Day 0 – First Blog Entry – Thurs Sep 15, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

17 Sep

So I’ve decided to blog my first mini-retirement. This is a concept promoted (created?) by Time Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Workweek. The idea is simple: the standard system of working for many years and then retiring is replaced with one where multiple “mini-retirements” are taken throughout ones career. I like this idea because it is impossible to know what will happen to you at the end of your career. One of my greatest fears is what Chief Wiggum calls “retirony“.

My plan so far is to fly to Rome (with a 13-hour stopover in Frankfurt) to visit with my cousin and his wife who have been posted there at the expense of Mr. and Mrs. Canadian Tax Payer. I’ve stayed in a number of DFAIT-supplied properties overseas (Vienna, London, Bangkok, Beijing) and they have all been outstanding. I expect this one to be no different. After this it’s on to Milan, maybe France, hopefully Munich (for the Oktoberfest) and then to Berlin for the remainder of the trip (Oct, Nov, Dec). I will be back in Ottawa for Christmas.

There are four main things this mini-retirement is designed to evaluate.

  1. What to do: Is it possible to fill ones time with meaningful things when one does not have to work for 8-10 hours per day? Prediction – yes it is possible.
  2. Cost of living: Can one live in a different city for less than what it would cost to live in ones home city? Food, nightlife, and accommodations are inexpensive in Berlin (even by Canadian standards). To verify this I’m going to try and track all my expenses for the entire trip and compare them to my expenses in Ottawa over the summer. I am very curious to see how this will play out. Prediction – I will prove quantitatively I eat out way too much.
  3. Language learning: How much more effective is it to learn a language with intensive immersion training while not working a regular job compared to part-time in a non-immersion environment where one is working full time. About 9 years ago (Jebus!) I took some part time German courses in Ottawa. In Berlin I will be taking an intensive course. Prediction: way more efficient.
  4. One-bag: Is it possible to travel for 14 weeks with just a carry-on? At check-in in Ottawa my backpack and man-purse weighed in at only 9.1 kg (20 lbs). Prediction: I fully expect it to be not only possible, but necessary.

2 Responses to “Day 0 – First Blog Entry – Thurs Sep 15, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean”

  1. Jevy September 18, 2011 at 23:56 #

    Track it ALL.. really interested to see how it works out

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