Let the Adventure Begin . . . Again

. . . again.

For the past few weeks, as Brett and I have researched and discussed options for our future, a few things became clear:

  • We do not want to own a house again. We came to realize what we liked was the idea of owning a house, but actually have no enthusiasm or real desire for taking on the reality of home ownership again.
  • We are also unenthusiastic about car ownership. Again, we like the idea of buying a new car but are less than excited by the reality of car ownership.
  • We do not want to accumulate a bunch of stuff again, which is exactly what we could see happening if we bought a house.
  • We could easily imagine ourselves feeling restless, unhappy and possibly even miserable if we permanently located in one place.

Over the past few weeks we researched living in New England, and other places on the east coast, to be nearer our daughters. We then went across the U.S., state by state, and asked ourselves if any place there appealed to us. Although some areas ticked off many of the criteria on the list we had made, no place sparked any joy whatsoever. We examined and evaluated all of our options and outcomes for staying on Kaua’i, from best- to worst-case scenarios and got nowhere with that. For a few days we got excited about possibly relocating overseas. We looked into moving to Strasbourg or Bordeaux in France, or to Florence in Italy, but after an initial burst of enthusiasm and looking at the realities of having to obtain visas, learn a new language, set up housekeeping in a foreign location and all that goes along with that, it became a non-starter as well.

Feeling very discouraged at one point last week, I sighed and said, “I miss our nomadic life. Maybe we could just go back to that.”

And that was the spark for both of us.

Although travel days were hard, during the time we were traveling full time we were involved in new places, learning new things, meeting new people, and seeing and experiencing locations we had only dreamed about before. We were happy, never bored, we lived the way we wanted, and we were still able to see and connect with family, much more in actuality than we can now on Kaua’i. Brett and I enjoyed each other’s company to the fullest and we enjoyed working as a team.

We know we have a few more good years in us. We continue to be in good health and good physical shape, and agree we want to use this time to our advantage. Settling down is something that can wait for a few more years.

We have decided to once again become full-time nomads beginning in the spring of 2023. We don’t feel that international travel is a good idea for the rest of this year, vaccines or no, and we already have commitments for 2022, and would also like to see how things shake out COVID-wise in that year, to decide if traveling will be safe or whether it makes more sense move to some kind of Plan B. We need time to rebuild our savings, and much planning needs to take place before we could travel full-time again. We learned a great deal during our previous time as nomads, but would like to do an even better job of it the next time around. There are logistics to be figured out, an itinerary to plan, a budget to be set up, and decisions to be made about our remaining stuff, and lots more on top of that. One more seeming small but important part of waiting until 2023 is that both of our driver’s licenses expire in early 2023, and we want and need to renew them so that we can continue to rent cars overseas as necessary or desired.

We have already made a few decisions that will drive our planning going forward. We want to do at least one long stay (90 days) in Japan every year, and otherwise spend at least 30 days in a location as we do not want to move around as frequently as we did before. We both want to travel once again with just one checked suitcase each along with our rolling carry-ons. While we have a few ideas of places we’d like to go this time, an itinerary is still very nebulous and won’t be firmed up until later. There are places we want to revisit, but loads of places we didn’t get to last time and we want to balance those two things.

We’ve presented our decision to our kids and every one of them was and is excited for us. There will be much to do before we leave, but based on past experience we know the time will pass somewhat quickly. In the meantime, we will enjoy our time on Kaua’i to the fullest and continue to work at staying healthy and getting ourselves in even better shape than we are now.

I hope you’ll stay along for the ride as we plan and get ready for our Big Adventure, Part Deux!

41 thoughts on “Let the Adventure Begin . . . Again

  1. I’m sure it’s a load off your mind to have this decision behind you. Owning a house is so much work. I’ve been in my house almost 10 years and I’m at the point where I’m tired of dealing with the constant work and expense. I plan to sell in the next year and will go back to renting, so I totally understand not wanting to get back into owning a home again. The nomadic lifestyle suits you and Brett and this way you can spend time in Japan and near your daughters as often as you want without having to worry about maintaining a house somewhere. Makes sense to me! Let’s hope things with COVID have settled down by 2023. I actually was thinking of taking a trip out west to see the national parks this fall, but I’ll have to see what’s going on with COVID by then. I’m also glad to hear you’ll be staying on Kauai for another couple of years because I hope to be able to return there before you leave!

