Turning the Page

As I sit here, sweating after helping the multitude of strangers load our furniture and belongings into their car and drive away, I can’t help but think:

Are we doing the right thing?

Wait, let’s rewind a bit. It’s been almost 2 months since we’ve posted last. That’s quite a bit of time to take a break considering for the past 3 years we’ve posted almost every week. What the hell could hold us up from that posting schedule?

(Hold on… the guy came that’s buying our washer and dryer, gotta help him load it into the truck)

Ok, so let’s go back to the time of our second to last post. We were just getting back from Omaha, and about to head out to Belize for our 5th wedding anniversary.

We had been humming and hawing over whether or not we wanted to stay in our place. We were thinking about taking a break, and maybe traveling as a more permanent situation, just to figure things out.

But we had no time line, and since Mrs. Wow had signed up to mentor interns, and her company is going well, we knew we would be in our current situation at least through the summer.

Two days before we headed to Belize our land lord called about renewing the lease. They wanted us to sign on for a full year. We pushed back, and asked about signing a month-to-month lease. I mean that’s pretty standard especially if we had been there for 3 years already.

They said no, so we asked if we could just sign on until August. We got the call on our way to the airport to celebrate our 5th anniversary.

No, if you don’t want to sign on for a full year, you’ll need to move out. Your lease is up the end of May.

Mind you, we returned from Belize May 15th. We had no intention of moving, and were not prepared to handle any of this.

The landlord had basically called our bluff, our travels plans were all the sudden a go.

So, we discussed our plans over our trip… Super Romantic, I know. But, what else are you supposed to do, when you have 2 weeks to pack up a 2 bedroom house, find a place to live and move it all into that new place. In addition to figuring out what the hell we wanted to do after that.

Here’s what we decided:

  • Leave our current place to find something temporary.
  • Stay there through the summer.
  • Pack up and leave at the end of summer for some travel.

Finding a Place

We figured the very worst that could happen is that we could go into an AirBnB or move back in with the Grand Wow’s. Although going back to the parents was an absolute last resort.

Luckily, we had some friends down the street that were moving out May 31. As luck would have it, their landlord only does month to month leases. So this was the perfect situation.

I called them up, a mutual friend of ours was looking at the place. Well, shit, Ok. So I called her up. Turns out, her boyfriend is moving to the area in September and they are looking to find a place. This place is in the right price range and location, so they were just going to jump on it before someone else took it.

I proposed a deal, she could stay at her parents (where she currently was), we would rent the place until August, and then move out, allowing her to save 3 months rent and still have the place waiting for her in September.

She loved it! We just needed the landlord to agree. Which she did immediately, I think the exact quote was, “Great! Then I don’t have to show the place again.”

So, the living was taken care of.

Packing and Moving

I’m convinced that there is a circle of Dante’s Inferno that is reserved for the very worst of society that includes packing up all your stuff and moving it every 3 weeks or so.

Moving is the most painful thing that humans have invented, Colonoscopy that’s a bubble bath compared to moving.

But, we packed it all up. Every morning we would each pack a box, and in the evening we would pack another box. And we would just stack them in the corner and start again.

Thank GOD we didn’t live in a huge house, and thank God, Mrs Wow had gotten into a purging battle with Mrs 1500 twice in the past 6 months.

We got some movers to move all our stuff over to the new place, since our friends had already purged all of their belongings and were literally sitting on the floor on a blanket in the middle of an empty apartment watching TV when I brought some boxes over.

They just let us stack stuff in the apartment while they were still there, which was a life saver. If you’re reading this… We still are indebted to you!!!

The Great Purge of 2019

Twice so far this year, Mrs Wow has participated in the 30 day minimalism challenge. You know, that thing where you get rid of 1 thing on day 1, 2 things on day 2, etc. Until you finish getting rid of 30 things on day 30.

This was immensely helpful, but stuffing a two bedroom house into a one bedroom apartment is a painful experience. Cram that entire thing into about 8 days worth of time, and it’s excruciating.

But, since we made the decision that we are going to take off and travel a bit, we decided to purge. EVERYTHING.

Friends and family started to get concerned when they started seeing any and everything on Facebook Marketplace.

The plan is to own minimal things by the middle of August. So far, we have gotten rid of:

  • A dresser
  • 2 night stands
  • A Cabinet
  • 2 book shelves
  • Countless knick-knacky things
  • A Car
  • Mrs Wow’s Road Bike
  • A Refrigerator
  • A washer and Dryer

What’s still on the chopping block?

  • A motorcycle
  • A bedroom set
  • A dinning room table.
  • 3 desks
  • Work out supplies.
  • A guitar

I’m sure there’s more, but it’s all going. All of it.

***As a side note, I sold my car.

I loved that car, it was the only car that I ever owned. A 2003 VW GTI 24 valve VR6. You could put your foot to the floor and it would take off like a bat out of hell.

Luckily enough, I found a guy that loves these cars as much as I do. He refurbishes them and shows them. I was shocked how attached I was to that car. There I was, a grown man, crying in the driveway as my car drove away.***

Turning the page

So, here we are. We’re turning the page. We’re starting to write the next chapter.

We don’t know what those pages are going to entail, but it’s a bit of a choose your own adventure at this point.

We’ve said it multiple times, and I think it’s only appropriate to reiterate:

Today is our absolute worst case scenario, and life is pretty damn good.

I don’t know that we’ll never work again, but here’s the thing.

We have a lot of life things to figure out, and having each of us working 50+ hours a week, just isn’t conducive to figuring out the big stuff. There’s a great quote, the origin is up for debate, but the sentiment is spot on:

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

So, here’s what we know right now:

  1. Leave LA taking two weeks to drive across the country.
  2. Visit friends as we traverse the country with our waffle iron in tow. Anyone game for some breakfast and beer as we road trip? We’re taking a northern route. Hit us up!
  3. Two weeks later arrive in DC for FinCon.
  4. Visits friends and family on the East Coast after FinCon.
  5. Leave for Europe.
  6. No true plans in Europe other than spending almost the entire 90 days allowed on our US visa in the Schengen Region.
  7. Return back to the States around the Holidays, just in time to spend some time with family.
  8. Hop back in the car and drive back across the country (southern route this time), to spend some holiday time with the other side of the family.
  9. From there Who knows???

So, Are we FIREing?

That is a question that I don’t know that I have a definite answer to.

We are certainly closer to it than we are far. And taking off a year or so isn’t going to impede us in any way. Plus, we both have high demand jobs, and Mrs. Wow runs her own company and will be able to hop back in at any point should we decide to return to the gainfully employed.

But, we’re gonna take a break. We’re gonna unplug for a while, see what happens. See where life takes us.

Mrs. Wow has already let her employee and her clients know that we’re taking off for a while.

We let both of our parents know of our plans. My favorite reaction was from my father:

So, when you’re back does that mean you’ll start real life?

We aren’t really sure, but real life just could very well be beginning. His snark just might be more accurate than he would like to believe.

So, yeah to put it mildly… it’s been a hell of a two month stretch.

This also means, as you are reading this, I am in the process of giving my notice at work.

On a Wednesday, having eaten waffles for breakfast.

PS – If you’re looking for a great book on personal finance, Checkout Quit like a Millionaire“. It’s a fantastic and it’s completely packed with great information. It is well worth the read. Our friends over a Millennial Revolution really out did themselves with this one. And it would be wise of you to learn from them.

44 Comments

  • Josh July 10, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Love it, Mr. WoW! Can’t wait to see you two at FinCon (and actually say hi this time. For some reason I was shy about it last year)
    Looking forward to following along your journeys!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Please do, It will be a good time!!

      Thanks and I’m sure there will be quite a bit that we will learn and figure out along the way.

      Reply
  • freddy smidlap July 10, 2019 at 6:57 am

    hey good luck and bon voyage! you coming through buffalo or not taking that much of a northern route?

    i’m looking forward to a post on how the finance end of it all is going to work like selling shares, using dividends for cash flow, etc. rock on.

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      yeah actually… we’re going to pass through Niagra. I’ll send you a message and see if we can make something happen!!

      Reply
  • Wendy July 10, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Wow, the Waffles are starting a walkabout wander!
    Good for you – hope you have a great set of adventures to share.
    I feel you pain on moving, I’m switching apartments this month and I think I’m over 26 moves in my life so far….
    I’m not on your travel route, but please let me know if you end up in the Bay area.
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      We are! It’s going to be a great time. I don’t knwo that the Bay Area is on our plans at the moment, but if we do end up there we will be sure to let you know.

      Reply
  • Financially Fit Mom July 10, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Oh my goodness, it’s amazing and a little creepy how similar our situations are right now! Though, with teenagers, I have a few more years until the traveling is an option for my “real life” 🙂 Good luck and don’t let the chaos take away from enjoying the adventure!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Well once we pack up and leave, we will leave all the chaos behind and that part will be the best part. It will take a little time to unwind and see where it takes us. But we’ll get there.

      Reply
  • Young FIRE Knight July 10, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Wow exciting news! To have the ability to do something like this is what my s/o and I are striving for! It’s will be nice to simply take that time off and relax, plenty of time to figure out what you’d like to do when you get back!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      This is exactly what the whole journey is about… options, and giving yourself the freedom to figure it out.

      Reply
  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE July 10, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Big changes dude, pretty exciting. Looking forward to hanging out at FINCON in my hometown, see you then!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Big changes for sure. Also looking forward to hanging out at FinCon again!

      Reply
  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials July 10, 2019 at 8:17 am

    I was concerned about the two of you when my texts/Marco polos went unanswered for so long! I’m glad you’re doing well though and making plans. Can we hold a moment of silence for the monarch butterflies we’ll no longer get to see grow up? *sniff* Also, do you remember what road bike the Mrs. had? I really liked it when I rode it last year. Then again, maybe that was because it was by the beach! haha

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:29 pm

      Yup, doing well and making plans. That’s the way we roll. The monarchs are still there. Until our crazy landlord uproot all the plants and stuff.

      She had a trek road bike. Just look on Craigslist or what ever and see if you can find one there. It was a size small though.

      Reply
  • Joe July 10, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Wow! That’s a big change that came quickly. I think it’s awesome to try it out for a year and see if you enjoy it. I’m sure it’ll work out.
    Yeah, moving really sucks. Good thing you guys already pared down a lot.
    Enjoy!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      It certainly happened fast, and came all at once. So yeah, give it a whirl and see what there is to see. Figure out what we really want to do. Then we will go from there.

      Moving is awful. Purging things is fantastic though.

      Reply
  • Adam @ Minafi July 10, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Wow, that’s a lot happening in just a few months! Spending that much time traveling should be a good test on how you like it before deciding what to do next – sounds like a great idea for sure. After moving I imagine travel will seem relaxing in comparison!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      Yeah it was a lot. I also forgot to mention that Mrs Wow went to Peru to volunteer for 2 weeks, 3 days after we moved into our new place. It was a fiasco. But we survived.

      And yes… taking a nice trip will be relaxing. And we might be going through your town!

      Reply
  • Mrs. Doodlepop July 10, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Aww GTI’s are the best!!! We have a 2011 GTI and absolutely love it. With our first little one on the way everyone is trying to convince us to sell it and buy a van (so unnecessary and not going to happen!). Awesome to hear about your upcoming adventures. Very brave of you two – it’s really cool to see the power/flexibility that FI can bring into your life if you are open to it! Can’t wait to see the journey you take 🙂

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 10, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      GTI’s are the best. They are literally the best car ever. If I own a car again, I will own one of those again. I absolutely love those cars. Was even looking at the new ones the other night. They’re beautiful, practical and fun. What more could you possible want! Thanks!!

      Reply
  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto July 11, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Moving Sucks! But…what an exciting future just around the corner!! We’re returning from The Great American Road Trip just in time for FinCon, look forward to catching up with you there. We took the Southern route Westbound and will be taking the Northern route back to Georgia, so we can give you some tips on “must sees” on your trip across the South. See you in Sept (and, nice to see you writing again)!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 16, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Moving most certainly does suck!!! And liquidating everything has been a little painful. But the end justifies the means at the moment.

      That’s amazing, please keep us up-to-date with all the in’s and out’s of the great American road trip! We might just be able to return the favor for the Northern Route!

      Reply
  • Fervent Finance July 14, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Congrats on giving notice!

    Reply
  • Mr. Need2Save July 14, 2019 at 9:54 am

    I’ve been out of the FIRE blogosphere for a while and this is the first post I read in months! You and Mrs. WoW always seem to keep things interesting.

    I feel your pain on the GTI. My previous 2007 GTI didn’t have the VR6, but it sure was a lot of fun.

