Retired budget travel: Inspiration and ideas in our new Facebook group

Us in Tikal, Guatemala, February 2016
Jungle walk in Tikal, Guatemala, February 2016.

We live in places we’ve dreamed about for far less money than we spent living our lives back in the U.S. The list of continents and foreign countries we have visited grows every month.

We are three years into this amazing adventure, and we have figured out some answers to riddles in our lifestyle of continuous travel. How can we live without a phone contract or SIM card? Where do we forward our mail, since we aren’t living in the U.S.? What’s the best app to track our spending? What else can we use besides Airbnb to find a monthly rental in a foreign country that won’t break our budget?

The answers are important because rather than work, we want to: hike active volcanoes, snorkel and scuba dive, sleep in the Sahara, visit eye-popping landscapes, explore palaces and castles and ruins, comb beaches… and help people in need.

Early retirement budget travel dream
Peace in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, September 2017.

We have met others who also live this continuous travel lifestyle. Some of them work as digital nomads; some are semi-retired with supplemental income from side jobs; some are fully retired and don’t work at all – like us. We also know people who plan to live this lifestyle, and others who dream about it but don’t know how to prepare.

All of us who live this way have something in common: we discovered how affordable it can be to live and travel outside the U.S. when a serious and consistent effort is made to stick to a budget.

Despite all we have learned in the last few years, it still would be helpful to share ideas and approaches with people like us, and it would be awesome if we could give back and inspire other people who want to live this way.

Enter Facebook.

Facebook groups can be a fantastic way to learn and to meet people. For example, as constant international travelers, we have gotten valuable recommendations from groups such as where to get a mammogram, what dentist to visit, where to go for a great massage, what store sells protein powder, and even how much a taxi ride might cost so we don’t get ripped off. This information is priceless when we’re in a foreign country.

Ellie and Tedly in Chefchauoen
Blue views in Chefchauoen, Morocco, February 2018.

Many other Facebook groups feature budget travel, but it’s often related to vacations. There are groups on retirement living around the globe, but they focus on relocation to a specific country, or they focus on the house sitting trend as a way to see the world. All of those groups are great – and I’m a member of some of them.

Yet none of the existing Facebook groups fit the definition of our lifestyle — and perhaps for the lifestyle you want: to wander the planet and not have to work in a demanding career that slowly sucks away years of your life.

So, we’ve started our own Facebook group. Its focus is cost conscious, globally responsible and adaptable travel ideas. Hopefully it will help all of us in our adventurous quest to be retired budget travelers.

Tedly and me, Mazatlan dump, November 2017
Tedly and Ellie on a trip to deliver food to people who pick through the garbage dump in Mazatlan, Mexico, on Thanksgiving Day, 2017.


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