The Decision

Q: When is the perfect time?
A: Who can say, but probably somewhere between haste and delay – and it’s usually most wise to start today.
                                – Rasheed Ogunlaru

Bottom Line Up Front: Rose and I have decided to retire early, buy an RV and travel the country for at least a year. We have begun the steps towards this process, including extensive and ongoing research, practice weekend RV trips, the slow process of downsizing, and most importantly, determining our “exit strategy.” We will start the
adventure in 22 months, sooner if my State Department contracted job ends earlier than expected.

Our family and friends have greeted this news with mixed reaction: some enthusiastically endorsing the idea, others expressing bewilderment, and more than a few feeling the latter but valiantly expressing the former. It’s OK, we understand. We are doing this because we can, because we want to, and because all of the things that might make such a move irresponsible for some are no longer relevant to us. I have a reasonable military pension, we have no debts aside from a partially paid off mortgage on a soon-to-be-sold condo, my kids are grown, and we have a burning desire to see everything. We are incredibly fortunate to be in such a position, and more than a few full time RVers are managing under much more difficult circumstances.

But we get the doubts. I had the same reaction a few years back when my Dad told me of his similar plan for Western and Midwestern U.S. adventure exploration. Why in the world would you want to live in an RV when you can just buy a quite affordable small house in, I don’t know, Utah, for Christ’s sake? It took a year or two to realize how perfect a plan it was, even more so for him given his actual “normally timed” retirement and mountain oriented wanderlust. And now we will probably beat him to the punch, though not by much.