About Us

Our main About Us page has three sub-pages that you can find by clicking on it or, since you’re here already, use the highlighted links below.

Here is our page in first place, That Was Then which talks about what we call our previous lives. The lives we lived before we veered off the pathway of the “Great American Dream” and decided to try something totally different.

And here is our current page, This Is Now – Four Years Later which, you guessed it, talks about our experiences of transitioning from full-time nomads to semi-nomads with a base in Portugal.

And the third page is what used to be our “current” page, Musings On The Road.  Written over two years ago, it includes reflections about the changes we see in ourselves as well as the way we view the world around us.

Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment if you’d like.  We love thoughtful discussions as well as questions.

Anita and Richard, July 2016

31 comments

  • Anita and Richard,

    Greetings from Ohio! I’ve never spoken with anyone who has the same type of retirement plans as we do, so imagine my excitement when I stubled upon your blog! I’ve been reading it for several days and can’t seem to get enought. 🙂

    My husband and I are frugal travelers who travel most places with just our Osprey Porter 46 backpacks. We have two teen sons, and backpacked around Thailand, Nicaragua and NE India and as much travel within the US as can afforadably accomplish. We found we can travel in India for a month for less than we can go to NYC for 5 days.

    I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband has been in law enforcement for almost 30 years. He will retire in 4 years with a state pension. I have a small IRA. At retirement, I will be 53, and he will be 54 years old. My husband keeps his health insurance upon retirement, but I will no longer be covered. We are too young for Medicare. We’ve watched too many people pass away in their 40’s and 50’s and never get a chance to follow their dreams.

    Although my husband will have his pension, it is still modest. We’ve come to realize that in order to retire comfortably, we will need to leave the USA (lack of affordable health insurance for me is also weighing heavily on our minds). For a couple of years now I’ve been formulating a plan to sell the house and all we own, strap on our backpacks and never look back. For years I’ve been looking at the HelpX.net and Workaway.info websites and putting together a plan for us to travel around the world for a couple of years volunteering and working at help-exchanges as well as staying at economical AirBnBs along the way. Doing this will help us save even more money while searching for that place where we may eventually settle down long-term. Our families think we are absolutely bat-shit crazy, and we have discovered that we have nobody to talk with out our plans becuase they truly just cannot understand why we would do it.

    In any case, I have a few questions in which I am struggling to find anwers. We live in Ohio which taxes retirement income. Did your home state do the same? If so, did you first move to a state that did not tax your retirement income? I’ve read that if you do not have a physical address then you are still considered a resident of the last state you lived in. So that means Ohio would tax us. I guess we could move to Florida and establish residency before hitting the road but that seems like one more obstacle I’d rather avoid. We could also move to Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, or Ecuador straight away. These countries have Penionado programs which are very appealing, but we would have to live their for a certian period of time before leaving. This defeats the purpose of traveling in search of a place that feels right to us. Prior to settling down in Portugal, did you have an address for important mail?

    Hopefully you’ll get a chance to answer my questions. I look forward to following your blog for a long time to come!

    Meg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Meg! I’ve been savoring your wonderful comment and have been waiting for an afternoon when I could sit down and write an email to your “headscarolina****** address. I’ll be writing a shorter reply on your blog comment of course but thought that you deserved a special “hurray” and hug of encouragement for your retirement plans.
      How well I remember those looks of “What chou talkin’ about?” when we first mentioned our plans to up and leave in 2011. Our friends too thought we were “bat-shit crazy” since Richard was loving his early retirement, I had a “great” job (that I not-so-secretly hated), we had our dream home, etc. etc. However, since then, we’ve met several fascinating people face-to-face and through our blog who are also looking for something other than the traditional retirement and either traveling full-time or living as expats in other countries. I’ve said it many times but we’ve made so many more friends traveling which has really made our lives infinitely more interesting, more fun and a lot richer. The take-home point is, your vision of a traveling retirement ain’t so batshit after all!
      The health insurance was also our big motivator for leaving the US. If we had stayed in the US or if we ever go back, one of us will have to work to pay for insurance. Richard is 67 now and gets Medicare but I’m only 60. Not to get into the politics too much but the Affordable Health Care Act hadn’t been implemented yet and now … who knows? I know I won’t fall under the plan as currently espoused by the House because, although I’m healthy, I’m excluded under their pre-existing conditions. That’s the US reality …
      To answer your question about mail: We lived in Texas which has no state income tax. We file our federal income tax every year so Richard’s social security and our withdrawals from his 401K are taxed but no state tax is definitely a benefit. We use my sister’s address as our legal address. Another option that we just learned about yesterday is a mail service with a link at: https://www.usglobalmail.com/ which I think may be based in Texas. There’s a phone number that you can call.
      Good luck and again, just tell those naysayers that you’re at the forefront of a trend! We’d love to hear what solutions you come up with.

