So, how did we come to the pretty momentous life goal of financial independence?
Twitter was actually the catalyst for change. For better or worse, social media definitely has an impact on our lives these days!
Back in March 2016, in the depths of winter, I was scrolling through Twitter, when a retweet caught my eye. It was a link to an article about a couple who retired in their 30’s, planning to travel the world. I read the article avidly – what an amazing story!
I mentioned it to Mr. LLC and we both kind of just sat there, intrigued. How is that even possible? Were they really just regular people who were smart savers to make this a reality? Surely there was a lottery win or inheritance involved? We just couldn’t get our heads around it.
That couple is Go Curry Cracker. They drastically altered their lifestyle and for 10 years supercharged their savings. And now? Well, their Twitter account tells me they spent a lot of 2016 sojourning their way around the world. Good on them.
Deciding upon Financial Independence
Their story stayed with me. I just couldn’t comprehend how it was possible. It had obviously stayed with Mr. LLC too, as a few days later, he said, almost nonchalantly, as I’m cooking dinner, why don’t we start down that path but use our financial independence to move to the Lake District?
This wasn’t a pie in the sky idea. Moving to the Lake District has always been there on the periphery of our consciousnesses. And for a while, a few years ago, we actually seriously considered a move there, in terms of getting jobs in the area later in our careers. Or even moving halfway up the country, to somewhere like Manchester or Derbyshire, as we’d only be a 2-3 hour drive away from Cumbria instead of 5 (in good traffic).
We are from the South East of England. The Lake District is in the North West of the country. We both worked in London before our move to America (and will work there again when we move back), in sectors that are predominantly prevalent in the South East. It would be incredibly difficult to bank on getting jobs in the North West in order for relocation to happen. If that were the only way for relocation, well, it could easily just not happen. Friends and family even assumed that’s what we were going to do – if not move there later in our careers, they definitely saw us retiring there in our 60’s.
Love Affair with the Lakes
The Lake District has held a special place in our hearts for many years now. A favourite holiday destination for Mr. LLC’s family, he has spent a lot of time there throughout his childhood. I was first introduced to its beauty in 2008 and we were married there in 2011. Having spent all the time our annual leave would allow us to there before we moved to America, we are in love with its beauty, charm, peacefulness, tranquility and landscape – those fells were made for walking!
But, in reality, did we ever think a move up North was possible? Achievable? I’m not sure we did. I know we wanted to achieve it, I just think we weren’t sure how to. We are not the B&B/tea room owning type – one of the avenues that crossed my mind for being able to relocate to an area heavily dominated by the tourist industry. Purchasing a second home that could be rented out to holidaymakers also briefly entered our consciousness but again, I don’t think that was ever the answer though; we would be limited to when we could visit and second home ownership in an area like the Lake District makes me quite uncomfortable. If I was to live there – I wanted to live there full time and contribute to the community.
I felt like none of the options quite fit and living in the Lake District was nothing more than pipe dream. But reading the story about Go Curry Cracker and realising we could apply their strategy to our lives in order to give us the freedom to live in the Lake District…. well, let’s just say the penny finally dropped!
I sometimes love to ponder the serendipitous nature of life. What would have happened if I hadn’t been following the Twitter account that retweeted Go Curry Cracker’s story? Would I have found out about them a different way? Would I have stumbled upon others in the FIRE community? Or would I still be sitting here today, wishing there was some way to move to the Lakes but just unsure of how to make it happen?
Adapting to Our New Goals
From that cold March morning to now, our lives have changed immeasurably but, actually, not changed that much at all.
We have more purpose and meaning in our lives now. We’ve scrutinised and analysed our expenditure to see where we can minimise. We’ve spent countless hours strategising about what options we have for investing our savings. But, really, it’s simply business as usual, with work, chores and enjoying our down time at the weekends. We just know what we’re working towards now – we know what we want to achieve out of these all too fleeting lives of ours. We want the freedom to live in the countryside and spend our time pursuing activities that we enjoy and that mean something to us.
Thanks Jeremy and Winnie for giving us the inspiration we needed to start on our own FIRE journey, we owe you one!