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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

What We Did on Our Spring Break  

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Billy and Akaisha in their RetireEarlyLifestyle face masks

Billy and Akaisha in their RetireEarlyLifestyle face masks

The Old Days of Unfettered Travel

Returning from our fabulous trip to Cartagena, Colombia, I flew to Panajachel, Guatemala, in early March.

After enjoying a couple of days at Lake Atitlan, the world began changing rapidly due to the COVID-19 virus, and travel plans needed to be adjusted hourly. I could see the writing on the wall, and it wasnít pretty. My flight home was another week away, but the international airport closed. I feared getting stuck in a 3rd world country, in a hotel room with limited cooking possibilities, by myself, with no end in sight.

What if I got sick? What if Akaisha got sick? We were hundreds of miles apart. No, that wasnít good.

Then the government of Guatemala shut down all public transportation and closed their borders.

Decision made

With great determination and cash in three currencies, I was not going to be denied getting out of Guatemala.

My travel buddy and I decided to make haste to the border of Mexico via land, a six-hour trek, paying a private driver a healthy sum. After a couple of harrowing experiences including police roadblocks, our driver was turned back and we were left roadside in the mountains of Guatemala. We hitched onto anything moving toward the border. Two days and $1,000USD later, I found myself back in Chapala, Mexico where Akaisha was waiting.

This brings me to the present, where the fun just continued!

These Days of Springtime

Hunkered down in Chapala has been a great decision for us, at least at this point.

Markets are mostly open with juice bars and bakeries still selling their goods. Beer and wine are readily available and booze can be had if you know the right people. Everyone is easy going and they are adapting to the constraints the government is implementing, sort of like the Stockholm syndrome.

Masks are to be worn everywhere in town and people are encouraged to stay home except for essential tasks. Those over 60 years old are mandated to stay inside. But Chapala is pretty laidback so these rules are not harshly enforced. Some of the police and government employees donít wear masks and so far Ė even though there is an undercurrent of fear for some - common sense prevails. Bottles of disinfectant gel are everywhere. Sometimes there are lines to get into a grocery store to maintain social distancing inside, but if the line is too long, we just come back later.

I have noticed that with wearing a ball cap, sunglasses and a facemask, itís hard to let people know you are smiling. I'm smiling underneath all of this, but no one can see! Sometimes I take the sunglasses off and at least my eyes are crinkling. I always get a positive response.

In normal times we would be going to any number of good open-air restaurants in town, but that is out of the question now. We have been cooking at home which - since I was trained in French cooking and we owned a restaurant - has been no hardship for us.

New York steaks, Shrimp, Lamb, Salmon, and bountiful amounts of fresh veggies and fruits has been our diet.

A Daily Routine

In our sun-filled humble abode, we exercise daily on a stationary bicycle as well as on a yoga mat. After a healthy breakfast, we might go shopping at the market, run errands and perhaps meet friends for (take-out) coffee. We sit on benches in the cool morning air on the Plaza, and wave to other masked coffee drinkers who are sitting benches away.

Lunch prep starts about 11:30 am, and our large meal of the day is served around 1:00 pm.

Roast Leg of Lamb in Au Jus, Fresh Spinach with Garlic Tomatoes and Cajun Seasoned Roasted Potatoes

Roast Leg of Lamb Au Jus, Fresh Spinach with Garlic Tomatoes and Cajun Seasoned Roasted Potatoes

Throughout this time, we are following the financial markets, replying to emails and tracking the news both in the US and in Mexico. This has been a fairly normal routine for us, both before the lockdowns and now.

Nonetheless, with restaurants, hotels and beaches closed, our travel plans to Puerto Vallarta to meet friends had to be scrapped as well as a couple of weeks in the beach town of Chacala. The airline gave us a voucher to use for an eventual flight, but not knowing how things will play out in the future, we have no current plans to reschedule.

The Local Cheers Bar

Meanwhile, I created a project to raise enough money to clean and repaint our friendís Cantina, El Gavilan.

Our history with El Gavilan goes back decades. We used to live just up the street in the early 1990s and met Alvaro, the owner, who was a previous Mayor of the town. We met his children, wife and another brother who was also a Presidente of Chapala. This is an old fashioned "man's cantina" where there was a urinal trough just under the bar (for convenience) and no women (unless they were ladies of the night) were allowed inside. Eventually, proper bathrooms were constructed, and the bar opened to female clients.

In these modern days, there are scheduled poker games, bar food, and just about everyone who enters knows the other people at the bar. But the current owner, Patty, has no income right now, due to being closed. She is greatly appreciative of all of the people who are contributing to the cleanup and renovations and we plan on having one hell of a "re-opening party" when possible.

What Will the Future Look Like?

Right now, days tend to blur into each other. Even the large church in the center of town doesn't mark Sunday with its bells. No one has any idea when these restrictions are going to be lifted and we can all once again go to a store, a restaurant or travel freely to another town, state or country.

We are trying to grasp an idea of what that future might look like, but a good guess is that international travel will be slow to adapt.

 

 

 

 

We have friends sitting tight, waiting for the ok to move around the globe again. They are everywhere from Peru to Portugal, from Guatemala to the Philippines.

Akaisha hopes to make her yearly visit to family in the States this summer, but will the governments allow that? When she arrives, will she need to be quarantined for two weeks? What if she goes, and her flight back gets cancelled... indefinitely!

Will people need to show health papers certifying that they have had a medical checkup in the last week? Month? Will one need to prove an antibody test? What might be required now, besides a valid passport?

With the slowdown of international travel, will airlines still be in business? Will flights be on sale to garner customers, or will the cost of them skyrocket to try to catch up on income losses? How will airports be sanitized? With the burden of lost revenue and higher costs required by governments to implement these sanitation procedures, will the number of flights be cut? It seems logical that any costs will be passed on to the travelers themselves, making spontaneous travel a bit more rare. But who knows?

Will the wearing of masks be forever obligatory on airlines, in airports, in taxis? Will shuttles be approved to operate? How many people at a time will be allowed in one? Can they perform as a business if there are only three people inside?

Will people choose not to travel until safety is guaranteed? And what does that mean?

For those of us who are used to free movement around the globe to experience cultures, cuisine, sophistication or the indigenous, this forced biding of oneís time is a social purgatory.

We have absolutely been making the most of these times and are assuming you are as well. Thank God for the internet!

But there is nothing like freedom and self-determination, and it is our hope that the world gets up and moving again soon.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Our goal is to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person Ė the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesnít want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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