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Adventure Before Dementia

  • April 6, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 32 Comments
Adventure Before Dementia

How many times do you see people retire from work and then decide they should travel, only to find that their health prevents them from doing so? If you take a look at the top two regrets people have before dying there is a common theme and that is: 1. Not pursuing their dreams and aspirations; and 2. Working too much and never making time to enjoy life. These regrets certainly reinforces the argument for experiencing adventure before dementia!

The majority of people after reaching retirement age, have paid off their mortgages, accrued a nice little nest egg through their super and no longer have to support their children. They finally reach a stage where they are financially secure and no longer have to worry about “bringing home the bacon”. It is the long awaited unburdening, where we are free to do what we want, go where we please and have money to spend on ourselves for the first time in our lives.

Adventure Before Dementia

Cycling to Esperance’s stunning beaches was a great adventure

Our Adventure Before Dementia

But why do so many people wait to unburden themselves and enjoy their lives prior to that magic number of retirement age? It doesn’t make sense at all. There are many ways of enjoying the experience of travel prior to retirement age. One of the best ways is to make use of your major asset, your family home, as an income stream whilst you are travelling.

In 2014 my husband and I took off on our adventure before dementia, in our 4WD with caravan in tow and travelled right around Australia for 7 months. How did we afford to do this you may ask? Firstly we retired from work, set up our super fund into pension phase, which you can do after you turn 55 and have retired from full-time work. This allowed us to withdraw small amounts from our super during the time we were travelling to cover some of our travel expenses.

Adventure Before Dementia

Free Camping in the bush near Pemberton WA

Caravanning Around Australia

Secondly, we leased out our family home for 6 months as a fully-furnished rental. All we had to do was pack up our personal effects and store them in our garage for the time we were away. We were fortunate that our son and two of his friends moved in so we were never worried about our house being neglected.

Thirdly, I photographed and wrote about our travels as we roamed around Australia, that created a small amount of income from advertising and paid sponsored posts on my blog. However, my blog was well established prior to embarking on our trip so I would not rely on creating an income from blogging until you have a successful blog already in place.

Adventure Before Dementia

The remote and remarkable Eyre Peninsula in South Australia

Full-Time Nomads

During our travels we met many people who had sold up their homes and replaced it with a house on wheels and a sturdy 4WD. From all reports these full-time nomads were happy with their decision and loved living life on the road. If they were missing their loved ones back home, they would simply jump aboard a flight and return home for a few days to catch up with them.

Although travelling around Australia can be costly, with the high cost of fuel and caravan site fees, there are ways to economise. We found a lot of people free-camped rather than pay for caravan sites in caravan parks. Most modern caravans today are set up for free camping with their own battery or solar power, extra water storage tanks, toilets and showers. You can also save on fuel by not driving into headwinds and spending more time staying put, rather than always being on the road. Some travellers spend weeks camped at free camping areas and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Adventure Before Dementia

A little rock climbing in Cape Le Grande National Park with rewarding views at the top

House Swapping

Another popular method of affording travel is to consider house swapping. There are a few websites specifically set up for house swapping. They charge an annual fee that enables you to view houses available for house swapping from all over the world. You then contact the home owners via the secure website to see if their house is available for a swap, negotiate the terms and dates and “voila” you are in France or Italy with free accommodation before you know it!

We have friends who do this every year as they love to spend our Winter in the south of France. They have very positive things to say about house swapping as a means to travelling overseas without having to pay the high cost of accommodation. You can use the houses as a base to travel further afield, some houses also come with a car and the houses are all furnished with everything you need. They are also usually located in great holiday destinations such as the south of France.

Adventure Before Dementia

Enjoy new surrounds in another city or country by house swapping

House Sitting

We are heading off soon on an overseas trip and decided to get house sitters in for the duration of our holiday. As we have a 12 month old dog that we have to consider, we thought it would be best to leave her at home with trusted house sitters, rather than put her into a kennel. It was extremely easy to get a suitable house sitter via a website called Trusted House Sitters.

