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.
of Globe Trotting
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Billy reads the Bangkok Post as
Akaisha peddles - Joking around in a Jak-a-Ran,
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Globe Trotting is also known as slow travel
- and in
our case, very slow travel. Wanderlust is in our blood.
We enjoy learning
about and experiencing uniquely unusual locations around the globe. You know,
like that little cafe apart from the tourists that you found in the alleyway
which served the best tortellini you have ever eaten. Or that French bakery
you discovered with astonishing croissants and baguettes. And remember that
amazing beach bar serving great
priced ice cold beers and botanas right to your
table, while you chatted with locals? These are the experiences which make
remarkable stories that you tell over and over, getting to relive those particular moments
In our case it's been
decades of global wandering, harvesting our stories. We prefer
experiences over stuff, and it is one of the reasons we travel. Several more are
Years ago we figured it
was going to cost us a certain amount of money to “stay home” – whether it
was food, entertainment, rent, or transportation, we spent "X" amount
per day. In
choosing to travel, we still paid for these items, but now we were in some
exotic place creating memories.
The difference between
what we spent at home and our journeys to Asia,
in Mexico or a tour of both islands of
Zealand seemed miniscule for what
we received in return. Many times the difference in expenditures was just the cost of the airfare.
Now instead of asking
“Can we afford to go?” we ask “Can we afford not to go?”
For us, there is no doubt
that looking forward to new vistas, food, cultures and geography is
exciting. While we love the stability of “home,” friends, and the familiar,
nothing replaces breathtaking scenery, the mysteries of
indigenous cultures and
flavors in cuisine. Some of which we try to recreate once
It spices up our lives immeasurably as well as expanding our minds and
sometimes our waistlines too!
Waiting on the tarmac at the airport
After traveling the globe
for over thirty years, we have found that in many cases “less
For one thing, we have outgrown the need to purchase souvenirs for
ourselves, families and friends. Now we have intriguing stories of
serendipity, humorous anecdotes of
lost luggage or personal bungles, and
priceless essential moments with human beings on the other side of the
We have also opened
to a more pleasant lifestyle – and due to the strength of
the Dollar, we pay less, - have better weather, fresher food year round, and
sharper understanding of who we are in the world.
A young woman from the Karen People,
also known as the
Long Neck Tribe,
poses with Billy for a photo, Northern Thailand
Learning new cultures
Humans are humans all
across the earth. But how we celebrate our holidays, what we find sacred,
the style of our music, the spices we use and what we determine is valuable in our
particular society changes from culture to culture. Exposing ourselves to
these new expressions opens up our outlook and challenges us to grow.
“Toto, we’re not in
Kansas anymore” and what we glean from these exchanges makes us personally
wealthy. One year we celebrated four "New Years" in a matter of months; The
Western New Year,
The Thai New
Year, Chinese New Year and the Balinese New
Stretching your limits
Learning another language
How we view our
surroundings and what goes on around us is very much tied to the language we
use to express ourselves. The French may have one way to say something, the
Japanese another. There might not be a Guatemalan Mayan word to say what we want and we
find we have to search a little harder to communicate.
Learning the local
language gives a glimpse into cultures and life that is different from our
own native tongue. This is good for the brain and good for our perspective.
Talk about stretching your mind!
Billy and Akaisha in a very hip
Cool cafes and wine bars
As the world gets more
and more connected through air travel, digital news, photos, and gadgets,
we find that we can easily get
a good cup of
Wine and tapas bars are a great place to relax, listen to music, munch and
savor a tasty glass of wine.
Cafes and wine bars are
easy going, fun places to hang out and meet new people and other travelers.
Having lunch with like-minded friends in Chapala, Mexico
Travelers love meeting
This is where very
important information is traded between adventurers. Tips on the best
lodging, good places to get meals, hiking trips, out-of-the-way towns that
haven’t been overrun by tourists and just plain good ol’ travel stories can
be shared. Sometimes long-term friendships can be made and that’s always a
bonus. Priceless information can be had, if you listen.
Taking yourself out of your comfort
A certain amount of
stress is needed for growth. Sometimes we can’t tell the difference between
anxiety and excitement. But those “Wow” memories are made when we are just
on the other side of our comfort zone. How far you go is up to you, but
think about it.
You could stay home and stand in a grocery line to check out
your purchases, or you could go to a world class
market where the
colors are dazzling, and the indigenous vendors make it unforgettable. And
believe us, you will not forget about it, even if you just shop for bananas.
