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.
Billy and Akaisha almost 3 decades
later still enjoying their financial freedom!
So there I was, days before I was to leave
California for a tiny island in
the Caribbean, sitting in front of the TV watching the news on The Gulf War.
Talking heads discussed with other talking heads how frightening things were
and what a mess our country was in.
There was commotion in my own private world too Ė my parents, my sisters, my
friends were all saying I should wait. Just wait it
out until the war was over.
And when would THAT be? I wondered to myselfÖ
The Fork in the road was in front of me and I had to make a decision. Should
I stay or should I go?
To say this disruption in our plans to retire early and travel had not been
planned was an understatement. At this point, neither the path of going
was guaranteed and both scenarios looked rocky.
Life lessons learned
Billy and I both expected to come up against challenges on this new course
in life that we were taking, itís just that neither of us expected it to
happen with such immediacy or so early in our journey. I guess thatís why
itís called a surprise.
We had already come up against lessons like dealing with group opinion
peer pressure. We had encountered people telling us that
leaving the conventional working world couldnít be done successfully and
that we didnít have enough money.
My motor had been going in one direction and it wasnít so much that I had
burned my bridges, but most of the planks had been packed.
The next lesson meeting me eye-to-eye was;
Did I have enough faith in
myself Ė or ourselves Ė to trust that we could figure it out?
No matter how many ducks we have in a row, the unexpected is just that.
think itís at these times in our lives that we must calm the noise, grab
whatever it is we have inside that we call strength, belief, guts or self-trust
- and move on into the unknown.
The love of my life
This was the lesson before me.
That being said, Billy has always been the love of my life. We have had
chemistry for business pursuits, life adventures and for our personal
relationship. The two of us together cover enough bases in life that Ė even
though I was exhausted and fearful - I chose to move into the nameless,
faceless, unmapped area of the future and take my chances.
Waiting on the dock
The flights from California to
Florida were long plus I took another flight
to the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. Next I had to board a water
taxi that took 30 minutes to take me from St. Kitts to the tiny sister
island of Nevis, where Billy met me on the wobbly dock.
My few pieces of luggage were schlepped up from the water taxi and placed
into a dusty, open-air rickety jeep. Billy made sure we arrived at our new
place of residence Ė a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house that belonged to the Mayorís
brother. Painted white on the outside, the front terrace was a blistering
orange. When I walked up the steps and turned around, I had a view of 3
Sounds fabulous, right?
Except we werenít renting the house romantically by ourselves, we shared it
with other employees of the Four Seasons. Although we were only 38, most of
the other employees were in their 20ís and seemed like spoiled kids to us.
The importance of housing
Ours was the smallest bedroom in the house but we had the privacy of our own
bathroom, which was a plus. There were
donkeys tied up right outside our bedroom window and they brayed at sunrise
each morning to wake us up. And because the back door of the house opened to the sugar
cane fields of Nevisí jungle, we had cane spiders coming in to say hello
from time to time.
These rust-colored, hairy spiders were the size of my fist and they had the
unique talent of being able to jump a couple of feet of distance at a time!
This hadnít been what I expected.
But I was learning another lesson which we would modify to perfection with
the more practice we had and that is Ė
Manage your housing
you can live just about anywhere in the world.
Buck up and quit complaining
cost of housing is one of the biggest expenses in any household. While
this particular setup might not have been my first choice, our portion of
the rent was affordable and we had spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean
from the front porch and of Nevisí volcano from the back. We had color TV,
ceiling fans, all kitchen appliances, maid service and hot water in the
A short walk to the end of the street brought us to cheap public
and we could go anywhere on the island for less than a dollar.
Why was I complaining?
Looking back, we had a spectacular setup. I was simply shell-shocked
from the massive changes to my personal life that I had gone through and I
had yet to train my eyes to see the
advantages of my surroundings.
If you are considering changing your conventional lifestyle to one of world
travel and with few possessions, give yourself time to adjust. We went from
our super-speed, super-stressed lives to ones of a crawling pace. And, at
the time, itís just what we needed in order to slow down.
There were plenty of times along the road where we could have given up,
could have dissed our dreams and settled for a life that did not make our
hearts sing. But instead, we followed our inner push to do something
In 1991, everyone we knew said it couldnít be done, but we werenít designing
their dream, we were creating ours. And, after almost three
we are still here.
Our adventure did not end here on the tropical island of Nevis where we ate
lobster salad sandwiches on the beach for lunch, dove the crystal clear
waters and watched dazzling sunsets while sipping coconut rum. We caught a
triple master sailing ship, slept in the Captainís quarters and sailed south
to Grenada. From there we headed on to Venezuela and spent another month on
the island of Isla de Margarita.
We made a surprise visit home to spend time with family and friends, then
our next adventure was journeying through the western United States. So we
purchased a 5th wheel travel trailer and a 1Ton pickup. For the
next two-plus years we went from deserts to mountains to the rugged Pacific
Coast and back again Ė but thatís another story!
For more information
and stories about our travels, see our
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want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
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About Billy & Akaisha