I recently added author to my credentials. This prompted a question by an old associate over LinkedIn. How many careers have you had? I laughed a little because I haven't really had that many just a big swing with each transition. Not to bore you with a resume but a quick summary. I worked in patient care for nearly decade and then transitioned to eight years in the IT world but still related to healthcare. Along the way, I picked up a real estate and massage therapy license. I moved to New Zealand for work (Health IT) and then at 36 packed it all up. My choice to retire and move to a beautiful small corner in northern Albania to live on vineyard and homestead that has been in my husband's family for ten generations. So in 20 years I have had two careers per se, two side hustles and then retiring to make wine, grow my own food, explore, photograph and write.
What does retirement before 40 mean? For me, a choice to live a life that is full of experience and less about consumption of things. We did save and made investments to prep for this transition. It also helps that the cost of living is really low here.
It's my just me, my husband and his mother is now with us after the passing of his father. We currently have four hens, four pigs, a dog, a pomegranate orchard, vineyard, and garden full of fruit, nuts, and veggies.
My author career came with free time and one really hot summer that forced me inside. I am not the best idle person so I started documenting the homestead with photographs, the drone and writing.
My husband to wrote a book about the myths and legends here in Albania.
We completed that project last February. -->
After learning the art of publishing I took my chance and wrote a novel idea inspired by my exploration of this beautiful country.
<-- On June 1, I will be publishing my second book Recover or Yield in the Ember in Time Series, an urban mythology adventure fantasy.
Am I still retired? Technically, yes because this is not a profit adventure. It is an investment of my time and creativity to share with others.
What does retirement mean to you?