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August 2017 we retired in our late forties and went on a long trip around the world with our three kids. They’re not little kids. The two oldest were in high school and the youngest missed grade five.
We’re Colleen and Rob, Hannah, Emma and Ben.
Round the World Travel, Teens & Early Retirement is NOT an Oxymoron
A trip around the world does take a bit of planning to pull off, especially with three older kids. Combine some early retirement in there for an interesting challenge.
Traditional early retirement was a solid goal from 2006 onward. I say, ‘traditional’ early retirement because we’re not digital nomads and this blog is not a source of income.
The RTW travel part evolved over the four years prior to our departure. Colleen took a 20% pay reduction during that time and then received a paid ‘sabbatical’ year in exchange for the deferred salary. This was a good safety net and she didn’t formally resign until we returned to Canada.
Summer 2018 we moved back to our house in Canada so that our oldest could finish grade 12 and to get ready for a new travel adventure.
What About High School?
Yes, we took the kids out of school. No, we didn’t home school. With some planning and a bit of effort on their part, they’re on track to graduate as scheduled.
All three kids missed a year of formal education in the Ontario curriculum (specifically grades 11, ten and five). And then they re-enrolled into the next grade even more smoothly than we had expected. Both the girls loved our year of travel and have been fiercely bit by the bug.
Hannah is 18 years old just finished grade 12. She received early acceptance into both of her top choices of University programs. And now she’s back in Canada waiting for school to start. But you can bet she’ll meet up with us when she can.
Emma finished grade 11 in Canada and is just about to have her 17th birthday. She has some special grade 12 plans that we’re all jealous about. So she won’t be with us for a good chunk of 2019/20 either.
That leaves us with Ben who turned 12 this May. He’s enrolled in an international school here in Kyiv and fortunately he’s quite enjoying it. Ben insists he is not a big fan of ‘travel’. He loves vacation though. Sometimes we use trickery to get around the semantics.
Expat Plans & Un-Retiring
Yes, Rob un-retired. Sometimes to his dismay. Colleen was not surprised though. He seems to be that type.
Regardless, it’s a great opportunity and now we’ve started a new adventure as expats living in Kyiv. Rob un-retired specifically to accept this position in Ukraine which he was offered while we were on our RTW travels.
We spent this last September to February commuting to language school for Ukrainian lessons – together. Day after day – No, I did not get paid for that but I didn’t have to pay for it either. I guess it was a win.
Colleen is still retired despite kind of being a SAHM. Certainly she’s not staying home.
So this is us!
As always, thanks for reading,
Colleen and Rob
last updated 31 August 2019