Something changed this year and it’s a good thing. Over the years, usually while on vacation, Paul and I have talked about travelling, getting out of the rat race and like most people, usually done it in “pipe-dream” mode. We’d met people who were travelling for several years, people who downsized so they could travel for half the year, who just made life changes to make it happen and we’d think “we should do this”. Then you come back, life takes over and you go back to the regularly scheduled society programming. This year it moved to “potential reality” mode which is exciting and scary at the same time!
What changed? We did and no, I won’t get personal. Paul has always wanted to go and while I did as well, there was always something I managed to come up with as an excuse not to go. Give me a topic and I can give you a solid excuse! Between my excuses and following the “regularly expected program” we let it slide. We’ll travel when we are older because Europe is easy to get around… it’s not like we can sell everything and just go… we missed our opportunity… we aren’t young anymore… blah blah blah. This year, we realized hang on, we are both actually ready to make this work. Paul will tell you he has always been ready and it was just me. There might be some truth to that but that’s personal! We decided that this is something that we want and we took action to start turning our dream into reality. Where are we at?
Our Stepping Stones:
- Step 1: Me, I was all about where are we going to go? Paul was more how are we going to get there? So we went to the whiteboard, which is our lingo for let’s sort this out and started to come up with a plan. We have talked about places to see and ideas of what we would like to do. I happen to have a list of such, since I am a list person and generally keep a list of lists to keep the lists organized.
- Step 2 – research or can we do this? We are knee-deep in the “gathering knowledge phase” which can be overwhelming! We aren’t the first people to do this and we won’t be the last. There is so much information out there that you can get caught up in and be smothered by it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic and worth the time spent huddled over our computers. We have been reading, investigating, signing up for websites, listening to podcasts and gaining insight on things to consider, as well as ideas and suggestions. We have found that there seem to be some common threads regardless of how people have gone about making this life change.
- Step 3 – the blog. Admittedly, this has been mostly Paul so far and this is my first attempt. I used my getting ready for a 100KM Kidney March as my excuse . I am not a writer and often find things funnier in my head which at times can be hard to translate into reading material. Unless they are posts about my experiences on Calgary Light Rail Transit, those seem to be well received. The choosing of the name was a fun experience since I am more whimsical and Paul wanted it to make sense. HP’s (Helen and Paul’s) Saucy Adventures is still a winner in my mind but we decided getting sued by England’s famous brown sauce wasn’t how we wanted to go.
- Step 4 – the almighty dollar. We had a realtor over to value our house and see if we can sell. This was totally freaky and I suggest if you need to stay up for most of the night for any reason, you try this. We are also speaking to financial planners to see where we are money wise and the impact of taking this kind of career break. Which also felt really weird. You’d think we might have addressed this since we are already in our mid 40’s but apparently we are late bloomers who have been just going with what made sense at the moment. With all our reading, we have learned there are ways to travel where we can be financially smart and comfortable. Who knew?
Back to Step 2. We still have a huge amount of stuff to do before we can set a date, buy our tickets and go. I am sure that while it seems like selling the pool table and finding somewhere to donate our paperbacks are massive tasks, they are not going to be our biggest challenges. The really cool thing is that we are turning a dream into reality. PS – Paul chose the photo. I left it because I like it and who knows, maybe it will be a theme of ours.