Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Traveling for the First
Time with Your New Lover
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Traveling is different than a
two-week vacation in a beach resort. Visiting
unique countries and landscapes with many unknown factors can be challenging
- even in the best of times.
Now add in your new significant other, with travel uncertainties and
no guarantees about what comes next, you have a recipe for a relationship
disaster before it really began.
Skyline to the Sea Trail, showing
topography, Santa Cruz Mountains
When you first met, how did that initial trip go?
We were still getting to know each other when we decided to go on a
fifty-mile hike in the mountains. This was the famous Skyline to the Sea
Trail in the
Santa Cruz Mountains on the rugged
California Pacific Coast.
It was six days and five nights with "you carry it in, you carry it out"
type of hiking. Everything we needed went into our heavy backpacks. We had a leaky, old, two-man tent, cooking gear and gas
stove cylinders, plus food, clothes, First-Aid kit and more. Water was
available only periodically at marked stations throughout this journey.
Loving nature and having time to reflect
Sure, we both loved nature and trekking through the forest was a “close to
the bone” experience we enjoyed. But, underlying all of this adventure, we
really wanted to see what kind of grit the other had.
Would either of us be a whiner? How would we handle it if it rained? Who was
going to break first? Would we get along for 24/6 fully uninterrupted hours together with no
We tramped up the hill on one side of the mountain then down the other side
with continuous ocean views keeping us mesmerized. The beauty was staggering and the
blisters on our heals were burning. Moleskin was our savior to get us through
to another day.
This was back in the 1970’s long before modern, lightweight, efficient camping and hiking gear were
Warm days and cool nights with only each other, our own thoughts and the
peace of the wilderness. We never saw another person on the trail. No one!
Forget about cell phones, selfies, social media, streamed netflix or
other diversions, they were not invented yet. It was quiet with only the sounds of the
rushing creek below.
We needed to cover 10 miles a day in rough terrain. Working together forced
us to meld, learning more about each other’s strengths and
weaknesses by the mile.
Can food be an issue between new couples?
In order to kick off our adventure I carried a frozen chicken to act as a
cooler for the bottle of Louis Jadot - Pouilly Fuisse for our first evening’s meal.
French Chef, I find cooking with mess kits to be a challenge but there was
no way I was going to complain this early into the trip. Armed with a buck
knife, every part of that chicken was used as I made stock with the bones
for soup later, and utilized the
wine bottle to carry the stock for the next day's meal. And... I carried the
empty bottle out so as to not leave trash on the trail.
Akaisha, meanwhile, was vegetarian - something I neglected to consider fully.
An experienced hiker, she was used to trail mix, dried fruit and cans of
beans. Water and powdered electrolytes were her familiar style.
But fortunately for me, Akaisha is adaptable and a team player. Wine and
Cajun seasoned open-pit grilled chicken were served? Wine and chicken she ate.
We slept well that first night.
Even with differences we found cooperation
I was far better at the uphill climbs, something Akaisha struggled with. On
the other hand, she easily flew past me on the downhill slopes while my
knees barked at me of abuse with the pounding of an overweight pack onto them
at every step.
When my knees swelled
at night, she massaged them and wrapped them in Ace
Still traveling together, 4 decades later!
I don’t recall us having any arguments. It seemed we easily slipped into a
“one hand helps the other” style. I watered her and she watered me so that we could
both grow. This has been an approach that has worked for us throughout our
partnership for over four decades.
Under the circumstances of hiking together, without the option of any escape,
dependent on each other and without manufactured amusements, we saw deeply
into each other.
Yes, there were contrasts, but there were also creative additions.
We survived the physical schedule of ten miles of hiking each day. With what
could have been awkward long stretches of no conversation, we breathed in
and breathed out. All along this trip, the natural
pressure of being tired, hungry and sore, we persevered, got stronger and came
Traveling together in such a manner laid the bedrock in our foundation for
building a stronger relationship.
shortly after this hike that we went to Europe for six months with the same
shitty tent and gear, came back to
California and purchased a restaurant of our own in 1979. A mere twelve
years later, we retired from our careers and began our journey of financial
independence to travel the world.
the rest is
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha