Travel The World In Midlife The Backpacking Housewife

Have you ever dreamed of selling everything to travel the world in midlife?

Ten years ago, when my husband and I were in our mid-50’s, we sold everything to travel the world in our midlife.

We were empty nesters living in Scotland UK. Our three sons were living life independently of us.

And, as we weren’t quite old enough to take out a pension and didn’t have much in the way of savings, we decided to liquidate all our assets by selling everything we owned including our home, our furniture, our cars, and our business, in favour of nomadic world travel.

Back then, we didn’t know anyone else who was doing this.

Now, after ten years of world travel, we’ve met so many people – both solo and as couples – who are also travelling around the world in their midlife.

People, like us, travelling in their 50s and 60’s who think perhaps life isn’t meant to be lived in just one place.

And, not just to tick off places on a bucket list, but to truly experience life.

So, if you’re thinking about taking time out to realise your midlife travel dreams, or if you are planning to travel extensively in your retirement years – in this post I’m sharing with you how the backpacking husband and I prepared ourselves for a life of world travel and midlife adventurers.

How we went about selling everything we owned and what friends and family initially thought of our ambitious travel plans.

How we felt about leaving and missing our family and friends back home.

Where in the world we travelled first and where we went next.

And what happened to us during the Covid lockdown.

So, back to my original question… have you ever thought of selling everything and taking off to travel the world?

If you have – or even if you’re just a little bit curious – I’m guessing you might find this post inspiring!

The Backpacking Housewife and Backpacking Husband explore Honduras Central America. Travel in midlife.
Exploring Honduras Central America. My husband and I were in our mid-fifties when we sold up and flew away.

Selling Everything To Travel In Midlife

Table Of Contents

Do We Have Midlife Wanderlust?

Yes! We’ve always had wanderlust and been interested in travel and we’ve always prioritized travel in our lives.

Even when our kids were growing up, when we were building our family home and money was tight, we were always saving up for foreign holidays.

We always made sure to get away somewhere exciting on a two-week family holiday at least once a year.

Even if it meant going without material things and delaying our home renovations.

I remember a fabulous fabric I’d bought stood on its roll by the sitting room windows for years before I eventually had it made into curtains because, of course, we were always saving up for the next family holiday.

I suppose you could say that we were always planning for a life of travel in our empty nest years.

Our three boys were enthusiastic and well-travelled accomplices so it didn’t surprise them when mum and dad said: ‘Hey boys, you’ve all left home now so we’ve decided to sell everything and travel the world like nomads!’

In fact, Son #3 took a teaching job in South Korea the same year that we sold up.

Ten years on, he’s still there, now with his own family and when we’re in Asia we get to see them.

Ditto our other two sons and family who live back in the UK.

We often return to the UK to visit them between travel adventures or they’ll come out to join us for a holiday.

These days, our family doesn’t ask how we are – but where we are!

Selling the House to Travel The Backpacking Housewife

How Did We Prepare To Sell Up And Travel The World?

While our house was on the market (it took a full year to sell it) we began by sorting out the loft area where we’d been stashing our surplus items over the past three decades.

In preparation, we downsized our belongings and sold some items of furniture and the contents of my husband’s much-loved man-cave.

Eventually, once the house had sold, our efforts to minimalise our lives and liquidate our assets was ramped up and we then sold our cars and pretty much everything else we owned.

Things that we couldn’t sell we gave away. Clothes and small appliances went to charity shops.

The mainstay of my precious book collection I gave to various libraries or charity shops or to friends.

Did We Really Sell Everything?

Didn’t we keep anything? Well, actually, yes.

By law, we knew that needed to keep hold of our business’s tax accounting records going back six years, so we rented a small storage facility.

I decided to store a suitcase containing our winter clothes for if we ever returned to the UK in the winter months.

We also kept a box containing our family photo albums and a file containing our birth and marriage certificates.

I also kept small trinkets that had sentimental value and a few pieces of artwork that I really loved.

Plus box of first edition books (I once had a fabulous library of books) that back then I simply couldn’t bear to part with.

Interestingly, when we returned to the UK in March 2020 (because of the pandemic we returned to Scotland during 2020/21) we went to our storage facility and disposed of all the outdated business accounts.