Or you could do something
adventurous like white water raft, hike a mountain, go on a
pilgrimage in Spain, or take a painting class in France.
sunset over Lake Atitlan,
experiences for a lifetime
Sometimes we think to
ourselves – how many more clothes do we need? How much more food can we
consume? World travel has offered us amazing, unforgettable memories and
stories for a lifetime. Ours is a National Geographic lifestyle in 3D;
sights, sounds, smells, and flavors that we can’t get at the local 7-11,
department store or chain restaurant.
How many zeros can the
government put after that first number? In Vietnam, $1USD is worth over
Dong. In Thailand, 33 Baht equals $1. Going from Mexico’s changing Peso exchange to
Guatemala’s Quetzal can be confusing.
All of this keeps us on
our mental toes and makes us sharp. It also gives us a worldly view of money
and purchasing power.
Billy and Akaisha with Indigenous
women at the
Market, Northern Thailand. Notice the blackened teeth of the woman next
to Billy. She has been chewing betel nut a long time.
Shopping in markets with locals
We have gotten spoiled in
the States where
you can literally find anything you want in mega stores or online. There are
dozens of brands, any fashion or sports size for any body shape, every
flavor of shampoo, body cream, over the counter drugs, and olives and sun
dried tomatoes in gallon jars - whatever your pleasure might
local open-air markets in foreign countries are a different experience all together. There
can be items lined out in designer piles on a canvas in the road, or a fruit
stand bursting with color and flavor. It could be a tiny store with items jumbled and
packed from floor to ceiling. You never know what you will find.
Live animals can
be for sale or fresh baked goods on a tray carried on someone’s head.
A surprise at every turn,
neighborhood markets are great for photos, the experience itself, and shopping!
Learning about borders
Not everyone knows that
you simply cannot go from one country to another willy nilly. There are
border crossings and visas -
strictly controlled in most cases - some of them free and some of them costly
depending on your citizenship. Most
of these need to be researched in advance, unless you are going with a
travel group who takes care of these things for you. Some visas you must get
in your home country, and others are given to you as you arrive.
All of this is a bit of a
challenge especially if you plan on visiting numerous places, and some popular countries change their visa rules regularly. But
it’s another one of those things that gives you an understanding of how the
Three of us on a moto-taxi in the
that would never be approved at home
Transportation options in
foreign countries runs the gamut. Traveling in a
across Guatemala can be a thrill - like a five star ticket ride at an amusement park. We have taken
water taxis, ridden on moto-taxis, tuk tuks, songtheows, buses, planes, trains,
private cars and vans, and even horseback! Many of these forms of transport
would never be approved of back home! Often there are no seat belts, or not
enough life preservers on the boat to match the passenger count. We have
families of 5 to 7 members on a motorbike as par for the course - with a baby
being held in a five gallon bucket off to the side!
Carrying what you own… aka travel
Being on the road for a
month or more at a time is a great way to learn what’s important to pack.
Since we carry our luggage with us, any extra weight must pass the “value”
test. Do I really need this? Could I purchase something along the way if
necessary? (most of the time yes) Does this item serve more than one
purpose? How can I consolidate and multi-purpose my items?
experience is a good gateway to minimalism.
Akaisha in a pedi-cab taking in the
sites in Ho Chi Minh City (also known as
Getting exercise daily
because you walk more
Since we utilize public transport, and almost never
rent a car, we find ourselves generally walking more in our day-to-day
lives. We walk to the
tennis courts, to the open air markets, and to the
restaurants where we have meals. We walk to the coffee shops to meet
friends, and from our hotel
to the beach to spend the day. Sometimes we even
walk from town to town!
All this and more
There are innumerable benefits to globe
trotting that cover every category of life. We have opened ourselves to
Tourism, and made friends throughout the world, some of whom we have
re-connected with in other countries. We've attended sacred ceremonies of
the Maya in Guatemala, chanted with the Buddhists in Asia and have been
guests at weddings, baptisms, and quinceańeras in
Our palates have appreciated the
different style of cuisine from the magnificent French pastries and sauces
to the hot and spicy Thai food. Mexican food is hard to beat but so is
American Bar-B-Que! We have even eaten ants in Venezuela!
Our lives will never be the same for all
the miles we have covered. And we have joy documenting our travel tales for
heritage diaries for our nephews and nieces to enjoy.
Why not add a little
adventure and excitement to your routine? Hop on a plane, take a motorcycle
trip, or get on a cruise and leave the mundane behind. Can you really afford
not to go?
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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