Mini Retirement Monthly Update: Passports? Yes, please!

Hey there, if you’re new I am going to be publishing a monthly series where I document our journey to this years One Goal.  The goal: to take a Mini Retirement where we take 4 months off of work to travel internationally and permanently move to a new stateThe launch date of this adventure is October 1, 2017. This is our first time going through the process of planning a mini retirement. By the end of this series I hope to have a tried and true checklist to go by for all our future mini retirements. Wish  us luck and follow along on the journey.

This year all I really need to focus on is getting from here to that mini retirement. A major component of the mini retirement is going to be travel. I want to take an international trip for 2 months. Visiting Ecuador and El Salvador. Before that we are going to take a 3 week road trip across the U.S starting in California. At the end, we are planning to take a month to settle in to our new home state of Michigan. All in all, I need to prepare our family for 4 months of unusual living.

Of course to get this one goal accomplished there are a lot of other tasks I need to tick off. But, that is my focus. The question this year is: Is this helping me plan my trip? (Is this getting us ready for our Mini retirement?)

Time is ticking fast and some of you may have noticed the count down clock I added.

As of today it says 24 weeks and 4 days.  That is just 6 months out! and I am starting to feel the pressure. The point of this series is to help me manage my tasks so that I don’t get to September with 100 things to get done.

So lets get to it, Travel monthly review

Yes! our family of 4 is now in possession of 4 passports. Oh the possibilities.

March to do list:

Rolled over tasks

  • Get Jr & Minnie their passports (Complete) 

I’m ecstatic to report that we made it to our appointment with all necessary documents. Not only that, we have already receive the passports.  We are officially ready to leave the country. The possibilities are endless and I’m giddy just thinking about it. I’m also happy because I didn’t want to have to book the flights without the passports in hand. Lucky me that wont be a problem.

  • Finish travel course (Complete)

I finished going through the travel miles course. There was a lot to learn and I will have to go back and reference the material. After I book the trip I’ll share with you a full write up. But if you are on my email list you will already have heard about us opening cards to earn points for the trip.

  • Get life insurance for Mr. Roamer and I ( In-process )

We are in the final steps for the life insurance process. Once it’s all settled I’ll have a full write up to share with you but it is pretty much done. I’ll just have to keep my eye out for paperwork to put our final signature on it.

  • Return some big furniture (Complete)

Happy to report that we were able to remove one heavy bulky piece of furniture from our home. Our goal is to remove as much as we can.  Which is a great way to avoid having a whole bunch of furniture to get rid of at the end. Want to see what our home currently looks like check out our home tour. We specifically documented our place so that we can see if we are making progress in removing things from our home on a monthly basis.

New Tasks

  • Mr. Roamer read How to engineer your layoff (In-process)

If we can swing it. It would be great if Mr Roamer could get laid off. That way he might get a severance package but also he’ll qualify for unemployment. To prepare he is reading the book and he’s almost done.

  • Research and apply TSA precheck ( Not Complete)
  • Schedule doctors appointments (In-process)

Mr Roamer had a doctors appointment and we both had to have physical check ups for the life insurance application. We need to review results and decided whether we want to see a doctor on top of this.

  • Get temporary job ( In-process)

I’ve completed my year off from work after my impromptu lay off. I am ready to get back out there I have submitted a couple of job application.  This isn’t really necessary for our trip but it can be very helpful. Getting back to work will give me the opportunity to bring in an income which can build up our trip funds. Or just get shuffled into retirement savings.

  • Check/ book airline tickets with points ( Not Complete)

We are currently accumulating points and are a little short, so we cant book airline tickets yet. But I am checking them out to make sure there is still availability. Thankfully there is!!! I am hoping by the end of the month the points will clear but if not May is when tickets will be booked.

  • Find paid writing work (Not Complete)

I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t done anything on this front. While remote writing work would be the most beneficial while we travel around. Submitting job applications to non sustainable 9-5 work just seems easier.  It feels like the path of least resistance to get “normal” work and I am falling into it’s flow. But I know that writing gigs will give me more flexibility and I really need to get this ball rolling. Again not a must have but it would give us more security if we could earn money even while we travel.

  • Find place to stay in Ecuador & El Salvador (Complete)

While this wasn’t on my to do list( it should have been).  For our monthly stays in Ecuador and El Salvador my family has graciously invited us to stay with them. So we have both months covered. Yay!

It’s not a list of 100% complete items but we are well on our way. Really the only must have is booking flights with points so we don’t pay up the wazu in dolla dolla bills!

April to do list:

For April there will some rolled over tasks and items I need to keep an eye on to wrap them up.

  • Get life insurance for Mr. Roamer and I (In-process)
  • Mr. Roamer read How to engineer your layoff (In-process)
  • Get temporary job (In-process)

New tasks

  • Research and apply TSA precheck
  • Check/ book airline tickets with points
  • Write paid post
  • Send international family emails, keep communicating
  • Research safety, medical and other for Ecuador and El Salvador
  • Clear out all unused items from the bathroom
  • Practice Spanish

So there you have it, what I will be working on in April.  If you have questions please ask in the comments. If you want to check out the entire series in order, so far you’ve only missed the intro.

If you want to see our financials sign up below as I send those out monthly through email.

If you have any advice on planning a long trip with kids I am all ears, please share in the comments. Or let me know what big goal you’re working on this year.


The Roamer traveling wallet

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