I also sold the artwork and the books.

I’d decided that if I’d managed to live without them so far then I really didn’t need them after all.

Selling everything to travel the world The Backpacking Housewife

Was It Scary Selling Our Home?

I’m often asked if it was difficult or painful to discard of all our worldly items and things that held precious memories – and the short answer is yes – it really was.

During that busy year of preparation, I did think about all the fabrics and furniture and appliances that I’d once coveted.

The things I’d had to save for – sometimes for years – to furnish and decorate our beautiful family home.

I tried to imagine what it might feel like to be homeless by choice. I was a little scared.

But I was only scared of the unknown. I never once faltered in my belief that we were doing the right thing.

Because we were chasing our dream of living a life of travel and adventure – before we got too old to do it – and before any other factor could stop us.

We were both prepared to step out of our comfort zone into the world and travel all the way around it with only our backpacks, in order to experience real adventure and learn more about the world around us.

I knew that every pound (£) we salvaged from selling our possessions was going towards sustaining our new life.

A life free of any material responsibilities. No mortgage. No property insurances.

No cars. No car expenses. No baggage.

Except for what was in our backpacks. I knew it would feel strange.

I knew it would be scary and challenging but I was excited. I was ready!

But It’s Not That Easy!

I hear you! I agree that it’s not easy.

It feels impossible when you’re in your midlife – 50’s or 60’s or beyond – to take off and leave behind a family, a home, and responsibilities.

I’ve been asked how I can travel the world in midlife and leave my family behind?

Well, my answer is that even when we live in the same country, we don’t get to see family all the time.

Our grownup children have their own lives. They have their careers and are busy people.

Should we sit in a house waiting for them to visit?

Or should we live our own lives to the full now that we’re in our third age of travel and return occasionally when we’ve arranged to spend some quality time together.

Or, better yet, encourage them to visit us!

The joy of travel in midlife is that we’ve been able to visit our family and friends and they have also visited us, sometimes when we’ve been in far-flung places of the world.

What Did Family And Friends Think?

Family accepted our decision to sell everything to travel and our dear friends threw us a farewell party.

Although, I’m sure they all thought we were completely mad and perhaps even having some kind of midlife crisis.

But, in our opinion, why not live your dream life while you can?

While we’re still young enough and strong enough and healthy enough to able to travel?

Where Did We Decide To Go First?

Travel Around The World with The Backpacking Housewife

Favouring spontaneity and freedom, we started off with something of an ambiguous plan.

First, we booked transatlantic flights to the USA and Central America after which we planned to spend several months exploring the islands of the The Caribbean before flying back to Europe.

Then onto South East Asia to eventually fly across the Pacific Ocean and again back to the USA having circumnavigated and travelled around the whole world.

We actually did that first Round The World trip in just six months.

The second time Around The World took us two years.

We are currently on our third (slow) trip Around The World.

And, ten years on, we’ve explored over 60 countries and counting!

But more importantly, we’ve had the most incredible experiences and we’ve met so many lovely and wonderful people all over the world.

We have absolutely no regrets about selling all our material things.

Of course, during two of those ten years, we couldn’t travel due to the pandemic.

Do We Miss Our Family And Friends?

Yes, of course! But our family and friends also happen to be scattered around the world. Not all live in the UK.

For example: I have an uncle and aunt and first cousins in Canada.

We’ve been to Canada to visit and stay with them and they’ve come to visit us several times.

But what about in a family emergency?

It’s important to note that we have always been prepared to come home (and we have done so) at a moment’s notice.

And, wherever we have been in the world, we have never been more than 24 hrs or a day’s flight away.

If this is your big travel fear then perhaps the world is more accessible than you think?

When The Pandemic Happened in 2020

travel ban

On 12th March 2020, we returned to the UK from housesitting in France (where I’d been writing my Backpacking Housewife Series of books for HarperCollins) flying from Bordeaux into Scotland

Our plan for 2020 was for a short stay in the UK to visit family in Scotland and Northern England, before setting off to Central America and spending the summer in the Caribbean on a small island called Utila, just off the coast of Honduras.

