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I’m 36 and I’m Semi-Retired… What Does That Even Mean?!

I may WANT to work again, should my choices dictate. But probably, definitely, not in the way that a lot of people work — because they have to, because they’re trapped in a debt cycle, because the lifestyle they’ve chosen comes with a never-ending financial responsibility, because they care about status and appearances and bigger and better and more.

Not me.

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I Invited My (International Travel Hesitant) Mother to Mexico: How It Went

I could tell my mom felt out of her element when she first arrived. But then I heard a Mexican man greet her on the street, I heard her reflexive reply of “hola”, and I saw the small smile that appeared on her face. I knew she was feeling what I feel when I travel internationally: triumph.

Triumph at figuring it out, at being able to learn one more thing, at feeling self-sufficient… triumph at discovering the magic trick.

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One Month in Mexico City: What I Did and What I Spent!

In May 2022, this little retired nomad went to Mexico City… staying in CDMX’s Condesa neighborhood (May 1-23) and Oaxaca (May 23-31 and ongoing)!

Mexico City reminds of New York City, and according to this cost-of-living index, it’s 60% less expensive than NYC. And in general, Mexico is 47.21% lower than the United States. That math seems to check out with my experience!

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My Secrets to Minimalist Fashion

Is it possible to be a fashionable minimalist? I really don’t know, but I think I look pretty put-together most days, and many of you seem to agree!

So how do I look so “chic” without breaking the bank and without collecting too much stuff, especially since I’ve been living out of my SUV (one suitcase and three bins) for almost 2 years while traveling North America? Let’s get into it.

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Homeless, Jobless, and Happy: But I Still Feel ‘Successful’

Success isn’t linear. (Nor is financial gain an absolute indicator of success — or happiness.)

Case in point: I won a National Emmy Award at age 20 and a Regional Emmy Award at age 21. (Best college newscast while I was news director, and best advanced media for content my team and I produced.) Then I was laid off from my newsroom job in Minneapolis at age 22 and had to move back in with my parents.

There’s more…

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My Spending Breakdown for Month #4 in Mexico: $2,253

Boy, does time fly. I’ve now been in Mexico for four months, and I have a number of new cities under my belt! After leaving Puerto Vallarta in early April, I went to La Mazanilla, Melaque, Mazamitla, Morelia, and Patzcuaro. I spent the long Easter weekend in San Miguel de Allende, a night in Querétaro, and the rest of the month in Mexico City.

I have now traveled over 4,200 kilometers in Mexico!

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How Solo Travel (In Mexico) Has Changed Me

I’m back in San Miguel de Allende for Easter. It’s the first city I visited when I arrived in Mexico over 3 months ago, and the first city I’ve come back to… and I’m seeing it in a whole different light.

Why? Because I was a different person back then; I didn’t have the confidence and the know-how I have now.

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Letter to My Narcissistic Ex-Lover

I bought matching bracelets for us. I would’ve given yours to you, with a hug, a kiss, and a little inside joke: that I wanted to be the last girl to give you a bracelet at the beach.  But you were cold, then hot again. You were salty and derisive, then sweet and complimentary. You embraced me, and then you turned on me. You asked me to be your girlfriend, your ride-or-die, and then you said, “One of us is going to fall in love with the other, and then it’s all going to end,” as if you were writing…

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How Much I Spent in Month #3 in Mexico (Puerta Vallarta Edition)

Hola mis amigos, I am back with another spending recap for my THIRD month living in Mexico after quitting my job and taking an early (temporary) retirement to travel!! Damn, time flies!  My January spending was just a bit inflated since I had some immigration and vehicle import costs and a 6-month policy for Mexican car insurance. February was also a bit inflated since I had to also renew my 6-month policy of U.S. car insurance and I was traveling pretty frequently. Luckily… I stayed put for a while in March, had no unintended expenditures, and was able to make…

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I’m a Nomad, But No, I Won’t Consider a Long-Distance Relationship (+ Caveat)

I’ve spent the past six years largely single. I’ve been on too many first dates to count. I’ve had a couple brief romantic attachments. I even thought I was falling in love once or twice — that there was serious long-term potential — ready to go all-in. I’ve been over-the-moon in rose-colored bliss, and I’ve been left crestfallen and heartbroken. I’m not “looking,” but I’m open minded about meeting and moving forward with a good guy who has the qualities I like and who feels the same way. But one thing I won’t do is embark on a long distance…

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The Three Mantras I Adopted That Inspired Me to Leave My Traditional Life Behind

Three-bedroom house and 2-car garage. Six-figure salary and company-sponsored health care. My family, friends, and country of origin. I had all the stability and security and comfort in the world, and I gave it all up.

I wrestled with my decision for a really long time, and I ran through scenarios, numbers, and options. Sure, it didn’t make logical sense. Who would throw away a money-making asset such as a house? Why leave a job that more than paid the bills, that allowed me to live nomadically and travel the U.S. while working remotely? Who would drive to Mexico and stay for 6 months, leaving her family, friends, language, and way of life behind?

It didn’t make sense, but I kept on dreaming. My longings for a life of adventure, of discovery, of escaping tradition and societal expectations — couldn’t be silenced.

And so I adopted these three mantras, which I hold dear to me and share with you now.

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How Full-Time Travel Helped Cure My Eating Disorder

With all the beach, bikini, and food pics lately, it’s no surprise I’ve gotten quite a few derivatives of the question: “How do you not weigh 400 pounds?” or “How do you stay thin eating all that?”

While well-meaning, these comments highlight an unhealthy (pun intended) way of thinking: that in order to look good and feel confident — one needs to eat restrictively.

I used to buy into all into that. I developed anorexia, body dysmorphia, binge eating disorder. This is a tale of how the scale ruled my life, my self-image, and my emotional well-being… for half my life.

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How Safe Do I Feel in Mexico… Really?

This week marked a few milestones on my epic 180-day Mexico road trip: my 9th week in Mexico (17 weeks to go!), 2,500 kilometers driven in Mexico, AND my 9th home base (Puerto Vallarta). So, now that I feel really very comfortable in Mexico — getting around, conversing, the ways of doing things — I feel much better suited to answer that persistent question: “How safe do you *really* feel in Mexico?”

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My Spending Breakdown for Mexico, Month #2

Hola mis amigos, I am back with another spending recap for my second month living in Mexico. As you know, month one was just a bit inflated since I had some immigration and vehicle import costs and a 6-month policy for Mexican car insurance. So, how did I fare in my second month (segundo mes)? A little info on my second month in Mexico… after five great weeks in San Miguel de Allende, I left for Guanajuato City in the second week of February, about an hour and a half’s drive away. I spent a week there amid the colorful…

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7-Day Itinerary for San Miguel de Allende with Photos (Plus Dog-Friendly Spots!)

As a nomad, I constantly find myself at odds with both wanting to stay in a community to immerse myself more fully, and wanting to keep moving to the next place. It’s kind of a dilemma!  Case in point: in January and early February 2022, I decided to stay put longer than usual because I felt so dang comfortable in San Miguel Allende — five  weeks. And I definitely made the rounds all around town! Since most people don’t have the luxury of a 5-week vacation, don’t worry — I’ve condensed my favorite activities down for you. And because I…

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I Looked Before I Leapt: How I Spent The Last 4 1/2 Years Getting Ready to Quit My Job and Travel the World

Before you say, “I’m one of those people who will never get ahead, who will never be able to save, who will never be able to not work”… in 2017, I had no job, a car I owed on, a $1,350 house payment on a house full of stuff I never used, peanuts in my 401K, and only $1,500 in cash. That was my situation, and I made changes. You can too.

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