“a simpler way of life” (no idea where they got that from)
Do I feel challenged personally?
Many Americans see the Mediterranean as really not that different from coastal Florida, California, and even Arizona, ideal for perpetually warm, sunny days with golf, tennis, and the beach or pool. More exotic because it is accompanied by wine. It’s simpler because retirement is often presented as a simpler lifestyle, especially when sold as a move from a house where you’ve done all the maintenance to an apartment or townhouse where there is less maintenance or you pay staff to do it for you. .
Then there is the other group that has embraced what is called here the new urbanism. Pedestrian communities. Efficient public transport. Mixed-use areas. Smaller residences and less dependence on the automobile as an environmental virtue. Often combined with a somewhat anti-consumer mindset and the idea that Europe has healthier, fresher food. Simpler way of life because between the move and the often smaller apartment it’s easier to be minimalist. I’ll admit I don’t completely buy into the anti-consumerist, minimalist mindsets that often accompany New Urbanism, but otherwise it has a certain appeal although I wouldn’t describe it as a simpler way of life.
It seems pretty clear that most American expats don’t end up being permanently outside the United States, which could well be because the simpler lifestyle is complicated by language and cultural barriers, but it is always makes sense that people would look to Europe for something they might describe as simpler.