I’ve got Coeur d’Alene on the brain, and it just will not leave

28 thoughts on “I’ve got Coeur d’Alene on the brain, and it just will not leave”

  1. Sounds like a great place to be. I have several days like that in the summer, where I know it FEELS free, but at the back of my head I know I will still have to go back to work. Having my summers off is a nice perk of my chosen profession, but they seem to go by far to fast. I’ll have to check out Glacier National Park on a road trip one of these days.

    1. Do check out Glacier – truly amazing place if you like the great outdoors. We left literally a day before the raging wild fires last year, too. Weird coincidence.

  2. Very powerful. Words can’t describe the fleeting moments of freedom felt along the way to achieving our goals. Knowing you are on the right path for you and doing everything that needs to be done to get back to bliss is motivation to push you toward your goal. Congrats on your experience. And, congrats on knowing what you want your life to be. Soon enough. Soon enough.
    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  3. Sounds like a wonderful slice of inspiration. One of the biggest benefits of travel is that it frames two things for you: 1) what a big, wonderful world it is to explore; 2) it opens up a different sense of who we are and how we truly like living. Neither of these two dimensions reveals itself in the normal work week. I gave my 45 day notice at MegaCorp next week and will make note of this town. Idaho is one of the 2 states I need to reach to hit all 50!

    1. Definitely plan to visit – though we haven’t seen a lot of the city, we know that summertime around the lake is a prime spot to be in! You guys are so darn close to making this whole ER thing a reality for you. Full time work is almost a thing of the past!

  4. What a lovely vision! That sounds a lot like our first trip to the small town we now call home, and we did return! 🙂 I think the life you guys are putting together sounds so ideal for what you want to experience in life — as you said, you’re baking in a lot of newness and discovery, which is bound to feel exciting. And when you want to slow down, you can take more time to linger somewhere… maybe in Coeur d’Alene!

    1. There is something about small towns that we like, that’s for sure. Your town is a little smaller than Coeur d’Alene but I’m sure offers visitors that same sense of uniqueness and excitement all wrapped up into one – especially if you enjoy winter sports, which you two do. Lingering in Idaho during the summer sounds pretty darn close to…perfect. 🙂

  5. Beautifully written. These are the moments when I’ve most craved the FI lifestyle — not when dreading work or exhausted from an intense client meeting, but when enjoying and deeply experiencing day-to-day life without the looming time pressure of hurrying back to work.

    I’ve never been to Coeur d’Alene (a shame given that it’s only a morning’s drive away). You have me intrigued.

    1. Thanks Matt, appreciate the kind words. Definitely add that city to your list of places to see, especially in the summertime if you like the lake scene.

  6. That’s pretty good motivation! I’ve only driven past the place, but I’ve heard good things about it.

    If we manage to retire (we got a late start for a variety of reasons), I definitely want to travel more. Or if I can even just go down to part-time to travel more.

    We can take trips now, but money is always an issue. Not to say that we won’t watch our spending in retirement, but we’ll be able to know that the money is there. That we’re not saving up for the next big project or catastrophe.

    1. Nothing wrong with transitioning over to part-time. Having a job that only costs 15 to 20 hours a week sure beats the demands of a 40 to 50-hour per week job and would allow you the freedom to travel much more than you probably do now.

  7. I think many people have these types of thoughts at the end of the vacation–that this is what they want life to be–but few think outside the box enough to make it happen so quickly. Of course everyone has a different realistic time table for retirement, but to even consider the alternatives to the typical 30-40 year career is pretty counter-cultural and also freeing! Thanks for sharing your story; it is inspiring.

    1. You are very welcome, Kalie – thanks for reading. It’s true, after virtually every vacation that I have ever taken in my life, I always have the “work” burden stuck in the back of my head. I never really mind returning home, but the thought of going back to my regularly scheduled programming of full-time work demands was definitely on my mind as my vacations came to a close. That is a feeling that I never want to feel again! 🙂

    1. Thanks Matt – yup, we’re so close now. Sometimes it seems like we still have a ways to go yet, but I know that anything less than a year isn’t all that far off after all.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Fervent. That was a bitter sweet post to write because I was remembering how strongly I felt that very same emotion when we were there. 🙂

  8. I enjoyed your beautifully written post. I love how this experience made your retirement goal so much more tangible and real, and lit even a greater fire and desire to achieve it! I have no doubt you will get there soon enough! I’ve experienced Coeur d’Alene in a different light in 2014 when I completed my Ironman there. I remember the struggle the most from the cold ice lake to the hilly, endless bike course, but I also do remember the beautiful scenery, sunshine, and the amazing people. I will have to return with different pair of lens and a different mission! Thanks Steve for the continuous inspiration. You and your wife rock.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda! I’m sure the Ironman was an awesome experience, but yeah, you probably weren’t focused all that much on the city when you were there. Next time will certainly be different! 🙂

  9. We’ve had those same feelings and moments, in most little towns we visit when we’re on vacations. Always the fleeting thought, “oh yeah, we’ll have to go back to work soon…” It’s those times that help push us towards getting to make our Lifestyle Change sooner than later, even if it may not be fully funded when it happens.

    We’re hoping to get to Coeur D’Alene and Whitefish this fall and check it out as one of our potential landing destinations when we enact our Lifestyle Change. One of the things we liked about Coeur D’Alene is what you mentioned in just having that small town aspect, and finding someplace where we could be part of a community. Plus, they have a nice little microclimate, so while you’re geographically, almost Southern Canada, the winters don’t necessarily reflect that. 🙂 Allegedly…

    1. I’ve spent some time at breweries in Whitefish – another really awesome small town that I would love to re-visit as well. I bet you guys will love exploring as much as we will once the time comes. The western U.S. has a ton to see.

  10. Hey Steve, With $675,000 in net worth ($27,000/yr passive income) at the young age of 35 with two people who have great 1. work resumes/backgrounds, 2. understanding of personal finance and flexibility in spending, and 3. likelihood to make money doing something you love in the future — Why put off quitting your jobs and starting your adventure/early retirement life till 2017?

    I know you guys pushed your ER date forward a while back by lowering your spending (which I loved!), but why not go after your dreams sooner? It seems like you have some incredibly deep safety margins on your side to act on the F-You money you’ve grown to start living your early retirement lifestyle before even hitting your early retirement number. Why not start now?

    1. Hi Ryland – honestly, my wife is a little more risk adverse than I am…okay, she is a LOT more risk adverse, so we are choosing the more conservative route. With less than a year to go for me, I’m not thaaaaaat upset about it – I can make it work. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Steve. Just wanting to see if I could push you both a little further. 😉 Hope you keep it in mind. Appreciate everything you share. Thanks for writing

        1. Ha! I think that I have pushed us about as far as possible at this point. But make no mistake about it – our goal is to retire ASAP. We think that December is that date, but if for whatever reason we believe that an earlier date is better, I definitely won’t hesitate to make the move sooner. 🙂

          1. Awesome. Maybe it’d be a nice future article and thought experiment, “Why not now?” I’d love to hear you and your wife’s deeper thoughts on it.

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