We met at the University of Colorado-Boulder when we were 18 years old. We set out to follow what we had thought was the “typical” life plan for a couple like us – get a degree, obtain a well-paying job, get married, have kids, work until 65 and then retire.
Not too long into our relationship, we realized this plan was not in the cards for us. Shortly after getting married at the age of 25, we had moved into a house in the “burbs” with good schools and which was large enough for us to “grow into” once we were ready to start a family. However, two years later(and before it was too late), we came to the realization that neither one of us actually had a burning desire to have children nor was the “cookie-cutter” suburbia home our style personally. Rather spontaneously, we downsized to a home in an “up and coming” neighborhood in Central Denver, which later turned into one of the best decisions we felt we could have made as it fit our desired lifestyle better.
Aaron did get his degree in Communication and worked for 11 years in the wine industry and Rachael received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Health Psychology, and spent the past decade working at a hospital in Denver, CO. Both of us were very successful in advancing our careers and quickly moved up the corporate ladder. Yet, at the age of 35, we found ourselves overly stressed and burnt out.
In 2013 we read the book, “Happier Than a Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week,” which shares how a previously overworked couple changed their lives 180 degrees to live a simple life abroad. From an early age, we (like many of you we’d assume) received messages that happiness is tied to things and possessions… but this book was eye opening, inspiring and a reminder that, for us, happiness is about giving rather than receiving, experiencing rather than owning, and slowing down and living in the moment rather than getting caught up in the rat race and fast-paced way of life. So we started to dream about living a life abroad ourselves. And then we decided… life is too short to wait. If you want something, don’t wish for it. Just go do it!
BUT you have to know that while Rachael is the dreamer, the visionary, the “go-with-the-flow-and-see-what-happens” kind of gal, Aaron is the planner, the detailed-oriented, the “cross-your-T’s-and-dot-your-I’s” kind of guy. So while Rachael would have quit her job that day to make the move, Aaron initially had in his mind a plan for early retirement within the next 10 years! However, after several conversations (that included several glasses, or perhaps bottles, of wine) and some out-of-the-box brainstorming, we came to the conclusion that we could take the leap much sooner!
We were fortunate to have income generating through Rachael’s direct sales business and, in this day and age, technology makes the world a small place, so working remotely became feasible for both of us. So…we sold all of our possessions except for the necessities that would fit in our one remaining car, and in February of 2017 moved to our first location abroad, Rosarito, Mexico! We anticipate this being the first of many new adventures living around the world!