Three years ago, Chuck Burgess and Kerstin Michaelsen were comfortably set up in New York City with good careers, a home in Manhattan and another in the Hamptons. But they yearned for something more. Not more in the sense of material things, but in the satisfaction derived from new adventures and new lands. They fantasized about moving abroad — an idea that seemed more attractive as the couple, both 50, settled into midlife.
Ultimately it was a “heightened sense of our mortality,” Mr. Burgess said, that gave them the prod they needed, after three of their parents died within three years. “We didn’t want to miss our chance to live life as fully as possible.”
After a year of planning and divesting themselves of properties, their car and all but the bare necessities, they boarded a plane in May 2018 for six months of travel. In December they landed in Barcelona, without speaking a word of Spanish.