Not only is it my birthday (56!!😱), but 8th May also marks one year of being retired and one year since we left Europe.
Hard to believe it’s been that long but then again, our first destination – Bali – seems like a distant memory.
We initially started planning for early retirement a long time ago and went through various scenarios, from buying a house in the South of France or the Greek Islands to buying a condominium in Penang, Malaysia. None of these ever really felt right though.
One day, whilst downing a couple of beers in our favourite bar in Delft, we discussed the idea of just selling up, moving to Asia and seeing where Life took us.
Suddenly we were excited!
Having decided on this course, we started looking into it and discovered that there are an awful lot of people out there already living this lifestyle (there’s even an acronym for it – “PT” , which stands for “Perpetual Traveller”) and consequently an awful lot of information exists. Not only that, but in this digital age of email and internet banking, it’s so easy to do!
Unfortunately snail mail is still a necessity for various things (bank cards and credit cards need to be sent somewhere) so we opened a PO Box in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We also have a safe deposit box with a bank where we leave our official documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. and my tiara😂
We chose Malaysia because they have a retirement program called MM2H which gives participants a 10 year multiple entry visa without the obligation of having to live there. Add to this that Kuala Lumpur airport is a great hub for getting to and from anywhere and it’s a win-win situation.
Of course, when we started out on this journey there was no way we could be sure that the nomadic lifestyle would really be for us. Thinking and planning something are completely different to actually living it. But it’s turned out to be everything we’d hoped for and we’re so happy we made this decision, not to mention incredibly grateful that we get to live our dream. And who knows, we may still end up in that house in France or Greece😀.
Having no possessions besides what we carry ¹ makes life very uncomplicated: We travel with no check-in luggage and, during the past year we’ve even managed to cut back, getting rid of stuff we rarely used.
¹ We do have have a box in longterm storage in Kuala Lumpur, but at this stage who knows when we’ll see it again.
Deep down I think we always knew that being “permanent tourists” would suit us down to the ground. Most people go on holiday and look forward to returning home. Not us! Even though we loved our house and our life in Delft, there were just always other things we would rather have been doing😀
We’re no longer rudely awoken at an ungodly hour by alarm clocks. We no longer spend our time wishing away life till the next weekend or holiday. We get up early because we want to, knowing that the sun is going to be shining and that every hour is ours to spend as we want. It’s not a bad way to start the day.
Things that concern us now are: Where shall we go next, where’s the best weather, what are the visa regulations and where shall we eat tonight.
Surprisingly, there’s not a lot we miss. It would be nice to be able to listen to the radio but we rarely have enough bandwidth to be able to stream it. Living without TV has been no hardship at all as we spend most of our time outside anyway. We’ll watch the news when we can, but since leaving Europe we haven’t watched a film. One day we’ll have a lot of catching up to do!
The closest we’ve come to regretting not having a home is when we’re unable to buy any of the beautiful things we see. This was especially the case in Ubud where we could have spent a fortune on paintings and other arty bits and pieces – One day!
There have been some major changes in life, but I’ve managed to survive them:
I should mention the unpleasant things that have happened but really, apart from having my bag snatched in Bali and another bank card being compromised in an ATM on Gili Air, nothing bad has happened and anyway, as long as nobody gets hurt – everything’s good.
We used to wonder how long it would take till the “holiday feeling” wore off. Well the good news is, it still hasn’t. The excitement of planning and and the anticipation and novelty of visiting new destinations certainly hasn’t diminished over the last year. Long may it continue!
Looking forward to what the next twelve months will bring: Australia will be a big part of it as we’ll be picking up our camper around end of August. The visa requires us to leave the country every 3 months, so we’ll be exploring some of the surrounding South Pacific islands (how exotic does that sound?) – New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu just to mention a few – Can’t wait!
We’re also excited to be meeting up with some friends on Bali in August, no doubt many G&Ts will be downed!😀
Off to the airport to catch a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia in a couple of hours so thanks to everyone who’s been following the blog and keep the comments coming – It’s always great to hear from you!