Mini Retirement Monthly Update: Too much in my house

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. Take 4 months off of work to travel internationally to Ecuador and El Salvador and permanently move to a new state, MichiganThe 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.

As of today the count down clock say 19 weeks and 5 days.

Can you feel the pressure?

April to do list:

Rolled over tasks

  • Get life insurance for Mr. Roamer and I (Complete)

I am not kidding you when I say that as of today this task is finally completed. Mr. Roamers got processed zippidy-do-da but mine caught a snag somewhere. I just got the confirmation and credit card charge that says I am now also covered.

  • Mr. Roamer read How to engineer your layoff (Complete)

He’s all done. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out when to start putting things into practice. When the break from work happens I’ll have to write up an update.

  • Get temporary job (Not Complete)

I did not secure any employment. Uh oh maybe going back to work after an absence is hard. Good think this is more of a bonus. Since our trip expenses are already covered( post coming up). Honestly, there are so many things to do to get ready and places to see in California I’m not sure I am going to pursue this any longer.

New tasks

  • Research and apply TSA pre-check( not complete)
  • Check/ book airline tickets with points (In-process)

We hit the spending requirement but points won’t clear until the end of May. I am planning to book tickets as soon as point clear. Next update this should be done.

  • Write paid post ( Not Complete)
  • Send international family emails, communicate ( Complete)

I have not sent them emails, but I have talked to them on the phone much more often.

  • Research safety, medical and other for Ecuador and El Salvador (Complete)

Mr. Roamer rented some travel guide books from the library. I read up  info on government site. I’ll be honest on the site it’s not all good news but we will be with locals and stay out of bad areas. Plus I just want to say I survived studying and having a baby in Flint, MI. Just sayin’

  • Clear out all unused items from the bathroom ( In-process)

Got rid of some extra towels. But I am really stuck with getting rid of medicine that we never use but isn’t expired. Someone please give me a push!

  • Practice Spanish ( In-process)

Mr. Roamer is learning Spanish on Rosetta Stone (for free from work) and Minnie has been asking more about translating words. Of course JR studies in Spanish. As a whole I think the family is working a lot harder to practice our Spanish.

I think we are doing pretty well.


The heaviest thing on my shoulders is our current home.

In reality there isn’t much needed for our international trips. We have a place to stay, money to cover food and we will be in a whole new country. Adventure is guaranteed.  

Getting there is more the concern. We opened 2 new cards and earned 100K total in sign up bonuses plus our other points. Booking the tickets is the big hurdle. Once we are there, I am not worried.

Yet the heaviest thing on me is our current home.

If we were just going on this trip there would be nothing to worry about but packing bags. But because we are planning to relocate we need to strip this home down to nothing and save only what fits into our cars.

Everyone keeps asking what we plan to do and see when we are abroad. Honestly, I don’t really care right now. The unsexy part and the most urgent right now is purge, purge, Purge! Booking our plane tickets, scheduling some doctors appointments and making sure we have a ride to the airport are all only going to take a few hrs of time and planning. Getting all this stuff out of the house. It feels like an unbearably heavy and time consuming task.

Try to sell stuff instead of trashing it? Try to find a home for stuff instead of just donating it? It all just becomes so difficult.

I can tell you it would be easy to just dump it all in the garbage. But I know some, no, a lot of these things still have life left in them. And I am not trying to be a minimalist just to be surrounded by less stuff. I am trying to be zero waste too. As in make less garbage. Reuse, reduce, recycle you know? So maybe, I am just trying to do too much. Getting stuff out of the house and into other peoples hands or to the goodwill are the biggest wins right now. Figuring out what is going to fit into the cars is more stressful then the road trip. The road trip I’ve already got mapped out, no problem.

Getting rid of stuff? Socorro, alguien salvame.

May to do list:

There are some rolled over tasks and items I need to keep an eye on to wrap them up.

  • Book airline tickets with points ( in process)
  • Research and apply TSA precheck( not complete)

New Task

  • Research education replacement for Jr’s 4 months of school
  • Get rid of all unused items in kitchen
  • Cut down on board games
  • Donate extra stuffed animals
  • Get rid of all Minnie Roamers 3 yr old clothes.
  • Send 5 year old clothes to Michigan.
  • Schedule all the things we want to do and see before we leave California
  • Check how many bins would fit in cars

Like I said getting stuff out of the house is much more of a concern to me then details for the trip. So it’s the main focus of May.

Do you think that’s just crazy talk? Which would you find most stressful, planning a big move or a long extended trip?


The Roamer traveling wallet

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