      Like

  • Hi Anita and Richard,

    We’re really enjoying your blog! You are our travel role models 🙂

    We’re trying to build more readership for our blog and I have a couple of questions for you:

    How long have you been writing yours?
    You’ve got an impressive number of followers. How did you get so many? Any WordPress tricks you can share for getting more followers?
    Are you using the basic (free) WordPress account or have you upgraded? If so, what plan are you on and how does it help you boost readership?

    Thanks a lot!
    – Susan at Latitude Adjustment

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Susan, Thanks for your very kind words and we’re rather humbled to be role models! 😀 We’ve been writing our blog for almost 4 years and, looking back, we can see how its evolved tremendously in content, photos and even the tricky skill of just finding our voice – making our blog uniquely ours and talking about things that interest us (and hopefully) others. We started off with a free WordPress template and a few months later upgraded to Dynamic, a paid theme that worked well with how we wanted our blog to look and feel. No bells and whistles but very easy to work with (like all of the WordPress themes) and change up occasionally. At the beginning we were publishing a post once a week but several months ago we scaled back to putting out a post every two weeks. That’s enough to keep us excited and motivated to write about whatever has caught our interest without it feeling like a j-o-b. We started the blog as a fun hobby and want to keep it fresh for those who read it as well as us. And alas, no tricks for increasing readership I’m afraid. Darn it – we really want to jump in with the “popular” crowd too! Our numbers have grown slowly but steadily and it’s great to write something and know that it will be read instead of floating out in the ether. We read, add a like and/or comment on a number of other blogs (most are travel, some are about aging and politics with a lot of humor mixed in) and find that the support of other bloggers is encouraging as well as a source of virtual friendship. Welcome aboard to the blogging and expat/travel community. This will definitely keep your “golden years” sparkling! Anita

      Like

  • Hubby and I are quite a ways from retirement yet, but have been living the expat life for the last 7 years in Seoul, Korea. And now that we’ve done it, I don’t see how we’ll ever go back to living, in our case, the “Great Canadian Dream.” Too cold for one. Haha. Look forward to perusing more of your blog… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • How awesome that you’ve been able to find a way to combine work with living life as an expat. (Wish we’d figured that one out years ago!) Korea looks like it fits the definition of any “dream” life country with it’s spectacular scenery, history and customs. Definitely a place we want to visit. And why go back to either the “Great American or Canadian Dream” when we can explore other amazing countries? Here’s to life as travelers and expats! (P.S. We’re enjoying your blog too!)

      Like

      • It’s one of the best decisions we ever made, and now I’m not sure if we’ll ever go back to “normal” life. All we can envision is what the next new place we’ll live and work is.

        Korea is definitely a great place for expats and travellers. Definitely do let us know if you ever make it out this way. Love meeting other likeminded souls! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • We also agree that both the traveling full-time and living as expats are the best decisions we’ve ever made! 🙂 It’s amazing to look back and see how our priorities have shifted and also see what we’ve learned during our years as expats. It seems that each day brings us something new to learn or experience and it’s great to live a life of anticipation rather than doing the same thing day after day.
          We have a good friend in Seoul that we would love to visit so we’ll definitely reach out to you when we plan a trip. A meet up would be fun and it’s always a good time to connect with people who have a passion for travel!

