In January of 2016 at the age of 53 I retired from corporate life. We sold or gave away all of our “stuff” and set off to travel the world indefinitely. Our plan is to visit all areas of the globe, spending months at a time in a given area.
We are Carey and Susan Mossop. This website is designed to help you in a number of ways:
- Give you our perspective and experiences in the places we visit around the world
- Tell you how we were able to retire at the age of 53 without winning the lottery or inheriting millions of dollars
- Inspire you to value the experiences in life and derive satisfaction from experiences and relationships versus accumulating things
- Share advice and tips on how to travel as comfortably and as inexpensively as possible
Our decision to downsize, simplify our life, and travel full time
The decision to travel the world full time happened in 2015. However, our decision to simplify our life and focus on experiences rather than things really started in earnest in 2007 when we lost the use of our gardener, lawn cutter, leaf raker and snow shoveler. Yes, our son moved out to go to college. I was a mid-level manager for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company and traveled about 30% of the time. Here we were in a nice three-bedroom house in a great neighborhood with great schools, but just the two of us. Did we really need all this stuff? Did we really want to spend the time and the money to keep the house clean, maintained, yard mowed, snow shoveled, etc? Would we have more life satisfaction by spending our time and money doing other things?
It really hit home as I looked through our basement and found boxes of “stuff” that had been moved due to job transfers to three different cities without being opened. I wasn’t even sure what was in those boxes, but for some reason we thought it was important enough to move those boxes thousands of miles and sit for years.
It took some time, but that realization in 2007 was the start of our process of simplifying, downsizing and putting emphasis on experiences rather than things. Over time, we downsized to a one-bedroom house close to work and one car for the two of us. This freed up money to use to max out our 401k retirement savings and allowed us to take one overseas trip per year with our son to experience a different place and different culture. For us, this was a much more satisfying life than the rat race lifestyle of trying to earn enough money to buy more stuff and have enough money to take care of all the stuff that we bought.
In late 2015 we made our decision. We let our apartment lease expire at the end of December. I gave my two weeks notice at work on January 3rd. We sold or gave away all of our possessions except some keepsakes, photos and artwork (These currently take up about half of a 5 foot by 5 foot storage locker). Besides our half full storage locker, we packed our clothes and personal effects that we will take on our travels in a roll-aboard suitcase and small backpack each plus one medium sized suitcase between the two of us.
On January 19, 2016 we left the United States for our first destination, a fifty-five day stay in the Dominican Republic. Although we will return to the USA or Canada occasionally for major events such as weddings, funerals, and a visit to family every two years or so, our plan is to travel continuously until we are either no longer able to physically or find that “perfect” place to spend the rest of our lives.
Our travel style
As much as possible, we like to make our own travel plans and experience as much of a place from the perspective as a local as we can. We are not package tour type “Seven countries in seven days” travelers at all. We like to eat where the locals eat, stay where they stay, shop where they shop.
Our goal as we travel the world indefinitely is to travel slowly. We plan to spend weeks or months in a given location – often as much time as the particular county will allow on a tourist visa, typically one to three months. Since we have no timeline, we don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time, our travel plans are fairly fluid. We will plan perhaps 30-90 days out, but may not have any idea where we are going to be six months from now.
The bulk of our travel is Airbnb, HomeAway or other such rentals of one bedroom places with cooking facilities. Our plan is to be in a safe residential neighborhood rather than smack dab in the middle of the tourist area.
We are not luxury hotel travelers. Don’t get me wrong, I love luxury, but the cost/experience trade-off is probably not going to be there unless we get a really good deal or can utilize hotel or frequent flier points. On the other end, we are not backpackers. However, I don’t rule out a stay or two at a hostel when it makes sense.
Speaking of hotel and airline loyalty points, at the time I retired I had over 1.6 million airline, hotel, rental car and travel rewards points. Over 1 million of those points were earned in the previous twelve months through non-travel methods such as credit card signing bonuses, promotional programs, etc. I will devote some of this blog to letting you know how you can do this too.
Thanks for coming along for the ride
We hope you enjoy coming along with us and experiencing our travels through our posts and pictures and being with us in spirit if not in person. I look forward to informing you and inspiring you to live life to the fullest and experience all it has to offer! Let us know what you think and what you would like to see on the site.