Would you delay early retirement to travel? This couple would!

26 thoughts on “Would you delay early retirement to travel? This couple would!”

  1. Kudos to you for doing it. It sounds fun.

    Thats also a good caveat that it depends upon your field. There are fields where doing this is a huge setback. I’ve known people who have done it in other fields only to find that landing another job was then extremely difficult. It was harder for a variety of reasons related to the gap year. So folks should assess their own field closely before trying this, otherwise they could end up with a two-year gap.

    Hope you enjoy your time!

    1. I agree that the difficulty of finding a job after a break depends heavily on your current position and field of expertise. We’re lucky to be on the front end of fairly in demand fields in today’s world, but I can definitely see it being a much bigger problem for those that have already put a decade or more into their profession.

      Thanks Mr. FWP

  2. I second the Kudos! Kudos to be able to take a year off to travel and give the middle finger to slaving away!
    Make damn sure you have healthcare covered as well as enough cash set aside for the “unforeseeables.” Black swan events that can crop up that are totally unexpected. Accidents, illness, or an event that causes you to be stuck in a place due to a natural disaster. For instance, had you been anywhere in TX during Hurricane Harvey, you would have been in a major gas shortage. There was a supply interruption all over our state and everyone as stuck in their homes for a over a week. People didn’t have enough fuel to make it to work.
    Always have a plan in the event something like this happens. Otherwise Good Luck!

    1. Thanks for the thoughts Kirk, healthcare is definitely a big item we’ve been paying attention to. A major benefit of being on the path to FI is that we do have a good amount of savings to help us in a black swan type event. Even being without jobs in the moment, our savings should help us get back to stability sooner rather than later in most cases.

  3. Hey Noah – I am excited about your upcoming adventure! I have been contemplating a similar move. It’s funny, before knowing about FI or any of this early retirement stuff I was perfectly content working for the next 20+ years. Now that I know better, and FI is only a few years out, I CAN’T STAND that it is taking so long!! 🙂 I have a few things up my sleeve that may have me on the road sooner but, as you know, it’s all about logistics. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing more about your trip in the upcoming months. Will you guys be at Camp FI in Gainseville? If so, see ya there!

    1. Hi Miss Mazuma, we’ve had very similar “ignorance is bliss” sort of moments after starting on the FI path. We definitely don’t regret discovering it, but it certainly adds a little friction to those early mornings before work.

      We will be at Camp FI in Gainsville! Assuming you’ll be there the 2nd week, I’m looking forward to meeting you. I certainly want to hear more about these tricks up your sleeve.

  4. Ahhh, what a toughie. This is similar to people who take a series of mini-retirements/sabbaticals during their FIRE journey. It’s definitely going to delay your actual FIRE date, but maybe it’s worth it? I can’t remember the last time I had a proper vacation and yeah, I’m kinda down in the dumps in the monotony and annoyances of daily life. Maybe there’s something to be said for taking breaks to actually live your life, even if it means working a little longer?

    1. Hey Mrs Picky Pincher, the “mini-retirement” idea has seemed to be catching steam the past decade or so. I think I first heard the idea reading the 4-hour Work Week a while ago, but that was in the context of working until traditional retirement age in some form.

      We’re trying to strike the right balance between expediting our FI date and enjoying at much as we can in the present. Tough to hit that line perfectly, but we’re certainly trying our best!

  5. I say go for it. Life is to complex to define any particular period as “working” or “retired”. I know several people who are ostensibly “working”, but actually are “retired”. They just haven’t told anyone yet. So enjoy whatever phase of life this is for you guys. One caveat, it sounds like you are both in fields where keeping up with professional education is going to be important if you plan to enter the established workforce in the future. Just make sure you take that into account. There are always good professional education opportunities in beautiful locations.

    1. Hey Oldster, I agree on the “working” vs. “retirement” aspect, the lines seem to get blurrier the further away you get from the traditional 40-hour W-2 income. I have yet to find someone who has managed to stop ALL forms of “work”, but maybe they do exist out there somewhere! I imagine it would be hard to locate them if they aren’t doing anything to make themselves known.

      Good call on keeping up with our professional education. Becky plans to keep her nursing license active through our trip including the continuing education part, luckily most of that can be handled from anywhere via the internet. For myself, I don’t think software development in general will change drastically in the next year. I’ll stay sharp with my problem solving and basic coding skills to nail any future interviews, but everything else can be learned if necessary in whatever role I end up in.

  6. I was in similar boat about 5 years ago, in a stable job with regular income coming in but stress was through the roof and I know my soul is slowly stolen away one day at a time. Good thing I got laid off, took a year to just chill and travel around (having the best time of my life). Granted my career and salary is not as stable anymore, I work a few months then take a few months off (nature of the business/personal preference) but in term of hourly wage I am getting pay even more. So I guess I am working for more pay with less hour and lot of break in between. I was just talking to a coworker the other day, our time is limited, but money in a sense is unlimited. You cannot buy more time (once it spend), but you can alway work more to make more money. So time is invaluable yet we are force to trade our invaluable time for money. So at the end of the day we are getting the short end of the stick!

    1. Thanks for sharing Doan, sounds like you’ve found a good balance since the period of burn out. I like the idea that you can’t ever get back spent time, but I also think it’s all about finding that balance. Dollars saved now might allow us to get back Days in the future, but the future also never comes with any guarantees. I suppose that’s just life, trying to find the right balance.

  7. Noah

    Congrats on the gap year decision! I’m a big fan of the idea of taking “mini-retirements” to rest and rejuvenate, even if it means going back to work in the future. I’m actually planning a gap year for myself in May 2018. Hope to hear more about yours in the future!

  8. Props to you and your wife on traveling for a whole year. Hey if you have no other types of responsibilities that will force you guys to not travel then go for it, you have to enjoy life and see what this country has to offer. You want to have fun traveling and if doing it for a whole year is the way to go then have at it. Hopefully you guys keep us updated on your travels on your blog!!

  9. Your trip is going to be great Noah. Don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself to do anything amazing or epic. Use it as a time for you both to find yourselves, to slow down and just maybe find out a bit more of what you want most out of life. Thanks for sharing your story here and hopefully we see some updates from Steve in 6 months so make sure you check back in. 🙂

    1. Thanks Chris, we definitely plan on emphasizing “slow” travel and not trying to pack every day full of activities (that sounds exhausting!). There will be plenty of time to think and be introspective as well as simply enjoy each other’s company.

      I plan to keep my own blog updated with our travels, but maybe Steve would be open to a halfway update of some kind.


  10. I love it! We’re doing much the same – taking a year off to spend more time as a family (our kids are young) and work on trying out a new career – blogger and app developer. Overall, we’re planning on a 14-month gap at the cost of about 27 months to our FI date, but it’s worth every bit to me for the reasons you outlined.

    Great for you guys – I’m sure you won’t regret it!

    1. That sounds fantastic Chris, I could see ourselves trying out our own new careers before returning to what we were doing previously. It’s hard for us to determine how many months of FI this trip will “cost” us because we still haven’t locked down the type of life we want to live in FI (or where), but that’s awesome that you were able to figure out trading 27 months later for 14 now will be worth it. I imagine our numbers would come out to something similar.


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