I’ve Always Wanted to Be a Travel Writer
Hi! Heather here. I’ve wanted to be a travel writer longer than I’ve wanted to be a novelist. But a few years ago, when I was looking for a creative outlet for my writing, I was so busy being a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and raising teenagers that traveling took a back seat to everyday life as a working parent. And let’s face it: you kind of have to travel to be a travel writer. However, after spending countless hours reading Twilight, Divergent, and Hunger Games with my then teenage daughter, I discovered I had a pretty good idea for creating my own young adult science fiction series. Ten hectic months of juggling a full-time job, parenting and a marriage later, the Mindspeak series was born. Less than two years and three novels later, I was making enough as a writer to quit my job as a CPA. Thirteen novels after that, I had a flourishing career as an author.
But proof positive that a travel writer struggled inside me, dying to get out, I set the fourth book of the Mindspeak series in Costa Rica, inspired by an amazing trip a few years prior. Tracked (Mindspeak series Book Four) is still one of my favorite books I’ve written for that very reason.
Fast forward several years. I still love writing novels, but I often get restless between projects. And now that my husband and I are nearing empty nester status, we’ve elevated our traveling game and are starting to plan for that inevitable time when both of our children are out of the house (fingers crossed) for good.
Not that We’re Wishing Time Away
It’s not that we’re wishing that time to approach any faster. I mean, sheesh! Who would want time to go faster? Anyone facing empty nester status in the near future knows full well that time already races by faster than Justified at the Kentucky Derby (and the Preakness and the Belmont).
No, we’re not wishing time away, but we are planning, and we think other empty nesters or soon-to-be empty nesters should plan, too. I mean, we plan all of our working lives for retirement, right? But what about that period of time between when the kids go off to schools (or whatever’s next) and retirement? Shouldn’t we think about that time, too? For Mike and me, travel has long earned top status during “Hopes and Dreams” discussions so it was only natural for us to launch a full-scale empty nest strategy even before our youngest gets his driver’s license.
We Want to Tell Our Story; We Also Want to Hear Yours
Empty Nest Nirvana is going to tell the story of how Mike and I approach empty nest status. We have a lot of questions, as I’m positive many of you do too about your own life situations.
This little space in the blogosphere is going to follow our paths to explore our own hometown in Central Kentucky and surrounding communities as we decide if we want to continue living in our current house, our current town, our current state, or even our current country.
We are already exploring other options and traveling to different places. Mike is from Oregon, so we have ties to the west coast. We just got back from a lovely trip to Ireland, and have plans for future international travel. I’ve actually traveled internationally to do research for a series I’m currently writing and publishing. A Thief Revealed is about an international thief (think La Femme Nikita meets Oceans 12). I’ll share stories from the travels that inspired the first three books in the series on the blog very soon.
Mixing Personal Finance with Empty Nest Life and Travel Adventures
We’ll also share stories and thoughts on personal finance as we emphatically believe it’s possible to enjoy quality travel and living below your means simultaneously. (Remember, I’m a former CPA, and Mike has a passion for saving a buck.) And we’ll talk about how we use a method we call “point surfing” to earn and stretch points from various travel reward programs to find the best values for flights, hotels, car rentals and more. (We actually traveled to Curacao for a week of snorkeling, kayacking, and diving with both children for less than what many of our friends spent for a four-day trip to Disney World. Mike is a pro at working the system to our advantage.
And did I tell you? Mike’s also an amazing photographer. So, with almost every post, you can expect some picture magic. I mean, what a dream scenario: a CPA-turned author who desires to write about traveling married to a photographer who is passionate about personal finance and traveling. And we both have a strong desire to help others find their own dream empty nest journey!
We’d Love to Hear Your Empty Nest Stories, Too
So sit back and enjoy the ride as we plot and scheme our way to achieving a blissful state of existence as an empty nest couple. For us, that is still a couple years away but it’s never too soon to bring your travel hopes and dreams to life. We’re certainly not waiting until the day we (ever-so-gently) shove our last kiddo out the door, and neither should you. After all, whether you are married, co-habitating or going it solo, if you dedicated the last 18+ years to raising children, you’ve more than earned the right to start fulfilling your own hopes and living your own dreams.
Are you an empty nester? Soon to be an empty nester? We’d love to connect with you. Tell us a part of your story in the comments.