Mini Retirement Update: July countdown

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 6 weeks and 1 days. Holy shiiza! We are in single digits on the weeks. Oh man! I think I am going to transition it to days. Let the final count down begin.

So I figured something out lately. It makes perfect sense. Well, at least I think so.

When people find out about my trip they tend to ask me about my plans for Ecuador or El Salvador. Then when they see me again they ask me how the planning is going. I usually tell them about my purging effort and the road trip. Then they say, “….oh, I was asking if you’ve figured out anymore details for Ecuador or El Salvador.” Then I mumble something about getting a better idea about our plans there. But really, I haven’t done much. Not much at all.

Actually if you’ve been following along you might remember me saying that I am not too stress about the trip but very stressed about the move.

The trip internationally is the more interesting thing. Why am I not overflowing with plans and details?  Well that’s just it. The international trip is more exciting. Regardless of what we spend our time doing, we will doing it for a whole month in another country. Then after that, it will be a whole month in yet another country. Pretty much I think it’s already going to be amazing. I don’t need to add to it.

For the past 12 years getting there has been the greatest hurdle. Everything after that is gravy, it’s just icing on the cake. So I’m just not worried. Now, lets say it’s horrible. Even if it’s horrible…I still think it will be amazing.. because we are there. Not to mention that even if it’s horrible its a limited time engagement. We are leaving after a month in each place. Seriously, what’s there to worry about? Why do I need to have every last detail planned.

I think we are satisfied just having a general idea.

On the other hand, moving to a whole new state for who knows how long. Well that really needs more attention. The road trip isn’t  going to last forever either. So I have been “neglecting” that as well.

Permanently moving across the country to start a new life. Well maybe it’s just me but it feels like a weightier question. So yeah that is why I am more stressed with the move, than with the trip. The trip is already going to be amazing. No matter what. But the stuff that needs to fit in my car. Well that’s stuff that I am going to be using, and living with for much longer then just 2 months. The things we are keeping and purging are going to affect us on a daily basis once we are settled.

I think it’s the whole, I have limited space, so everything taking up that space better be worth it, thing.

But like I said, maybe it’s just me and I am making it all more heavy then it needs to be.

So what was I supposed to get done in July?

July to do list:

Rolled over tasks

During all this commotion, I have been composting and our compost pile sprouted tomatoes. Top is a few weeks prior and bottom is yesterday. Yup, absolutely nothing to do with our trip. 😛


  • Clear out patio (Complete)

Since I am so behind on publishing this update I can say that in the start of August we got a good deal of this done.

  • Email travel blogger (specially people who have been to Ecuador or El Salvador)

I was able to get into contact with someone but then I don’t know what happened. Need to remember. Just send emails. Just send emails. Just send emails.

  • Open bank account with no international fees (Complete)

Yes. We now have a Schwab account. We had some hiccups getting it open but we have our debit cards in hand and have funded the account. Exciting!

  • Apply to TSA precheck  Global Entry (No go)

We have finally decided that we are just going to pass on this. I feel like it’s going to be a rough re-entry but at least I don’t need to worry about it anymore. One less task.

New tasks

  • Kids yearly check up (Complete)

We squeezed in one last wellness visit for the kids before our move. Minnie got her 4 year old shots. Then we asked the doctor about any special shots they might need due to our trip. He said no, but to get a hold of a travel clinic. Great! another thing to add to the list. But health and safety first.

A beautiful view of the San Francisco skyline.
  • Visit San Francisco (Complete)

We went on a short trip to San Francisco. But it was a nice introduction for the kids.

With all these new purchases below we decided that we needed to open up another credit card to earn some sign up bonuses. So I am behind on all these but they will be 1st on the list once I get my card.

  • Travel Insurance
  • FinCon flight
  • Buy extra storage box  for my car.
  • Publish post of October road trip plan

It feels like I am falling behind but it could be because we are still trying to have lots of fun while we are here. Priorities!

August to do list:

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

  • Travel Insurance
  • FinCon flight
  • Buy extra storage box  for my car.
  • Publish post of October road trip plan

New Tasks

  • Dentist grown ups
  • Intensive Spanish practice
  • Send family plans
  • Give 60 day notice

Since things are coming up fast here is what the rest of my to do list looks like.

  • Appointment with school to discuss Jr education
  • Get rid off all big furniture
  • Set up mail forwarding
  • Farewell party?
  • Book 1st few nights of road trip
  • Pack everything live out of suitcase for last week
  • Trash an donate anything that doesn’t fit
  • If not laid off Mr. give notice to quit
  • Pack cars up
  • Move out of apartment


  • Oct 1 Start Road trip

So that is what’s up.

Have you ever taken a long time away from work? Have you moved cross country? Or gone on extended travel? How did you prepare for the change? Let me know in the comments below.


The Roamer traveling wallet

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If you want to check out the entire series just check out the mini retirement series.

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