So we have done it. We have saved enough money to pursue the FIRE dream, retire early. We are going to quit our jobs, sell everything and go travel to live a carefree life of sloth and gluttony. Simple plan right? However like all “simple” plans the details of the execution are enormously complex if you want to do it right. It would be easy to throw caution and planning to the wind and just go for it. There are many books and stories of people just take a leap of faith with little preparation and no planning, people who just go for it with many hilarious hijinks and unexpected adventures which lead to happiness and enlightenment. Personally I have found the best, most entertaining stories I have were about the most dangerous and uncomfortable times of my travels. I will have to tell you about the time I sat for six hours on a load of pineapples in the back of a pickup truck in Cambodia. Interesting story but not something I would like to do again. Likewise the time my wife got sick in India and was begging me to kill her while I dragged her though deserts streets at 3 AM looking for a place to stay.
No, unlike the old days of being a single backpacker I now have a wife and young child to look after so I need to do it right to minimize the chances of uncomfortable or dangerous unexpected adventures. Even with the best preparation and planning there will be plenty of unexpected surprises in our future. This requires facing the enormous complexity of what we want to do and adequately preparing for foreseeable issues. There are so many questions that need to be answered so many things that need to be done before leaving. These things range from broad basic questions such as where we will go and what will we do to small details that will make travel easier such as what shoes we should bring.
I would be best if I give you a brief introduction about us and then talk about the broad strokes of our plan. Then I will go into the specifics of our plan and why I think it is best for our situation. My name is Hin, my wife is Holly and our daughter Olivia will be graduating kindergarten soon. We plan to purchase an RV, sell our house and all of our stuff, quit our jobs and go travel Central and South America, driving down to the tip of South America. We have an initial budget of $75,000 to purchase the RV and other expenses with a yearly budget of $30-40,000 going forwards. We have a total budget $250,000 for our first five years, including initial costs. If we spend more than that we will need to seriously reconsider going back to work. Otherwise if we are able to stay under budget we will still look for easy opportunities to make money but we would be OK for money even if we don’t work.
So that is the broad strokes of our plan and budget. Now we need to answer the broad questions of why, when, where, and how to travel.
Why are we doing this? Why not? We got the money, health and opportunity. Both my wife and I love to travel and we feel this would be a good opportunity to see the world and spend time raising our daughter.
When we plan to leave is September to October 2019. We are leaving at that particular time due to the specific tax timing for selling our house.
Where we will go is south. We need to get out of the US since it is much cheaper once we go and frankly the US healthcare system is crazy. Once we leave we plan to go to Mexico and spend three or four months learning Spanish before continuing south through Central America to Panama where we will ship the RV to Columbia before proceeding down the west coast of South America to Tierra Del Fuego before turning north along the east coast to Brazil. We expect this to take two to three years. Once we get to Brazil we will re-evaluate our situation and if we are still keen to travel we will ship the RV to Europe to travel around there for a year or two before continuing east to China and eventually Singapore where we will decide what to do next. Mind you this is just an aspirational plan; it is entirely possible that a few months out we might decide RV travel is not for us.
How requires a bit more detail. We have purchased a 2017 Coachmen Leprechaun 190cb class C motorhome for approx. $42,000. We chose this specific model because it was the smallest RV that we felt we would be comfortable in long term. Since we had two adults and a child we wanted two permanent beds that we wouldn’t have to fold up or put away every day. It has all the amenities of a real home such as a full kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, full bathroom, TV, hot water, AC and heat, and a dining table. At just over 21 feet bumper to bumper it is small enough to go pretty much anywhere and (mostly) park in regular parking spaces. I will be spending around $20-25,000 on upgrades which I will discuss further later but the bulk of that expense would be to install full solar and lithium ion batteries.
I will also write further posts on topics such as communications, finances, homeschooling, taxes, insurance, logistics and exactly what we are doing to make our dream become reality.
The Park Collective was so nice that we returned the next morning for another play session before we left Prescott Valley after lunch We drove down the mountain to spend a couple of days in…
From Tombstone we drove up to Tucson, Arizona It was still quite hot so we just went to a Starbucks for the afternoon and did homeschooling Once night cafe and it got cooler we found a…
It was hot during the day so we spent the day in Rover doing homework In the evening we ventured out again after Olivia went to sleep to enjoy the hot springs pools The pools themselves…