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    1. We KNEW when I mentioned traveling again that it was what we wanted to do again. If we really had been set on the other it wouldn’t have turned into such a challenge or chore.

      The nomadic life really did suit us. There are lots of things we can do better though and I’m glad we’ll get the chance.

      Talked to my doctor about it today and he said it was very smart to wait until 2023 to go. Things are getting better but more places will have a very good handle on the virus by then, we’ll know more about vaccines, etc.

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  2. Follow your bliss! This sounds like a great plan for your future and I can understand how it sparks joy for both of you. The planning will be great fun, too. Hopefully by then Covid will be behind us for the most part. Owning a home is less fun as we age, I think, and even moving to a condo was a relief for us. We are watching spring arrive and knowing we don’t have to do the overwhelming yard work this year. Yaay! I look forward to reading about the prep, seeing where you decide to go, and following along.

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    1. We are deeply happy about our decision and know it’s the right one for us now. The owning a home was the real issue for us – as we were going along neither of us could rustle up much enthusiasm for the idea, and when we began to think about all the things we’d have to acquire it got even worse!

      We’re talking now about possible destination, but I think it will be another month or so (or longer) until things start firming up a bit.

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  3. Wow! You two are so inspiring! I love the idea of a traveling, nomadic lifestyle, but my reality just wouldn’t take me there. It sounds great, but I know I would miss my lifestyle too much. However, I so appreciate that you share your experiences with all of us. I love to travel, but from the safety of my established life. I love traveling with you, too, though. Please keep writing!

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    1. When we started out before we weren’t sure if the lifestyle would be a good fit for us or not, but it turned out to suit us very well, and we think will go even better if we slow it down a bit more going forward. We’ve always been restless people, and this is the perfect way to scratch that itch. You have a wonderful set-up where you are, your grandkids are close – I would never want to leave either.

      If we ever decide to do Venice or someplace in that direction I will be coming to you to pick your brain! Hope you are all well.

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  4. So exciting to hear that you are planning to hit the road again. Follow your heart and the rest will fall into place. Like you, I’ve concluded I love the idea of home ownership but the reality is I like knowing how much I am spending on housing a year via renting. Broken oven, not my problem. Storm damage to the roof not my problem. We were also thinking of buying a condo in Hawaii but just tonight I have concluded I think we will have a better quality of life if we continue to base ourselves in Australia and spend 4 months during Australian winter renting in Europe. Like you, I do not fancy the idea of being constantly on the move so can see us choosing a different country to base ourselves in each year. It certainly sparks excitement in my soul.

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    1. The home ownership was the real stickler for us – fun to look at houses and prices, but the thought of actually living in it and maintaining it (or having to fix it up) was very discouraging. If we’re going to rent, we might as well do it in different places around the world. Also, we’re just not as attached to our stuff as I thought – we loved living as light as we did on the road.

      We think a minimum of 30 days in a place will be enough to give a feel for the place and see the area without feeling rushed.

      And talk about sparking joy! We knew the minute I said it that traveling again was what we want to do.

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  5. Congratulations on your decision! To be honest, I thought this might happen in some way, shape or form. You loved it, you’re in even better health than before, and the girls will all be done with school. If not then, when?! I have a friend who has a very nice one bedroom apartment in a great location and I’m very jealous. It is just so ideal, even with my two small dogs. It’s something I want to explore. I do hope to keep my house so I can pass it on to my daughter, so maybe for now she can rent it from me while I travel. Exciting decisions!

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    1. Well, I hoped it would happen. Brett was less sure, but a year in one place – Kaua’i even! – has made him realize how missed our life on the road.

      Renting to your daughter sounds like a great solution. You are always up for traveling and this would be one way you could do it. We hope though that you’ll be able to make it to Kaua’i before we leave again – we’d love to see you again!

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  6. I knew it!! And YES! YES! YES! I will continue to follow along as your silent companion 😉 How exciting to have your plans set in the direction that “sparks joy”.

    I hope to visit Kaua’i and would love to meet in person!!!