Island Life The Backpacking Housewife
In 2020, we had been looking forward to spending the summer on a small island off the coast of Honduras

We planned to return to the UK briefly in October 2020 to attend our eldest son’s wedding in Scotland.

We were aware of Covid-19 then but foolishly we didn’t think it would affect our plans.

But the same day we arrived back in the UK was the same day all flights were suspended into the USA from Europe.

And all the flights, trains, boats and busses and plans we’d booked in advance fell away like a row of proverbial dominoes.

Plans falling like dominoes
All our plans for 2020 fell like a row of proverbial dominoes…

We found ourselves stuck. We were homeless.

And, for the first time since we’d set out on this lifestyle, I was scared.

We couldn’t expect family and friends to give us a place to stay for what looked to be an extended period of time.

We quickly realised with a sinking feeling that the situation was serious.

We weren’t going anywhere anytime soon and this was going to last for months rather than weeks.

I will admit to you that I had a bit of a panic attack.

Luckily, we managed to find a house to rent in Scotland.

The house we rented was very near to where we used to live and, at first, it felt very strange.

I think I was experiencing culture shock.

Prior to living in France for a while we’d been living in Asia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and then Vietnam.

Unexpectedly finding ourselves living back in Scotland was such a shock that it felt both unreal and surreal.

We’d never expected our travels to be curtailed for two whole years.

But we were grateful to be safe while we waited it out.

Happily, at the start of 2022, we started travelling again and now our life of travel is even sweeter!

The Backpacking Housewife Travel The World

How Much Does It Actually Cost To Travel The World?

If you’re smart and savvy about it then it can be much cheaper to travel the world than you think.

I wrote a whole post on how I can afford to travel the world if you’d like to read it.

Especially if you have gone the whole hog and sold up everything because then you’ll have no home-based bills to pay.

Unlike us, of course, you might not need or want to go to the extreme of selling all your belongings to fund your travels.

You might have other ways to do it.

Perhaps you have an opportunity to work remotely now or take a work sabbatical or early retirement?

Maybe your perspective on life has shifted due to the pandemic?

Are you looking longingly at your bucket list and all you want to achieve sooner rather than later?

Before something else gets in the way of you heading off into the great unknown on the adventure of a lifetime?

By exploring your own situation – as long as you have reasonable health and access to some savings or a pension or assets that you can turn into cash – then a life of freedom and travel is a real possibility rather than just a dream.

Okay, you still have to eat, but you’ll have to eat wherever you are in the world.

I can assure you that a delicious noodle dish and a bottle of local beer in Thailand (for example) will set you back a lot less than shopping in (insert the name of your local first-world supermarket) for your dinner.

travel the world in midlife

Some home-owning empty-nesters rent out their homes to fund their long-term travel expenses or to cover payments on an existing mortgage.

If you don’t have a mortgage to cover then maybe you might want to get some house sitters in to take care of your home and garden while you are away?

Housesitting is a great option to consider – not only to facilitate slow-travel – but also if you feel uncomfortable not having a home base or if you have a home you are reluctant to sell.

You might like to read a post I’ve written about our experiences Housesitting and living like a local.

If you don’t own a home and you currently rent then you should see your situation as being a step ahead in flexibility because you can always rent somewhere new!

Then you’ll be able to fly off to your travel wish list of destinations to experience them for yourself.

And, I can tell you that there really is nothing like seeing for yourself all those amazing destinations that had previously only been available to you via a TV screen, a travel blog or an Instagram post.

Travel Is Becoming A New Trend!

Empty nesters are increasingly looking to travel. Travel the world in midlife
A lot has changed within a generation. Empty-nesters are increasingly looking to travel.

These days more and more mid-lifers and empty nesters are looking at how to incorporate more travel into their lives and how to shake off the shackles that tie them down.

I saw recently that Elle Magazine has been looking into travel trends in the New Future: “Expect to see a heightened thirst for travel in the new future, with people wanting to do, see, and experience more and to travel the world in midlife. We’re starting to get itchy feet and think of all of the possibilities that might be afforded to us if we can embrace travel once again when the pandemic’s threat reduces.”

