I love dreaming about travel. I keep an ongoing list of places I want to experience, sites I want to see, and places I want to go just to sit still and relax. I love reading about these places, from guide books to blogs to travel stories to travel books.
I also love planning travel. It’s nothing less than a total blast for me to search for airfares, plan an itinerary, find great lodging, discover places to eat or tours to take that fit within our budget. Planning for me does not mean scheduling every minute of the journey, but rather setting a solid foundation in place so that we can relax, be spontaneous and work off our own schedule for the most part, and see and do the things we want.
Five years ago our family experienced what many might consider the ultimate trip: We moved to Hawai’i, to the island of Kaua’i. Getting there took several years of paying off debt, saving, downsizing and loads of planning. One of our reasons for moving to Hawai’i (besides the terrific weather and beautiful surroundings) was to be closer to our son and his family in Japan, and I had the pleasure of traveling to Japan three times, once on my own, once with two of our daughters and the last time with my husband, Brett and our youngest daughter. One added bonus from our travels was discovering how wonderful it was to return home to Kaua’i.
In August 2018 though we left the Garden Island in order to do some more big-time travel. For 18 months before our departure we once again saved, planned, and downsized even more. After we got our youngest daughter settled in at her college, Brett and I took off for an extended journey around the world, a “Big Adventure,” visiting Argentina, Uruguay, France, Italy, Portugal, India, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. We then spent three months in Japan and just finished a three-month stay in England in the fall of 2019. Destinations in 2020 will include a short visit to Kaua’i, another three-month stay in Japan, a “mystery destination(!)” and visits to New York City and New England. After that, who knows? We’re currently discussing whether we’re ready to settle down somewhere or keep traveling but that hasn’t been decided yet. The only thing we know for certain now is that pieces from all of our hearts were left back on Kaua’i and that we will always be returning even if it’s only just to visit.
Both Brett and I are retired and live on a fixed income. Until 2018 we stayed busy with our daughters’ schedules and needs, and with our own explorations and outings around Kaua’i, but with our youngest little bird out of the nest now it’s time for us to do our own thing, although we return periodically to the U.S. for holidays and other occasions with our girls. We live a very simple, uncluttered, and uncomplicated life these days but love finding ways to save and are looking forward to future travels.
I hope you’ll join me (and Brett) as we share our dreams, our goals, our plans and our travels both here and elsewhere along the way.