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Time for a Mid-Life Crisis

Updated: 3 days ago

Throughout our lives, we engage in obligatory tasks, are conditioned to pursue homeownership and a conventional lifestyle and strive to save as much as we can. Then we desperately hope we make it to the career finish line so that we can take that money we have squirrelled away and enjoy it in whatever years of good health we have left. But many of us simply don't make it even to retirement and if we do, many are not in good health to fully enjoy the time left.

Before the pandemic, I hiked and travelled a lot, but the world changed and I ended up back in the Corporate IT world doing things I had to do instead of things I wanted. I stopped being curious and became comfortable, my mental health took a hit. So at nearly 57, I have decided to do something about it. Let's call it a mid-life crisis.

On the 1st of May, I resigned from my role in Corporate IT Land and am currently working through my 3-month notice period. Was it scary to resign without another job, not really. But it's the first stage to the next chapter in my life. My ambition is to change from being a small cog in a big wheel where there is no real control, to a more independent way of working and living. Instead of doing what I have to do, I am going to start doing more of what I want to do.

So what is the plan?

To be honest, I don't know the whole plan, just the beginning, which is to build a campervan and go travelling for a bit in the Arctic, certainly the Nordics. It all sounds a bit vague I know, but I don't think it needs a detailed plan. Details often spoil things and remove the adventure. I would love to travel for a year to see Europe with the dog. Thanks to Brexit, of course, I will have to do the whole Schengen Zone shuffle and come out every 3 months either to Turkey or back to the UK, but that just increases the opportunity to see more stuff. Not sure what will happen on the road or what the plan is after travelling, but it should be an exciting journey.

I will of course still do IT consultancy, work on some startup projects and may even do a full-time remote job, but it will be a role that fits me and not a traditional corporate role catching the train to London now and again to tick a box to say I have been there. The savings account isn't endless so, unfortunately, this will be an important part I need to work out, but for the time being, I have a little breathing space to start down the right road. But it is important to get a better combination of life and work rather than the old traditional way.

Step 1: Declutter - Currently well into this step.

The first step is to declutter, to minimise, if I am to downsize to a campervan then a lot has to go. I have my lists "Throw away", "Give away", "Sell", and "Keep" all done and am working through them. It is quite liberating getting rid of the stuff we took years to accumulate and thought was essential for life, even though most items have not been used in the last 3 years. It isn't necessary to have 8 sleeping bags, 6 cameras, and 11 tents,

Step 2: Build a CamperVan - Just about to start this step

I would never find a motorhome that fits my needs, they prioritise sleeping and kitchen over outdoor usage, tech and working on the road. So I have no option but to build one. Designing and building a campervan based on a commercial panel van isn't a quick, cheap or easy thing, but it's a task I need to finish to succeed with the plan. As you can see from my previous trips and photos, the Arctic and the Nordic countries are my favourites, so the van has to be happy in temperatures of down to -40C. It has to have suitable heating, insulation and a power system capable of functioning in extreme cold. I am relying on Roamer Batteries to supply extremely low-temperature batteries to keep me functioning.

Step 3: EU Pet Passport

A very please black labrador
My dog is pleased

Thanks to Brexit, it's not cheap going in and out of the EU with a dog, and she is coming with me on this adventure. Can't you tell how excited she is? Every time we leave the UK, we need a Health Certificate at £100 upwards it can get expensive. So this step involves a trip to Ireland to get an EU pet passport. It costs the same and is a one-off payment for the lifetime of the dog. A no-brainer. We will use the opportunity to spend a few days travelling in Ireland too in August to take in all that green fresh countryside. This is a good way to test out the van and work out if I need to change anything.

Step 4: Sort the House

Once it has been decluttered and I have sold most of my belongings, it should be relatively easy to decorate the house and get it ready for sale or rental.

Step 5: Just Go - Hopefully the end of October

The exciting step! Pack up the last few possessions I have, who am I kidding, I will still have way too much stuff, but put the rest in storage, fill up with diesel and head to the Channel Tunnel. 25 minutes on the train and I will be in Calais. The adventure begins!

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