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Perpetual Travelers
Old 07-01-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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Perpetual Travelers

The term PT is often used for retirees that are just restless and wanting to explore the world. Yet it seems that that condition also applies to younger people:
Young people on the go

Some of my retired friends are perpetual cruisers while others have RVs that keep them on the move. This seems to be a universal phenomenon among some of our peers.

Discuss.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:37 AM   #2
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Back 10 years ago, when I was first contemplating ER, I heard about PT and thought it would be an adventurous life and exciting. And now, I know it is not for me. Even RV'ing, which is a lot more comfortable to me compared to living out of backpacks, I can do only a few months at a time. I need to have a permanent place to go back to.

Not too many can be PT, or even full-time RV'ers forever. I have followed a few full-time RV'er blogs, and quite a few quit suddenly, sold their RV and settled down.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
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DW's idea of [a few years of] [near-]perpetual travel is a bit different than those folks'.

Although, that would enable us to quit the "OMY *3"! :-)
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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This lifestyle has never appealed to me. I love to travel but I also love to come home.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:47 PM   #5
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We just recently took a 7 week trip in our RV after retiring in Feb. We discovered we do not want to be full time rvers. 2 or 3 weeks at a time but then back home for some real r & r. Just our two cents.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:57 PM   #6
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Interesting article. I have a read who hopped a freight train in her 20's... She just did one multi-state round trip. (No addiction to it, as the article suggests is possible.) She's an artist and it was one of her go-to stories/memories.

I'd rather ride in 2nd class on the train (current extended travel mode.) I'm too much of a control freak to just go "where-ever".
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kimcdougc View Post
We just recently took a 7 week trip in our RV after retiring in Feb. We discovered we do not want to be full time rvers. 2 or 3 weeks at a time but then back home for some real r & r. Just our two cents.
+1

We've learned that after 3-4 weeks we're ready to head back home.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:03 PM   #8
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An inexact definition of the term, but DW & I require our pied--terre when each session's travel is complete.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kimcdougc View Post
We just recently took a 7 week trip in our RV after retiring in Feb. We discovered we do not want to be full time rvers. 2 or 3 weeks at a time but then back home for some real r & r. Just our two cents.

Reminds of when I was working and the children were young and involved in their pursuits. After a weekend of driving them around from event to event, I looked forward to going back to work on Monday so I could relax.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:30 PM   #10
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Travel is my greatest addiction, historically, though not the sort described in the OP's article about the young travelers.

Have never been gone for longer than 5 weeks and, after that, was glad to be home for awhile. A major motivation for ER was to have more time and freedom to travel in the off-season. I am hooked on seeing the typical historical and lit-oriented tourist sites, wherever I go. And the friend I usually travel with agrees that now, in our advancing decades, we enjoy the creature comforts that come with traveling in a more "mature" manner.

Which does surprise both her and I. During college, back in the '70's, she and I dreamed of hopping the rails (as per the OP's article), but did hear how dangerous it was......and neither of us was into any forms of alternative lifestyles. We just wanted to see the world before settling down at the ripe old ages of 24.

So, as most grads did back then, we found jobs in our fields. To celebrate we each bought a one-month Ameripass, allowing us to travel anywhere we wanted by Greyhound for a month. We did it in the summer of '76 (with our obligatory backpacks), the Bicentennial. What a blast: 4th of July fireworks over North Platte, NE; standing at the Lincoln Memorial watching Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip walk by; showing up at Grand Central in NYC at 4 AM. The adventures went on and on.

Now we listen to Rick Steves and enjoy his recs. But we're also getting interested in Globus (who does all the planning and "hard work" of a trip).

We used to think we were adventurers. Now we are just tired and need a vacation.

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Old 07-01-2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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When I was 25 years old, I quit my job and embarked on an open-ended bicycle trip which took me to 3 continents and lasted 14 months (during 6 months in the middle, I was mostly not biking and stayed put overseas).

