A Huge Step

Our house will be listed this Friday – 6 weeks later than our original goal. I had to call our agent, schedule the pictures and set the date or I think we would have been stuck in a never ending cycle of “let’s just do this or that first.” The house looks great. We’re finishing up the yard this weekend & then we wait. We’re both hoping for a quick sale – this period in limbo is for the birds not to mention the effort of keeping our house ready to show at any moment with two lab mixes who shed.

One thing I didn’t expect was for it to be so hard! I knew it would be hard but it’s 100x harder than I expected! My thoughts are all over the place – oscillating between being sad about closing this chapter of our lives and excited about opening the next one.

We’ve been here 11 years next month. 11 very happy years. Selling this place and moving is a huge step & it’s been a lot harder for me than I expected. I think it was Timber Hawkeye who said:

“If you don’t like where you live, why do you live there?”

This quote always resonated with me & it brings me a lot of comfort during this time of transition. It makes me happy that it’s so hard to leave here. If it wasn’t, I just spent 11 precious years of life in the wrong place. And let’s face it, we’re moving on to something great, so that helps. I’m looking forward to so much about our new life in the Keys especially being able to dive every weekend and working on my underwater camera skills.

But the Keys are just a step. Right now we’re thinking we’ll stay there for a year. The next step after that will be leaving the country & the traditional American lifestyle behind which is an even bigger step but one I’m looking forward to. The truth is, as much as we love it, this house and the debt it carries have become an anchor to our freedom. We’ve been talking about our feelings at length lately (that’s what we do here!) and J said it perfectly this past week when he said:

“While we have this house, this is the only life we can live.”

Wow, powerful statement right? I’ve replayed it in my head a million times while I help prep our house to sell. It’s a great life don’t get me wrong (hence the reason it’s so hard to leave!) but in order to stay here we need to live the corporate grind for a whole lot longer. Like 20+ years longer. No thanks. One thing I haven’t talked much about on the blog but maybe I’ll start is early retirement. It’s a goal we’ve been striving for our entire working lives. We’ve made saving a priority and have always lived below our means. We put our money toward what’s most important to us and that’s experiences not things. We don’t buy extra stuff or shop for the sake of shopping. But you know what? We can’t afford to retire in the U.S. despite all of that for another 20 years and even then we’d have no healthcare for almost a decade until we reach the Medicare age — unless someone fixes the system before then – which seems more unlikely all the time.

So yeah, as far as grinds go ours is pretty good but it’s still a grind. 2 out of every 7 days our time is not ours. J said to me the other day “at 9am on any given day, what do you want to do?” Logging into work doesn’t make the list for either of us. We want to live our lives & have our time to ourselves and we can’t do that here. So the next step is to sell our house and release the financial handcuffs it has on us. Once the house is sold we can leave at any minute and I can’t think of anything better to buy with my money than my time.

This Friday we’ll take the next step on the well traveled path many expats before us have traveled. The quest for a different lifestyle in another country where the vibe is slower, the cost of living lower & the healthcare affordable.

Until next time …

Stay Warm Friends!

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2 Comments on “A Huge Step

    • but it’ll give you a great place to come visit! 🙂

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