Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
What We Did
on Our Spring Break
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Billy and Akaisha in their
RetireEarlyLifestyle face masks
The Old Days of Unfettered Travel
Returning from our
fabulous trip to
Cartagena, Colombia, I flew to
After enjoying a couple of days
Lake Atitlan, the world began changing rapidly due to the COVID-19 virus,
and travel plans needed to be adjusted hourly. I could see the writing on
the wall, and it wasnít pretty. My flight home was another week away, but
the international airport closed. I feared getting stuck in a 3rd world country,
in a hotel room with limited cooking possibilities, by myself, with no end in sight.
What if I got sick? What if Akaisha got
sick? We were hundreds of miles apart. No, that wasnít good.
Then the government of
Guatemala shut down all public
transportation and closed their borders.
With great determination and cash in
three currencies, I was not going to be denied getting out of Guatemala.
My travel buddy and I decided to make
haste to the border of Mexico via land, a six-hour trek, paying a private
driver a healthy sum. After a couple of
harrowing experiences including police roadblocks, our
driver was turned back and we were left roadside in the mountains of
Guatemala. We hitched onto anything moving toward the border. Two days
and $1,000USD later, I found myself back in
Mexico where Akaisha
brings me to the present, where the fun just continued!
These Days of Springtime
Hunkered down in
has been a great decision for us, at least at this point.
Markets are mostly
open with juice bars and bakeries still selling their goods. Beer and wine
are readily available and booze can be had if you know the right people. Everyone is easy going and
they are adapting to the
the government is implementing, sort of like the Stockholm syndrome.
Masks are to be worn
everywhere in town and people are encouraged to stay home except for
essential tasks. Those over 60 years old are mandated to stay inside. But
Chapala is pretty laidback so these rules are not harshly enforced. Some of
the police and government employees donít wear masks and so far Ė even though there is an
undercurrent of fear for some - common sense prevails. Bottles of
disinfectant gel are everywhere. Sometimes there are lines to get into a
grocery store to maintain social distancing inside, but if the line is too
long, we just come back later.
I have noticed that with
wearing a ball cap, sunglasses and a facemask, itís hard to let people know
you are smiling. I'm smiling underneath all of this, but no one can see! Sometimes I take the sunglasses off and at least my eyes
are crinkling. I always get a positive response.
In normal times we would
be going to any number of good open-air restaurants in town, but that is out of the question now. We have been cooking at home
which - since I was trained in French cooking and we owned a restaurant - has been no hardship for us.
New York steaks, Shrimp,
Lamb, Salmon, and bountiful amounts of fresh veggies and fruits has been our
A Daily Routine
In our sun-filled
humble abode, we exercise daily on a stationary bicycle as well as on a yoga
mat. After a healthy breakfast, we might go shopping at the market, run
errands and perhaps meet friends for (take-out) coffee. We sit on benches in
the cool morning air on the Plaza, and wave to other masked coffee drinkers
who are sitting benches away.
Lunch prep starts about
11:30 am, and our large meal of the day is served around 1:00 pm.
Roast Leg of Lamb Au Jus, Fresh
Spinach with Garlic Tomatoes and Cajun Seasoned Roasted Potatoes
Throughout this time, we
are following the financial markets, replying to emails and tracking the
news both in the US and in Mexico. This has been a fairly normal routine for us,
both before the lockdowns and now.
restaurants, hotels and beaches closed, our travel plans
Puerto Vallarta to meet friends had to be scrapped as well as a couple of
weeks in the beach town of
Chacala. The airline gave us a voucher to use for
an eventual flight, but not knowing how things will play out in the future, we have no current plans to
The Local Cheers Bar
Meanwhile, I created a
project to raise enough money to clean and repaint our friendís Cantina,
Our history with El
Gavilan goes back decades. We used to live just up the street in the early
1990s and met Alvaro, the owner, who was a previous Mayor of the town. We
met his children, wife and another brother who was also a Presidente of
Chapala. This is an old fashioned "man's cantina" where there was a urinal
trough just under the bar (for convenience) and no women (unless they were
ladies of the night) were allowed inside. Eventually, proper bathrooms were
constructed, and the bar opened to female clients.
In these modern days, there are scheduled
poker games, bar food, and just about everyone who enters knows the other
people at the bar. But the current owner, Patty, has no income right now, due to being closed. She is
greatly appreciative of all of the people who are contributing to the
cleanup and renovations and we plan
on having one
hell of a
"re-opening party" when possible.
What Will the Future
Right now, days
tend to blur into each other. Even the large church in the center of town
doesn't mark Sunday with its bells. No one has any idea when these restrictions
are going to be lifted and we can all once again go to a store, a restaurant
or travel freely to another town, state or country.
We are trying to grasp an
what that future might look like, but a good guess is that international travel
will be slow to adapt.
We have friends sitting
tight, waiting for the ok to move around the globe again. They are
everywhere from Peru to Portugal, from Guatemala to the Philippines.
Akaisha hopes to make her
yearly visit to family in the States this summer, but will the governments
allow that? When she arrives, will she need to be quarantined for two weeks?
What if she goes, and her flight back gets cancelled... indefinitely!
Will people need to show health papers certifying that they have
had a medical checkup in the last week? Month? Will one need to prove an
antibody test? What might be required now, besides a valid passport?
With the slowdown of
international travel, will airlines still be in business? Will flights be on
sale to garner customers, or will the cost of them skyrocket to try to catch
up on income losses? How will airports be sanitized? With the burden of
lost revenue and higher costs required by governments to implement these
sanitation procedures, will the number of flights be cut? It seems logical
that any costs will be passed on to the travelers themselves, making
spontaneous travel a bit more rare. But who knows?
Will the wearing of masks be forever obligatory on airlines, in airports,
in taxis? Will shuttles be approved to operate? How many people at a time
will be allowed in one? Can they perform as a business if there are only
three people inside?
Will people choose not to
safety is guaranteed? And what does that mean?
For those of us who are
used to free movement around the globe to experience cultures, cuisine,
sophistication or the indigenous, this forced biding of oneís time is a
We have absolutely been
making the most of these times and are assuming you are as well. Thank God
for the internet!
But there is nothing like
freedom and self-determination, and it is our hope that the world gets up
and moving again soon.
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person Ė the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesnít
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha