Are you a baby boomer who’s looking for travel advice on becoming an expat or taking off to live life the way Julia Roberts did in the movie Eat Pray Love? Perhaps you’re interested in exploring the world through cultural travel like my friend, Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut. You know, the kind of travel that requires moving slow, living in communities for weeks, even months, so that you can get to know the local culture. Or maybe you’re curious about taking a boomer career break like travel blogger, Sherry Ott. In today’s guest post, Barbara Singer, author of Living Without Reservations, offers her baby boomer travel advice for traveling the Eat Pray Love way.
Anyone can reinvent their life and live the Eat Pray Love Experience, even baby boomers. I have been for the last four years. You don’t need a lot of money. Without the trappings of the American lifestyle, it actually takes very little to live. The real goal in life is to collect experiences, not stuff. You can live and travel when and where you choose without incurring great expense. I live on about $1000 a month and live and travel where I want. You can too, but you’ve got to confront yourself and make the choice that is right for you:
Would you rather have a plane ticket or a mortgage?
….have freedom or a paycheck?
… have a backpack or walk-in closet?
… have a passport filled with stamps or a bank book filled with money?
… live your dream or watch it on reality TV?
Once you make the decision, your view of the world changes. From then on you think, ‘I am moving. I am mobile and travel light. I need nothing. Everything is negotiable. I choose to spend my time differently….my money differently….live my life differently.’ Choose what is best for you, not what others think is best for you.
Here are my insights into what decisions need to be specifically addressed as baby boomers become mobile.
- Get Ready Mentally. Your attitude is far more important than the check book balance. Focus 100% on creating the lifestyle that you want. Quit all organization and commitments. Create a totally different home environment—turn off the TV, get outside and de-clutter.
- Liquidate Your Home. Rent it to someone else, if you break even or sell it. The goal is to travel light. You will be renting a room from someone else, for $500 a month or less, somewhere in the world, perhaps even several times a year in different locations, so all your possessions need to fit into a bedroom.
- Downgrade Your Car. Stop the car lease or car payments, sell it then buy something under $5,000 and put the minimum insurance required by your state.
- Stop All Re-occurring Monthly Charges. If you don’t spend it, you won’t have to earn it. Stop all services. Use up all household products in your pantry, bathroom, wine cellar/bar and garage. BUY NOTHING!!
- Forget about Security and Responsibilities. Security doesn’t exist. It is a big myth. Retirement is a moving target. Forget about it. Live now, joyfully rather than spending time, energy and money on days that may never come. You are traveling and living other places…not leaving the planet. Skype and email are free and makes keeping in touch easy. You can still stay close with your friends and family.
- Live Healthy. Wean yourself off all medications (unless you have a medical condition that requires them) and loose enough weight to meet your correct weight category. Buy catastrophic health insurance with a big deductible and shop around for the best price.
- Become Mobile. Purchase a laptop and learn to get all your information online. No paper mail.
- Living Without a 9-5 Job. Focus on the gift of exchange. You may not have money, but you have something much more valuable, time and talent.
- Work on the Road. Work when it’s right, then make it last as long as you can.
- Making a Life on the Road. You don’t have to plan out the remainder of your life. Break it down into little chunks. Rent a room for a month at a time or plan to stay in an area for a season. When traveling, stay in hostels. Not for youths anymore.
- Visit Without Mooching—Visit friends and family in places you want to visit, but do be helpful and useful. Offer you talents. Offer your time. Do jobs they don’t have time for.
Hit the road. Just go! There are tons of people already doing it. Decide to meet new people living incredible lifestyles. You will blow your mind and eyes wide open.
So, what do you think boomers? Would you take the steps that Barbara Singer suggests so that you can live life on the road? Alan and I don’t think this would be our cup of tea but we’re interested in the conversation. Post your comment. Tell us what you think.
Disclosure: I have included an Amazon link to Eat Pray Love DVD and Living Without Reservations for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at Amazon.com.