Author Topic: One year report...and is it a plan or a process  (Read 5231 times)

Barrtim

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One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« on: September 08, 2016, 10:21:41 AM »
So...pretty much exactly a year ago I dropped the firm's Blackberry down the toilet (no, really I did) and we legged it out of town for 9 months in W Australia and New Zealand to reboot the body and soul after 30+ years on a trading room floor.
I am 55lbs lighter after a lot of triathlon training and just completed my first half-marathon. I have given away all my suits (wouldn't fit anyway) and ties so a funeral or court appearance might be a problem. I learnt how to cook and eat healthily - low carb/high fat diet worked incredibly well for me.
I am writing this now sipping a "café solo" in a bar in the main square of a small walled city in the middle of Spain (it is very cheap here) where we are living until mid 2017 to learn Spanish...which would open the option to live here or think about Central/South America.

A few obsevations and a question please...

We have been travelling a lot. Setting up house and everything else in different countries is a) more complicated and b) frequently much more expensive than planned. That offsets the cheaper day-to-day costs. We are on budget but only just...

Travelling with stuff for four seasons and multiple sports is more hassle than planned...or you just wind up buying stuff all over again.

Running your entire life out of single laptop and two iPads is also not easy. And I still haven't found a solution to the mobile phone problem...even if you get a good roaming deal that never seems to work calling from another country to yet another one.

You are a slave to good wifi connections.

We have no base home - sold out of the US before we blew out of town. Everything fits in four suitcases, two carry-ons and a bike box...and the laptop. We do not know yet where we want to wind up...eliminated Africa from the list but not got much further than that (and  even then I am thinking about a trip to SA).

My question is....I don't think there is a plan for our lives; just a process. Do you need a plan or do you just trust to the process? Re-invention is tricky and I am not sure where this is all going?

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 12:02:03 PM »
I hit the 4 year FIRE mark in October.  I find my attitude continues to change.  Slower than the first 6 months of decompression but still in an adaptive phase.   I think since you have added adapting to foreign countries, languages, and a radical change in amount and intensity of physical activity, you need more time to adapt mentality to your new reality.  It is OK to be uncertain.  Life doesn't have to have a "plan" to be successful. 

Mr.Tako

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2016, 06:43:43 PM »
I try to keep some big annual goals for me to reach for.  Things like exercise, dividend income goals, learning to cook better, and some travel goals.

But I don't schedule it down to the hour or anything.  These aren't SMART goals.  I don't put any dates on them.

I want to have something to strive for, but also leave things open-ended enough I can just be lazy some days.

I posted about my goals here: http://www.mrtakoescapes.com/2016/07/22/post-fi-goals/

flyingaway

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2016, 07:49:10 PM »
If a few years, you will have travelled to almost all the places you want to go, then what is your plan?

Barrtim

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 01:30:32 AM »
If a few years, you will have travelled to almost all the places you want to go, then what is your plan?

We have no current geographical anchor. Maybe someday our daughter might have a family and provide that but she too is very mobile. Rest of our families are equally scattered.

We were thinking of a three month US tour to decide where we might pick.

Which begs the question...if you are stsrting with no prior bias, how do you decide? We feel ultimately it will be somewhere in the US but there is nothing to stop it being anywhere. There are some great and much cheaper choices but how to you plan that?

steveo

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 02:52:29 AM »
My question is....I don't think there is a plan for our lives; just a process. Do you need a plan or do you just trust to the process? Re-invention is tricky and I am not sure where this is all going?

I'm not FIRE'd yet however I don't see that we need to have a plan or goals or anything like that. When you die you die. I don't mean that in a negative way it's just that you don't have to prove anything to anyone.

If you have a goal or a plan it should be related to living life as well as you want to.

If anything I think you have to be careful with goals and plans because you can end up doing stuff that you don't really want to do and won't lead to long term happiness.

EndlessJourney

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 03:59:33 AM »
My question is....I don't think there is a plan for our lives; just a process. Do you need a plan or do you just trust to the process? Re-invention is tricky and I am not sure where this is all going?

If you're the type of personality that needs a plan and a clear direction, there's very little you can do to change that.

I've noticed on here that most people that hit FIRE are exactly those personality types, so they keep on driving hard ever after they hit their goals.

