Briefcase to Backpack: New Retirement Options


It has been 22 years since we exchanged our briefcases for backpacks and as it has turned out, it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. Trading an office for the world, opening our minds instead of books, and swapping sandwich lunches for global cuisine, what an experience it has been!

The fine people, intriguing characters we have met and the exotic places we have been are only part of the joy. The challenge to overcome obstacles and the flexibility we have learned in order to move with the flow at times when there is no plane, train or bus going where we wish to go only strengthens us and enriches the experience.

Some might say we’re crazy

We gave up the life in the States and the familiarity it provides. These choices are incomprehensible to many, but from our point of view, there has to be more to life than making repairs, being held hostage to a mortgage and paying off debts. And, there is if you are willing to make a change.

Freedom and wealth

We do not consider ourselves wealthy based on U.S. standards. After all, we are basically homeless and carless, but we’re globally connected. We have more freedom compared to the guy stuck with mortgage payments, car loans and other debt and who has boxed himself into a life of dependency on his “stuff.”

Does this make sense?

As recent as the 1960’s storage facilities came into play as people could no longer put all of their possessions into their ever larger homes. Today there are over 2.35 billion sq feet of rentable self-storage space in the U.S. with TV shows based on auctioning off the contents of the people who do not pay the monthly rent.

How much is enough?

We posed this question to ourselves over two decades ago, and decided that liberating ourselves of our possessions gave us freedom of movement and expanded our choices. Oh sure we still have treasured items, just not rooms and rooms of them.

Some of you may have gone through something similar and now live on a sailboat or in an RV. For us, trading our briefcases for backpacks allows us to travel the globe, creating memories and gaining a wealth of perspective that cannot be purchased.

After all, in the end isn’t that what’s it all about?


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