We're Larry and Kaye Richardson from N Little Rock, Arkansas. That's where we lived for over 40 years and reared our two grown sons, but it's not where we live. Where we live is.....THERE. THERE is wherever we are at the moment. Sometimes THERE is my Dad's house in Missouri when we stay to do some things for him (like rebuilding his deck) or just to check in on him and visit for a few days or a couple of weeks. Sometimes THERE is an airbnb apartment we rent in Denver while visiting our son, Adam, and his family or Pittsburgh where our son, Cullen, and his family lived until recently. But often THERE is Europe or Canada or Mexico or SE Asia or an island or a cruise ship or an American national park. THERE can be anywhere that calls to us! And lots of places call to us!
Well, to jump right into our "story", we had a nice size house, not too big - 2400 sq ft, a beautiful yard with a gorgeous rose covered pergola and a darling little garden shed, and a big swimming pool. The house was older and we had completely renovated it when we bought it 20 or so years ago, doing most of the work inside and out ourselves. We both enjoyed collecting stuff and decorating and gardening and having parties inside and out by the pool or fire pit. We loved it! Until, one day we didn't! Several things happened that got us where we are now.
We started feeling overwhelmed with stuff, but I don't think we fully realized it until our house was burglarized and instead of feeling upset, what we felt was.....relief! They had only stolen jewelry and what they got was a bunch of old sentimental stuff like class rings, college frat pins, and other old (but not really valuable) gold or silver jewelry - stuff we were hanging onto but would never have done anything with. It felt good that it was gone! We took a look around us and realized we had a bunch of stuff like that! We just had too much!
Around that time our son, Adam, started telling us about how we could retire early and move to some place like Belize and live very comfortably for much less. We were intrigued and went to Belize to have a look, and while that didn't hold our interest, we knew we wanted something different from what we were seeing other retired people doing.
Then I found a very interesting blog about a couple who sold everything and were traveling the world! I think I must've squealed and scared Larry half to death, but as soon as I told him, we both knew that was the answer for us!
We decided we would work two more years and take our time sorting through and getting rid of stuff and selling the house, but we were committed! Well, that first year we did nothing! No sorting, no selling! I didn't even want to think about the tasks ahead! Then the summer before we were going to retire the following June we decided to just put the house on the market and see what happened. With the pool we thought the house would show better in the summer. We were right! It did. It sold immediately. We would have to be out in a month. Wait....what? It was impossible! We had not gotten rid of anything! We didn't have any place to go! Forty something years worth of stuff? We couldn't do it! We backed out of the sale......embarrassed, oh, so sorry......had to regroup. Took house off the market and decided to start over but get rid of stuff first! A few months went by. We finally pulled stuff down from the attic. Piled boxes all down the hall, all over the livingroom. Where they sat for maybe three weeks before I could bring myself to start going through them! I was terrible at the whole process! What finally happened was after Christmas a friend told me she heard we were thinking of selling our house and that she and her husband loved our house and always wanted it! They came over and made an offer (our asking price) and said we could take our time getting out - June if we wanted! That did it! I got motivated! We sold things on Craigslist, we had garage sales, we gave away! But it wasn't easy! The first garage sale I remember becoming too overwhelmed the night before the sale. I was ready to call it off! Larry told me to go to bed and he would deal with it. I did. The next morning I got up and saw what he had put out to sell. I started taking things in the house as quickly as I could! I was a crazy lady! Even took something from a someone's hands, saying, "Oh, no, no, sorry, that's not for sale! He didn't know! Men! Gotta love 'em! Haha! I'll just put that inside. Thank you so much!" Yes, I did! After a couple of cups of coffee I came to my senses! I brought stuff back out. I let it go. It felt good. Don't even remember what it was that I took from the lady's hands! The more I let go, the better I felt!
We were able to be out of the house by late March of 2014. We moved to a small but beautiful apartment downtown by the river. What didn't go to the apartment we were able to fit in one climate controlled storage unit. I remember waking up that first morning in the apartment feeling incredibly happy! Larry did too! We've never looked back! We don't miss a thing! We just feel happy and light and carefree! In September 2014 we gave up the apartment and started traveling.
Telling people has been loads of fun! People are either horrified or they love it! My dad thinks we've either lost our minds or our money, or both! Most of our other family members are horrified! I think they feel sorry for us! Our kids love it! They love to travel and we usually go on one trip out of the country together each year. And, of course, it was Adam who got us thinking this way in the first place! Our son and dil, Cullen and Kathryn, love it so much they are taking this year off to do it themselves with their two young daughters, Isla and Gisele! We joined them in Bali recently and will meet them in Portugal in June. Our friends' reactions have been mixed. I think most of them are bewildered by our "abrupt" change of lifestyle. A lot of people we meet while traveling think it's a brilliant idea!
That climate controlled storage unit? It's going to get cleaned out and a lot more stuff gotten rid of soon! The last time we were in it we looked around asking ourselves, "Why did we hang onto THAT!" Lol! The first year we kept both of our vehicles. Our SUV is great for road trips and my darling little BMW Z4 was just too much fun to get rid of! And then we did get rid of it! After it sat in our son's garage for over a year without me giving it so much as a single thought, I was ready to release it! Releasing THINGS releases US! We still have our SUV because we use it for road trips here in the US. But it hangs out in a lot of airport parking lots! We may release it too one day!
Larry and I have been married for almost 45 years and have always done everything together. We've loved every chapter of our lives, but this may be the very best one yet! We decided to divide our time between spending time with my dad and our kids and grandkids and traveling. So while we may not travel outside the US as much as some of our friends who are living this lifestyle, it works great for us now!
Thanks for coming along with us!