On the topic of nomadic travel, we know a couple that bought into the dream of slow travel. They went to some amazing locations, had some amazing experiences, but after less than a year, questioned why they were doing this and whether it was right for them. In their words, constant travel was "unproductive" and a "complete waste of time". They went home and went back to work.

Different strokes for different folks.

flyingaway

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 07:02:34 PM »
I have similar concerns. As I mentioned in several places, I (with my wife) want to travel to every places of the world that are reasonably accessible and safe. This year, while both of us are still working, we have been in 10 countries and areas. We could potentially finish our around the world travel in 3 to 5 years if we are retired. Then, what to do next? I think that is probably the "plan" that the OP was talking about. 

itchyfeet

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 12:28:22 AM »
I could also see me concluding that constant travel is pointless.

We have travelled a lot over our working life, and have loved seeing the world. This love of travel led to me seeking an expat assignment, which I  now 18 months in to. Relocating our lives to the other side of the world was a bigger shock to the system than I amticiapated, and we were seasoned travellers, having spent months at a time abroad previously. I would say it has taken us most of the 18 months to truly settle into our new home. Now we are settled in, and I doubt we will be in a rush to move back home, as that will also be disruptive. I think we will want to stay at least 3 years to get the most out of the experience.

Living as an expat has also created opportunities for more travel than we ever would have contemplated from home. In the past 18 months we have visited 18 different countries. This has definitely sated my appetite, and I am pretty sure we will end up traveling less in FIRE rather than more. We want to have our dog back, have family around us, grow our vegetables, join a basketball team and contribute to our community. Of course we will still explore the world, seeking out the most incredible hikes and spending lazy days in European villages, but I feel travel will be secondary to the rest of our lives. Whereas now, it feels like it's a bit all consuming.

EndlessJourney

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 06:48:32 AM »
Interesting you throw out the 18 month number. I haven't looked into it too deeply, but from anecdotal experience, most long-term travelers end their trip between 9-18 months. And if they get past that number, then they're into the multi-year odysseys; not too many stop at the 2-3 year mark. And then those travelers hit another wall at 4-5 years and call it quits there...

Gunny

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 01:03:33 PM »
We are just past one year into ER.  We also travel but decided on establishing a home base in a LCOL area in Alabama.  We spent two months touring Chile, several weeks total in Florida, Colorado, Virginia.  I have a motorcycle tour of Patagonia planed for January/February, hunting in Canada in June, Tuscany next September.  Through hike of El Camino de Santiago, a couple of months in Thailand and Spain are all on the RADAR.  We like having a home base to come back to.  Extensive travel is not cheap, even for frugal planners like us. 

Cassie

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 11:14:54 PM »
 Different things make different people happy and sometimes you don't really know until you try it. We bought a used RV from friends who traveled for a year happily.  We thought we would do the same but what I found out is that I am ready to be home after a month.  My DH could go longer but I just start missing my life.  No right or wrong way to do any of this. 

Dicey

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 02:17:27 AM »
Hi OP, you are asking good questions, but since you are FIRE, your focus is a little different than a lot of readers. Though props to you for posting in the best section to connect with similarly FIRE folks. There are a couple of retirement blogs that feature people who have been retired much longer and grappled with the same issues you're facing.

There's one in particular that I have in mind. I thought it was called retired.org, but a Goog search is only yielding paid sites with similar names. IIRC (and I doubt it), it was run by a guy named Bob, and it's kind of a clearinghouse. I used to read it before MMM, and I see it mentioned here on occasion, so maybe another mustachian will recognize it from my feeble clues and chime in. I believe it has more of the kind of information you're seeking. Best of luck to you!

soccerluvof4

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 08:57:27 AM »
Were a year and a half in to being fire'd and we had plans but they all changed for various reasons. Its fine this way and in some cases becomes more spontaneous. Nothing wrong with that. We have lightened our load a lot to make this more feasible.

CanuckExpat

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Re: One year report...and is it a plan or a process
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 10:35:32 AM »
There are a couple of retirement blogs that feature people who have been retired much longer and grappled with the same issues you're facing.

Not sure if it's quite the same issues, but there is Retirement: A Full-Time Job - The Unfettered Pursuit of Happiness. She has a nice perspective on things, and has a series Then and Now in Retirement where she compares how her views on certain aspects of her life have changed over the years in retirement