For the house sitters, they get an entire home with free rental for 5 weeks and all they have to do is maintain the house, gardens and pool, care for our dog and collect our mail. This is another great way of obtaining free accommodation in your desired travel destinations. Many people do this as a full-time gig in addition to maybe renting out their own homes or travelling around in their caravans. It is a win-win situation for both parties.

Adventure Before Dementia

You never know where a new travel adventure will take you!

So for those of you who want a little adventure before dementia, I say get out there and do it before it’s too late! As I have proven there are many ways to enjoy the experience of travel without it costing you “an arm and a leg”. Be prepared to look outside the square a bit and you will soon be off enjoying your lives and living “la dolce vita”!

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
Jo from And Anyways
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age

 


By 50 Shades, April 6, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

32 Comments
  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    April 6, 2017

    I totally agree Kathy and love the title of your post. My parents both passed away in their mid sixties. Dad had been looking forward to retirement and then 6 months later was gone. I learned that you never know what will happen so you need to make the most of life. My husband and I have been travelling for the last 10 years and have had some wonderful experiences. Thanks for sharing yours with us. Have a fabulous day!

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      We saw this saying sign written on the back of a caravan when we were travelling and I knew I would use it in a post eventually. Sadly, I have heard this story many times. I respect that people need to have a nest egg prior to retirement, but as I have proven there are more ways to travel without having a lot of money. I think that you and I definitely take advantage of every opportunity to travel because like you say you never know what will happen. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Jan
    April 6, 2017

    Kathy I love this post and am going to share it on Retiring not Shy! It speaks to the heart of our philosophy. I like the idea of a house swap in the South of France ❤😍✈

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Thank you Jan. I love the concept of house swapping and may give it a go at some stage. My husband is saying no more holidays to Europe after this one, but I never say never! Wouldn’t the South of France be divine? :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Pinky Poinker
    April 6, 2017

    Great advice on how to afford travel in retirement Kathy. You have certainly taken advantage of your own strategies!

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Ha ha, yes we have. We’re always looking for ways to use our house as a form of income. I think why in the hell not? It’s a lot of money going to waste and we may as well use it to afford holidays. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • budget jan
    April 6, 2017

    So true Kathy and enjoy your latest Adventure before Dementia in the Med and Italy!

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Thanks Jan, I know we are going to have the best time. 2 weeks from this Sunday. Eek! Very exciting! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    April 6, 2017

    Sadly I’m not going to be able to afford to do any travel any time soon, but… I’ve taken steps in the right direction by leaving the full-time work force etc…

    If I hadn’t bought a newer / bigger / nicer house last year I could be coasting along mortgage-free and trying to save money on my part-time wage, but now it’s a bit more of a struggle now I (again) have a small mortgage. However… the flipside of that is I have a house I love AND only work 5 days a fortnight. Every time I feel poor I remind myself of that fact.

    x

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Yes we all need to count our blessings. Maybe you could look at renting your place short term and doing some travel? It’s fairly easy to do. :)

  • Jo tracey
    April 6, 2017

    I’m a huge believer in adventure before dementia & money is often the biggest excuse that people put up as to why they can’t. You’ve got some great tips here. As an aside, one of my friends has been permanently house-sitting for the last 3 years i.e. she lives from house-sit to house-sit. It funds the travel she likes to do.

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Yes I believe that people get so ingrained in their comfort zones that they use lack of money as an excuse not to travel. I do respect that travel is not for everyone but adventure can also be about trying new things and challenging yourself. Too many people stagnate in their retirement. I think house-sitting is a great way to see some of Australia and maybe beyond. :)

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    April 6, 2017

    LOVE this post Kathy. It’s so inspiring and makes me want to go on an adventure right now! We really do need to travel and explore much more than we do. Thanks so much too for the information on house sitters and house swapping – such fabulous ideas! #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      April 6, 2017

      Thanks Min. I hope I have given some of my readers both inspiration and means to travel on new adventures! :)

