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2 girls, post-FIRE, home-free,
slow traveling around the world.

About us

We are Ali and Alison Walker, and we used to call Seattle, Washington our home. We met in 2004, married in 2006, and retired in 2018. After reaching FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) we wanted a complete and total change from our career-focused lives. We decided that meant leaving our Seattle life behind and making travel our new lifestyle. By November of 2018 we had sold our home and car, let go of 99% of our belongings, and left Seattle. READ MORE…

Our Blog

We have separated our blog posts into 3 different categories. Alison writes our Money Crush posts, and Ali writes our Travel Stories. And sometimes we post more personal stories as well, which we categorize as It’s just us. We hope one of our posts is useful for you. Please let us know what you think!

Recent Posts

We’re in this Together!

As we isolate ourselves from our family and friends as well as the people located around us, we are constantly thinking of our community. Our community is much bigger than our geographic neighborhood. We are staying in touch with our family and friends everyday, and listening to personal stories about how this difficult time is affecting people’s lives in unique ways. The common thread is that huge numbers of people in the US and all over the world are dealing with all sorts of medical, financial, and emotional issues right now. The issues with COVID-19 are serious and this virus needs to be taken seriously – we personally know people who have tested positive for COVID-19 back in the US. The financial issues are also real. People are worrying about losing their jobs and businesses, about losing their homes, and about how they’ll pay for food and basic necessities. We personally know people back in the US who have lost their jobs in the last couple weeks. READ MORE…

Ode to Packing (during a pandemic)

Dear Packing List – Thank you for helping us make every place we visit feel like home. And thank you for keeping us grounded, safe, and comfortable everywhere we travel to on this fabulous earth. Love, Ali

At this moment in time, travel is heavily restricted because it brings bigger groups of people into close proximity in a Petri dish environment. Being on a plane or a ship or a bus right now can be dangerous and increase person-to-person spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is important because it can slow down community transmission of this terrible virus. The experts agree and their message is very clear – if you do not have to travel you should not be traveling right now. So we are staying here in Mexico for the time being, where we have been since the start of 2020. READ MORE…

What’s Your Why for FI?

In the FIRE community one question that gets asked all the time is, what is your motivation to change your approach to life and money and stop following the pack? Shortly after Ali and I made that decision in June of 2017 I asked Ali this question, “Why do you want to stop working right now?” Her answer was amazing and very simple. “Because I want to spend more time with you.” Talk about a mic drop. That was it. That’s why we decided to stop working. To spend more time with each other, and more time traveling, reading, walking, cooking, going to the movies, and talking about silly things as well as important things. READ MORE…

Emergency Medical Care on the Road

This is the type of post I was hoping not to write. But as we all know, shit happens. The good news is, I’m “fine” now. I learned what a concussion feels like as a teenager, and I’ve sprained both ankles more times than I can count. I also know what headaches and migraines feel like since I’m prone to having those on an all-too regular basis. And now unfortunately, I’ve recently learned what extreme high blood pressure and a hypertensive crisis feels like. And I have to admit, it was surprisingly hard for me to figure out that I was dealing with something that was very serious. READ MORE…

International Dental Care

We have now been traveling full time for 17 months. During that time I’ve seen dentists in Thailand, Panama, and Mexico. It’s been very interesting to compare these experiences to each other and to my previous experiences with my dentist in Seattle. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a part of our nomad travel itinerary, mainly to have regular dental cleanings but also to take care of regular maintenance of old crowns and fillings as well. READ MORE…

City Report – Hoi An

From what we had heard from others and read online, people tend to visit Hoi An for just a couple nights rather than longer stays. People love the historic architecture, custom tailoring, and outstanding local food. There’s nothing we hate more than shopping for clothes so the custom tailoring was not appealing to us, but great food and interesting architecture are some of our favorite things. So we ended up loving Hoi An and spent 2 weeks there. Even though this little village is very touristy, we loved Hoi An. We met so many interesting people and learned so much about the area that we would be very interested in returning for another stay in the future. This place is a gem! READ MORE…

