Latest posts by FIRECracker (see all)
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- Friday Reader Case: Reformed Debt-Junkie Wants to Retire with Kids - November 10, 2017
Tired of my endless yapping about housing and early retirement? Well, today we’re going to get some fresh blood on this weird little blog of ours. Today, we’re going to talk to one of my favorite early retirement bloggers, someone who I actually got to meet in person last year in Thailand, after fan-girling over his blog for years….
GoCurryCracker is a travel/early retirement blog run by Jeremy and Winnie who retired in 2012 to travel the world. After retiring, they welcomed Julian, their awesome little dude into the world, and even though he’s only 18 months old, he’s already been to 17 different countries! Wowza!
I can’t believe how much Julian has grown since I last saw him! The first time we met, he was happily stuffing his face with fistfuls of my hair, and I was happily poking his fat baby cheeks and talking 2 octaves above my normal voice.
Now, the reason why I invited Jeremy onto the blog is to settle a score with all those haters who say you CAN’T travel the world with kids. Because yes. Yes you can.
And with that, let’s bring in the man himself. Jeremy, thanks for being on Millennial-Revolution.com!
When I tell people you can absolutely travel the world with kids, they look at me like I’m crazy. Then I tell them about you, but they refuse to believe you exist. Do you exist, Jeremy?
I’ve never doubted my own existence until this very moment. If it is impossible to do what we are doing, perhaps it is all an illusion. Or maybe we are a delusion you’ve created to convince yourself that retiring early and traveling the world with children isn’t a pipe dream. Now we both have a good reason for an existential crisis. So thanks for that.
Anytime, good Buddy. Anytime.
Incidentally, how is Winnie doing? She looked really tired the last time I saw her and neither of us were helping. I remembered complaining about having a headache from “sleeping too much that day” and you, I believe, were trying to nab the last piece of smokey chicken off her plate when she wasn’t looking. She was glaring at us pretty hard (and we totally deserved it).
I just asked Winnie how she is doing and she said “I was fine… until you ate the last piece of chicken!”
(We had Thai style chicken for dinner tonight…)
Back then Julian was still breast feeding and not yet sleeping through the night, so that is definitely an exhausting time. Now Julian is running, climbing, and jumping all the time. He’s also in that phase where he likes to throw everything on the floor. All of that makes for a different kind of tired.
People say kids are SO expensive. Are they expensive? How many kidneys did you have to sell since Julian was born?
We are still a 6 kidney family. People like to say that kids are expensive, but what they really mean is that they like to spend a lot of money on their kids.
But what is really going to blow their mind is that Julian’s first year of life was actually a source of profit for us! Child related stuff cost less than the tax credits and deductions we received. That’s my boy!
And yes, he has clothes, toys, books, a bike, eats well, goes swimming, etc…
Yeah, cut the crap Jeremy. How many litres of blood will you be selling to put Julian through college?
My plan B is to sell all of them. I got that idea from the Baby Boomer Retirement Playbook.
Or maybe since we knew about college expenses at least 20 years in advance, might we have actually planned, saved, and invested for them? Nah, that would be crazy.
Planning ahead? Most of my friends with young kids tell me they are barely keeping themselves alive! One said she used to have hobbies and friends, now her only goal in life is keeping herself fed and keeping her 1 year old fed. And yet, you guys managed to TRAVEL the WORLD with a toddler. How is that possible? And if you’re on some sort of energy-enhancing drug, where can I get some?
I thought it was you who had the energy-enhancing drug! Or maybe that is just youth…
Unless you outsource your child rearing to others, being a little tired is an expected and normal part of parenting.
And no offense to Toronto (I’ve only been once in the winter), but being tired in Barcelona or Tokyo or on a beach in Mexico is way cooler than being tired in Toronto.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had to ram your way out of an eight-foot snowdrift to get to a job you hate. But enough about me being bitter. From your blog, I see a ton of travel pictures before having kids. How has travel changed before and after having kids?
It’s really not that different.
We move a little slower, and since we have more stuff we check bags rather than try to fit everything into carry on. We also spend less time in bars and more time in parks. And maybe we eat a little healthier to make sure we are setting a good example.
What do your friends and family think of your “nomadic with kids” lifestyle? Especially since Winnie told me her mom has some pretty hardcore traditional Taiwanese values. Speaking from personal experience, I’m guessing that didn’t go over well?
We were an International family before we had kids, so it is expected and understood that we will split time between at least 2 countries. It’s not much of a stretch to make that 20 countries, and everybody seems to be doing well with the current arrangement.
We have regular Skype calls with family on both sides, and plan family travel to make sure we spend time together. My Mom and Grandma flew to Taiwan when Julian was born, we were in Taiwan for Julian’s first birthday with Grandma, and we just spent two weeks with my extended family in the US. We also had Winnie’s Mom visit us in Thailand, and on a few occasions friends and family have made plans to meet up with us elsewhere on the road.
There are definitely some positives to having friends and family be on vacation when they visit. We get a whole week or more of quality time together in a joyful place, rather than just a dinner or a few hours on a weekend scheduled around work and school activities.
Ever get the urge to “act like responsible adults”, buy a house and settle down? How would you respond to: “Kids need stability. You can’t NOT buy a house when you have kids. You can’t TRAVEL when you have kids. You can’t NOT be in a good school district.”
I don’t really take advice from insufferable A-holes who want to force their worldview onto others, so I probably would just ignore them and not respond at all. (Seriously, how mentally stable are you if your writing angry comments on Yahoo?) Better is to find the people who are already doing the impossible and learn from them… embrace what works, improve what you can, and pay it forward by sharing with others.
My own insufferable opinion is that if you try to give your kids everything, you are likely to lose them and/or yourself in the process. Money issues and work stress are leading causes of impatience at best and divorce or estrangement at worst. And all of this just to buy an overpriced house so other people at a “good” school can raise and teach your kids?
Real stability begins when you can afford to spend more time with your children than with your coworkers. We’ve had the luxury to already spend more waking hours with Julian at age 18 months than some parents are able to do in 18 years. Learning and play and travel all go hand in hand… Julian will learn about volcanoes by climbing one rather than building a paper mâché imitation and Roman history in Rome rather than in a textbook.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe being a responsible adult means taking life direction from Yahoo comments.
Nobody EVER got anything done taking life direction from Yahoo comments! If I could I would ram…OK you know what? Let’s not go down the rabbit hole of which commentors need to have what rammed down their whatever. Let’s talk about more cheerful topics. What’s the funniest thing Julian’s said or done during your world trip?
Two things come to mind:
In Granada, Spain he wandered off into a crowded tapas bar and gave everybody a royal wave as he walked by. Everybody waved back.
One evening as we were preparing for his bedtime, he took a bunch of his story books and threw them in the trash with a loud, “No!” I guess he thought it was too early to go to sleep.
Speaking as a couple who are planning on copying your moves with regards to the whole kid thing, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have had twins the first time. We are now working on child #2… (you heard it here first.)
Second kid, huh? Have fun that that, you two! (see this is what happens when you’re retired and have WAY too much time on your hands) *makes sexy growling noise*
Now that you know all about Jeremy and Gocurrycracker.com, check out his awesome articles on the nomadic lifestyle with kids:
Now to leave you with ridiculously cute pictures of Julian: