.

    1. Thanks for the welcome Suzanne. Of course it will be wonderful to be able to see our families more often, but we’re also looking forward to exploring the whole state of KY. And regarding the BBN, I’m embarrassed and probably shouldn’t admit this, but I didn’t know what it meant and had to look it up. Hopefully, the Lexington crowd won’t hold it against me that I’m in the very epicenter of the BBN, and didn’t know what it meant. ~James

  6. Wow, it seems I was just reading about your remodeling projects. Wish I could find the energy to follow your example – I’ve been in this house 25 years (although a lot of the last 15 I’ve been traveling) and inertia set in some time ago. Would help if I could decide whether I can actually afford to move back to England.

    Hope you enjoy the new place. Better weather, maybe?

    1. Thanks Kathy. The question of better weather depends on personal preferences. I know that summers here will be more pleasant than the scorching heat and humidity on the Georgia coast. But I’m sure that when winter arrives you’ll hear this cold weather wimp complaining about the low temps. But, this area has 4 distinct seasons which always nice. ~James

  7. Congratulations on the new home base. We’re still in search of a ‘home base’ from which to travel to and fro. Family is a huge deciding factor in a location for us as well. I look forward to your upcoming posts on the new digs.

    1. Thanks Ingrid. For years and years we avoided owning a home base when we traveled for long periods of time. But we finally decided that if we kept our place small, simple, and affordable, we could make it work. The place has to be a “lock and leave” kind of place, and finding the right kind of property takes perseverance. Hang in there though, because it’s the best of both worlds when it works. ~James

    1. Thanks Dina. In fact, we are already in place and have cut the ties with the old place. It feels great to have come full-circle and get to spend more time with family. ~James

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Nan. You know us well enough to see how excited we are about finally being able to move to Lex. We’re looking forward to spending lots of time with you guys, and having a chance to be a daily part of your lives. ~Love, James

    1. Thanks Nancy. The condo on St. Simons was where we learned that we could actually pull off the “lock and leave” strategy. For years we only felt comfortable taking extended trips if we were between houses. That worked fine at the time, but this is much easier and convenient. Best of luck with your lock and leave. ~James

  8. We know all about relocating! It is so much work and incredibly time consuming. But it looks like you made a great choice. All the best, hope to see more of the place. We have just moved into our own place here in Spain and are finally starting to feel settled.

    1. Thanks Darlene. This move was very different for us. We sold our condo furnished, and they wanted it just the way it sat – pots, pans, furniture, etc. So we arrived in Lexington with all our possessions in the car. We’ll write a post on the experience. It’s been great fun, but lots of work. And feeling settled is something we’re looking forward to. ~James

  9. Congratulations on your new homebase! How exciting! Wishing you both lots of joy and happiness as you surround yourselves with a different kind of beauty for a while. Can’t wait to see and hear more! /Liz

    1. Thanks Liz. A mover like you can relate, I’m sure. We’ve been away a long, long time, and coming home feels good. And these days, that’s what it’s all about. I hope all is well on your end. ~James

  10. Congratulations, and glad to hear the real estate switch has been handled smoothly! I hope you enjoy all the great things you were looking for in the major location switch.

    Also, Luang Prabang was wonderful! I loved it so much. We never got to the Tapas restaurant you mentioned, but there were so many other good ones that we felt completely satisfied. : )

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed LP. I’m sure that purists say that it has been too discovered, and we saw some of that, but it’s still a very special place. The laid-back feel, the quiet nights, dinner on a terrace overlooking the Mekong, markets, temples … I could go on and on. When I can find my socks I’ll start thinking of traveling again. ~James

    1. Thanks Susan. I like back-ish. It’s the perfect word to describe us. We’ve finally realized that we never say never when it comes to moving again. Our families and friends can’t always relate, but they’ve always been supportive and that makes all the difference. ~James

  11. James & Terri,
    My best to you on your new home and move to Kentucky! What a beautiful part of the country it must be! I’ve yet to visit but heard such wonderful things about it..
    I look forward to reading your future posts about lovely Lexington 🙂

    1. Thanks Lia. I’m a KY native and of course I’m biased, but I’ve seen a few places, and I can honestly say that the area around Lexington is truly unique and absolutely beautiful. We drove by a gently rolling, grass-covered field today that was peppered with beautiful thoroughbred horses and their spring foals. It was a WOW moment, and we’re looking forward to many more. ~James

      1. James, your comment here is so vividly written that I can imagine the breathtaking scenery in my mind… Thank you for this virtual trip of your home state!
        Happy weekend to you both!

      2. Thanks Lia. Once the dust settles from the move, I hope to take a backroad photo safari, and photograph some of these scenes. And of course, they’ll show up on Gallivance. Thanks for continuing to follow along. ~James

  12. Wonderful news! I will say I had wondered if all was well. So happy for both of you. Good luck in getting settled and I look forward to new chapters from Gallivance!

    1. Thanks Sue, no worries. Everything is fine. We’ve just been, as the old saying goes: “As busy as a one-armed paper hanger.” You can imagine all the details and hassles of selling one place and planning a move while buying another place in another state. We’re in place in Lexington and very excited about our new home closer to our families. ~James

      1. Yes I can imagine James and I have never heard that saying. 🙂
        Dave and I moved 2 years ago, basically downsized from the suburbs into inner Calgary and just within the same city was a huge effort.
        Glad to hear you are settled and your families close by. Take care and best wishes in your new home!

  13. I know what you mean about getting that itch. It is difficult for me to stay still in one place for very long. Congratulations on your new digs. We spent a bit of time in Lexington a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Beautiful country!

