We are blaming it on our son Kyle, who is in the Air Force. He has been in the service for over 12 years and lived in various places including Korea (2 tours) and Okinawa, Japan. He has always invited us to come and visit him, unfortunately we never took him up on it.
In 2018, Kyle received orders for a 2 year assignment in Stuttgart, Germany. Randi and I discussed how much fun it would be to have a family reunion in Germany. We broached the subject with our kids and they said, let’s do it. Kyle was especially excited to have his family come to him, instead of him always coming to us.
One day on a road trip to California, Randi and I were discussing what all we would like to see and do in Europe. About 25 years ago, Randi had promised to take me to Mercogliano, Italy where she had lived for a couple of years, so that was definitely on our list! (Better late than never)
As we started naming off all the places we wanted to see, we realized that two weeks wouldn’t be enough time to see everything. Recently, one of Randi’s coworkers had taken the summer off to bike across the United States. That gave us an idea, what would happen if we took a few months off and traveled Europe?
That idea led to more questions, would we rent our home while we were gone? How long could we be away? How would we finance this longer trip? So many other logistics to think about.
Our next thought was a crazy one, what if we sold our house, traveled for a year and then figure out where we wanted to live next. Randi and I have wanderlust. We like moving every 4-5 years, there are so many places to see, people to meet and adventures to be had.
The miles flew by on this road trip, as we continued talking about can we make this happen, what are the pros and cons, where all would we like to go etc.
We know many people who have worked hard all of their life in anticipation of traveling once they retire. The sad fact is that some of those, never lived long enough to retire and many who did retire but no longer had the financial means or the physical ability to travel. We figure that due to the cost of health insurance, our love of moving every 4-5 years and other factors we will be working at least another 20 years. So we are calling this “Our First Retirement”.
We decided that if we don’t take advantage of the opportunities when we have them, we might not get another chance. So we are going for it!! It’s scary, exhilarating, a little bit crazy….. but we only get one life and this is how we choose to live it.
So, as you can see, if Kyle hadn’t moved to Germany, we wouldn’t have started talking about a reunion in Europe and……