Beth and I both like to travel. A few years ago, we started to wonder if we could just do it full time. About the same time, the notion of the “location independent lifestyle” first hit the edge of the mainstream. We learned there were others like us — people who weren’t at traditional retirement age, but who wanted to spend less time at a traditional job and more time seeing the world.
Neither of us has ever really been interested in the typical ideal American life plan, the one that looks like this:
Our ultimate goal was to see the world not as tourists sampling cities and countries in week-long chunks, but by living there for a few months at a time. So we did an experiment. We created a project called “12 Cities, 1 Year” where we would spend a year traveling around the United States in our little red Prius, living in 12 different cities for roughly one month each. That kicked off in the summer of 2011, and you can read all about it here (my perspective) and here (Beth’s perspective). But life threw us a curveball and we had to end it after just six months.
In late 2012, we did a three month road trip around the eastern US that made up for some of the canceled part of 12 Cities, 1 Year. But it wasn’t the same, because it was rushed. At the end of that journey, we settled back down in the Denver, Colorado area. I took a traditional full time job again, while we saved and planned for the next big thing.
Well, now the next big thing is ready to start. Beginning in early September 2015, we are once again selling (nearly) everything we own, moving out of our apartment, and hitting the road. This time we are going to the Eastern Hemisphere for six months of travel.
Our current itinerary is Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and India. Neither of us has been to any of these countries before, so we plan to hit some of the usual tourist sights, like the Great Barrier Reef, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and so on. But we also have enough time to take in each place a bit more deeply than most tourists can.
Beth is going to work on a number of volunteer restoration projects and go on bird watching tours. I’m going to take some cooking classes, try to shoot some interesting video, and improve my screenplay writing skill. One thing we’ve learned from our earlier travels – and heard from others who have done this sort of thing – is to not overplan. We planned a lot of our first two big trips in the US to a fine degree, but this time we want to have the flexibility to wake up and say, “Hey, this city really isn’t as interesting as I thought, so let’s leave early.” Or perhaps, “I found out that the big annual Water Festival is happening next week, so let’s stick around an extra few days.”
I’ll be writing more about our journey here, and hopefully posting lots of interesting photos. If you’re interested, I hope you’ll subscribe. Everyone always has questions when they hear about our plans, so please leave a comment and I’d be glad to answer whatever you’re curious about.
By the way, I just wrote all this using OmmWriter and highly recommend it. It helps me focus on writing by blocking out all the other distractions on my laptop.