I Want to Leave the Rat Race


My name is Peter and I purchased a copy of your “Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement” about 3 years back. While I haven’t corresponded before I did enjoy your book and have been a consistent reader of your website and I must say I admire your “get up ‘n go”.

From reading your website and other sites on the subject of early retirement and world travel there seems to be a consistent theme of some life changing event, often a negative one such as marriage breakup, family tragedy etc. While understandable that people see these events as catalysts for change my question is are there any people who just do this, travel the world with a back pack or some such, just because they are footloose or simply want to view things/be out of the rat race.

The reason I am asking is that I frequently feel a need to break free from the rat race. I am an Australian, semi-retired making my living from option trading, happily married, 2 grown up children, 2 delightful grandchildren, nice house, nice area, 2 cars, dog, money in the bank etc., etc. Oh and I am 61. What I struggle with (apart from talking my wife into cutting loose also) is why I have this urge. Have no financial need to live in a lower cost country, have a good life where I am so why a desire to cut loose. Have traveled extensively over the years (ex-Australian military and lived in both Malaysia and England while in the military) and regularly wander up to Malaysia for a couple of weeks at a time each year.

Are there others out there you are aware of similar to me, would love to correspond with someone of a similar ilk.


Life is an adventure. Follow your dreams.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for taking the time to write, we appreciate it. And thank you for your interest in our books and website!

In terms of meeting others who like to travel, it’s best to meet them while on the road. It’s not as easy to meet them in one’s regular routine — as these people are out traveling!

We see the urge to travel the world as a “normal” thing — but it is true — not everyone is a traveler and some can’t imagine leaving their lifestyles, gardens and pets. And of course, we are not pushing them to do so, everyone is different. But opening one’s self up to other cultures, other foods, other ways of living, other geographical configurations — it’s a fascinating life and one filled with reward.

If you want to “cut loose” but are a bit timid or can’t get your wife on the same page, you might try house sitting as a way to get to other locations and still live in comfort – also you will be able to keep your own home during this time — just have a house sitter sit your home as you sit someone else’s – or do a house exchange. Take a look at our Travel Housing Options page for ideas.

Or you could go traveling on your own or in a small group – our Single Travelers page might give you some insights.

We think having a sense of adventure is an exciting trait and makes for an interesting person. But again, not everyone is the same. If you are interested in a certain location and would like to meet some locals there – you might try joining some of the forums listed on our Relocation page. Forums are free and it’s a good way to find out what a place is like right from the people who are living there.

If you really want to break free from the rat race, then you could downsize your home and cut back on the number of vehicles you own and maintain. Track your spending for the life you are living now, and see where you could make changes. What would it cost you if your housing and transport categories were modified? When your monthly number is one you can maintain without working or without financial stress to you, then you are able to break free from the prescribed manner of living and choose a life of your own creation.

If your wife is not on board for these changes and you are still interested in making them, then you need to make the “new life” interesting to her. What would she gain if you downsized or changed your manner of living? Is there anything that she would be attracted to? Maybe she is comfortable in the home you have now and with the ability to see the kids and grandkids regularly. It would be a large change for her but perhaps doing some “snowbird” combination like travel for so many months and then being home for so many months might work.

We discuss different options for disagreeing couples in our book, Your Retirement Dream IS Possible which you might find useful.

I hope that I have answered your question, and if you have more questions, please feel free to write back to us any time.

Wishing you great success in creating the life that you want,


About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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