Retired in our 30's, having adventures with Bruno, enjoying our newfound freedom!

25 Jul

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Material Possessions

July in the South East is hot hot hot. You would think that spending 8 months in Central America would have prepared us for the heat and humidity of the Carolinas… not so. I’m still melting. Another confession: I never read the classic Financial Independence book: Your Money Or Your Life! I was able to fit it in around the new home renovations and hiking with our friends: some of the four-legged variety that we check out of the local adoption center for a fun day out.

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27 Jun

The Impossibility of Early Retirement

The front page of MSN.com recently featured an article titled How this couple saved $1 million and retired in their 30s. Bruno was happy with this, since it’s always a great opportunity to potentially inspire and encourage new readers about financial independence. However, unbeknownst to Bruno, the posting of this article also turned out to be a poking stick that gently nudged a hornets nest. The incalculable fury of two notorious internet gangs was henceforth invoked. They call themselves The Doomers and The Denialists and upon reading about Bruno, they conspired to join forces and unleash a rainbow of disgruntled comments online. Tighten your internet seat belts folks, shit’s about to get serious.

It started with The Denialists tap-dancing all over the comment section of the MSN article, dropping such golden denial nuggets as:

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08 Jun

An Idea for Retirement: Painting A Mural

I’ve wanted to paint a mural for a number of years. While I actually made some progress on this mission while living in Oakland, CA, it turned out the spot I wanted to paint was a freeway underpass and I ran into serious permitting issues. On top of that, who the hell has time for painting a mural when working a full-time job? Ultimately I threw in the towel.

Now that we’re in the artist-embracing city of Asheville, NC, what better time to accomplish my dream of painting a mural! Since we’ve bought a house, but can’t actually move in until July 1st, I’ve got plenty of spare time on my hands.

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16 May

The Day We Watched $270,000 Leave Our Bank Account

As early as 2007 I can remember Travis saying he wanted to live somewhere with more trees. We were living in Calgary, Alberta at the time, where the Great Plains of North America meet the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We set our sights on Northern California and thoroughly enjoyed our time there until just last year. 10 months of traveling southbound into the jungle climates of Central America taught us that we longed for cooler temperatures – but not long winters. Say hello to our newest friends: the trees of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern North America!

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25 Apr

Our First Year of Early Retirement

A year ago our portfolio hit $1 Million and we quit our jobs, packed up Bruno the 4Runner, and began our journey driving south from California to Costa Rica. The following twelve months became the best of my life to-date, hands down! So now that it’s been a whole year – how much money did we end up spending, and how well did our portfolio survive?

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Our last camping trip in the San Francisco Bay Area (on Angel Island) before quitting our jobs and driving south into Mexico.

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05 Apr

O Canada, Our Home and Native Land

We modified the tail end of our road trip and decided to spend more time in the country of our birth. It was two weeks packed full of love before reaching our final destination in Nova Scotia. A memorial for a cousin who left us too soon. Reconnection with family and quality time with old friends. After being on the road for a year, the visits filled our hearts and reminded us how much we cherish our relationships. There were also plenty of cute kiddies to enjoy without taking them home! Bruno has not been child-proofed.

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14 Mar

Hunting for the Best Early Retirement City

Without a job dictating where we’ll live, we’re able to develop our own criteria. We’d like to live somewhere with a happening downtown core, reasonable cost of living, good weather, bike friendly, open-minded people, decent public schools, and lots of nice trees. Quite the list, right? For our 50th post and the one-year anniversary of this blog, we’re sharing our hunt for a U.S. city to settle down in, with Bruno of course. A place to hang our hat until the next trip starts to take shape.

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Asheville, NC (Joe Franklin)

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29 Feb

Texas for The Win & A Taste of Mardi Gras

When you’re living out of a sixteen year old truck, home just happens to be wherever you stop for the night. Now that we’re rolling in Texas, Bruno has discovered a new amazing place to sleep at night: state-sponsored rest stops! Wonderfully clean and safe, they have great restrooms and spacious picnic table areas for cooking your meals. We could plan a whole other road trip trying to hit every rest stop in Texas, but that’s an entirely different trip. Welcome to Texas!

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16 Feb

We Never Planned To Go To Mexico City

Mexico. Land without chocolate chips or sunglasses. If you think you can find gafas de sol easily in Mexico, think again. Mexicans don’t wear sunglasses! Sharing one pair between the two of us is no way to live. And then the chocolate. In the absence of other desserts, we usually keep chocolate chips on hand for a dose of sweet. The ones we had from Costa Rica lasted until Mexico, where we promptly found out that Mexicans don’t bake with chocolate chips! The avocados, though: plentiful and cheap. Almost makes you forget you’re having sugar withdrawal while squinting into the sun.

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10 Feb

Yucatán and the Ruins of Southern Mexico

We’re back in Mexico, a country full of topes (speedbumps) and delightfully large supermarkets! After being in remote areas of Central America for 8 months, nothing says Welcome Back To Mexico like being launched into space by an unmarked surprise tope, or stepping into a giant Wal-Mart Supermercado and having your brain explode with how much stuff there is. In this post we cruise through the Yucatán Peninsula, swim in a Cenote, see the relatively unknown Salto de Eyipantla waterfall, and climb some amazing Mayan temples.

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03 Feb

Belize smells like Crême Brulée!

It takes about 5 hours to drive across the tiny country of Belize. We stayed 3 days for good measure. Passing countless fields of sugar cane, you’ll eventually reach a processing plant or two, where the wafting smell of burnt sugar fills the air. Belize is the last Central American country we’re visiting before heading back to Mexico, kind of like dessert at the end of a long Central American meal!

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13 Jan

Honduras-Guatemala Border Crossing @ El Florido

A short border crossing report for those overlanders venturing away from the Pan-American highway. The crossing between Honduras and Guatemala at El Florido is fairly well-organized, and it has an actual concrete building to boot! Not many other travelers, just transport truck drivers vying for the attention of the Customs agents. Naturally, we got by using our apologetic Canadian nature and our elbows when needed.

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16 Dec

Nicaragua-Honduras Border Crossing @ Las Manos

A new country! One we hadn’t spent any time in during our trip south, and one not as frequently traveled by overlanders who follow the PanAmerican Highway down from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina. The Las Manos border we used to cross into Honduras was tiny with only a handful of travelers, but hoards of transport trucks clogging the roadway. There were surprisingly low levels of bureaucracy; they were happy to admit us and we were happy to have arrived!

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