We dreamed of retiring early in order to travel. Gene, the CPA and number cruncher in our household, worked his magic with a spreadsheet. We were a little short of our goal, but we figured we could semi-retire and work only half the year and travel the other half.
The plan was to retire from our jobs, get temporary work for the winter months in Nashville, and travel during the summer. I turned in my notice to retire from my public school teaching career at the end of the school year. When Gene spoke with his boss about retiring, the boss asked who he planned to work for during the winters. Gene told him his plan of doing accounting work for one of the local temp agencies. The boss offered him a job, at his same office, doing special projects for the company, at the same salary, for 6 months a year. Holy cow, what a deal.
So, in June, 2003 we left for our first 6-month vacation. In November, we came back to Nashville to work for 6 months. Gene went back to the office and I went to work in the Vanderbilt temp pool.
During our Knoxville stay, Gene was back at work full-time and I did a whole lot of hiking in the Smokies. I did a couple months work camping at the RV park where we were staying, but mostly I hiked.
By the winter of 2007, the special project which had taken us to Knoxville was essentially over and Gene persuaded the boss to let him work full time from home, wherever home might be. The boss agreed, so we started traveling full-time in January, 2008.
That gig worked well for a couple years, but Gene was on the phone way more than he wanted to be and all the stress he had wanted to get away from was back. At the end of 2009, we finally saw our way to completely retire. The pay checks were great, but nothing can beat the freedom we have in retirement.
How we happened to be living in an RV is a different story which can be found under the tab entitled “The Road to Full-Timing”.