I've been spending so much time writing about my travels, I've neglected to comment on where things are at in our lives.
It has been 14 months since my last mortgage prepayment and I've never looked back. Only now can I say I feel lighter. D is responsible for the rest and I'm happy I was really able to let it go. I just wish my annuity can be paid back in one lump sump rather than biweekly. In the end probably a good thing as I am more than capable of spending money with the best of them should I wish.
It has been 2 years since I've moved into my own office and almost a year since I've transitioned to part time. My income has dropped but I'm happier and am starting to take advantage of my extra time. It really did take the year for changes to sink in and for me to believe in what it means. I'm doing a bit of catch up in the health department.
Even if I didn't do the volume of travel I have been doing or like the things I tend to like, I would still continue to work because D is not yet ready to retire. We do not take his income or future pension for granted. And having my income gives us wiggle room and security should things go south for either one of us. If things go south for both of us at the same time, then that's a different matter.
We've been looking into country properties (for increase privacy, silence and darkness) and have decided against moving because the properties we like are in the price range where we'd need to pay another 200K - 250K. The thought of spending that much more makes me weary.
As for future expenses, the biggest ones for me are education related. I'm not quite over wanting to learn to fly a helicopter amongst other things. The timing isn't right as I'm still wanting to travel. The amount of money I'm spending to travel could fund other hobbies once I'm ready to transition into something else. That time hasn't come yet. What I know for sure is I'm not willing to go back to full time work to make both happen at the same time.
Work for me is manageable right now. Like with everyone else, I have my days. D's work is more tedious in different ways. He has been working towards moving to a different department where the work environment is healthier. Disappointingly, after a couple of interviews and one job offer, he has found out the other department isn't as open minded to him working remote.
Currently D is able to work from all our locations. He has an excellent working relationship with his current boss. It's just the type of people his current dept (very niche) has that is the problem. He believes it may be possible to achieve the same level of trust with someone else but will take time. While I was away he did a lot of mental and emotional weighing about his professional future and concluded he would stay put for now. He definitely has no desire to move to the next level on the pay scale but would consider a position in a different part of the world.
Flexibility is the name the game with us right now. We enjoy a good amount of it and the thought of it being reduced doesn't appeal to us if we can help it at all.
It is this flexibility that has gotten me into an extra trip this summer. I wouldn't normally book things this close together but when the opportunity came about, I was feeling pretty energetic and thought I would be able to do it when it came around. And here it is already. I'll be spending time soon in the unique heat that is Southern Italy and Spain in Aug. Complete opposite of Norway. My goal is to make it through without heat exhaustion. Back in a couple weeks or so.