Many, if not most, working people would likely jump at the chance to travel where and when they wanted, especially those now sitting in a cubicle with no view and a day of deadlines and meetings. I did not always plan to travel in retirement, but that is our current plan. I am no expert yet, as we have not yet started our first big solo trip to Europe and we have only been home free since September 2013. However, there are certain inconveniences with a life on the road you may want to figure into your dreams or plans. Continue reading →
If the visit to San Carlos is to be judged by the people we met, the visit was a grand success. Less so from the photographic side, which may be simply my fault. I did not get an abundance of good photos, but hope to stay in touch with the people we met. Continue reading →
I started preparation for retirement from my first job out of collage. Immediately when I qualified for savings contributions to their 401-K plan I participated to the maximum the company matched, I contributed 6% before taxes and the company contributed an additional 3%.
I walked about 50 feet for this sunset photo and the moon behind Mount Tetakawi. It was basically taken from our deck. We are staying in San Carlos, Mexico for a couple months. The term Tetakawi either means hill of stone as most people say “Goat Tit Mountain.” Either way, there seems to be surprisingly few photo opportunities in this sleepy little town. Continue reading →
I feel as if we are WAY behind in our reservation efforts. We now have booked a cruise going and returning from Europe, but no car nor a single night’s lodging reservations. Twenty-eight places have been selected, most for a one week stay, but no reservations have been completed. Many people with this home free lifestyle pick one or two places and live there for months at a time, but we are trying to visit many places (28) for a week at a time. Scotland seems to be the least expensive area and not too surprisingly, Venice is by far the most expensive. More about this in the Budget section under the Plan tab.
There was no need to return to the same port as we left from, but that is the way it worked out. We liked the departure date which allowed for more time in Great Britain. Here is the itinerary of the return cruise, booked through http://www.repositioningcruise.com/index.cfm
DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE DEPART
Mon Oct 13 London (Harwich), England 5:00pm
Tue Oct 14 At Sea
Wed Oct 15 At Sea
Thu Oct 16 Lisbon, Portugal 7:00am 4:00pm
Fri Oct 17 At Sea
Sat Oct 18 At Sea
Sun Oct 19 At Sea
Mon Oct 20 At Sea
Tue Oct 21 At Sea
Wed Oct 22 King’s Wharf, Bermuda 3:00pm
Thu Oct 23 King’s Wharf, Bermuda 4:00pm
Fri Oct 24 At Sea
Sat Oct 25 At Sea
Sun Oct 26 Nassau, Bahamas 7:00am 5:00pm
Mon Oct 27 Fort Lauderdale, FL 6:00am
My Mom moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico in 1995. She had 15 wonderful years here, enjoying the mountains, friends and working thousands of hours at the local Pink Lady Thrift Shop. She was known for cleaning up old dolls of all shapes and sizes for resale in the second-hand store, making them available to little girls who may not have otherwise had a nice doll. The local newspaper ran stories on more than one occasion about the Doll Lady of Ruidoso. She passed away in September of 2010, and three years later my sister and I have finally sold the house.
Gayle and I are now where we have worked hard to be….. homeless, or home free and able to travel the world where we wish, when we wish. We do not yet seem to really be into this mode of living. All we have done is book a one-way cruise from Florida to Rome. No return cruise and no places to stay during our five months in Europe. We continue to pursue the re-positioning cruise listings…… Did you know you can cruise from Denmark to Singapore? Who knew?
So good-bye to many good memories, Christmases with my Mom, golfing at the Links, summer BBQ’s and my favorite home-made molasses crinkle cookies. Our new adventure being homeless begins….
The photo of the wood peckers was taken off the back balcony at my Mom’s house.
We took the first big step in our travel adventures by booking a cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Rome. This is a repositioning cruise. In the winter a cruise from Florida to the Bahamas or Aruba is very popular, not so in the summer. Therefore the boat is repositioned to a better location, in this case the Mediterranean Sea. We will need to book another cruise back to the States in the fall, likely from London to Boston or New York. An advantage of a cruise vs. flying is no jet lag, since the boat adjusts the time one hour every day. Also, since we are homeless, or home free, we have no place to hurry back to, plus we get fine room and board for 15 nights. There are also rules regarding how long you can be in the mainland of Europe, called the Schengen Agreement (90 days), so the additional time at sea is not taking away from our time in Europe. We booked a room with a balcony and are hopeful it will be warm enough to use for more than tossing our cookies.
Booked room with Balcony
You can zoom out on the map to see the ports of call for this cruise.[codepeople-post-map]
The next task is to start booking places to stay in Europe through VRBO.com, which stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner. One can type VRBO Rome in the Google search bar and find many places available for rent from the owner. We are doing this since we plan on staying our maximum allowed 90 days in the countries of Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. We then head to the UK and Ireland for 40 days, as they are not Schengen countries, eventually cruising back to Boston.
This is just a plan so far. I remember our last cruise 15 years ago, we said never again. Part of the deal was the rocking boat made one feel a bit queasy for two weeks straight, which is no way to spend a vacation. We have high hopes of exercising every day and relaxing on the ship. We will see. No European accommodations are yet booked.
We are not the type of people who collect or shop anywhere near the amount most people do. My wife has never ever gone shopping for entertainment, she hates shopping. Our houses have always been uncluttered. We thought we were minimalist, but somehow we now have two storage lockers full of stuff, one in Illinois and one in the Southwest. We have already had the locker in Illinois for two years, at $114 per month. Our second locker, big enough to store the truck when necessary, is $100 a month. If we now travel around for five years, we will have incurred $15,800 in storage fees. I can assure you that we could come close to replacing our ‘stuff’ for that price, I think. But we have some pieces of art that mean a lot to us, like Pedro there with the big glass head and basket of blue eggs standing watch over our living room in Chicago.
So if you are contemplating extensive travels, start now to pare down your belongings,
you will still end up with toooooo much stuuuufff….
I was retired for only a couple of weeks, when I saw an interesting statement on a lady’s hand bag while riding the CTA in Chicago. After memorizing as much of the saying as possible, a search of the Internet informed me it was an excerpt from a novel written by Paul Bowles, “The Sheltering Sky.”
Our plan worked out as anticipated. We were sad to have left such a nice condo in Chicago with wonderful views, but adventures along RT66 and beyond are ahead. The truck
Truck Packed up leaving Chicago
was packed as full as possible. Here is a picture of our new truck with Chicago in the background. Also, one with it fully packed as we look like the Clampets driving down the highway with all of our belongings. The prior planning of test packing in the living room helped out. Oddly enough, there was enough room for many boxes of golf balls but not the toaster…….