My husband, Brett, and I love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big trip, a small one, local or distant, a long trip or a short one, family or solo travel, luxury or bare bones . . . we just love to go. Brett spent 22 years in the navy, we moved frequently, and frequent travel became a way of life for us. We are, as our son says, “restless people.”
We love dreaming about travel, and keep an ongoing list of places we want to experience, sites we want to see, and places we want to go just to sit still and relax. We love reading about these places, from guide books to blogs to travel stories to travel books.
I love planning travel. It’s nothing less than a total blast for me to search for airfares or other good transportation deals, 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. Brett is our logistics manager. He keeps track of our spending, watches the weather, and gets us where we need to be on time whether that’s with luggage or not.
Several 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 from 2014 – 2017, once on my own, once with two of our daughters and the last time with Brett and our youngest daughter. One added bonus from these travels was discovering how wonderful it was to return home to Kaua’i.
In August 2018 Brett and I left the Garden Island in order to do some big-time travel. For 18 months before our departure, we once again saved, planned, and downsized even more. After getting our youngest daughter settled at college, Brett and I took off for an extended journey around the world, a “Big Adventure,” visiting Argentina, Uruguay, France, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, India, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. We than spent three months in Japan living near our son, and followed that with a three-month stay in England in the fall of 2019. Early 2020 started off with a short return visit to Kaua’i, then on to another three-month stay in Japan that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. We left Japan a month early and canceled a long stay in Mexico, as well as trips to New York City and New England, and returned to Kaua’i to ride out the pandemic. We stayed on the island for two years, then visited San Miguel de Allende for a couple of months. That was supposed to be the beginning of another round of full-time travel, but life had other plans and we’re now living in the Nashville area to support our daughter-in-law and granddaughter while our daughter-in-law fulfills a two-year consular position. We plan to return to Mexico to live full time when we’re finished here, but in the meantime we’re enjoying time with family and exploring all there is to see and do in the area.
Brett and I are fully 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 all our little birds out of the nest now we’re now free to do our own thing. We live a very simple, uncluttered, and uncomplicated life these days but love finding ways to save and are looking forward to more travel. We’re nomads at heart.
I hope you’ll join me (and Brett) as we share our dreams, our goals, our plans and face the unknown going forward.
27 thoughts on “About”
I discovered your blog a year or so ago…I found it chasing down a recipe that you had posted. Since then, I read it on a slow evening when I want to relax without being bombarded with the news, politics, etc. You provide a fresh “slice of life” and I truly enjoy your simple approach to life on the island. One of my favorite books is “Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk…I think you would enjoy a tale of another’s escape to paradise. (whether you read it or not, I think you would even enjoy reading a book review about it .)
Keep up the good work. I know writing can be a chore at times, but know that others truly appreciate your efforts.
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Thank you so much for writing. I apologize for the delay in replying – life got in the way.
To be honest, I think I write more for myself than anyone, and the fact that others read what I have to say, or are interested in what I do or how I live, still amazes me, and I am deeply touched when readers respond.
And, thank you so much for the book recommendation! I have read many of Wouk’s books, but did not know about this one and am adding it today to my Kindle. I’m just about done with my current book, so this will be the next one up. (Just found out it’s not available for Kindle! I’ll check and see if our local library carries it.)
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Oh I am glad I found this blog. We live in Indiana (recent transplant from Texas) and also have son and granddaughter in Japan – Kyoto. We have been 3 times to visit, once for son’s formal Shinto wedding, and find that we enjoy Japan. Sort of wish we were on the west coast or even Hawai’i but that is not possible due to other family issues. Going to sign up for updates.
Really glad that we have FaceTime so we can easily watch the kiddo grow up. My son is 6’4″ so the daughter will be tall. I think she is about off the charts for height over there.
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Hi Bob! Welcome! Wondering where you are in Indiana. My dad was born and raised in Westfield, and I still have family there. Our son went to school at Earlham, in Richmond.
