Greetings from Valencia, Spain!
I launched this blog, Midlife Escape, in November of 2017. Since then, I have shared my journey to save for, plan and take a career sabbatical to travel with my family. The goal-date was my 50th birthday, November 11, 2019.
Here we are! We made it!
It has been an interesting adventure just getting here, and you can read the backstory in the I'm Ready to...Plan tab above. Where will we go and for how long? How much will this adventure cost? How can I just walk away without sabotaging my career? What about the house, kids, pets, and all our stuff? None of this was easy, but it was doable by taking things one step at a time.
You can follow along on our current adventure living in Spain and traveling Europe in the I'm Ready to...Go tab. We arrived in Spain on November 5, 2019, and have already done some traveling. We are also adapting to a lot that is new – food, culture, climate, language, schooling, housing, transportation, healthcare, paperwork, people, etc.
The learning curve is steep and you’ll learn the juicy details here, on Midlife Escape!
For privacy reasons, I initially wrote as Midlife Maggie. So who am I, really?
This is Kelly Stiefel Arias, and I live in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. I am here in Spain with my husband Gonzalo and our 2 daughters, ages 13 and 15. We also brought our 2 yorkie-poos, Nandra and Ponchu, on the trip!
Some might dismiss this as merely a Midlife Crisis. Perhaps it is, in part. This is my Ferrari, my facelift, my fling. Whatever.
But the travel bug has been with me for as long as I can remember. So has the desire to live somewhere outside of the United States for a time.
In Midlife, we realize there are no guarantees. All we have is today. I don’t want to wait until Full Retirement Age (67) to do all those things I dream of doing. Gonzalo and I have decided that we should do things while we can. We should do them now.
If we can’t do them now, we can set the intention and move in the direction of those dreams! That is the path we took in planning this trip. Why? Because life is more complicated in Midlife. We have kids, pets, careers, aging parents, mortgages, bills to pay, etc. It took some time to sort it all out.
If this is your situation, believe me, I get it. There were days when I wanted to just sell the house and go, but I knew it would be better to wait, save, and plan. We are better prepared financially as a result. We are also on the same page as a couple.
The other big piece of this is my health. I have lived in the fast lane for so long that I was afraid. Afraid that if I didn’t take some time off, something bad would happen mentally, emotionally, physically, even spiritually. I chose to listen to that internal voice that was speaking wisdom to me. Rest. Trust. Dream. Go.
This period of reflection, self-care, and family time is more important to me than the money we are spending (and losing by not working for a year). I am a CFP® Professional, so I actually started to do the math on this. Then I tossed aside my financial calculator because the number was making me sick…(!)
For my fellow Corporate Business Types, here is the bottom line. Our lives are more than a number. Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith and do things just because that intuitive feeling says we should.
Are you also ready for - or at least interested in - a Midlife Escape? If so, you’re not alone.
Let’s stay in touch!