35 years later, I still like to go on bike trips, plus car trips, plus sometimes by train or bus depending on the country I'm visiting. I have no desire to spend such an extensive period of time away from home, but I still love to travel. My main travel limitation now is eldercare. If I didn't have that concern, I'd be tempted to go on a 2 month trip over the winter, probably to somewhere in Latin America or SE Asia. Biking would be part or most of it. For the time being, I don't go away for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

I had a cyclist stay with me 2 years ago who had been biking around the world for 12 years. He began when he was 28. I thought he might turn out to be weird, but when I met him, I was pleasantly surprised that he seemed quite sane. He had a reasonable plan on what he would do when he completed his trip and arrived home (which should have been about 6 months ago).
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:17 PM   #12
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We've never considered a PT lifestyle, especially not in an RV or similar. This last 6 years we've spent between 5 and 7 months away each year, but predominantly in rented apartments, condos or houses (between 1 and 4 weeks in each place as we travel). Even this level of continuous travel becomes tiring so this will be the last year for a while, after which we'll start doing the snowbird thing, with 2 permanent residences, in 2 different countries.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:05 PM   #13
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I did my PT as part of my job. Now other than a two week or so vacation here and there I stick close to the hood!
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:42 PM   #14
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This lifestyle has never appealed to me. I love to travel but I also love to come home.
Agree. In our case most of our travel is between our own homes. It is nice to get to a new place but your clothes are in the closet and your car is in the garage. We are indeed very lucky.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:28 PM   #15
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We enjoyed a 5yr stint as perpetual travelers. The RV felt like home no matter where we parked it. Putting on 10,000 miles a year, basically crossing the US twice each year is nice and leisurely when you have a whole year to do it.

We still travel - just not perpetually.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #16
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When I was younger and without money or time, I would have jumped at the chance. Now that I have the money and the time I have no interest in such an endeavor. 5-6 day trip every few months is all I can muster without missing home. What the hell happened to me....


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Old 07-01-2015, 10:00 PM   #17
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I did my PT as part of my job. Now other than a two week or so vacation here and there I stick close to the hood!
+1
I got paid to visit some great places all free. Stayed in the nicest hotels and toured great computer rooms. Never saw too much else, heard there was a Bay in Boston, time to go see.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:35 AM   #18
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I was a PT for my first 4 or 5 years of retirement, traveling in Southeast Asia and Latin America, until I settled down in the Philippines. I wanted to see new places and see if there were places I might prefer to live than the USA. And I tried living in several of those places as part of this process. In fact, I even consulted with Kcowan (the OP) at one point in order to learn more about Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (thanks) but decided to try Mazatlan instead, where I stayed for a couple of months.

I got tired of that PT lifestyle after a few years and I don't think I would ever travel again without a home base. That being said, I have no regrets.

One thing that made me tired is that I am not an extrovert and going to new places and thriving there really requires this. For instance, where I am now in the Philippines, I didn't make a lot of friends quickly but now I have a great social network there.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:39 AM   #19
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We feel like PT's, however our family responsibility taking care of our 27 year old daughter, a single mother of two, keep us very grounded at home. We're very good at finding budget airfares and always seem to be planning our next trip. We'll be taking in 5 new countries in Scandinavia on 8/25. We're just thankful for budget air carriers keeping the 4 big airlines in the U.S. somewhat competitive in prices.


We do admire the independence of the full time RV'ers, as we also have a 5th wheel trailer in the mountains. However we have a strong sense of community and a desire to have a place for all our "stuff" and toys.


We do intend to slow down traveling, as 4 major trips in just over a year has been expensive. That is until we find an airfare to Europe for half what everyone else is paying . . . . . . . . . . .
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:09 AM   #20
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We enjoyed a 5yr stint as perpetual travelers. The RV felt like home no matter where we parked it.
Late wife & I fulltime RVd from mid-1997 until mid-2001 when she was diagnosed with cancer.....(she died 6 months later, and I continued alone until early-2004)......guess that didn't seem like perpetual traveling as there was always a base with (some of) our 'stuff' (the 5th wheel).

My (personal) interpretation of the term is along the lines of "Where do we sleep tonight?"...which I did some 50+ years ago.............I still remember, in Toronto, circa 1968, when a bunch of us rented an unfurnished house, and I was forced to buy a bed, (my clothes were in a suitcase on the floor alongside it); I recall standing looking at the bed and thinking "Is this where it (the accumulation of 'stuff') all starts?"
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