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    1. This decision really does spark joy, and we’re only getting started. We’ll be ready to go in almost exactly two years, but I’m pretty sure the time with go by faster than we imagine it will (it always does). I was just telling Brett that I almost can’t believe it’s the end of March because didn’t we just celebrate the new year? And what happened to February?

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  7. Woo hoo. How exciting. And I can see the flashes of joy sparking off the screen. Now you get a couple of years to plan and read and consider and book.

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    1. We are excited! I’m pretty sure Australia is going to be on the menu again as well. We’d really like to take the ride on The Ghan, if possible, as well as spend some more time in Sydney, do a more in-depth visit to Adelaide, and then see my brother up in Queensland. We will make sure to visit in your winter though – we did summer before and once was almost enough.

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      1. Yeah, summer here is rough and global warming is making it worse. We had a mild one this year in Sydney but there were still plenty of days that you wouldn’t want to be out and about in. Spring and autumn are best.

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      2. The heat and humidity was awful when we visited in 2019. The only time we were truly comfortable was when we were riding on the air-conditioned train. We will definitely be planning a spring or autumn visit next time round!

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    1. We loved our nomadic lifestyle – it was a good fit for us, and we’re excited we’ll get a chance to do it again. It’s going to take a while to determine an itinerary though as we want to both see new places but also visit some places we did before.

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    1. We’ll be off to a slow start, but plans are to leave Kaua’i by April 1 of 2023. Travel plans will ramp up slowly on the blog, but there are so many things we need to take care of before we go (new phones, new computer for Brett, and so forth). Hopefully it won’t bore everyone to tears.

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      1. Kaua’i is an extremely beautiful place, with beautiful scenery and plants, and it’s never boring to us, but the longer we live here the less exotic it seems. Like every other place it has its differences, but there are also the same stores, traffic, and other issues that exist elsewhere but cost a whole lot more here.

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  8. Well done. Your decision has a lot of appeal to me! But I’m anchored for the foreseeable future in Montreux, Switzerland. However, I’m using my fab apartment to advantage arranging home swaps and doing AirBnB (will again start after my jabs). Would love to host you here if you ever want to land in francophone Switzerland with a view of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and the Alps. http://www.airbnb.com/h/montreuxmusicbnb

    Best of everything to you… PS I love your recipes too… Lynn

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    1. We both would love to see more of Switzerland – our short stay in Lucerne was only a lovely appetizer. I will be staying in touch as we get our itinerary set up. This next go-round we hope to travel for more than a couple of years though.

      Thanks for the good word on the recipes. One of these days I’m going to have to set it up where they can be printed off, but haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

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  9. You guys are definitely “rolling stones”. In the mean time, you have plenty of time to concoct a plan to remember to pack your veggie spiralizer when you leave an airbnb!

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    1. “Rolling stones” is a great way of describing us. We have always been “restless people” thanks I think to our years with the navy and moving every couple of year and getting to see and experience someplace new.

      The veggie spiralizer! We are on our FOURTH one now – we’ve gotten that good at leaving them behind. We learned the last time that it helps to carry along a few kitchen tools in our suitcase, but we need to come up with a better way to make sure the spiralizer gets packed as well.

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  10. This sounds just perfect for you! By the time you are finished with nomading, your daughters may be in very different places too.

    One thought about longer stays while nomading, is to think of it as a hub with spokes. Are there significant day trips/two night trips to places you want to experience from the hub location? It would mean building more money into the budget for these shorter trips but it might allow you to stay 45 days in one place thereby bringing down the lodging cost even more. Or it could mean seeing more places with less packing and moving.

    Before the pandemic I had been thinking of spending some time in Tallinn, Estonia as my hub and taking weekend trips via ferry ride to Helsinki and St. Petersburg.

    Let the games begin…again!!

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    1. It’s funny that you mention thinking of our stays as “hubs” and then traveling out from there because we were just talking earlier this week about choosing locations where we could do “long weekends” and visit another area near to the place we’re staying. We did that in Florence and England and it worked well. The key will be picking the right base locations.

      Yes, let the games begin again! We are so excited to be on the same page about this, and are looking forward to the planning and execution.

