We have the destination… What’s next?
October 22, 2016
I realize the primary purpose for this blog is to describe retirement and living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We are on our way to the airport in San Francisco, but our route includes a leisurely trip down the USA west coast. This is the kind of option I love in our new role of retirees. I’m writing this as I listen to the ocean waves relentlessly crash into the beach at Seaside, Oregon. We spent the afternoon today flying kites.
In order to be ready to leave home for 5 months, we had much to do to get to this day at the beach. The first question we spent a lot of time discussing was what to do with our house. Should we sell it or try to rent it out? I was actually glad that a poor housing market made it easier to rule out selling it, as I was not ready to let go of my home base. I still had that old vision of myself as part of the community and didn’t want to lose all of that yet. Since I had taken a summer retirement job and was not home for much of July and August, I couldn’t imagine sorting through all our belongings and packing them away for the winter.
In June, I listened to a podcast with my daughter. It discussed how positive, optimistic people are not as successful as you might expect. They just think that things are going to work out well. The problem comes when they don’t actively do anything to make things happen. I kept this in mind while working to get our house rented. Instead of just waiting for someone to call me and ask to rent my house, I was going to have to actively find someone.
I talked with some people in town who recruit new doctors, hoping they would have someone coming to work for just the months that we were leaving. A realtor did a walk through and thought it should be a good rental option, especially if we left it furnished. I began to realize that if we were going to rent it, a year’s term starting in September was the most likely scenario. What would we do for the time before and after our trip?
Fortune smiled on us and a friend mentioned they had a small retirement home in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia. At least we would have a backup place for when we return to Canada. They haven’t retired yet and were happy to have someone in it. I had a plan B. My anxiety level was greatly reduced. I took pictures of the rooms of our house, the yard and the front and decided to post it for rent on a Facebook house sell/rent page. (sample house video prepared on the app Photo Grid. ) I scrolled through the other posts to get an idea of rent rates and what was already available in town. There was a woman looking for a place to rent for herself and her dog. I looked at her Facebook page and saw a picture of the quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go,” by John Muir. Peter has the same quote on a tee-shirt. It was enough of a connection to contact her. She stopped by the house a week later and moved in to our daughter’s room in September. We have a tenant for the year who will look after our house when we are gone on our adventure.
While we did spend some time purging and sorting, we didn’t have to do everything. We have our house looked after and a place to return before we decide what our next travel location will be.