As fall slowly envelopes the United States, I need to take this opportunity to reflect on our first summer as early retirees. We traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest all summer long, and it was an amazing experience.
My wife and I – along with our two dogs, cruised throughout the Northwest without a care in the world (well, mostly). We got up whenever we wanted. We napped when we felt tired. We hiked. We swam. We did everything that we thought we’d do without the confines of a full-time job.
In other words, we enjoyed life.
We spent time in Northern California hiking the Mount Shasta area before spending a couple weeks with family on the Oregon coast. Then, we drove further north toward Portland to see a couple of Courtney’s friends before veering off to the East along the Columbia River Gorge where we hiked more waterfalls than I can possibly count.
We spent several weeks around the Yellowstone area and even saw the park’s very first snowfall of the season. Driving through Yellowstone in the snow was completely surreal.
We witnessed almost every sunset. Dined at a ton of breweries. I personally threw rocks into way too many rivers and lakes (along with the Pacific ocean, of course). We spent weeks at a time without connecting to the grid thanks to our solar panels and composting toilet.
And, we documented most of our journey on our YouTube channel.
Oh, and we earned an additional $50,000 in net worth through the magic of the stock market and this freakishly amazing economy we’re living in.
Starting yesterday, we began our trek back down south to spend the fall and winter in Arizona (more on our plans in a follow-on post). In honor of our very first summer as early retirees, I present to you a few of my favorite photographs that I snapped during our travels.
What an amazing summer.
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.