We lived in a water front home on the canals of north Padre Island. The island is located over the causeway from Corpus Christi, TX. It’s a beautiful place to live and retire. The house was on the Laguna Madre, the west side, and the Gulf of Mexico, the east side, was about a mile distant. The National Seashore – a massive national park dominated the north –central part of the island and provided excellent recreational opportunities. We planned on retiring there.
The economy, politics and business decisions beyond my pay grade had led me to early retirement. That did not pose too great a problem. I was busy with volunteer activities, beach combing and my island fellowship gang. Anita was a hospital pharmacist working with people she enjoyed. We had family and friends, the beach, water toys; things were good.
Somewhere along the line, in between Anita’s job becoming less satisfying and more frustrating and my growing restlessness, we agreed upon a new option for the future. We decided that we would travel. There was more to it than that, but that was the essence of it. We would travel with no clear end game, no ultimate destination, no place to which we must ultimately return.
This idea did not arrive fully developed. Anita researched it for several months – in stealth mode – before she broached the subject with me. I wrestled with the notion of possessions and how we could keep the “the really good stuff”. We both considered the option of being teachers of English as a Second Language while we travelled. But in our minds, we began to envision an alternative to our previously anticipated retirement years.
We began in August 2011 and started making up lists of what needed to be done. We went through two garage sales, endless Craig’s list postings, shipping treasured items across country to new homes, etc. We finally got our stuff down to what we would need to travel. We put our finances in order, leased the house long-term (still waiting for the real estate market to recover), arranged for worldwide health insurance, addressed issues of taxes, voting, medical records, and especially, how to stay in touch with all those who are important to us.
We left our island home on September 11, 2012. The cars were loaded to the gills with “stuff”, but all of that was destined for our son in Colorado. We drove to Longmont, Colorado, left the vehicles with all that remained of our worldly goods and said our goodbyes to family. On September 19th we took off from the Denver International Airport for Mexico. We took with us two laptops loaded with all our photos, scanned copies of documents and other important information , two kindle e-readers with extensive libraries, two cameras, and two suitcases each.
We have no set itinerary or schedule. We plan to not plan and follow opportunities and interests at our own pace. In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose”.