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October 29, 2012

Retirement, vagabonding style

A couple, strolling in New York.

A couple, strolling in New York. Photo: Ed Yourdon / Flickr

The Wall Street Journal had a story titled, “The let’s sell our house and see the world retirement.” A couple, Lynn and Tim Martin, decided to ditch the stereotypical retirement lifestyle and hit the road.

Here’s how Lynn describes it:

In short, we’re senior gypsies. In early 2011 we sold our house in California and moved the few objects we wanted to keep into a 10-by-15-foot storage unit. Since then, we have lived in furnished apartments and houses in Mexico, Argentina, Florida, Turkey, France, Italy and England. In the next couple of months, we will live in Ireland and Morocco before returning briefly to the U.S. for the holidays.

Nice to read that anyone can be a vagabonder, regardless of age, gender, income level, etc.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Just under the headline, click on “Interactive Graphics” to see a map with a breakdown of the Martins’ budget.  Most of cities they’ve lived in turned out to be cheaper than their California home, even expensive destinations like London. Lynn gives much of the credit to the vagabonding ethic, as she shares here:

We follow some simple strategies to keep our budget in line. Stays in more expensive locations, like Paris or London, are balanced by living in less pricey countries like Mexico, Turkey or Portugal. We dine out several times a week but eat at home much of the time. I like to cook, and food shopping is a great way to learn about a country. (Finding baking soda in Buenos Aires isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds.)

Have you retired and are currently traveling?  Please share your experiences in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (19) 
Category: Lifestyle Design, Senior Travel


19 Responses to “Retirement, vagabonding style”

  1. rubin pham Says:

    when travelling to big cities, it is usually better to take the train, subway, bus…to a small towns 1-2 hours away.
    there, you can find cheaper housing and food. another bonus to this method is the fact that you can interact with the local more easily.
    when in france, don’t stay in paris. when in england, don’t stay in london. when in japan, don’t stay in tokyo…

  2. Roger Says:

    For those who can do this, great. Go for it. But don’t wait till you are at retirement age to try to travel or live abroad. If you get lots of travel experience when you are young, you will stand a better chance of handling it when you are older.

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  4. Jo Says:

    I sold my house in April, put my stuff into storage, bought a pack with wheels and am a flash packer, not a back packer…..only difference being how you move your pack.
    Travelled for six months slowly….Texas, England, Ireland, Spain, Texas again and then home to New Zealand…..to see my daughter and her family….and to keep my pension going! My son lives in Texas, hence repeat visits!
    About to head off to Australia to house sit for six weeks. A lot of this article resonated with me…..especially reasons why we do this. I haven’t vocalised some of them but knew in my heart they were the reasons. The feeling one is past your use by date!
    Reactions from friends mixed. Ones who know me well understand as have always been a traveller, not always physically, but other friends think I’m mad. One reaction from a guy. “Jo, you are not 40, or 50, or 60…. You’re not even 70. I don’t understand what you are doing or why you are doing it. Why don’t you take up knitting?” His wife was shocked as she had been to Europe last year for 3 months but I just burst out laughing.
    I love the freedom to roam where ever, of not having a mortgage or responsibility of a home, of being able to travel without a plan….that is fantastic and so liberating, and I can live in the moment which is so hard to achieve in normal life.
    Can’t wait for next Sunday when I leave NZ again, house sit in Queensland….warm weather..and then ???? I don’t know. :-) )))

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  10. Linda Says:

    I just returned from an “ambitious” month long European romp that involved planes, trains, buses, boats, bicycles and lots of walking.

    Started in Rome, visiting our daughter there, two weeks in southern Italy, then drive from Nice France to Lyon, trains to Paris, then London, then Glastonbury Festival in Somerset to see the Stones.

    Ready to go again…maybe a sailing trip to Patagonia.

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