Hitting the Life Reset Button
: to set again or anew
: to move (something) back to an original place or position
We came up with the idea of a “life reset” in 2015. Both of us were working in stressful environments, we were in a house that was WAY bigger than two people would ever need, and we were trying to figure out what we wanted the next phase of our lives to look like. At that point we had our first discussions about doing a RTW trip. We started reading blogs, purchased a few travel books, and printed a map that we marked with potential destinations.
Then, like we suspect many people do, we talked ourselves out of a RTW trip:
- It was too extreme.
- Were we just running away from jobs?
- Wouldn’t this defer retirement?
- Etc., etc., etc.
Shortly after that, in early 2016, Peter had a medical scare that necessitated a trip to the emergency department. Thankfully, it was determined that it was nothing serious. However, several medical professionals said that stress can do some strange things to the body.
Life Reset #1
At that point, we made the decision to move to a small waterfront community in Virginia, sell the way-too-big house, find less stressful jobs, decrease our living expenses, sell all of the “stuff” that we didn’t really need, and reset our lives.
We sold 2/3 of our belongings, finally sold the massive house, moved into a 700 square foot apartment, found new jobs, and renewed our emphasis on life – friends, exercise, enjoying great food and wine, trying new hobbies, etc.
Life Reset #2
This all sounds great! Wasn’t the first life reset enough? Honestly, part of it comes down to Peter (and then Rachel) reading The 4-Hour Workweek. We won’t bore you with a summary of the book, but it got us thinking more about freeing our time, not waiting until retirement to do things, etc. Frankly, Peter’s medical scare had put things into perspective for us so we were more on board with living for today than ever before.
A few other things added to this idea of continuing our life reset:
- In a way, our first life reset was a “mini” version. Sure, we relocated to a terrific waterfront town, got rid of most of our belongings, and moved to a smaller place. However, we were working in similar roles to what we had before, living for the weekend, etc. The transition was an AMAZING one, but the idea of a RTW adventure was still in the back of our minds.
- Many years ago we decided not to have kids. However, until our mini life reset we still followed very traditional life cycles. This is not a bad thing, but we didn’t feel like we were taking full advantage of the decreased responsibility of not having children.
- Both of us have been in our careers for two decades. We figure that we are halfway through…maybe. We both like our jobs, the people we work with, and the companies we work for. However, we both need time to step back, reflect on things, and really evaluate where we want to go in the second half of our careers. With 20+ years to go, this is a big deal.
- We are financially conservative, generally cautious with our decisions, and carefully research most things. The idea of taking a year off, putting retirement savings on hold, selling even more of our stuff, and traveling to foreign countries (which we do not have much experience with), will definitely push our limits and challenge us. It’s scary, but we are both excited.
With all of this in mind, Life Reset #2 is more of a continuation of Life Reset #1. It’s also the reset that we originally talked about in 2015. Most importantly, we know that if we don’t do this we will regret it when we are older.