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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Taking a Vacation from your Vacation

 I've realized that, at some point, I ceased feeling like I was on vacation and have slid into " normal" life. If I had to commit to it, I'd say it happened around the time we went to Machu Picchu - our first "vacation" since we got down here. Of course, I didn't think about it at the time, but that must have been the magic moment that Ecuador morphed from "holiday" into "my life".

In the 90's we took a three month trip to Europe. (Yes, a luxury, especially then, but in our minds, completely necessary.) It was a backpacking holiday, done as much on the cheap as possible, but we enjoyed almost every single second - barring a few meltdowns on my part and a bit of backpack prejudice from a few people on the Continent. We spent a lot of time paying off that holiday and really didn't travel all the much for the seven years afterward.So now, we're planning another monster trip, but this time it's a bit different.

The time between our big get-a-way to Europe and now has been filled with career advancement, cautious fiscal planning and an experience with higher-end travel. We enjoyed good hotels, nice restaurants and (at least occasionally) private airport pick-up and transfer to the above mentioned hotels. While we've never flown first class (which is probably for the best), we did enjoy the perks of having a good travel budget. Fast forward to now.

We find ourselves almost back to where we were when we went to Europe in the 90's, at least financially. We live fairly cautiously and with the Canadian dollar which is taking a beating and neither of us is working, money is a bit more precious to us. So how can we manage another three month vacation and not have to sacrifice the quality that we've come to enjoy? Home exchange. Thank heaven's for you! (And good financial management, but that's a whole other blog.)

When we got down to the calculations, we figure we're going to spend about as much (a little bit more) than we did over 20 years ago and all because of cutting out hotel expenses. That's how we're going to take a vacation from our retirement. We're a bit longer of tooth, a bit more set in our ways and we're so happy to find that we won't be slogging through hostels and paying per shower. This was one of the things that worried us when we decided to do the crazy thing (retire) and start traveling the world, but now those fears are laid to rest and we'll soon be off on our next grand adventure. You know you're blessed when you can actually take a vacation...from your vacation.

Can you go "Down Under", when you're already in the Southern hemisphere?

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