National Geographic says: Life Begins at 50. “Empty-nesters are inspired by their children’s gap years. Young-at-heart empty nesters are increasingly looking to travel. What’s more, they’re heading further afield and for longer, preferring exotica and adventure over slippers and comfort zones.” And goes onto say. “A lot has changed within a generation, and the empty nesters don’t see why they should miss out on what didn’t exist when they were younger.”

In my opinion, it takes planning, good timing, and bravery on your part.

I can promise you that it’s not too late to embrace your travel dreams!

How much does it cost to travel the world? The Backpacking Housewife. Travel the world in midlife

Travel Tips

My mission for this website and across all my social media channels is to provide you with lots of personal travel stories, in-depth destination guides, helpful travel information, real resources and tried and tested midlife travel tips for ageless travel adventures!

I’ll also be sharing the mind-blowing pinch-me kind of fabulous things that have happened to us over the past few years as well as the mishaps and mayhem experiences and the scary travel stories we’ve encountered as world travelling nomads.

Because not everything goes to plan you know!

Most of my posts on this websites will contain nuggets of tried and tested travel tips!

MY Top Three Travel Tips!

#1 Travel Tip: Join hotel and airline loyalty programs as soon as you start out. It’s possible to build up enough points to get free stays, preferential treatment, lounge access, seat upgrades, and free flights.

#2. I use (affiliate link) Booking.com to search for and to book my accommodations all over the world. They too have a programme that offers ‘Genius Discounts’ and room upgrades. Hotel points usually (in our experience) add up much faster and prove more valuable than air miles and equate to upgraded rooms, perks during your stay, free lounge access and even free nights.

#3. I recommend you ALWAYS travel with Travel Insurance. Get a no-obligation quote (affiliate link)from World Nomads Travel Insurance. You might like to read a complete post I wrote about travel insurance for the over 50’s.

The Backpacking Housewife enjoying a sunset in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Enjoying a Kota Kinabalu Malaysian Sunset

The Future Of Travel

Here on The Backpacking Housewife Dotcom, I’m planning to share with you my own travel stories and travel adventures and the destinations all around the world we’ve explored to inspire you!

I’ll also occasionally be posting about my books and the romantic places and adventurous experiences that have inspired my stories.

Did I happen to mention that all my bestselling romantic adventure books are available from Amazon and that (affiliated link to Amazon) The Backpacking Housewife series of books are published by HarperCollins!

So, if you, like me and my backpacking husband, have ever dreamed of shrugging off the shackles of a materialistic lifestyle and taking off to have fabulous adventures and travel the world then let me inspire you!

Why not consider subscribing to my mailing list and travel newsletters?

The Backpacking Housewife exploring the island of La Digue in Seychelles by bicycle
Exploring the island of La Digue in Seychelles by bicycle

And so back to my original question…

Have you ever thought of selling everything and taking off to travel the world?

Let me know.

I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment in the box below

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26 comments

Kathy -

Having missed out on gap years they didn’t seem to happen in the late 80s We always said we would go sometime… .. but never had the time or opportunity! We are now in our mid 50’s and we are going to give ourselves the time and opportunity! We are in the early stages of planning to sell everything to travel the world. We are planning to put the house on the market next Spring this gives us time to sort the house out ready for sale and go through our belongings and sell what we can. Oh and finish work .. I can’t wait! We are planning and reading about logistics of money – banking, taxes, insurance etc We’ve signed up to trusted house sitters and have enjoyed our first sit and hope this will be a good way of visiting some parts of the world. We have begun to think about places we want to go but no real plan as where to go first – I guess that will depend on the time of year we eventually leave! I will dive into your Blog and read your hints and tips thank you.

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Kathy! I’m excited to read of your travel plans and your preparations to sell everything and travel. We did the same in having a year to sort everything out in the house and to sell up. As you’ll read on my website and in all my posts we have absolutely no regrets and are so pleased we didn’t wait until we were older to travel extensively. Please do let me know more of your itinerary when you have decided on where you are heading off to in the world! Janice xx

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Luke -

Hi Janice, I’ve been reading your page & it’s fascinating. Me & my partner both in our twenties .Are planning to leave our jobs and travel the world next year while we are both young. We own a flat that we are hoping to sell to pay for this journey along with a small amount of savings. However, I wondering how you managed to keep a permanent address back in the uk. Whilst travelling. Is it legal to use a family address? As you would have to change driving licence etc. also do you have to inform HMRC you are travelling for a long period of time! Would love to hear back from you with any answers and guidance you may have. Kind regards.

