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Stuff, Things and Freedom

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Stuff, Things and Freedom

Stuff! The very sound of the word in my ears conjures up a mental picture of boxes, closets, drawers, garages, storage units and car trunks crammed full of junk. You know what I mean. Among the clutter, there may be one or two items that you actually could use if only you could locate them, but alas they stay buried, hidden from view by a pile of debris. Most of what we ordinary people hang on to in life are worthless pieces of shit. Unlike the rich, we have no heirlooms, jewels or paintings of great value. We have mountains of plastic and cheaply made goods from China, instead. And, although there’s no sin in hoarding, often burying ourselves alive in a mountain of junk, it definitely can create unnecessary problems. Once upon a time, I sold 98% of all my worldly possessions in order to travel the world. For the next few years, I did just that. I lived everywhere but nowhere, enjoying the freedom that normally is reserved for some sixteen-year olds except I had a little money in my pocket. It was wonderful. Eventually, however, I came back to the US, bought a small house again and believe it or not eight years later, a pile of junk has reappeared. Where did it come from? How did this happen? Although most of my junk is in my garage and it hasn’t taken over to the extent that I can’t park my car in the garage, it...

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Traveling a Different Financial Path Part 2

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Blog | 2 comments

Traveling a Different Financial Path Part 2

Welcome to part II of Traveling a Different Financial Path. First, let me begin by stating my longterm goals for what I consider to be the road to personal freedom. I have continuously sought ways to live debt free with the lowest possible overhead. I feel at my most secure financially when my overhead is so low that if my husband and I fell upon hard times, we could survive on two part time jobs at minimum wage. That pretty well sums up economics 101 according to Teresa.  In part two of this short series, I hope to explore the mortgage situation in the US and housing in general. Clearly, there are parts of the country where owning a home is out of the question for many. The big metropolitan cities on both coastlines are getting far too pricey, for example. Yet, we need shelter of some kind. Can we find a way to beat the system even with these housing challenges. How do we bring our overhead down to the lowest possible if our housing, renting or buying, becomes an unmanagable proportion of our monthly expenses? What can we do? Speaking with hindsight that eventually influenced my decision to buy and where to buy, my number one piece of advice is that if you’re going  to buy a house do it in an affordable part of the US. Younger buyers may not be able to live in the house full time or even at all for some years,...

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Traveling a Different Financial Path

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Traveling a Different Financial Path

Everyone who knows me also knows that I’m about as unconventional as they come. I’ve been traveling a different financial path for a long time. The feature photo was taken about thirteen years ago. It was my first long-term trip abroad and my last home away from home on that trip before I returned to the states. I was new at the whole vagabonding experience. Living everywhere but nowhere was the biggest adventure of my lifetime. How did I manage to retire so early and travel at such lengths, even living abroad for up to eight month stretches on a tiny income? People think I’m rich or that I inherited a tidy sum or that maybe I won the lottery, but that’s as far from the truth as you can get. My lifestyle was and is uconventional because I make loads of unconventional choices every day. These choices are often in direct opposition to what I see almost everyone else doing, but I don’t care. I want something quite different than what many of my friends and acquaintances seem to want and that’s okay. My financial goal has always been to have no debt while living with the lowest monthly overhead possible. Americans now have the highest credit-card debt in U.S. history It’s upon those two goals that I base all of my financial decisions. If I earn more money, that’s okay, but not if it’s so I can support a higher monthly overhead. Believe it or not, if...

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Are Travel Adventurers Unique?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Are Travel Adventurers Unique?

  It’s quite likely that there are as many different types of adventures as there are adventurers. So are travel adventurers unique? Maybe, but all adventures have a few things in common. — They’re noteworthy. You get all hyped up when you’re talking about it. So much so that people can even feel your sense of wonder. The sheer anticipation of the event propels you onward and the memory comes with a feeling of accomplishment. — Adventures provide challenges and thus produce a feeling of growth in the adventurer. You’re often on a learning curve and that’s good for the brain. — People perceive that there is an element of risk. In some cases, like climbing a mountain, the risks could be very real. In other cases, they are merely a nagging anxiety of the unknown, but this little bit of discomfort is often enough to keep most people from experiencing an adventure. Travel adventurers may fit into a special category, however. I’ve given this a lot of thought because for the last thirteen years I’ve been a female nomad, sometimes going solo and sometimes with my husband but always longing for more. Some might say that I’m addicted to the rush of seeing new places, encountering new challenges, immersing myself in different lifestyles. Travel adventurers tend to have a thirst for variety. Sameness just isn’t our cup of tea. Routine tends to bore us. We lay awake at night in our big warm beds and imagine finding a...

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Flying Cheaper and Lighter

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Flying Cheaper and Lighter

  Because I’m always looking for ways to travel longer for less, flying cheaper and lighter have become synonymous. If you don’t believe me, read a little further as I explain the flight deals that I recently found while planning my next trip to Europe.  First let me begin by saying that I mapped out a trip that included six stops along the way over a two-month period. Starting from my hometown in the midwest to Chicago, where I’ll spend a night in order to board a one-way flight the next evening to Dublin Ireland for — drum roll please — $180.  WOW AIR That’s right! I’ll change planes in Iceland and arrive the next morning in Dublin around nine. That’ll give me the rest of that day and the following day to do my thing. I happen to be very familiar with Dublin, so I won’t be wasting time trying to find my way around. Ireland has long been one of my favorite countries to return to whenever possible.  On the third day, I’ve booked a flight on RyanAir to Edinburgh for $40, a short one-hour flight. I’ll be in Edinburgh for four nights and I’m going to need every minute as this will be my first time to go to Scotland. My digs in Edinburgh Next up? Well,  I’ve booked a flight from Edinburgh to Malaga for $40. Shortly after my plane touches the ground, I’ll be on a bus to my apartment in Torre Del Mar where...

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Three Poems in the Indiana Voice Journal

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Three Poems in the Indiana Voice Journal

  I’m very happy to report that the Indiana Voice Journal published three of my poems in their September/October issue. Three poems in the Indiana Voice Journal I’ve been writing poetry since I was a little girl. To this day, writing provides a wonderful outlet for creativity to flow. It’s also very cathartic. Although, I’ve never shared poetry on my website before, I decided it was time to start. I’ve written a number of poems  about the wanderlust spirit. I’ve also dedicated more than a few lines to my home away from home — Spain. I’ve often wondered if creativity and the need to wander the globe are connected in some way. Certainly, whenever I  get off the beaten track to explore more of the world, my creative problem solving skills are required. Meeting new people, learning a second language, finding my way around, living on a tight budget are only possible if I’m willing to draw from my internal reserves. The benefits are numerous, including saving my little gray cells from atrophying due to lack of mental challenges. I love being on a learning curve. Inspiration is a wonderful tonic for the creative spirit. I am regularly inspired by my travels. Here’s a few words that I wrote once upon a time while on the road.  Wanderlust There are far away places calling my name And if I wander, I won’t take the blame So when a penalty must be collected Consider me protected Levy a fine on...

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