The ideal lifestyle

Two days before we left Luang Prabang we were fortunate to meet a passionate and enthusiastic couple in their late forties / early fifties. They’re both retired working on a UN project to help establish a training program for guesthouse employees in Laos. They’ve been together for 30 years and have taken travel to be their pleasure and work lifestyle. Just last fall they were enjoying some Spanish wine in Granada and now are here in Laos working but they¬†take weekend trips to see waterfalls and do other fun activities.

They’ve been retired for about 10 years. They lead a nomadic life with no house, no car, no stuff. They have made SF Bay Area their base but you’ll probably only find them there 3 months out of the year.

As I continue in my search for the ideal lifestyle, meeting people like them, I know it’s possible. I do want to retire early and I do want to continue to see the world. When I mean retire, I don’t mean stop working all together. I mean, I have the workaholic attitude anyone graduating from UC Berkeley has. But, I want to put my passion and skills to projects that are meaningful to me and give me the freedom of my own time and still have some type of stable income…

This will be important not only for traveling but also to raise a family. I once met a professor at Berkeley that was very sad for not being able to read to her 2 year old when she would go to bed because he had to work late nights to publish papers … he was also sad he missed most of her activities from her young life (0-6 yrs) since it was the years he was fighting for that tenure position. Other professors have to move to the middle of nowhere for a job … that removes some type of freedom as well. I’m sure there are other stories of professors that are able to manage a good life balance but I have yet to meet them.

I want to be able to live where I want, be passionate about my projects, and be able to attend my daughter’s (or son’s) soccer game on a Wednesday afternoon. In addition, I want my projects, whatever they may be, to be extremely successful and make a difference in this world.

Is this too much to ask for? =)

So how do they do it? They invested in real estate. They both had very high paying jobs and used all their money to invest in property in Arizona and New Mexico.

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