Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Helen Keller
This wasn’t a rash decision or one made impulsively. Actually, it evolved over a few years.
In 2011, we invested $30,000 in an embroidery business, thinking it would help to support us in retirement. I had always wanted to own a business, be in charge of my life, destiny. Guess, I got the entrepreneur spirit from my father.
We worked very hard for three years, tried several marketing techniques, different niches, but in the end it was one big epic fail! Despite losing so much money, it was a blessing because we found out what we really wanted to do. Did we really want to work 24/7 supporting a business? Not really.
When Jeff was forced into early retirement in 2013, we started talking about our life and what we wanted to do. Since, I had only been working three days a week, devoting my time to the business we had accumulated mountains of debt. We had discussions about our priorities, our passions, and what we enjoyed.
Obviously, family was the first priority. However, the family connection we had always envisioned wasn’t happening. We had moved to Arizona from our hometown in Illinois where most of our family was. One daughter was in New Jersey with our three grandsons and our other daughter in Arizona was busy with her life. After ten years of praying and hoping they would move back to Arizona, I finally had to give up the idyllic version of the Grandmother I wanted to be. There would be no weekly sleepovers, attending school events, or holiday celebrations. It is what it is and I had to accept that. We love our daughters and grandsons with all our hearts but we don’t see them very often, two times a year at best.
So, if we can’t have a life where we see our family on a regular basis, then what?
We started having more discussions on what else would we like to do, see, experience. And how could we financially support that?
What about retiring to a foreign country, perhaps Belize or Panama? I love to research, so that’s what I did. Retiring overseas…being an expat. At first look, it was appealing! Financially, it was doable. But, my research revealed the downsides to being an expat, crime, humidity, bugs. We had been in the southwest for almost 20 years and the thought of humidity and bugs was a downside.
One day Jeff brought up the idea of living in an RV and traveling, OK, so do we sell the house? Our stuff? How do we figure all this out? I needed to do more research! I read books, blogs, joined FB pages. Google became my new BFF.
I found so much information of people living in their RV. This is really a lifestyle and many people do it, not just old retired folks like us, but young couples, families with children. People who want to explore, have a simpler life, not be tied down to their preconceived notions of a successful life. They want an authentic life, simpler, not tied to possessions
The decision was made. That’s what we want. A life with experiences, instead of possessions.
It wasn’t easy. We had to sell our stuff, our house, buy an RV, change our address The logistics were overwhelming, daunting at times.
The first step was to get out of debt. Fortunately, I found a wonderful job at a new company in Scottsdale, called Accolade. It is a healthcare concierge system, helping people with their healthcare decisions. It was a new nursing experience, not being “hands-on” with patients, but the work was rewarding and the pay was really, really good! We got out of debt and started saving. Did I say the money was really good?
The reactions to our plan were mostly positive, but there were some people who thought we were foolish, even irresponsible! It didn’t sway us. We have always been risk takers.
Thanks for stopping by….