          Liked by 1 person

  • Pingback: The Blogger Recognition Award | my gypsy dream

  • Hi Anita and Richard!
    Love your site and your posts. We’ve been travelling for a mere 18 months 😀and loving every moment of it. Great to hear that after 4 years the novelty hasn’t worn off for you – Can’t see us stopping any time soon either plus we still have no idea where we would want to settle down yet – so many wonderful places!
    Best wishes, Adrienne & Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words, Adrienne and Dave – You’re singing our song! Sounds like you have no plans to stop travelling anytime soon and we can definitely understand why they say travel is addicting. The novelty of travel is still fresh and we love the sense of anticipation that comes every time we pack our suitcase. And why “settle” when there’s so much to see, do and learn? 🙂 Here’s hoping our paths cross someday!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hank Williams Jr, Country Boy Can Survive. On the road. Sometimes on. Sometimes off. It works, right? Appreciate everything you share. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Anna Gottschlich

    Hi Anita and Richard,
    We are in El Estor, Guatemala for the weekend and would love to see manatees. We read your post about the manatee whisperer Don Benjamin and were hoping you could let us know how to contact him. Thanks in advance for your help and looking forward to speaking to you soon!

    Anna and Kristin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anna and Kristin and thanks for stopping by our blog. Our hosts at the Kangaroo Hotel (you guessed it, a transplanted Australian) reachable only by boat on the Rio Dulce, reached out to their local contacts after we mentioned that we’d read about the fresh-water manatees and the refuge. Like a lot of our travels, serendipity plays a huge role in the things we see and do and this was one of those times. My suggestion would be to ask at the hotels around El Estor and see if you can arrange a morning boat trip. We still remember that lovely quiet morning on Lago Izabel as a highlight of our time in Guatemala. Good Luck!

      Like

  • Hello Anita and Richard!
    We are a young couple from Europe and we have just started our blog! I have read the interview by Cheri Lucas Rowlands about how you are planning on doing more traveling in Europe! I was really inspired by your experiences and loved going through your travel pics! If you like we could give you some interesting travel inspirations! As a couple in a long distance relationship we are always on the move and have discovered several places throughout Europe worth traveling.
    Hope you are having a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We feel like we are visitors to the world’s greatest candy store when we think of travelling about Europe – so many places to see and experience and it’s all just waiting for us to GO! Thanks so much for your offer of more ideas of places to see and we’d love to hear about your favorites (setting some priorities seems to be our first goal :)). And we love the optimism and vibe of your new blog. It’s all about exploring no matter what path you’re on or where you find yourself!

      Like

      • Dear Anita and Richard,
        Thank you for your nice words! We are happy to share our personal travel favorites (in Europe) with you!
        1. England – London
        Not only the ‘big city vibes’ but also the multi-cultural atmosphere make London more than just another capital. I was staying in Notting Hill for a few days and got to experience the famous Portobello Road market. Of course the London Eye and the Buckingham Palace are two typical tourist attractions that I really enjoyed as well.
        2. Italy – Rome/ Venice/Pisa
        Yet another capital that is famous for its history and full of archeological treasures is Rome. Having studied Latin in school for 6 years made visiting the Colosseum (and some other very exiting buildings) an outstanding experience for me. Venice gives a different side of Italy, with its “romantic vibes”.
        The Leaning Tower of Pisa is less famous but was one of my favorite sights so far. The Mediterranean atmosphere in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, and Siena) and also the “Best Gelato in the World” in San Gimignano are still some amazing travel memories for me.
        3. Germany – Berlin
        As a German I definitely have to suggest Berlin as a place worth traveling! The famous Berlin Wall with the East Side Gallery is stunning even if you have learned about it in school ever since you can remember. If you would like to have a look at a bunch of different parts of the city on one day we would recommend going on a boat trip down the Spree River. Besides all the tourist attractions Berlin itself has a really nice flair to it because of the modern cultural mix (fashion, technology, lifestyle).
        4. France
        Unfortunately there is so much attention paid to cities that don’t give a proper impression of the whole country. So if you really want to experience the French atmosphere we would suggest traveling through Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees, which is a region in Southern France. And don’t forget to make a quick side trip to Cite de Carcassonne.
        5. Switzerland
        Switzerland has one of the most beautiful landscapes of all European countries (at least the one’s we’ve been to so far). I like to say that you can “see more of the sky there” (I know that sounds so weird, but that’s how I feel about it). The mountains and the clear blue sky have something therapeutic especially in winter when the snow creates a real winter wonderland. Going on hikes and spending some relaxing time outside is just as good as visiting Zurich or Lucerne, which are the two cities I would recommend for travelers the most.