Lucky you getting to go to Kyoto. I LOVE that city – so fascinating, and so different from Tokyo. We were there two years ago and am looking forward to visiting again in a couple of years.
Re. the height thing: our son is not as tall as yours, but he is tall. His son, although the youngest in his kindergarten class is still the tallest and seems quite big compared to the other kids! Our new grandbaby though will probably be more petite like her mom (who is tiny).
We won’t be back to Japan for another couple of years now – our son and family will be making the trip to Hawai’i for the next visit.
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We are in Noblesville just next door (east) to Westfield. Small world. We will be back in Japan in the fall. Kids were here at Xmas so giving them some distance for next visit. Really glad for FaceTime as we get to see them all live all the time. The GD is 15 months and a real pip and 31″ tall with really big hands – not going to be petite :-). Counting on a volleyball star here. My son is so big he cannot buy much local clothing and never shoes (size 12-13). We send them from here.
Yes Kyoto is nice and much more laid back then Tokyo – sort of NYC vs SFO or something.
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We live in PA but have family on Kauai. We are usually there in the winter months to help with any projects we can, tag along to grands’ events, etc. I joined a knit group at church and really look forward to visiting with them every year. I take advantage of quilt classes as well. It is so nice to keep busy when traveling. I love the many yoga class opportunities available in the Kapaa area. I have not read all of your blogs but would love you take on the best one in your opinion and why. I am a beginner. We are retired but travel quite a bit.
Welcome, BEL! Are you asking which other blogs I think are best? It would be hard to choose as I read several very different blogs on a variety of topics. If you’re asking about this blog you can click on the different categories on the side and see what topics interest you. My previous blogs dealt with different topics (getting out of debt, moving to Kaua’i, settling in on Kaua’i) – those blogs are now closed to the public – too much maintenance work to keep them open.
If you are here this winter, I’d love to do a meet-up! Let me know.
Aloha Laura and Brett,
Hello from wintery Milwaukee WI! It’s really warmed up here today with a high in the 40’s, sure beats the teens the other week. My wife Christine and I are working on executing our Kauai relocation pending one more little hurdle (home sale… just a little hurdle). We’ve met a few people on island and one of our good friends here has owned a condo in Poipu for 20+ years. I understand your former Kauai moving / living blogs are now closed… we’d love to read them if possible as we’re always interested in new perspectives. Perhaps we can visit next time we’re on island? Have a great day, aloha, Jeremy
Hi Jeremy – I’m only keeping the old blogs open so I can find recipes that I posted there! But otherwise they are closed for good – I hope you’ll understand. I’d be happy though to try and answer any questions you might have about moving over here. What part of the island are you moving to, or at least considering? Oh yes – we went through that whole home sale hurdle before we moved. Stay strong – it will happen.
We’d be happy to do a meet-up next time you’re on the island – I love meeting my readers. Just shoot me a comment that you’re coming and I’ll send you and email and we can set the whole thing up!
Mele Kalikimaka! Makes sense, no worries, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can. We aren’t sure yet where we will start out but most likely east side… it’ll probably depend most on what is available to rent with our cat and a fit for us. We’d love to meet up sometime, it’s looking like we may be on island in Feb or Mar if all goes smoothly. I’ll let you know as it goes!
Jeremy & Christine
Hi Laura. Is your big trip itinerary set in stone? We have a house in South of Crete if you want o add any dates. We dont rent it out but we do visit a few times a year. I meant to ask you befpre but not sure I actually did. Let me know xx
Oh my, that you for letting us know! We do have our itinerary pretty well set for this trip, but believe it or not, Greece, Crete, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia are at the top of our list for the next trip. I will be in touch! Are you still going to Spain as planned?