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Luke – how fantastic that you are planning to travel extensively – especially while you are young. I’m excited for you both! The address thing is a tricky one and I do know that many nomads do use family or friends addresses back in their home country. Yes, you will likely have to change your driving licences (and banking info) to suit. Our nomad friends in the USA often use a PO Box but I’m not sure that’s an option for the UK. You asked what I do and my situation is perhaps unique in that I use a private address but one that I rent from a friend every time I’m back in the UK to visit family and friends. I’m self employed and I complete an online HMRC self-assessment every year and I pay tax in the UK. Being a UK tax payer qualifies me not to have to pay tax in the USA (from my online USA earnings) because of a UK/US tax treaty (you have to register for it). But I have not declared being out of the UK to the HMRC and don’t believe it’s necessary (!?) as I’m happy to submit my tax returns to protect my UK status and I’m not trying to qualify as a non-tax paying exile. BUT please don’t take any of my advice as legal advice as I’m not a legal advisor or tax expert and I’m only telling you how I do things to answer your valid questions. Happy travel planning! You can always contact me through my Contact Me Page if you have any more questions. Janice xx

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Sigrid -

Hi! I just wanted to say thank you, you made me cry from relief. I was 17 when I had our first daughter, and I thought my hopes of traveling with their father was out the window, because who goes traveling the world when they’re 50? You do, apparently, so thank you for sharing! Now I just have to convince him it’s a great idea, we still have some years 😂

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JANICE HORTON -

Oh Sigrid – your message has made my day. I’m so happy you found my website and found it inspirational. Yes, travel is possible and so rewarding in our midlife and beyond and I hope you get to travel this beautiful world in yours. Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on and feel free to ask me any questions. Janice xx

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Barbara Walton -

Inspiring. How did you manage re administration? Where were you officially resident/pay taxes etc? How did you guard that residency over a long period of time and without a home? How did you prove ‘things’ without owning or renting a house and without electricity bills ets? Were you able to retain your right to health cover in that country? How did you collect your mail? Many thanks for advice. Barbara

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Barbara – thanks for your valid travel questions. I’ve replied to you by email. love, Janice x

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Charlette -

So I, too, have thought about selling everything and traveling. But I have a couple of hiccups. As an empty-nester, with my children off on their own lives, I find that I am still not as free to travel as I had dreamed. For one, I have 2 dogs and a cat. All of the people I read about, whether coupled or single, seem to be non-pet owners. Or are they leaving their beloved animal children with family and friends? I can’t see leaving them behind for very long periods of time, and I certainly couldn’t ‘unburden’ myself of their companionship by re homing them. Second dilemna, which keeps me in a state of paralysis about just selling my home and belongings and travel the world is the “What do I do after I am done with it and want to settle down again somewhere?” question. Do I just stash away the money and find a way to live on what I can make in an alternative, virtual job of some sort? I quit my job last year as a school counselor. I have toyed with the idea of becoming an online counselor or maybe something new. But it seems to me , that if you don’t want to spend your nest egg (because you might one another nest at some point in the future), you still have to be able to not only free yourself from a load of bills that come in every month – mortgage, car payment, etc, but you still have to continue earning money to finance your survival and travel. I thinking that is the challenge for people- to find a new niche, a new way of living life, while at the same time having the freedom to travel and enjoy it. Any comments or suggestions?

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Charlette – Thank you so much for your comment and for your questions – they are all really important and I’m sure absolutely typical with those who are looking for a lifestyle change that offers more in the way of freedom and travel. First of all the matter of beloved pets – that’s a hard one – and I know for many it is impossible to overcome this issue. We had a family dog when we sold up to go travelling and my son took her into his home. It was – and still is difficult not to miss her – but I knew she would be happy and that she would be well looked. So, it was more of an issue for me than for her and I try not to feel guilt.

Do you have a family member who would foster all or one of your pets?

