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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 2 different categories. Alison writes our Money Crush posts, and Ali writes our Travel Stories. We hope one of our posts is useful for you. Please let us know what you think!

Recent Posts

City Report — Phuket

This was our 1st stop in Thailand. We had read a lot about Phuket as the most popular tourist destination in Thailand – which is exactly why we did not intend to travel to Phuket! Our plan was to spend 10 days on Ko Lanta island, but a housesitting opportunity came up in Phuket so we decided to jump on it, and we are very glad that we did. Truly. READ MORE…

The Sunk Cost Fallacy, in Travel and in Life

As we’ve become more mindful of our money we have also learned how the sunk cost fallacy can be a challenge to deal with. The sunk cost fallacy is the dilemma of worrying that our spent money would go to waste when a change in circumstance occurs. According to Christopher Olivola, an assistant professor of marketing at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, “The sunk cost effect is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavor, or continue consuming or pursuing an option, if they’ve invested time or money or some resource in it. READ MORE…

Our First Day in Hiroshima

Our first day in Hiroshima was eye opening, heart warming, and heart breaking. We checked in at our Airbnb home and then immediately went out to visit Peace Memorial Park. We wanted to start our visit to Hiroshima by paying our respects to the victims of the atomic bomb. We are incredibly grateful that our first walk through Peace Memorial Park was on May 4 in the middle of the Flower Festival at the end of Golden Week. Peace Memorial Park was very crowded with families and the mood was joyful and celebratory. People were so friendly and made us feel very welcome, which helped us process all of the emotions we were feeling. We probably saw more than 100 people make the peace sign in the first hour we were there. READ MORE…

Calculating Your Net Worth

Remember – your net worth is not your self worth. And we all have money baggage. Knowing all of the intimate details of your own money can put you in a vulnerable place. And it can be exponentially more scary if you’re in a relationship, because you are exposing all of your fears to someone else. We worry about what other people will think about us if we confess we have big consumer debt. READ MORE…

City Report — George Town

This was our 2nd stop in Malaysia and our 3rd stop in SE Asia after traveling to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. We stayed in George Town for 9 nights. We were still in the process of adjusting to Malaysia and SE Asia overall, and we were determined to really find our rhythm in George Town. READ MORE…

City Report — Kuala Lumpur

This was our first stop in Malaysia. And we came here after Singapore, which we loved more than we expected to. We said we would try not to compare the two cities, but we totally compared them and I think that made KL hard for us to settle into. During our first few days there we called the city “Kuala Lumpur” and the locals kept correcting us with “KL,” so we will use that term in this post! We stayed in KL for 8 nights. READ MORE…

The AOC Personal Money Statement

We have been managing our own investments and money for a while now. It has definitely taken us some time (years) to build the confidence we needed to go it alone. The process became much easier for us once we found all the amazing information online from the FIRE community. And we have learned a lot from other authors, bloggers, and podcasters in the financial independence/retire early movement. The overwhelming message that we have gotten is — we can do this on our own. No matter what the money question is, with some accurate information, personal focus and structure, we can manage our money ourselves just fine. And so can YOU! READ MORE…

Expat Medical Insurance and Medical Tourism

One of our major concerns when starting our early retirement was health insurance. I won’t get into the debate right now about why US medical insurance and healthcare are so expensive, or whether or not the US provides the best healthcare. Suffice it to say, we all need to take care of our health, and there are times when we will need to see a specialist or get more complicated care. Like the bunion surgery I had on my left foot in June of 2018. And like the surprise hysterectomy Ali had in September of 2018, just one month before we left our condo in Seattle. I know, TMI. But remember here at AOC, it’s just us, and we like to share our stories! READ MORE…

Pools of Possibilities

I was on FaceTime the other day with a dear friend of mine and we were talking about emergency funds. This friend has a fund set aside that represents almost one year of their expenses. I think that’s quite impressive foresight to set this kind of money aside for their rainy day.Having that kind of money just “sitting” in the bank is hard for a lot of people. We have been told repeatedly we have to get our money to “work” for us. It has to earn interest, pay dividends, appreciate, and be invested right? READ MORE…

Visualizing Your Money

When considering this whole FIRE journey thing, it’s hard to figure out where to focus. Are we still paying off debt? Are we trying to buy a house? Have we been able to max out our 401k accounts? How much do we want to spend on travel? In our case, once we figured out our objectives, paying off mortgages and saving for travel, then we could really map out how to get there. READ MORE…