I started this blog to demonstrate to my fellow baby boomers that the world is still open and available to those who are motivated and curious enough to go out and see it for themselves.
In 2011 I sold everything I owned, took early retirement and began traveling the world. Some people would say this was a pretty radical step, but after living a rather typical American life, a life based on seeking comforts and accumulating possessions, I longed for adventure and experiences far more than I cared about holding on to my “stuff”. I knew such a drastic change might sometimes be challenging, but I also knew the rewards of fulfilling lifelong dreams would be worth it.
I started this blog to demonstrate to my fellow baby boomers that the world is not some scary place to avoid, but it is still open and available to those who are adventurous, motivated and curious enough to go out and see it for themselves. In fact, now that many of us have the time, there may never be a better opportunity to step away from the ordinary, see those places we always wanted to see, have some adventures and open our eyes to the beauty and experiences we have been missing.
This blog isn’t about budget travel, but there is certainly a bit of that. It isn’t about luxury travel, but there is an element of that too. I may occasionally strap on a backpack and go to some pretty remote places, but I am not a “backpacker”. This also isn’t all about minimalism, but I use minimalism as a tool (I prefer to call it “the luxury of little“) to enable me to live this lifestyle. It is specifically about retirement either, but I hope to motivate you to try traveling and have some retirement adventures of your own. This blog is about possibilities and experiencing the full spectrum of life and living in ways that I find interesting and appealing. One day may find me staying with indigenous families, eating local food and sleeping on straw. The next may find me drinking fine wine in an ultra-luxury hotel while admiring the lights of a world-class city. To me, it is about variety and enjoying the full spectrum of what life offers.
Before I began my “LifePart2” I was an air traffic controller in the United States. Sure I had a few adventures; I got my pilot’s license at age 17 and my SCUBA rating at age 18. I always enjoyed working but, after 25 years of doing the same thing every day, it had become stale. I had always been passionate about travel, writing, and photography, but the typical American work schedule, long commutes, short vacations, fatigue and the general distractions of life, restricted my ability to delve deeply into my passions. As soon as the opportunity for early retirement came available I jumped at it and I haven’t looked back.
Since I love traveling I made it my goal to move around the globe, basing in different countries for roughly a year at a time, while taking opportunities to explore everywhere. So far I have lived off the grid on a white sand Caribbean beach in Mexico, in a Spanish colonial town in the mountains of Chiapas, in the shadow of ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Thailand, and on the Mekong River in Laos. Currently, I am living with my travel partner Sarah near on the ocean north of Lisbon on the “Silver Coast” of Portugal with a crazy dog and a grumpy cat.
Since I retired I have, in no particular order:
- Eaten a beating cobra heart in Vietnam
- Frolicked with Cham dancers in Bhutan
- Walked on the Great Wall of China
- Swam with Whale Sharks
- Slept on the floor of a Buddhist monastery in Burma
- Attended the Cremation of former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk
- Witnessed (twice) the Paper Lantern Festival in Thailand
- Run in the London Marathon
- Gained some good karma by fixing a water powered prayer wheel in Bhutan
- Completed traveling to all 50 United States
- Lived off-the-grid on a Caribbean beach in Mexico
- Slept in a Cave Hotel in Anatolia
- Had a pig sacrificed in my honor in Laos
- Walked the Camino de Santiago over the French Pyrenees and across Spain
- Gone whale watching in Canada
- Eaten Guinea Pig in Peru
- Sailed on the Aegean Sea
- Zip lined through the jungle in Thailand
- Eaten “dancing shrimp” in Chiang Mai
- Climbed a volcano in Indonesia
- Danced with the Mud Men at the Ghost Festival in Dansai, Thailand
- House sat in Hong Kong
- Climbed the Pyramids in Tonina, Mexico
- Walked on the Ghats in Varanasi, India
- Slept in a Capsule Hotel in Japan
- Sipped fine wine in the vineyards of Chile
- SCUBA dived in the Indian Ocean
- Been attacked by baby elephants
- Eaten fried crickets in Cambodia
- Run a half-marathon on Taiwan
- Searched the Markets of Chiapas, Mexico for Rat Soup
- Cried at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Survived a military coup in Thailand
- Explored the Mysterious City of Kathmandu, Nepal
- Been awakened by the call to prayer at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
- Had my drone confiscated in Peru
- Attended the Day of the Dead celebrations in Chiapas
- Climbed the Acropolis in Greece
- Witnessed sunrise and ran a half-marathon at Angkor Wat
- Hot air ballooned in Cappadocia, Turkey
- Witnessed sea turtles laying eggs on the beach
- Ridden a motorbike around Bali
- Tried betel nut in Burma
- Rescued street dogs from the meat trade in Thailand
- Lived in a rice field in Cambodia
- Cruised on the Mekong River
- Slept in a treehouse
- Took and Expedition Cruise around Tasmania
- Lived on the Mekong River in Laos
These are just a few highlights of the experiences I have had since retirement in 2011.
The journey hasn’t always been completely smooth, but it has always been educational and never boring. I have made more friends and met more interesting people in the last five years than I probably did in the previous fifty. I have pushed myself harder, expanded my comfort zones further and lived more freely than I ever have before. The people that call me “brave” for living this way don’t understand what I fear the most — living a life of regrets and “should-haves”. Nothing in this new life is about running away, but it is about running toward everything life has to offer with open arms and an open heart.
If you would like to talk more about travel, the expat lifestyle, photography or whatever, please just contact me.
I love to work with brands, organizations, and destinations that share my enthusiasm for living life to the fullest and think that grown-ups should travel more and have more adventures. If you agree and would like to discuss areas where we can partner together to help spread the word you can have a look at my media kit and contact me.