It is hard to believe it is already 2015! I haven’t written an update for a while, but it isn’t because I haven’t been busy. In fact 2014 was one of my busiest travel, writing and photography years so far. The truth is I have taken on so many projects; keeping up with everything has been a challenge. I never realized how difficult retirement would make it for me to say no to intriguing new projects and adventures while staying focused on ones I am already involved with. Even though in theory retirement has brought me more time to do more things than ever, opportunities are coming at me faster than I have time to fully comprehend or write about. Steering your own ship into waters of your own choosing is exciting, but it is sometimes a challenge. I swear I have never understood anyone’s fear of retirement being boring.
Please forgive me for what is going to be a somewhat rambling blog post. I am finally beginning to get over the writing constipation I have been suffering and I think I need to do a little housekeeping. I am not a huge fan of those year end letters that you get from people you haven’t talked to in years, but I am afraid that this may resemble something a bit like that. Sorry.
2014 has actually been a great year for LifePart2 the blog. We have grown our social media presence twentyfold and readership is increasing by leaps and bounds. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the overwhelming amount of positive support and encouragement I get just for living the life I love. With readership increasing doors are opening for more writing, photography and travel opportunities; like the trips to Bhutan and South America. I am very proud to now be on Travelocafe.com’s Top Fifty Blogger list. Again, humbled and grateful for anyone that reads my thoughts. This wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for you. Thank you.
For me, this blog has always been about possibilities. A mechanism that helps keep me out of the comfortable trap of low expectations and forces me to spend more time nearer the edges of, and sometimes outside of, my comfort zones. I also like the idea of showing people that it is okay to live your dreams and follow you passions even if you don’t know exactly what they are yet. Travel, adventure, photography and writing are my passions, but I realize that not everyone’s appetites are the same. I hope anyone reading will take my ramblings not as a guide, but as maybe as inspiration to live your own dreams.
One thing that I have learned from reader feedback over the last year is that they enjoy the inspiration that the travel articles bring, but also want more articles on, how to make things work, the costs in various places where expat retirees may want to live, and more on what it is like living retirement as an adventure. Some people want to know more about my “minimalism” and I have some ideas for sharing that as well. I have already started publishing posts by other bloggers that live in various places around the world and I intend to keep publishing those. I have some articles that I have written for various other publications about my retirement and I will start republishing some of those here as well.
When I started LifePart2.com in 2011 I had a guideline of wanting to live in one country at a time, one year at a time and that still holds. I love being a semi-nomad! So far in about three and a half years I have lived roughly a little over a year in Mexico, nine months in Cambodia and at little over a year in Thailand. This year alone I have spent month long trips in Burma, Bali and Laos, not to mention another dream – three weeks in Bhutan! There have been trips to Vietnam, China, South America and little “mini-adventures” to many other places. It is getting to be time to base in a new country and I will be letting the world know where that is very shortly.
When you take what many people see as a “radical retirement”, or any steps outside of the ordinary, there are bound to be a few glitches, miscalculations and opportunities for “teachable moments”. Along the way I have always trusted in my friend “serendipity” and so far her guidance has exceeded my wildest expectations. Letting go, not only of material things, but also of attachments to expectations and outcomes has enabled me to taste and experience things that were beyond my comprehension when I began this journey. The beginning of 2015 finds me still loving this life and thirsty for more.
When I seized early retirement almost four years ago and began this adventure I had desires for what I wanted, but no specific expectations about where life would take me. I wanted to learn, explore and gulp life without the moderating limits that “the responsible part of life” shackles us with. Living in the present without being overwhelmed by past regrets or paralyzed into inaction by future unknowns has, I feel, been one of my greatest personal achievements. I have learned that retirement life should be a rebirth, not some comfortable, dispassionate pause between work birth and the grave.
There are a lot of things on my “To Do List” this year and I look forward to trying some new things and sharing my journeys with you. End of this self-indulgent rant. Thank you.