Hello! I’m Aaron Kardell. In this Sunday newsletter, I pick one random topic weekly to go deep on and have some disparate quick hits at the end.
In 2016, I found myself alone on a business trip, walking the streets of Manhattan. I’ve always loved New York, but on this particular day, I really wanted to live there. The combination of Central Park and being able to walk to everything you want has always been enticing to me.
As I was walking and daydreaming, I started doing some mental math. There would likely be a five-year stretch starting in 2032 where both of our kids would be out of the house and unlikely to have their own kids yet. (I know Kate’s #1 priority will be to be near the grandkids as much as possible should that day come.) We would also probably be at a stage of life where Kate would be ready to retire. While not the retiring type, I could easily choose to work from anywhere.
And so, an idea was hatched. For each year over those five years, we would choose a different place to live for a year. I was sold and didn’t need to think about this any further. I immediately called Kate. “2032! Mark your calendar. We’re traveling the world for five years.” Kate was non-committal but seemed open.
Over the past 7 years, the 2032 plan has evolved.
Several years ago, someone I knew with teenage kids was sad that they only had “four more summers” or “four more big trips” with their kids. I really took that to heart.
So, we’ve adopted a “why wait?” attitude. With Kate’s job and our kids’ school, we can’t easily live elsewhere for a year. However, we can definitely take extended trips. Our kids are such good travelers. And for some reason, they still seem to like and want to spend time with us, so we travel with them at every chance. Side note: I’ve been trying to soft-sell the kids about all of us living in Puerto Rico for a year, but they have yet to buy in.
When I originally envisioned the 2032 plan, I started with two of the five locations mentally locked in: New York City and somewhere in Tuscany. Today, I’d add Puerto Rico and Japan to the list. I’ve also softened on having a structured commitment to needing to live in a place for an entire year. Two weeks isn’t long enough to truly experience a place, but a lot can be soaked in over two to six months.
Ultimately, I don’t know what life’s circumstances will bring. Maybe we won’t be able to put any of the original 2032 plan into action. But it’s fun to dream and plan for that potentiality. Meanwhile, I’ll keep planning the next trip.
This Week’s Quick Hits
I just got home. While I’m glad to be back, I feel like I barely scratched the surface on things to discover in Tokyo and Kyoto. I really hope to make it back for a much longer period some day. Maybe before 2032. I’ll probably dedicate a future post or two to some takeaways from Japan.
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
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