I could retire tomorrow
The choices to make are about lifestyle and values—not money
Part of me laments that I never did the young van life thing. I never drove around the country vagabonding and climbing and cooking ramen and mac ‘n cheese and visiting everywhere there is to visit. Every park, every crag, every beach with an empty parking lot where I could spend the night and wake up with the sunrise and the sound of the waves.
I never spent a year waking and putting on my puffy and wool hat to go outside and pee, and then putting on the water for the French press and sitting and wondering what I might do that day. No phone, no Internet, no needless, pointless social media, no care in the world except what is right in front of you.
Except that I could do all that—right now if I wanted. And I could do it indefinitely.
I could sell this house in New Hampshire that has nearly doubled in value over the past pandemic, inflationary-fueled three years, and rid myself of the propane bills for heating in the winter, and the egregious property taxes which go up every year, and I could sell my house in New Mexico that I bought in my 20s, and I could take my savings and everything else and cash it all out and never have to work again.
I’m 40 and I have the means, if I want, to live that dream. To change my life.
Many of us could. If only we made different choices about where and how to live and how to spend our time and money.
So why don’t I?
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