    I didn’t even realize FinCon is in DC this year (did I mention the FIRE break?). It would be great to meet up with you and Mrs. WoW when you are in my neck of the woods.

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 16, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Yeah, we would love to meet up with you guys! Please, keep in touch, and let us know. I’m sure there will be plenty of gatherings you can join in on as well.

      Reply
  • Physician on FIRE July 14, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Wow, WoWs!

    I knew some of this was in the works, but it’s really happening!

    We’re excited to see you guys in August, and thrilled that you’re embarking on the next chapter at the same time we are. Looking foward to discussing it all over a plate of waffles. On Wednesday.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 16, 2019 at 8:32 am

      It’s happening… It’s maybe a little earlier than anticipated, but that’s ok… It’s a different path for everyone.

      And yes, we will most definitely have our waffle iron with us as we travel across the country. So a delicious breakfast is in order.

      Reply
  • stephen micheal July 15, 2019 at 3:48 am

    This blog is a fascinating one and it induces me to know more about it. Thanks for the sharing this blog and keep on sharing these kinds of useful blogs.

    Reply
  • Raj July 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Love this. Congratulations and good luck ! Looking forward to you’ll documenting the remainder of this journey.

    Reply
    • Mr WoW July 16, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Thanks!!!! We’re excited and going to attempt to keep this up. I’m cautiously hopeful that we will be able to get back on our schedule as we go.

      Reply
  • The Sunday Best (7/21/2019) - Physician on FIRE July 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    […] Did somebody say waffles?!? The Waffles on Wednesday published their first blog post in nearly two months. What took so long? They were busy downsizing, packing up, and preparing for a sabbatical of indefinite duration. They’re not calling it FIRE but not saying it’s not in Turning the Page. […]

    Reply
  • Mr. Shirts July 21, 2019 at 4:52 am

    “Moving is the most painful thing that humans have invented, Colonoscopy that’s a bubble bath compared to moving.”

    As someone who just moved over 1000 miles and we DIY, god damn you’re right.

    Hit us up on your southern route back, we might know our way around a historic southern city by then. (It could also be too cold by then and we decide to go sit in Hawaii or Southern California for January)

    Reply
    • Mr WoW August 5, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Sounds like a plan! We will definitely have to keep updated. This whole thing is hectic. But we’re making due.

      Reply
  • dollarsanddebts@gmail.com July 21, 2019 at 5:54 am

    Wows….wow! I have kept flowing you all but posting less myself and engaging less. Congrats. This seems like a good plan. Have fun going cross country and look me up if in Nashville.

    Reply
    • Mr WoW August 5, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      That would be fantastic!! Nashville is such a fun town!

      Reply
      • Dollars and debts August 5, 2019 at 8:07 pm

        Come on over. You guys seem to be doing great things! Keep up the good work.

        Reply
  • B.C. Krygowski July 21, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Woot woot! Pure awesomeness! So happy for you guys and I totally feel your pain-we gave away at least half of our belongings before we stuffed the rest in Pods and took off for a summer in Colombia. You’re gonna have a blast! Come visit us on your Southern route!

    Reply
    • Mr WoW August 5, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      We most certainly will!!! We’re looking forward to it. And hoping that we get a chance to relax and see where life takes us.

      Reply
  • Adora July 21, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Hello wows!
    I got onto your blog via physician on fire. I love travel and fantasize about taking the family, 2 girls ages 6 and 8 on the road. I’m in the DC area, if you are interested in zero frills and cool peeps, love to meet you guys. I love your travel blog

    Reply
    • Mr WoW August 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      We will definitely be in DC in early September. Hopefully we can meet up then.

      Reply
  • Crispy Doc August 7, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Just catching up with my reading after summer travel and saw this! Thrilled for your big opportunity, hope to check in when you visit the parents over holidays and return to our neck of the woods. With all that Europe time ahead of you, are you at risk of returning as Crepes on Wednesday?

    Reply
    • Mr WoW August 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      There is definitely a chance. But we are also spending some time in Brussels… and from what I hear, the waffles there are tasty!

      Reply
  • Expectations and Reality – Waffles On Wednesday August 8, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    […] time, we let everyone know our plans. We’re packing up… We’re moving. We don’t know where, we don’t really […]

    Reply

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