When trying to plan a journey that will take us away from home for a year, it’s difficult to do this without a little help and sometimes a lot of help.
We had been in the planning stage to tackle America’s Great Loop for about two years.
Of course, this brought up all kinds of questions.
How can we leave our house? What will we do with our cars? How will we pay our bills? What about mail? What about prescriptions? And on and on and on.
When we first started planning, we had a 3-story brownstone in Uptown Dallas that we had lived in for 13 years. It was right in the middle of everything including bars, restaurants, and a Whole Foods within walking distance.
We also had a cozy, two bedroom lake house about an hour outside of Dallas located on Cedar Creek Lake.
It was time to make some big decisions.
We decided to sell our home in Dallas and get rid of everything in it. Everything.
We used Craig’s List, eBay, Next Door and Offer Up.
The items we couldn’t part with (photo albums, family heirlooms, china, etc.) we took to the lake.
Parting with all of our stuff was weird and liberating at the same time.
Sam was working out of DFW Airport and so we got an 800 square foot apartment in Las Colinas (Irving) near the airport.
We had never shared a bathroom or closet since getting married 20+ years ago so this tiny space took some getting used to.
I already had gathered a list of marriage counselors’ phone numbers. Just in case.
Apartment life prepared us for boat life.
We had so much stuff but we found that we needed very little to live and be happy.
When Sam retired last September, we got rid of the apartment and the lake house became our home.
How We Can Leave Our Home
We have a fantastic alarm system. Two, in fact.
And a very close-knit community with few homes and an unofficial “neighborhood watch” always watching.
We have fantastic neighbors that alert us of any crazy weather, flooding, damage, etc.
We have a very dependable guy who does our yard and keeps things looking great on the outside.
What We Did With Our Cars
We have two cars.
One is in our garage and we will arrange for it to be started and driven around every couple of months.
We drove the other one from Texas to Baltimore to get on the boat.
When we left to start the loop, Sam’s Cousin Rus came on board for moral support and went with us from Baltimore to Chesapeake City to Cape May.
Sam’s Cousin, LynAnn and husband, Walt, who live in New Jersey, drove down to Cutter Marina in Baltimore and picked up the car and drove it to Cape May.
We all had a great time yesterday.
Cousin Rus will drive our car back to his house in Pennsylvania and keep it there for awhile.
So now you know, we don’t actually know what we are going to do with that car.
Watching those Carvana commercials, it would be so easy to call them up and get rid of it.
But we have decided to kick that can down the road and decide later.
The great thing about being alive now is that we can pay all our bills online.
It is a beautiful thing.
This trip forced us to get it set up and it’s awesome.
We use iPostal.com as our mail service and were able to select an address (we chose one in uptown, close to the house we used to own).
It costs us $10 a month.
We log on and see the front of the envelope.
Then, we decide if we want them to open it (scan so we can read it which is an additional fee) or forward it to us.
I usually wait until we have several letters and have them consolidate all and send to the marina. And they charge me for that postage.
I use Express Scripts and Sam uses Medicare and they both will send our prescriptions to the marina.
All we do is call them up (we usually get an email telling us that it’s time for a refill) and give them the address. Very easy.
This is key in taking a trip that lasts a year.
We have a fantastic financial planner named Paul Michel back in Texas but he can accept clients in all 50 states as a flat-fee fiduciary advisor.
Paul can be your financial planner too and he will be honest with you and tell you what it will take to make this trip a reality.
Go visit him at http://www.ProvidentFinancialPlanning.com.
You need this peace of mind.
Get Out Here
If going on America’s Great Loop is a dream of yours, it is totally doable.
You don’t even have to make drastic decisions, just do whatever you are comfortable with.
You want to sell your home, sell your home.
If you don’t want to, then don’t.
Just keep dreaming and then do whatever you have to do to get.
Life is too short.