Early retirement should be fun, exciting and challenging. We've worked hard to get to this point, so we should be sure to make it worthwhile.
Although some of my blog posts are more practical such as my how to retire early post from last week, others are about the exciting things that we can do because we retired young, my bucket list ideas for example The subject for this post is definitely in the exciting opportunity category!
We already know that we'll be in Dubai until June 2018 because Sally doesn't finish her teaching contract until then. But what about after that? The easy option is to stay where we are, doing more of the same - it's a safe choice, but it isn't something that is exciting or will challenge us with new experiences.
So what to do? The blog header tells my thought, which is that travel ticks the exciting and challenging boxes, and hopefully it will be a whole heap of fun as well. And I'm not talking about a week on a beach, but something much more than that! Sally is not so sure and, deep down, I'm not completely certain about it either. But that's the point, something that pushes us out of our comfort zone will be challenging and exciting, and we will come away from it with a truck load of experiences and memories that we will keep forever. Despite her reservations, Sally has said OK to it, which means that I can start to think about it more seriously and start making some plans, even though departure date is a year away.
While I do want it to be a round the world trip, it is likely that we will break it into different sections. My current thoughts, without having done the research, are:
July to October 2018 - India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, Japan, Australia, New Zealand
I wonder if this is a bit much for our first foray into "proper" travelling. I'll give this more thought, but it may be that we have to think again about India, Nepal and Japan, and possibly consider doing these on another trip. Another possibility could be to go to one of Vietnam or Cambodia, instead of both.
November 2018 to February 2019 - Morzine, France
We'll spend some time in France because the apartment that we are buying will be finished by this time and we want to be the first people to stay in it (in due course, we will continue to use it, but we will also rent it out as a holiday home).
The middle picture is a drawing of the place we are buying in Morzine...a tiny apartment (the bit within the red line) underneath some bigger apartments for people with much more money than us!
March to June 2019 - Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia (for Victoria Falls), and possibly South Africa
If this timescale is too long for these countries, then we could try to include some countries in South America in this leg.
It may not quite be a full round the world trip, but it's still pretty "out there" for us, and we are taking account of:
We have to finish our trip by June 2019 as Sally still wants to teach some more from September 2019. We don't know where this will be, it could be anywhere in the world, and maybe it will be somewhere we have seen on our travels.
Our apartment in the French Alps should be ready around September 2018, and we're excited to try it out. That's why we would head there for a few months after the Asian/Australasian leg and before heading off to Africa.
There is a reasonable chance that we will eventually live in Europe, so it makes sense to save the Europe trip until that time.
I have an idea to tour North America in an RV in a separate trip, so am leaving North America out of the plans for now.
I have lots of research to do! I need to check whether the countries that I've listed are the best ones to go to, or whether there should be others on our list, what are the things we should see and do in each country, which legs should we travel by air and which ones are better by train or bus, what sort of accommodation will work for us, how much will all of this cost and how do we keep within our retire early budget, and I'm sure a whole heap of other things that I haven't even thought of yet.
A little scary, but exciting at the same time. Our early retirement travelling is going to stretch us, challenge us, and I'm sure it will give us memories that will last a lifetime. If you have any ideas or recommendations, let me know so that I can keep them in mind as I do my research over the coming months.