Do you need to sell up to travel or could you get housesitters in to look after your home and pets while you travel? Try a three month trip and then return to regroup and reassess? We once housesit (via the website Trusted Housesitters) for 5 months while the homeowners went to Asia and New Zealand. We looked after their home and a whole menagerie of beloved pets for them.

Regarding your second dilemma – what do you do when you are done travelling? Well, that is certainly something to consider, but it can also mean a trade-off because a life of freedom often means living without a safety net at times. We actually started off with a 10 year plan to travel and imagined we might then consider settling down – somewhere we’d want to spend our old age and to rent long term. But that was nine years ago and after 2 years of being ‘stuck’ during the pandemic we are more than ready to travel again with the aim of doing so for as long as is possible. During the pandemic, we’d even decided to sell/dispose of the few valuables we’d kept in a small rented storage facility. After not seeing or using them for 6 years we realised simply didn’t need them after all.

Of course, deeply personal keepsakes like family photos, we asked our family to keep safe for us.

In my experience, travel changes you. So my advice would be to be aware that what you plan for your life ‘after travel’ might change. Therefore, it is important to keep your mind and your options open about the future.

Regarding sustainable income – as you might know, I write (articles and books) and provide editorial services – and so have some royalty and freelance income while I travel. My husband has a private pension that he took early and he is a highly qualified scuba diver. Sometimes he gets paid work but he often picks up ‘perks’ such as free accommodation in exchange for his volunteering on diving projects (for example: reef conservation or consulting on dive site safety protocols).

We live and travel on a budget – but without many external financial demands on us because we don’t own anything – we have a good and sustainable lifestyle. To me, living minimally and nomadically, feels like the ultimate freedom and I love it.

You have already thought about becoming an online counsellor or maybe something new. Could you explore this further? I don’t know how old you are but you could also look into your work and state pension benefits and the possibility of accessing your pension/s early?

Finally, I recommend that you put your immediate plans in place but don’t worry or think too far ahead. That might sound a tad irresponsible but real freedom is about living in the moment. It’s all about being in a place and a position and a mindset to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that WILL come your way from travelling the world and meeting new people.

I’ve learned from my own travels that fate and circumstance can offer you way more than you could ever have planned for yourself and that by being positive and open and flexible and brave things can often work out even better than you could have ever have dreamed or imagined!

Charlette – please do live your dream – and let me know how you get on?
Love, Janice xx

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Ryan K Biddulph -

Good for you Janice. My wife and I have been digital nomads for about a decade but became full time homeless in July of 2020 when my wife sold the house she inherited after her mother’s passing. We live out of a suitcase and carry on; nothing feels more freeing because although challenging at times, living with almost no attachments allows you to hit the road at the stop of a dime.

Ryan

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Ryan! There really is something strangely liberating about not having any ‘stuff’ isn’t there? I wished I’d realised it sooner in life. If you don’t own anything except for a few items of necessity – I mean a phone and a laptop and a few changes of clothes – then you really don’t have any cares or responsibilities or complications to get in the way of truly living. And, as you’ve said, you can hit the road at the stop of a dime. I’m still envious of you and your wife being in sunny Panama btw! From Janice the backpacking housewife in cold and rainy Scotland.

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f2lf2rh -

I found you through the 10k challenge. We also sold our home and a lot of our stuff to travel fulltime in an RV. With that aspect, COVID has not stopped us as wherever, we go, we are in our own home! Wishing you safe travels sooner than later!

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi and I’m glad you found me here at the Backpacking Housewife and thanks for leaving your lovely comment. I’m pleased to hear your RV lifestyle hasn’t been too affected by the Covid crisis – that’s wonderful. I’m hopeful for travel opportunities later in 2021. Safe travels to you too! Janice xx

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Vicky -

This is quite inspiring. My partner and I are in our early 30’s. We own a house which we have made approximately £125k on from renovations. We love to travel and we are seriously considering selling up, quitting our jobs and doing some travelling before we purchase another house.

Any advice?

