This blog is for people that enjoy travel, dog lovers, traveling with dogs, love Italy, and dreaming of what you might do when you retire. We hope to inspire people to dream of possibilities.
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My name is Barley and here’s my story. Four years ago, I hit the Powerball Jackpot when the nice family in Napa I lived with decided to relinquish me to Golden Gate Lab Rescue. I spent everyday in the back yard, and nights in the lonely garage all by myself. Once in a while I got walks, or the ball thrown for me, but for the amount of energy I have, it wasn’t enough. So when Karen and Tom showed up with a really pretty Golden Retriever named Shafer to meet me, I tried really hard to not explode with enthusiasm, but couldn’t help myself. A week later my new Mom came to pick me up in a car that didn’t have a top and I was so excited I barked the whole way to my new home. And boy-o-boy, there was a giant pool in the back yard and I love to swim. I was five years old that year, but I’m very energetic and need lots of exercise.
Two years ago, my Mom and Dad packed up everything in our house, and we moved to a new house in Monterey County. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a back yard or a pool, but with Dad home everyday, we went on hikes in Fort Ord National Monument, or to the beach everyday. I remembered that we’d visited here before, so I was stoked that we lived here now. Then when Dad started working again, I just napped in my dog house during the day. I love going to the beach and have gotten really good at body surfing, and loving sprinting down the beach after balls.
Enough about me for now, I’ll turn it over to Mom:
Retiring at age 63 was always the plan, but in early 2017, we moved up the time line to 2018. While our plan may sound crazy to some of our readers, it’s been a plan in the making for years, but who would have thought we really would go through with it? We’ve quit our jobs, rented our house, sold, packed or purged 98% of everything we own, and will live in Italy by August.
I’ve been a vacation planning addict for years. I remember a summer in 2005, when I was surfing the web and looking for our next vacation local over Christmas and New Year’s. Over the next few weeks we looked at Bali, Fiji, Australia, Key West, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico, and then my husband said “Belize”. I frankly didn’t even know Belize was a country. As I started researching, Belize looked like a great place, and so the detailed planning ensued, and by the end of December, spent an incredible 8 nights in a beautiful country. Research for our adventure started about 5 years ago, and it’s way more time consuming than planning a two week vacation (but it’s been a fun challenge).
Our second passion has always been our dog or dogs. More to come on our dogs later, but Barley is an only child now; enthusiastic, athletic, loves attention, walks, fetching balls, water, and is a pretty easy going, as long as he is with his pack. So how to combine the retirement adventure of a lifetime with a dog in tow. Barley inspired the way this adventure is unfolding.
That’s pretty much how our retirement adventure plans started 4-5 years ago. I’ve bought and sampled a wide variety of Kindle books on retiring abroad. Some have been very helpful, some inspirational, and some a complete waste of time. I’ve also stumbled across multiple blogs written by people that have taken a similar path to retirement.
I hope you enjoy following Barley’s Grand Adventures. And please let us know if there are topics you’d like us to include.