2019 Portfolio Report

The first thing to note, is that we lived 100% off cash in 2019. We did not sell any equities in 2019 to cover our living expenses. We set cash aside for 2019 as part of our departure plan from Seattle at the end of 2018, using the proceeds from selling our car and condo. The second thing to note, is that 2019 was the first year that our portfolio had all of the necessary ingredients to sit and bake in its current form. We simplified and consolidated the various investment accounts we had opened during our employment years, so that we would each have one rollover IRA and one Roth. We also consolidated the balance of our condo proceeds into our brokerage account. 2019 was a very important growth year for our portfolio during our first year of retirement. READ MORE…

2019 Spending Report –
our first year of retirement and full-time travels

I’m excited that our first year of retirement and also our first year of full-time travels is in the books! This will sound very cliche, but wow 2019 just flew by! When we left January 3, 2019 from San Francisco to Singapore it felt like an overwhelming adventure had begun. Getting through the first few weeks of constantly switching to new environments was difficult. I definitely had moments where I was thinking, “What the hell are we doing?” And now a year later we are in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and our lifestyle feels familiar and so much easier than anything else I’ve experienced as an adult. We’re having a blast being Home Free. READ MORE…

2019 Travel Review

2019 was our first year of full-time travel. We started the year as complete rookies in our new travel lifestyle and we definitely learned a lot. It took time to learn how to slow down and figure out that we don’t need to see all the sites. We had to get familiar with our ever changing neighborhoods, figure out how to turn each new place into our home, and build a routine that we could adapt to any location so we could settle in and stay grounded. Everyday we looked around whatever place we were in and reminded ourselves that was where we lived for the moment. READ MORE

I’m super excited to be in Mexico

Why? I love visiting new countries and Mexico is very new to me. But also because I have a ton of Mexican ancestors. If you look at me it might be hard to believe that half of my family comes from Mexico since my complexion is fair, my hair is a light color, and my eyes are blue. Over the years I have gone through a bunch of periods in my life where I doubted that my dad was really my dad since I don’t look like him and I didn’t like him as a person, but I have tested my DNA and it’s true. My dad is my dad. And I am very proud of our Mexican heritage. READ MORE…

Case Study: The Wannabe Retiree

(When to start taking Social Security)
Since our FIRE journey helped us retire early in 2018 we have been able to talk to lot’s of amazing people about our money and travels, and theirs as well. One note we got was from someone in the US who selected their own code name, the Wannabe Retiree. I thought the Wannabe Retiree’s circumstances were an interesting puzzle so I agreed to take a deeper look at their numbers. READ MORE…

Home is More Than Just Housing

When we decided to retire early we took the opportunity to look closely at our housing options moving forward. We took a deep dive into both our personal needs regarding a home of our own, and also into what we could afford on our retirement budget. What we discovered about ourselves and our new retirement mindset was surprising. Going through that process helped us design clear parameters for our housing choices moving forward. It became clear to us during that planning process that when we make decisions about housing, there are two main aspects to fully consider — emotional and financial. READ MORE…

City Report – Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam was our final stop during our 4 month trip through SE Asia. Our plan was to travel through the country from south to north, which made Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) a logical first stop. The first person we talked to about our plan to visit Vietnam was Tinh, a previous coworker of Alison’s for over 25 years. This guy was born in Vietnam but escaped by boat as a small child during the war years and since his memories of Vietnam were very traumatic he told us we should skip his previous home country all together. When we told him we were definitely going to Vietnam Tinh said we absolutely had to get in touch with his sister Linh in HCMC, so we contacted her early in our planning process. READ MORE…

That Retreat Really Got Me Thinking

We spent an amazing week at a retreat in Otavalo, Ecuador in November 2019. This was one of the well known Chautauqua’s in the FIRE community which was originally conceived by Cheryl Reed and JL Collins together and started occurring in Cheryl’s adopted country of Ecuador back in 2013. We first heard about these events back in 2014 and though the idea of attending a FIRE retreat was appealing to us, the events seemed like math camp for software engineers didn’t completely appeal to us. But then early in 2019 we got notifications about a Chautauqua Cheryl was hosting where she had assembled an all female presenter lineup that was very intentionally geared towards creating a meaningful post-FIRE life. And that event was perfect for us! READ MORE…