I’ve spent so many nights lying awake at night, wondering if we’re doing the right thing by spending the best years of our lives slaving away at work, away from our kids, away from each other. I kept thinking we must be doing this wrong, that there must be a better way…
And I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like it’s just too risky to wait until retirement to escape the rate race. It really is.
The Stories That Totally Freak Me Out
You’ve heard the stories like this, right?
A woman whose husband died of a freak heart attack at age 45, or the guy whose wife died of cancer at 50. Or how about the guy who worked hard for over 40 years at his job, only to die a month after he retired? So many unfulfilled hopes and dreams…
Most people spend the best years of their life working at jobs they hate, hoping to retire in their 60’s, hoping they’ll still be healthy enough to enjoy it.
But there’s no guarantee we’ll even still BE here at the proper retirement age! And if we are, what kind of shape will we be in?
“Live Each Day As if it’s Your Last!”
I’m sure you’ve heard those inspirational speeches telling us to “Live each day as if it’s your last!”
Well, we haven’t been doing that at all.
We’ve been living the typical North American family life: our jobs are often thankless, we come home and rush through dinner, we seem to never have enough time to just hang out and relax with our kids, we don’t have enough time to devote to our hobbies, we’re unable to take our precious vacation time as we like… you know how it is, right?
Surely we can do better than this!
Am I an Ungrateful Jerk?
Now I know that to some people, I must sound like a real jerk to be complaining about such seemingly trivial first-world problems. And I KNOW that we are SO lucky to have been born into one of the richest, safest countries in the world. And believe me, I’m grateful for that – VERY grateful.
But, surely that doesn’t mean we have to stop pursuing our dreams, right?
Scheming to Escape the Rat Race
We only get one life, and I didn’t want to waste any more of mine by filling most of my time with stuff that I didn’t want to be doing.
I want to travel and see the world, before I run out of time. I want to be free to pick up and go where I want, when I want, free of the restrictions that come with being someone else’s employee. I want to do the seemingly impossible – do all this even though we have 2 kids. Some would say my time for these kinds of dreams has passed me by… that I’m too late… that there are too many things tying me down…
I started to scheme for our great escape from the rat race. It’s time to escape before it’s too late. The time has come to start living each day as if it might be my last. I get that every day won’t be perfect, but surely a better balance can be found.
Paul once said I spent more time scheming to escape the rat race and travel than a convict planning their escape from a maximum security prison. He’s probably right.
But you know what? It paid off.
After years of scheming, planning, crunching numbers and rearranging them every which way, years of making decisions that would inch us towards our goal of freedom to travel, yes, YEARS, I finally came up with a plan that would work.
Even if things go very wrong financially, it would get us a few years of travel. Not bad. And much better than 2-4 weeks vacation per year.
And if all goes according to plan, we’ll have a life of permanent travel.
So I guess this means we’re going to become a couple of vagabonding, homeschooling, semi-retirees, by an average age of 40. I’m so excited!