What country are you from?
We are both from the USA
What is your age?
We are both currently 58 years old.
How many countries have you visited?
Lost track of the total number of separate countries. We have visited and lived all through Europe, All through Asia includingThailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, All throughout Mexico, Central America and countries in South America. We have sailed through the different islands of the Caribbean. Of course we have been coast to coast in both Canada and the US including Alaska and Hawaii.
Our approach isn't to simply add countries visited to our list, but rather to live with the locals and experience the culture first hand. We don't really keep much of a schedule other than what the entry and exit visas place on us.
What is your greatest joy of living anywhere?
The freedom it gives us. The ability to come and go as we choose. The challenge of the cultures, the similarities of humanity all over the globe.
Why do you live in many cities in many countries?
We love people, the natural landscapes, the native cuisines. The languages, music, cultures and traditions, all enrich us. The histories of the nations, the architecture, how different cultures solve their problems, how they relate to one another all intrigues us. The learning never stops. The world is gorgeous from mountain peaks to crystal clear ocean waters on sugar sand beaches. We have an appetite for all of it!
What is your source or sources of money?
We retired at the age of 38 in 1991. Sold everything we owned and invested it, so we live off our investments. We also now run a very popular retirement, travel and lifestyle website called RetireEarlyLifestyle.com We are able to share our adventures and travel wisdom with our readers in our free newsletter and in our many books.
How does a person prepare?
For travel? For a lifetime of travel? It's a process. We initially sold everything and just went vagabonding with our backpacks. We have learned to travel light. We don't over research or over plan. We didn't have a working knowledge of foreign languages at the time and just learned as we went along. We aren't afraid to try new things.
History, geography, anthropology, weather patterns, cuisines, traditions - everything - comes alive when we travel. We learn while immersed in our current environment.
If you want to go, go. Make sure you know the visa requirements, the general weather to expect, and the currency exchange rates and just go.
For a lifetime of travel, open yourselves up to the people you meet; To the opportunities that present themselves while you are on the road. Say yes to most things and no if you need to.
What mistakes have you made, that you would recommend people avoid?
It helps if you know whether the country you are visiting uses 110 or 220 volts. You can ruin some good equipment if you are not aware of the differences. Know before you plug in.
One Travel Tip?
Pack items that have multi-uses and are not heavy.
Biography, explanation of life of living in many places, the longer story:
In our middle thirties, we were putting in 60-80 hour work weeks and our schedules were rigid and demanding. There had to be more to life than that. We wanted to see the world while we were still young with mental and physical flexibility to do so.
Looking at our savings and level of spending, we took two years to figure out if we could live without a paycheck. Once we were convinced we could do this, we quit our jobs, sold everything, and hit the road. We were 38, and it was 1991. The Gulf War had just started. Everyone said it was a dumb idea!
We have been living a National Geographical lifestyle now for over 2 decades. We love volunteering and getting involved in local cultures. Since we are foodies, we love the native cuisines. We might have had more money had we continued to work, but we would not have collected the various and profound experiences that enrich our lives today.
These perspectives are not obtainable from watching movies or reading books. Living first hand in the midst of these cultures is the best!