  • jodie
    April 6, 2017

    This is quite inspiring. And we always say there is no time like the present!! Every day should be enjoyed…and you’ve really shown how it can be done! Thanks for sharing this adventure, Kathy!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      Every day should indeed be enjoyed! Life is far too short to not make the most of it. Get out there and experience it! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo
    April 6, 2017

    What some great tips :) I agree we have to do these things before we get too old, so we need to make a plan because society doesn’t compel us to do it, but rather prevents us. Loved the idea about house swapping.#teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      Thanks Jo. I think house swapping is a great idea, because accommodation can be a major expense when travelling. From what I’ve heard it works very well. :)

  • Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject
    April 6, 2017

    You have some great ideas for travel here Kathy. I totally agree with you – we must pursue our dreams before we’re no longer able to do so. That’s why I’m trying to do some travelling now. On our last trip, we saw quite a few elderly people who were really struggling in their travels, which is not enjoyable. Adventure for dementia – yes please! :) #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      I sometimes hear people come up with every excuse in the book to not travel. If you don’t travel whilst you are reasonably young and able you don’t get to enjoy all the benefits of travel by being able to walk or hike to see the fabulous sights. Like you say there are plenty of opportunities to travel before retirement. You just need to look for them. :)

  • Melissa @ All Around Oz
    April 6, 2017

    Great advice Kathy….my parents worked so hard on their farm until a massive heart-attack at 58 stopped Dad. They went overseas once and did a couple of short bus trips but his health really did stop them from doing more. I’m certainly not going to wait until I am of ‘retirement age’ to get out and see Australia.

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      I’m sorry to hear that Mel. That is exactly why we should be enjoying our lives now and not waiting until our health deteriorates. I’d rather have travel memories than material possessions any day! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne
    April 6, 2017

    I love “Adventure before Dementia” I know my dad got early onset dementia and was totally unfit for any type of travel by the time he was 70. It certainly cut his time short, but my Mum has taken it upon herself to use up as much of our inheritance as possible by travelling all over the world. She goes alone or with a like minded friend and loves it. We’re not quite ready yet, but I totally agree about not leaving it until its too late.

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      I’m sorry that your Dad was affected by Dementia Leanne. It is a terrible thing that affects so many elderly people. Good on your Mum for seeing the world though! My advice is not to wait too long before you travel. Just get out there and do it! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    April 7, 2017

    ‘Adventure Before Dementia’, I love this and intend to live by these words.

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      Ha ha! It does sum it up pretty well I think. We need to get out there and see the world before we get too old. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet
    April 8, 2017

    Couldn’t agree more, if you don’t make it happen it won’t happen and life is too short to miss out! We have never regretted packing up all our worldly goods, renting out our house, and travelling Australia with our caravan (and 2 small children) back in 2001. Hope to do it again someday!

    • Kathy
      April 8, 2017

      Life is way too short Janet! I’m sure you have so special memories from your caravan trip with your kids that you will treasure always. I say just go!! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Rhonda Albom
    April 8, 2017

    Agreed, we are definitely traveling while we can. Good tips and ideas here. We have done several successful home exchanges and think it’s a great way to save money. More importantly, it lets us more easily experience the culture of place than if we stay in a hotel surrounded by other tourists.

    • Kathy
      April 9, 2017

      That is really interesting Rhonda. I would love to hear more about your home exchange experiences? I agree totally about being able to experience the culture of a place by staying in homes rather than in hotels. We are off to Italy in a couple of weeks and we are doing a lot of Airbnb accommodation. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    April 11, 2017

    My parents are my travel inspiration. Every year they are off somewhere! Both of the caravanning around Australia kind plus adventures around the world. They did Africa last year (followed the migration of the animals), they’ve done the Amazon, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China … you name it … and they’ve probably done it.
    #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      April 11, 2017

      That is tremendous. I like to think that we have also been inspirational for our two adult children who have both travelled the world extensively. Life is too short to stay in the one place! :)

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