    1. Thanks LuAnn. As I said to someone else, we never say never when it comes to moving around. As we’ve gotten more experienced (read: older), we’ve tweaked our process to make things a bit easier, but the desire to keep moving never seems to leave – at least not yet. I’m sure that you and Terry can relate. ~James

      1. We totally relate James! Whenever Terry and I have owned housed and planted trees, before too long we look at one another and say, “it’s time to move”. We never stay long enough to watch the trees grow. We always have to go back after we have sold to see how they look. 🙂

  14. Exciting times–best of luck as you settle and make your new place a home. Looking forward to discover Kentucky through your ‘Gallivancing’ eyes! – Ginette

    1. For most people KY means the Kentucky Derby and bourbon (Honestly, I don’t like Kentucky Fried Chicken). Every state suffers this pigeon-holing I suspect. But if I’ve learned anything in my years of travel it’s that if you pay attention, there are wonderful people, sights, and experiences everywhere. We’re looking forward to re-discovering our home state. ~James

  15. Real estate issues can certainly take up all your time. Lexington looks lovely! And it is so important to be near family – you’ll never look back. In our case family moved to be near us – they grew tired of the cold winters. We lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, early on, so we know you’ll be living in a nice climate that doesn’t get too cold but has 4 seasons. I think you’ll be in driving distance of some excellent caves. Lots of exploring to do!

    1. Thanks Pam. You’ve mentioned a couple of things that we’re looking forward to. As I said to another commenter, we were preoccupied, poverty stricken students when we lived in Lexington before, and now we’ll have the chance to truly explore and discover what the area has to offer. And it’s 39° here this morning, and for us at this time of year, that is absolute bliss. Oh, and being able to sleep with the windows open at night. ~James

      1. Sounds nice! I remember in Oak Ridge that we always thought spring officially began when we first heard the spring peepers the last week of February. You are going to be eating very well from the fresh produce stands. Yum!

    1. Thanks Amy. Terri was born in Crawfordsville, which you may know is NW of Indy, and lots of her relatives still live around the area. And that is another group of family that we’re happy to be near. ~James

  16. You are our mentors. In fact, we’re just now settling in to our base camp and what do you do? You MOVE! WTF? Is nothing sacred?

    1. Tom, in the past we’ve questioned our sanity with all this moving around. In fact, we’ve even said things like: “By god this is the last one!” But we’ve learned about ourselves that when it comes to moving, we never say never anymore. Glad to hear that you and Louise have established your basecamp, I’m sure that once the dust settles it will be great. ~James

  17. I never knew much about Kentucky until I started doing genealogical research James and Teri… that and the fact that my son-in-laws family came from Frankfort. With my daughter and Clay living in Nashville, I’ve been up that way many times. My direct ancestors moved into the Cynthiana area in the 1790s and ran a grain mill outside of town. So I’ve wandered about that area as well. Yes indeed, you have moved to a beautiful area. –Curt

    1. Curt, I haven’t done any genealogical research, but one of my nieces (Thanks Schelly.) did quite a lot and found that my family came to KY from the east coast in the late 18th century as well. Your type of research sounds like the way to do it. Get out of the dusty libraries and actually visit the places. Of course, with a traveler like you I shouldn’t be surprised. ~James

      1. There is nothing like wandering through an old graveyard, checking out tombstones. I regard it as a treasure hunt. 🙂 BTW, Kentucky has a great roadside trail marker program. Many of the signs were made by my son-in-laws grandfather. There is a good chance that our ancient relatives knew each other James. Where did they end up in Kentucky? –Curt

      2. I agree with you on graveyards Curt. I particularly like the cemeteries in Charleston, SC. These are some of the oldest graves in America, and some are amazingly well preserved. Most of the family that I know about were farmers in SC KY very close to the Tenn border. I grew up in Glasgow, which is nearby. My Mom and Dad were the first generation to leave the farm for the big city (10,000 people). ~James

      3. Have you visited graveyards in Scotland, James? Fascinating. So you were raised not too far from Mammoth Cave. I think you’ve written about it. –Curt

      4. I grew up 11 miles away. When I was a kid I hauled hay on a horse farm about 3 miles from MC. I didn’t recognize it a the time, but I now see what a beautiful area it is. ~James

      5. I always appreciated where I grew up. Similar country, like the road into our property form Medford reminds me of the area. I suspect it was one of the reasons I was excited to be buying here. –Curt

  18. Sorry for the delay in replying. Been without wi-fi for a week and hardly knew what to do with myself! Congratulations on this move — you’re closer to the landscape we know and love in Tennessee. And what’s not to like about being near the Bourbon Trail! I do hate that you’ve left St. Simon, though. We loved our time there and long for a return trip. Best wishes for unpacking, finding the essential stores nearby, and re-acquainting yourself with family. Change is good.

    1. Thanks Rusha. We will miss SSI for sure, but we’re both excited about being back closer to our families. I can really relate to being without the internet. We’ve become so internet dependent, that when it goes out or we don’t have access I know how a junkie feels. In fact, we cut the cable a few years ago, so when we lose our internet not only can we not surf the web, etc, but we also can’t watch Netflix, or stream videos. Yep, I’m hopelessly hooked. ~James

    1. Thanks Steph. Change has been a part of our life for so long, that not making changes seems weird. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it works for us. ~James

    1. Thanks Tricia. We love our new townhouse, but at the moment we’re in the middle of a total kitchen renovation, so our lives are in utter chaos. But of course, you’ll hear all about it in a post. We have to have some way to work off the stress. 🙂 ~James

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s