It will still be there 🙂
Pleased to saw I have three Greek trip and the Spanish trip booked and paid for. Like you I love the planning, searching and dreaming almost as much as the travel so plenty going on this year 🙂
Laura, I linked to your blog from “A Satisfying Retirement’ and I just wanted to say that I’m so happy I did. Your blog posts are a pleasure to read and it seems like our families may be similar regarding ages and stages: I retired in 2016 toward the end of our daughter’s junior year in high school and my husband had retired a couple of years prior to that. We were so blessed in that we were able to attend every softball game and tennis match that she played in during her final year of high school. Our daughter is still living at home and is attending a local college full time. Coincidentally, she is also adopted and we celebrate the date of her adoption as “Brother and Sister Day” at our house. (Can you guess in what month she was adopted? Yes, March!) Our son, who is five years older than his sister, is out in the workforce, but we’re fortunate in that we’re only separated from him by a couple of towns and not an ocean. You and I seem to share the exact same perspective when it comes to traveling, although my husband and I forego international travel to explore the United States by RV. I love the research and planning stage of a trip just as much as the journey itself, I think, and it doesn’t have to be a big trip to make me happy. My husband rolls his eyes (but smiles) every time I add another destination to our bucket list. Since you’re such a diligent planner, I know that whatever decision you and Brett make regarding the next step of your lives will be a well thought out one that will bring you both happiness and satisfaction. The best of luck on that journey – wherever it takes you!
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Hi Laura! I’ve been following your blog before your move to Kauai. I want to thank you for the beautiful, heartfelt posts and wonderful pictures. I was so happy to meet you in person in 2015 in Kauai and look forward to your Big Adventure posts. I’m on island now and it would be such a joy to meet you one last time. All the Best.
How long will you be here? Let me know and I’ll shoot you an email and we’ll set something up!
I’m so happy to have found your blog. I LOVE to travel as well. Kauai – oh so lovely – we spent 10 days there a few years ago – peaceful, beautiful, warm. I love the Hawaiian Islands. Love those wild chickens. Ah and then there’s Europe – my dream. I’m still reading all your adventures – and enjoying your take on each area.
We look back fondly at our time on Kaua’i and feel very fortunate we were able to live there. We’d go back in a heartbeat if it weren’t for having children who will most likely settle on the mainland – we want to be able to spend as much time with them as possible as well as future grandchildren.
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Sounds like an awesome plan. The grands have brought great joy to our lives.
The two grandchildren we have now live in Japan, so we don’t get to see them as much as we’d like to, and it’s one of the reasons we’re excited about being there for three months – our apartment is close by to where they live so we can do sleepovers, etc. But, out daughters will most likely work and settle on the mainland, so it makes sense for us to settle where it’s easier for them to visit us and us to visit them than it would be if we lived in Hawai’i.
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I can’t wait to be you. I have 4 years until I can join my husband in retirement! Right now we travel when we can which is actually quite often yea!. We are also minimalists, but have a messy daughter living in the basement. Love her to death, but not her stuff.
We love our nomadic lifestyle these days and being retired. Trust me, it will be as wonderful as you imagine it. In our case my husband and I were both very ready to stop working and our segue into retirement was very easy. We know we’re going to eventually want to settle somewhere, but we’ve decided to keep going for a bit longer.
My kids were messy too, and I have to admit to feeling very thankful I don’t have to deal with their stuff these days.
Thoroughly enjoying your travels!! Thanks ever so much!! I just read a book perhaps you might like…..
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.
Thank you, Joy! We are having a wonderful time, and talking more these days about keeping it going.
I’ve put The Salt Path on hold at the library – sounds like something I would enjoy.
My ultimate dream would be to move to Hawaii. As that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, I plan to live vicariously through your posts and photos. A nomadic existence is in my heart too, as are the infinite joys of an uncluttered life. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures at home and abroad.
Thank you for following along! Hawaii started out as a joke for us, but we discovered it had everything we were looking for in a retirement location, so we spent a couple of years figuring out how to make it work and then made our move. Same for becoming full-time nomads. We love Hawaii, but miss the traveling more these days, and can’t wait to get back at it.
I checked out your blog as well – love it and all the places you’ve been!
A friend recently shared your blog with me, knowing that I am retiring and long to travel on modest funds. It is so helpful to have your insights into budgeting, prioritization and more. I have enjoyed your recipes! Thank you for sharing.