        We hope we could give you a few inspirations! We have lots of photos of every single place we have been but that would go beyond the scope of this message:D
        Hope you are having a great day!
        PS: We are planning on traveling to Barcelona soon and are surely going to share our experience on our blog!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks so much for all your great ideas and recommendations. We’ve fallen in love with the idea of Europe but have barely scratched the surface of this amazing continent and love reading other blogs for information, tips and inspiration. However, from personal experience based on a one-month stay in Barcelona, you are in for a TREAT! Have a great time!

          Like

  • Hi Anita and Richard, we nominated you for the Versatille Blogger Award. Please follow this link to read more https://travelbug.co/2016/06/21/we-are-nominated-for-the-versatile-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marcelle and George for the nomination and we feel honored to be included with some of the other great bloggers that you have mentioned. Writing and sharing our travels can be fun (and lots of work too) and knowing that our posts are read and enjoyed gives us lots of incentive to keep writing. Plus, look at all the online friends we make!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hey Anita and Richard. We’ve nominated your fantastic blog for a ‘One Lovely Blog Award’. We’ve been following it for a while and really enjoy reading your posts. https://jwalkingin.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/one-lovely-blog-award/ . Keep the great travel articles coming. Best wishes. Jon and Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi folks. We’re still finding pieces of your site that we hadn’t seen before and enjoying it as always and it was a great help in getting started especially. We’re wondering if you could send us an email at (email removed to protect privacy) as we have a couple of questions about Lagos. Cheers, Tim & Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tim and Anne. We’re so glad that you found some of our posts helpful while you started on your own journey of travel and becoming expats. It’s an amazing lifestyle and we are very happy (as well as thankful) to have the opportunity to experience this chapter of our lives. I’ve removed your email address from the above comment section to keep it private and just sent you a link and a note with our email. Here’s to new online friends and travel! Anita

      Like

  • Hi,

    I just checked you site (again) and noticed that I left you a message last year and that you responded. I don’t recall receiving a notification of your response about guest posting on our site. If you are still interested please email me at simone@retirementandgoodliving.com and I will forward additional information. Sorry about the long, long delay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi,

    I just found your blog and want to invite you to provide a guest post on the blog on our our site Retirement And Good Living, about your decision to sell everything and travel once retired.

    We launched our retirement site at http://retirementandgoodliving.com which provides information on a variety of topics including life, health, travel, volunteering, finances, retirement locations, hobbies, part time work and much more to boomers, recent retirees and others thinking about or planning for retirement.

    Currently the blog section of our site is comprised entirely of posts by guests on a variety of topics. To date over 200 guests from around the globe provided posts for our blog.

    Please let me know if you are interested and I will forward additional information.

    Thanks,

    Simone Harrison
    Retirement And Good Living

    Like

    • Hi Simone, We would definitely be interested in providing a guest post on your blog, Retirement and Good Living. We checked out your blog and the content is topical, informative and attractively presented and we are excited that you asked us for a contribution. Please let us know what you are looking for and we’ll see if we can provide it. Thanks again, Anita & Richard

      Like

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