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Vicky – thanks for your comment and for your question. Right now, I would only advise the planning of international travel rather than actually travelling during these uncertain times. BUT I love that you and your husband are seriously considering travel before you settle down to buy a new house and all that it entails. In the meantime, maybe you could fine-tune your top destination list and work out your budget and allow time to chat together about the fabulous experiences you’ll both want to enjoy while travelling. Planning to accommodate each other’s ‘greatest wishes’ list is part of the fun! Right now, while we are all paused, the backpacking husband and I are also dreaming and planning of our future travels. Please do let me know your itinerary when you have it – and do keep popping back to thebackpackinghousewife.com for more travel destination ideas – as I’ve got lots of catching up to do with posting.
Best regards, Janice xx

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Best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland -

Hey Janice! I am thinking about selling everything and travelling the world without looking back from time to time, planning accordingly will someday help me get there. I love the way you said that it takes “planning, good timing, and bravery on your part” – this is so true.

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JANICE HORTON -

Thanks for leaving your lovely comment. I think it’s great that you are planning to travel the world! I’m currently in Europe – housesitting in the south of France – while finishing up writing the third book in my contract for The Backpacking Housewife series of romantic adventure novels with HarperCollins. Almost done and now planning some adventurous and exciting travels for 2020. Do pop back for updates and let me know how you get on?

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Jayne -

Hi Janice hope you’re still travelling! I’ve just been made redundant, my partner is from SA and struggles with the UK weather and we’re thinking – let’s just sell the house and go see the world! We’re both almost 50 – I will hopefully have good pensions – so should we do it? Just the guilt of elderly parents and what to do after!!

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Jayne – thanks for your lovely message. It’s great to hear from you and it sounds like you are at an exciting stage in your life! Of course, I would wholeheartedly recommend travel to you and your partner (I understand about the UK weather!) but only you can make the right decisions together about committing to long term travel. If you’re not sure then why not try it out first? Rent out your house or get in housesitters and try a three-month trip to see how it pans out? Let me know if you decide to do it! Right now my husband and I have wanderlust again and are making plans for travel in early 2020. We’ve been housesitting in beautiful France for a while as I’ve been busy working on completing my HarperCollins contract for three Backpacking Housewife books.

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Lee-Anne -

This is my dream! I did it as a gap yearer and I love travel so much I forgot to go back to studies. I now want to do this as a mid-lifer.

The one thing that stops me is the fear of giving up my home. I live in London where owning your own home is extremely rare. To give up that privilege seems crazy to me. I also feel like a need a base I can return to recharge before I head off again. So my question is, what do you do when you need to settle for a bit while travelling? When you need to settle for a month or two?

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Lee-Anne – thank you so much for getting in touch and for your question. I understand about your home and so why don’t you rent it out while you travel? That way you can cover your current home costs or use the income for accommodation while you are travelling. If the thought of renting doesn’t appeal and money isn’t so much an issue then getting in housesitters might be a way to keep your home safe and maintained while you are away (and any pets looked after too). We are currently housesitting in the South of France and that’s how we achieve a period of downtime and feeling settled in between travels. I find that when I’m writing – and I’m currently working on two books to be published in 2019 by Harper Collins – I need to be settled in order to establish a proper routine. As nomads with no home base this works really well for us as we choose homesits for a few months at a time. Our current homeowners are travelling around Asia and New Zealand and while they are away we make sure the house is safe and properly maintained and all their animals are loved and cared for – no money changes hands – and we find it a perfect respite between travels. Maybe it could work for you?

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Esther - Little Explorer Adventures -

Wow! This is what I’d love to do when my son has grown up. Although, I’m hoping we will have an opportunity to live abroad before then. It’s definitely what we’re working towards 🙂

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JANICE HORTON -

Hi Esther – I’m glad to hear of your exciting plans to travel and live abroad. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes and where you go!

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JANICE HORTON -

Wow Deahh – I’m excited for you! I bet you can’t wait to get started. Will you be writing a blog on all your adventures? If so let me know and I’ll be sure to follow it. Happy travels!

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deahh -

We left home for a year 2014-2015 and traveled from Australia up through SE Asia. We were renting our house out at the time. We returned to home,and work, for three years, but now (next month) we are setting off again- this time for who knows how long. We sold the house, put some boxes in storage, and are heading to Middle Asia soon. Can’t wait to see what the next few months brings us!

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