What's the post-RTW trip "life reset" plan?
Once we figured out the timeframe for coming home, we needed to figure out what the plan was going to be once we were back. Remember, we sold just about everything we owned and quit our jobs, so there was a lot to figure out. But one thing was for sure, we wanted to keep things as simple as possible and create an environment that was condusive to living minimalistically and not with a Monday through Friday “live for the weekend” mindset.
First step, purchase two used, high mileage, reliable vehicles so we can actually get around. Not having any proof of income over the past eight months pretty much ruled out buying a new car or anything high priced for that matter. Plus, we like having as few bills as possible. We also figured, how nice of a car do we really need? Some scratches here and there, a few dings, a torn seat cover, etc. Who cares! We wanted to find mechanically sound vehicles to get us from point A to B without issue. Of course it took us several looooong days, and putting lots of miles on our friend’s truck, to actually find something decent within our price range, but we did it!
When we were still overseas, as soon as we determined it was time to go home, we contacted the agent managing our old apartment building. We loved our old apartment and nothing else we saw (there were only a couple of other options because of limited places available) was as good a value or fit our needs. Fortunately, a unit was coming available shortly after our planned return home! It’s simple and small, only 700 square feet, but works for us.
One benefit of a small apartment is that it forces you to be more mindful on what you really “need” to purchase. There’s only so much room!
How are going to pay for this apartment? We guess we have to go back to work at some point to pay the bills. With that said though, both of us decided we wanted to do multiple things to earn money, not just one Monday-Friday, 9-5 job. This would help us not get wrapped back into the whole “working for the weekend” mentality. Plus, it would allow us to mix it up a little bit, and do things we didn’t feel we had time to do before.
Rachel was able to go back to her old position as an outpatient physical therapist, but she is doing so on a part-time basis. With her free time she is doing something she has wanted to do for years…provide private Pilates lessons. Rachel has been doing Pilates for over 18 years for her own fitness, and has been incorporating it into her physical therapy treatments for at least 15 years.
That tiny apartment of ours? Well, the living room is now basically a Pilates studio.
Rachel’s New Business
Pete’s background is in public relations and communications and he has decided to work from home as a consultant, which is something he had done in the past. This will allow him more freedom to decide what types of projects he wants to work on and give more flexibility on what days and time of day he works. Plus, one of us working from home means less mileage on the vehicles, lower fuel costs, and less car maintenance.
To get out from behind the computer, Pete plans to focus more on his oil painting and maybe do some odds and ends jobs around town that allow him to work with his hands in a creative way. Some of you may remember a blog post when we were in New Zealand where Pete had the chance to paint with his friend and past painting instructor Vjekoslav Nemesh (click here to see that post). This helped rekindle Pete’s passion for painting and will surely prove to be a fun creative outlet for him.
Volunteer – Feed the Soul
Another thing we plan to do with our time is volunteer. This will give us the opportunity to help people and show love and compassion to others. According to the books we have been reading lately, the Dalai Lama believes developing true and full compassion towards others is critical to mental health and happiness.
We hope to practice looking at everyone with compassion during our normal daily activities, but also want to use some of our free time to put this compassion into action. When looking at volunteering, even though our main goal is to help others, of course we will get something out of it as well. There are countless studies that show volunteering results in a happier and calmer mindset.
Sounds like a win-win to us!
Living in the Moment
We hope schedule flexibility and more free time to explore other passions will allow us to keep living in the moment. In the past we tended to focus on the future…next thing, next thing, next thing…way too much. That certainly impacted our mental health, and we now know it. It will be very challenging to not slip back into this behavior, but we hope continuing meditation and Tai Chi every day, along with the other changes in our lifestyle, will help keep us on track.
Quick 2020 Update!
Since our return, both of us have followed our passions and started new businesses. Rachel started a Pilates studio (www.easternshorepilates.com) and Peter started a boat tour business (www.easternshoreboattour.com). So far, so good!
Do you have any thoughts to share about hitting the life reset button? Please post below or contact us directly!