I just counted, to the end of 2016 I've visited 37 countries outside my country of birth.  To me that sounds like quite a lot.  But I don't consider myself much of a traveler.  Perhaps I can say it's because on a business trip I'm busy and tired, but I suspect it is because I'm out of my comfort zone in a different country which often has a different language.

Well, I've decided that has to change, and many people who choose early retirement have travel in their plans.  After all, travel can't be out of my comfort zone any more that quitting work, surely.  I already have some trips planned for the first half of 2017, skiing in France in February, a marathon in Prague in early May, and a trail race in Germany later in May.  So, I'll go armed with my GoPro, an extra dose of confidence, and let you know how my trips go.

By the way, Sally and I are buying a small apartment in the French Alps.  It won't be ready until mid 2018, but I'll post some updates about that too, including our reasons for buying soon as I figure out what they are!

Travel often isn't the cheapest thing to do though, so it will be interesting to see how it figures in our cost to retire.

December 21, 2019

I’m back home. This year's early retirement travels are over and it’s time to look back over the last three months.

Let me first backtrack to the "why" that's behind my travels? It goes back to pre early retirement when I was trying to figure out what would replace work? Part of my answer was to say I would travel.

It’s a fairly common response when asked “what will you do?”, “won’t you be bored?”. Ahead of time I had trouble fi...

December 15, 2019

It's my last week which means mixed feelings. This year's travel adventure is nearly over but I have getting home to look forward to. 

My flight leaves LAX on Saturday and before then I’ll visit Napa Valley, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and head down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. The coast road is far from the quickest route but surely it’s the most scenic.

I arrived in Napa on Monday lunchtime, perfectly timed for a...

December 6, 2019

Anyone who believes California is the land of eternal sun…think again! It’s one of those things that I intellectually know but have trouble putting that knowledge into practice.

Before getting to that, here’s what I have in mind for my two weeks in California, based around meeting up with an old school friend near Sacramento in the middle of the trip. I fly in and out of Los Angeles so figured I’d do one leg of the journey to...

November 28, 2019

Towards the end of the week, Rebecca finished her vacation and headed back home and back to work. Her plan was to relax for a few days for a little calm before normal life resumes.

The relaxing would be in the town of Guatapé, so first we had to get there from Salento. That meant two buses, one taxi and a total of eleven and a half hours door to door. The surprise was that, this time, the bus wasn’t driven by a wannabe racing d...

November 21, 2019

I can’t say that I’m not relieved to move away from the heat and the humidity of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It’s certainly a beautiful part of the world, but it’s a hot and humid part of the world too. In comparison, Medellin, with it’s pleasant year round temperature, is known as the city of eternal spring. That suits me much better.

What suited me less was not being a hundred percent healthy, as my daughter decided to share...

November 15, 2019

I believe the journey to financial independence is best when it's a balanced one – focus too much on saving money and you may miss out on things along the way, but spend every penny or cent and you'll never reach your financial independence goal. Somewhere in the middle is a good balance.

Longer periods of travel also need a balance. Our treks of last week were physically tough, so we’re striking that balance by taking it easie...

November 8, 2019

We’ve had a busy week (a quick reminder that “we” is me and my daughter, who has joined me for the next month of my travels).

We’d already self-explored Cartagena Old Town but decided to have a do-over on Monday, this time with a guide to ensure we would see the right places and hear the history. We signed up for a “free” walking tour which isn’t really free but works on a suggested donation. The tour lasted three hours for jus...

October 28, 2019

Despite being mostly on my own, I’ve still enjoyed this week. Not doing much, plenty of time in coffee shops, sometimes a lazy week is exactly what we need.

I’ve deliberately left Medellin unexplored until I return to the city next month with my daughter, Rebecca. It will be more fun to explore with her company and it’s given me a week where I can do little without feeling guilty that I’m wasting the time.

My lazy week meant dit...

October 22, 2019

There’s less to say about our travels this week, we decided on some lazy days before Sally returns home and I head to Colombia. So we booked more luxurious accommodation with a plan to do nothing but relax. For Monday through Wednesday, we did exactly that.

We walked on the beach and I managed to get sunburn. I hate it because it's seriously uncomfortable and completely avoidable. I’m normally super careful to apply sunscreen b...

October 20, 2019

That’s three weeks in Costa Rica done (and four weeks since we left home). We’ve been to the Caribbean coast (South to Puerta Viecha and then North to Tortuguera), inland to La Fortuna and Monteverde and this week we arrived on the Pacific coast.

We chose Costa Rica mainly with Sally in mind. She gets ridiculously excited seeing animals and has a preference for visitor friendly destinations. Costa Rica ticks both boxes.

That sai...

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About Me

I think I'm a normal kind of guy, although I've perhaps had a slightly non-typical life in some respects.  I'm from the UK, 47 years old, married to Sally and with two

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