Visions Of The Future
So, here’s the thing… We are big dreamers around our house. We spend a lot of time thinking about what the future COULD hold. We don’t really know what we plan on doing with our time and energy. We thought it might be fun to share some of our ideas so other people could see where our minds go when we start thinking about having time and money to spare and no one and nothing telling us what we have to do and where we have to be.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
We have spent a lot of time separately hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Kristen spent a lot of time as a child hiking throughout New England on the AT, and Rory has hiked a bunch in Maine, but also had plans to hike the entire AT from South to North with his friend after they left the military, Rory ultimately backed out due to financial constraints (a prime example of how something as simple as a car payment can deprive you options). We have also both independently hiked the “100 mile wilderness” which is considered one of the most difficult portions of the AT. We can both picture taking 6 months off from everything else in life and being smelly together in a tent while trying not to kill each other.
Finishing the Lycian Way
In 2015 we attempted the roughly 300 mile Lycian Way in Southern Turkey. We failed. Well, to be fair, we started drinking and hanging out on sailboats on the Mediterranean, and that didn’t feel much like failure.Truth be told, that’s our style; to start something and get sidetracked by something else that is pretty cool. We showed up in Turkey with a loose plan to hike the Lycian Way, but found some amazing stuff to do that we never knew about, and couldn’t possibly do in the 3 weeks we had if we continued to hike the trail. We still hiked about 1/3 of the trail and saw some amazing stuff along the way, but we have missed Turkey since we have left, and with enough time would love to have the time to hike the rest of the trail.
Who knows where, who knows how, who knows for how long. We both love East Africa, and are in the process of figuring out some business deals that would enable us to live there for 6 or so months out of the year. So maybe there? There is also a lot of potential to live in South America and Central America. Kristen has done a lot of travelling in this part of the world and seems to think that we could live quite well in a place like Nicaragua for $10-15 dollars a day. Some people, as we have found, NEED to live in places like Nicaragua in order to make their early retirement happen because of the fact they can live on $500/month or so there. They do this for 5 years or so because it allows their investments to grow an extra 5 years, while they live for really cheap. Now, keep in mind these people get away with living this cheap because they have little to no bills in the U.S. that raise their living expenses such as health insurance and taxes on a house. (Many of these people have NO financial roots in the U.S.)
Sailing Around the World
Remember when we talked about how we started reading two books while we were in Jamaica that led us down the Road To Unemployment and financial freedom? Well, one of them was a book about sailing around the world. This to us is a bit of a stretch since neither of us know how to sail… but hey, that’s what adventures are made of. We are pretty sure the reason we like this idea so much is that it represents true freedom. The ability to traverse the earth on the power of the wind, the ability to live cheaply as you take your own transportation, kitchen, bedroom, and fuel with you. And we also like the fact that the easiest places to go are some pretty amazing places. The Caribbean. The Mediterranean… oh my.
Travel Nursing and Living in an RV
One of these blogs we will lay out our timeframes for early retirement and how we plan on functionally going about it (Once we figure all that stuff out) but since Rory is 3 years older than Kristen, we have decided he gets to retire 3 years earlier than her. What will we do with those extra 3 years? Naturally Rory gets to be a stay at home CAMPER husband. It turns out that amongst all the other cool perks that come with being a nurse, they also get these sweet contracts to travel the country AND get paid EXCEPTIONALLY well for it. Some people we have talked to have had some contracts that pay $3800 a week. Yep, you read that right. That’s $15,200 a month! And that’s not even the best part. About $4,000 a month of that is TAX FREE because the taxes are paid by the travel companies so they can entice people to join. Now, if you were going to live in downtown San Diego and pay $4,000 a month for a short term apartment rental, this wouldn’t be that great of a financial deal, but if you are like us and intend on living in an RV park for $2,000 or less a month, then you bank the extra TAX FREE. It is also important to note that we have ZERO intention of living in a big swanky RV, but instead a 24’ or smaller RV that can be towed behind a small truck or SUV. The best part about this plan, as we will elaborate on in the future, is that it allows us to continue to contribute to our retirement plans at levels comparable to what we are doing now, but having only one of us working, and traveling with little responsibility while we do this for years… Truly one situation where we can have the best of both worlds for a period of time.
More of a general concept than any specific ideas, we have heard of plenty of people who spend many years of their early retirement travelling from country to country. We understand this can be an expensive or inexpensive endeavor, depending on how you structure it, but if we go this route we plan on doing it inexpensively. There are two main ways this can be an inexpensive way to see the world. Since there are no time constraints when you are “retired” it becomes possible to eat, sleep, and ground travel cheap once you are in the area you are going. Often times we have found you can take local transportation from city to city for as low as a $1. You can negotiate for long-term stays at hostels and homestays for much cheaper than their daily rates, and have the possibility of cooking meals for yourself instead of eating out every day like a typical tourist. Many of these things we already do when we travel, so it has given us the insight into how it is possible for a longer-term trip.
The second reason perpetual travel can be cheap is because the transportation cost of coming and going is significantly cut down. What do we mean by this? Well, we have found that ½ the cost of most of our trips are airfare getting to and from our destination. Once we are there, since we choose to live similarly to the locals, the daily living expenses are often quite cheap. By staying in a place longer, you effectively get a lot more bang for your buck. (The overall cost per day of your trip drops each day) The other cost benefit you get from perpetual travel is that you have nowhere to be at any particular time if you choose for that to be the case. This enables you to wait for ridiculously good deals on transportation. Sometimes you get better deals if you book months in advance, and sometimes you get great deals if you sit and wait for last minute deals… As long as your time is flexible, you simply do what is the best deal.
That’s it folks, some of our concepts of what we will be doing with our future unemployment and financial independence. We will post new and crazy ideas as they develop… Which they do every few months!