Ok, real talk.
I’ve been keeping a little secret from you all… well it’s not really a secret but just something that’s been planned for nearly four years now and I have never written about it…
There’s a little back story that’s needed so let’s start there.
The year was circa 2013 and I’d been working for nearly 2 years and Mrs.FB was just finishing her degree eagerly (not) looking forward to starting work fulltime.
We had always planned to do a Euro trip at some point in our 20’s, and we were roughly aiming for 2015 to be the year.
We did an American trip at the end of 2012 with another couple and I really hated the style that we did the trip.
You know what I’m talking about:
* Fly here
* Get a cab to landmark
* Take Seflie
* Hop back in a plane
* Goto next stop…
Don’t get me wrong, I loved that trip and it was an amazing experience. It’s just that it was so exhausting and I felt like I never had the time to truly experience the inner vibe of some cities because we were there and gone in a second.
Some parts of that trip I just wanted to chill out and enjoy the area we were in. But that’s what a 7 week trip around the states is really. Unless you’ve been before, everyone (myself included) wants to see as much shit as possible during your time off.
Another massive negative from traveling like that is you pay a premium for everything. Because you don’t have time to head down the supermarkets and prepare meals, or you can’t wait for offseason ticket prices for a lot of things especially with airlines (don’t even get me started).
In a nutshell, that trip was awesome, but it’s hard for me to truly enjoy myself when I know I’m paying a premium for most things.
Which brings us back to our Euro trip.
Instead of rushing around like mad over 6-8 weeks… Why don’t we pack up and stuff, and move over there for a year?
Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend like this is a groundbreaking idea. I’m really following suit from many of my mates who did the whole work in London and travel around on the weekend thing.
It’s a brilliant way to do it I reckon. You have a base where you can recharge and get back in a routine. And because all the countries are so close, you can skip on over to France on a long weekend…Or pop over to Spain Friday night and return Sunday. I have even heard of (insane) people catching a 5 AM flight in on a Monday and heading straight to work!
The other really big bucket list item that Mrs.FB and I wanted to tick off is living in a capital city. Yeah, the weather sucks in London but the lifestyle, food and drinks options, events, concerts, sports, proximity to other countries and countless other pros to us was worth the hustle and bustle of a concrete jungle.
So our minds were made up. In 2015 we would pack our bags and head off on a once in a lifetime trip…
And then I discovered FIRE
I was very lucky to get a high paying job (relative to the country) straight out of uni and when I discovered FIRE I felt like
I was in an extremely fortunate position and could realistically achieve this goal before 35.
I had the following:
* Early 20s
* Good paying job
* Low cost of living
We were still planning to do the trip but in the back of my mind, I wasn’t ready to pack in my job yet and really wanted to grind away for a few more years so compound interest could do its thang. I had it in my head that your 20’s are a really special time where you can save and invest a lot of money and leapfrog yourself to FIRE. You can still do it in your 30’s and later but it’s just a lot harder when kids are on the scene.
So there I was, stuck between a trip of a lifetime and a goal that had turned into an obsession.
I ended up chatting to Mrs.FB about the Euro trip and how I wasn’t ready to go. What didn’t help the situation was Mrs. FB had just started full-time work and she had a really, really hard time. She’s a teacher and was placed in an incredibly hard class for her first year (still the worst one after teaching for 5 years). And on top of that her cat got eaten by a dog halfway through that hellish year…
So as you could imagine, the conversation went about as smooth as sandpaper. I think she understood how important setting ourselves up at an early age was, but it’s hard to appreciate that after the year she had. Mrs. FB ended up booking camp America for 2015 lol. She needed a break and I was totally supportive of that. I stayed home and worked through those 4-5 months in 2015 and met up with her in Hawaii as she flew back to Oz.
The next three 4 years (2015-2018) set the foundations for the bulk of the portfolio that is worth over $600K as I write this today. We were both working fulltime and investing a large chunk (~65%) of our combined after-tax income.
We had revised the date for our Euro trip to be at the start of 2019.
And then, as if a temptation from the devil. I got a raise and my dream job towards the end of 2018. I thought about just canning the whole trip for a few nights but the longer I thought about it, the more I realised that I would 100% regret it if we never went.
How many people have you heard say they regret traveling? I’ve yet to met a single person. On the contrary, how many people have you heard say they wish they took more risks when they were younger? I’ve met a few…
If we continue on our current path right now. I’ve roughly calculated that we would hit FIRE in 4-5 years. That’s a house fully paid off
with around $50K rolling in.
Buuuuut… life’s worth living. And the fact that we have a growing snowball back home that will continue to work hard and make us money whilst we’re away makes the decision a lot easier for me.
Which is why I’m typing up this post on a flight to Singapore.
We are on our way to London (little holiday through southeast Asia first) to start our new life.
We’ll be back…at some point.
But for someone who has always been risk-averse… always chosen the smart move and not the most exciting.. made countless sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom…