You only live once……………..
…….But if you do it right, once is enough.
………………― Mae West
Isn’t that the truth! We may only live once, but once may be all we need… if we do it right.
To help make sure we have every advantage, our intrepid travelers have provided excellent insights on just how to do it right, whatever “it” turns out to be for you.
I’d like to thank each of our friends for contributing to this terrific collection of stories and advice in our series on creating an Adventure Filled Life.
It’s been fascinating to read the stories, and see all the common threads throughout your journeys. The overriding truth I am learning as I am compiling and editing the responses is that there is no “one size fits all“. There is no one right way.
The saying, “One man’s paradise is another’s hell” is never truer than when trying to tell someone else what they “should” do with their life. So keeping that in mind, we offer these words of wisdom to be your guide in determining “What’s Next?” and what is right for you and yours.
If we can be encouragers for any among you to get out there and take a swing at life’s piñata, call us happy!
With that, let’s jump right in to what we gained from our 8 intrepid travelers!
Question 3 asked: “What would you say to someone wanting to plan a life [of full-time travel/ part-time travel/international work-travel] like yours?”
From Margo (& Jeff) [full-time living abroad in France, with side travel for work and pleasure]:
“I would say, do your homework and go for it! If it’s something you want to do, give it a try. You can always go home if it doesn’t work out.
I would also recommend getting help from others who have moved to your country and learn from their experiences (and mistakes). “
From Marsha (& Stanley) [Retired; recently returned from the Ukraine with the Peace Corps]
“Living in another country is not the same as travel. Both are enriching experiences, but very different.
It takes some time to arrange, but if a long-term experience in another country is what you want, it is completely realistic.
It’s not a porch-swing behind a white-picket fence retirement plan, but something very much worthwhile.”
“Live simply. Stuff begets stuff.
Believe me when I say it took living out of a backpack and changing cities every three days for me to get this. We really don’t need as much as we’re led to believe we need.
When this simplifying realization happens to you, it will free you to focus more on the rest of this list.
Some of us spend our lives working to please someone or everyone else. Traveling, for me, removes many of the external factors that influence my identity and puts me in touch with my authentic self.
This is what it taught me: don’t listen to what other people want for you.
Sometimes we are so caught up in the voices of others that we can’t even hear what we want for ourselves. Live your life for you.
As with this list or anyone’s advice…take what works for you from it, and leave the rest.
I blinked and my five month trip was over. Life passes just as quickly. What are you going to do with yours?
We put all the day-to-day stuff on autopilot, manage all our finances online, and the world is our oyster – and can be yours as well.
Travel as a lifestyle takes work and lots of planning, and our advice to anyone considering full-time travel is to simplify your life and make travel a priority.
The fewer things you have to worry about in your daily life, the more mental energy and financial resources you’ll have to apply to your travel life.
Search for reasons to travel instead of excuses not to … and make it happen. It’s that simple.
“Retirement doesn’t mean quitting life. But it also doesn’t mean endless days.
Live purposefully... if you want to garden, do it; if you want to travel, make plans and do that. If you want to live abroad, start researching and reaching out to bloggers who live where you think you want to be.
Whatever you want your Adventure Filled Life to become, it will take more than dreaming.
The point is take action. Do small things to move forward each day (make SMART goals to get you started).
Others have sounded the simplify theme. Here’s what happens when you don’t:
As I was leaving America to live in Azerbaijan, I took 36 pairs of underwear, 18 deodorants, and 18 pairs of pantyhose. Can you imagine anything more ridiculous to pack? Oh yes, I also packed my pink suede shoes… that would be more silly!
I ended up leaving America with no problem, only to recheck my luggage in Frankfurt with a € 642 excess luggage fee (yikes!)
Do as they said, not as I did..”
Anne: Our trips, like our lives, will always have their ups and downs. My travels are often a heightened piece of my life with a specific end date, so somehow I tend to accept this more willingly when I’m on the road. But every day we can make an effort to appreciate the good times…and stay positive during the less-than-good ones. When life is good, we must savor it.
Marsha: We actually are home from Ukraine, but what a life-changing jaunt that was! I highly recommend volunteer programs like the Peace Corps. The volunteer is offered a stipend to allow them to live a modest lifestyle. Their contribution is to offer their talents to a developing country. In Ukraine, for instance, we taught English in the university system.
Some boomers may be interested in short-term Peace Corps commitments. Hmmmmm – maybe I’ll just follow that link myself.
James & Terri: We’ve had years to fine-tune our strategy, and we’ve come full circle.
For years we’d move to a new city, buy a house to renovate that needed lots of TLC, live there for a couple of years (in order to avoid the short-term capital gains tax), sell the house at a good profit, put all our belongings in storage, and take off.
Whether it was a 6 month road trip in the US, a long-term furnished rental in Europe, or an RTW; we kept an open mind and experimented with lots of travel options.
Today, we realize that if our house is small and simple (like our condo on St. Simons) that we can maintain a base and still travel as much as we want. Lock it and leave it – that’s our motto.
Jonelle: I say I wouldn’t change anything about my 10 years abroad in Baku, but in truth I would love to be doing that trip now. At that time we had no internet and barely were getting cell phones (I always said I didn’t need one of those things! Ha!)
We had amazing times discovering how to do things when we had the equivalent of two sticks to rub together. But we made fire and it worked. What’s more it changed me. I learned I could do much more than I ever believed possible. And I love that as a Life Lesson.
If I can go back and highlight one of my favorite tips, I would just say this, 10 times…
“Search for reasons to, instead of excuses not to …
and make it happen. It’s that simple.”
You fill in what’s right for you, and let us be the encouragers to cheer you on your way!
I hope you’ll come back (often) and let us know how these tips resonate with you the most, and what plans you are making for this year.
Be sure to check the blogs of all our friends who graciously provided these tips and suggestions:
- Curious Rambler …… Marsha’s Bungalow ….. Gallivance
- Part-Time Traveler ….. Life Lessons… What The World Taught Me
If you’re looking for retirement or new business ideas don’t forget these options:
- Marsha & Stanley’s suggestion for short-term Peace Corps commitments
- Jonelle’s suggestion for travel or retirement income iPas2