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  11. A delightful decision. The nice part is that you can still spend real time with your kids without living where they do. Longer visits to them and to areas of interest make life flow so much better. Seems you have years before you will slow to a place that you need just one space. By then, who knows where you will choose to live. Love that you are on the same page.
    Our choice to build and settle is totally different. Hubby knows I will be traveling about half the year – in spurts-while he enjoys the doggies and the woodworking in his home town. As I said to Bob- Hubby and I are in the same book, different pages.
    I will be enjoying your travels through the blog. You are an inspiration in getting in shape – physically, mentally and financially.
    Maybe I’ll see you on the road!

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    1. I chatted with a woman this morning while I was waiting for Brett at the doctor’s, and she said the same thing about her and her husband, that they enjoy doing different things and after 46 years of marriage they’re fine doing their own thing. Brett and I weren’t really sure how things would turn out for us, but we made a good team and enjoyed each other’s company.

      I think it will be a while before we feel ready to settle in one place. I’m very grateful we’re able to continue to travel now, both health-wise and financially, and hope to be able to stick with it for longer than two years this time.

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  12. I know this makes you happy. Suggest you do two trips to Japan, one at 60 days and one at 30 days.> Air fare will be a lot more but you could choose different seasons like Spring and Christmas. I would love to see you back in England, Ireland, Australia etc. So happy for you and me as I will get to read your travel blog.

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    1. Thanks, Vivian. We are both feeling very good about our decision although we need to get through the next two years and see how it goes with the pandemic, but hopefully the will be well under control by then.

      We have been talking about visiting Japan twice a year, but logistically it’s difficult. Expensive too, but we’d love to spend more time with the grandkids if we can. The other countries you mentioned have already gone on our list as well.

      I am looking forward to writing about our travels again. Get ready though for lots of planning posts before we go!

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  13. Excited for your decision and the fact that we’ll get to go along with you virtually! When it’s time to settle down, you’ll know it. The photos from your current life are always interesting, but of course, the travel photos and stories are even better. I love the idea of visiting a place for 30 days but I am such a homebody that I am not sure I would really enjoy doing it. I would definitely not enjoy moving around every few days. So for now, I will enjoy your travels and see what happens when we can travel freely again.

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    1. I am looking forward to writing about life on the road again, and hope everyone that reads is prepared for all the posts beforehand about planning and getting ready to go once again.

      Although we were excited about being nomads last time, before we left we also weren’t sure how we would feel about traveling full time once we got going. We tried it both ways – moving to a new location every few days and longer stays in places and now know we greatly liked the longer stays so that’s what we’ll be doing this time. We just have to choose where we want to stay which is not going to be easy as there are so many good choices.

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  14. Love that you came to this decision! It’s so not for me (well, let me rephrase, we definitely want to downsize at some point in the next 5-10 years, but I struggle with the idea of being nomads. I’m such a creature of habit that my husband gets a real chuckle out of it. However, your overall sentiment on not owning a home has given me quite a ponder, and I think we/I (I say “I”, because my husband has been of this mind for a while, but defers to me on the decision) are considering selling our Oregon vacation house. As the kids get older, it’s just harder to use for any length of time, and its at the age where it needs maintenance. So, you’ve inspired me to consider lightening our load, even though it’s not the same as your plans.

    So looking forward to following along with you again.

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    1. Becoming a nomad is definitely not for everyone, but it fits well with Brett and my restlessness, our love of travel, and our desire to own less and less as we age, including a house. We had no idea whether it would work when we started out last time, but now it feels very much like the right thing for us to pursue. Whatever decision you reach about your Oregon home (located in my favorite beach town!) will be the right one for you at the right time. By the way, we have friends who owned a home at the beach, and as their kids grew older and wanted to go less and less, they eventually reached a decision to sell for much the same reasons you have.

      I hope people will be prepared for all the prep and planning posts coming in the next couple of years!

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  15. It is so obvious that you can hardly wait to be on the road again. I admire you for following your heart and I am so excited to find out where you’ll choose to go first as I plan to stick around and follow your adventures. You always find both interesting and meaningful things about the places you visit.

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    1. I honestly do wish we could go sooner, but feel its better to be safe than sorry, and better to have more in savings rather than less. So, we can wait. This year already seems to be speeding by.

      I think we’ve almost got an itinerary for the first couple of years, but it’s too early to set anything in stone yet. We’re greatly looking forward to doing longer stays this time, thinking it will make our travel more meaningful and give us the chance to discover more interesting things about the places we visit.

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