Two baby boomers with lots more adventure to live

If you’re a baby boomer, you’re going to like this. In fact, you might want to change places with the authors of the story, who also are the authors of a book about living an adventurous lifestyle, called Another Cocktail Please. They are Carrie and Jack Janssen, who live in Canada but only half the year. The other half? Well, right now they’re in the Virgin Islands. After that? The answer is part of the fun.

We’ve paid our dues, raised our children, and now it’s time for us. Although our backpacking-around-Europe-and-Asia days are long in the past, we still love to travel. Only now that we’ve enjoyed the creature comforts in life, hostels and questionable motels are not our style.

Carrie and Jack Janssen

Carrie and Jack Janssen

Yet still, if “budget-luxury-living” is a term, we’ve perfected it. Our passion is discovering new and exciting places to temporarily reside, to immerse ourselves in a culture and fully experience what life is like in our new locale. Our friends and family call us “seasonal nomads” since we aren’t ready to settle full-time. Instead, we live in a different, typically tropical and often exotic, locale for five-and-half months each year. And we do so on a budget, with panache.

Eleuthera, Bahamas – San Jose del Cabo, Mexico – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – Roatan, Honduras – Cap Estate, St. Lucia – Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, Fiji, South Pacific, and currently St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

From our temporary homes, we can explore neighboring areas. While in the South Pacific for instance we traveled to Singapore, Java, Bali, and Lombok islands of Indonesia, and the north and east coasts of Australia. Another year, on another island in Fiji, meant we could spend time on some of the smaller of its 322 islands and also travel to New Zealand.

Not quite gypsies, we do have a permanent home base back in Canada where we enjoy the temperate months. Surrounded by lakes and pine trees half the year and a sea and palm trees the other half, we have the best of both.

janssen_3Making friends along the way is one of many perks of this lifestyle. Everyone has a story and we’ve met some very interesting folks. It was one older, wiser couple who told us that we should write down something about everywhere we have ever traveled to. Because, they said, if we didn’t, we would forget. This simple statement got us thinking. At times not recollecting what we ate at breakfast yesterday, conjuring up distant travel memories proved to be more challenging than we anticipated.

Traveling back in time resulted in documenting what we ultimately called Jack’s Evolving Bucket List. Not a “to-do” list, nor a finished “already-done-it” bucket list. We still have a lot of miles left in us, and so, this list is ever growing. Evolving. It gives us the opportunity to recollect fond memories while continuing to add to it each time we experience something new and exciting.

Carrie and Jack Janssen

While here on the island of St. Thomas, we plan on exploring neighboring islands such as St. John, Tortola, various islands in the BVI’s and possibly Puerto Rico (since it is a quick fifteen-minute flight).

Before heading home next spring, we will decide where to go later in the year. There are still so many destinations we hope to explore. Planning ahead means we have another adventure to look forward to!

10 Comments

  1. You two are living proof that you can have “your cake and eat it too”. Exploring the world all year long is a dream that is (mentioned in your book) reachable. The guidelines that you have set out in your book to obtain this goal is very easy to understand and follow. I’m in awe of the life you are leading and hope to be living the dream just like you. Thank you for the inspiration that you put forth

    1. Dear Sandra, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. Our goal in writing our book and creating our websites is to inspire others such as yourself. While we still live half the year back at our home in Muskoka, Ontario – we will one day have the ability to travel year round. Meanwhile, we very much enjoy every trip we take – we are already working on next winters destination! We hope you enjoyed our book and we thank you for your support! DREAM BIG! ~ Carrie

  2. I applaud your nomad style. Earlier in my life, before I was rooted into work, my wife and I lived in Marbella, Spain for 6 months, renting a villa. We used that as our base to explore Spain and parts of Africa. It was one of the best periods of our life with much adventure, fun, and romance – with a low budget. Now that I a retired, we are thinking of resuming that pattern. Your article gives us hope. Thanks!

    1. Dear William, thank you so much for your comment. To be able to inspire others to live life to the fullest is our ultimate goal. You are exactly the person we have shared our secrets to successful vacations in our how-to book Another Cocktail Please – the Essential Guide to Long Term Vacations! We understand that life is short and there is so much adventure to be had.
      The time you spent in Spain sounds wonderful indeed (thanks for sharing your experience) and we wish you safe and happy travels in your future endeavors! Please check out our website by clicking on my name and keep in touch! ~ Carrie

  3. What will the Boomers 50+ be doing with the extra time in their retirement life? Traditionally many retirement aged people thought that retirement was one big vacation doing as little work as possible and focusing mainly on leisure activities.. Do you think that today’s Boomers instead of a full-time leisure retirement might want to give back to society in their own way and become more active, creative and productive? i.e. leisure retirement versus a more productive retirement.

    1. Dear Joe, many thanks for your thought-provoking comment and question!
      I very much enjoy these types of exploratory remarks – actually, when I read your comment it conjured up an image of an old-school velour tracksuit – do you remember the kind?
      I do believe that boomers and those who follow will be more productive and more active not to mention conscientious about their surroundings and how they can contribute. Back at home for half the year we have our causes that we support on a regular basis. When we live in another location (typically an island somewhere exotic) we immerse ourselves into that community by seeking out events and fundraisers for causes including, but not limited to, education and humane societies. These are near and dear to our hearts and often times these areas require a great deal of assistance. We also love a good “beach cleanup day”!
      I love the balance we have of staying active and healthy while contributing to society and taking time for leisure.
      Let me leave you with a very inspiring young lady – her name is Shannon O’Donnell, author of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook. She has a website filled with great information too – http://www.alittleadrift.com A great resource to inspire others to give back to society. Wishing you safe and happy travels! ~ Carrie

  4. Hi Jack and Carrie Janssen
    Love your article; You two are the inspiration to me. I have always wished to explore all around the world. Now, it gives me hope after retirement what will I do. Thank you once again for inspiring me.

    1. Dear Amanda, thanks so much for your kind words. Inspiring others is exactly the goal we had in mind and the premise on which we wrote our ‘how-to live an exotic lifestyle’ book where we share our tips to achieving great vacations. In it we also share money saving strategies such as how to negotiate a rental home lease and more.
      We would love to hear about your future adventures….you can reach us through our website – click my name to take you there.
      Wishing you safe and happy travels! ~ Carrie

  5. I love this post and this blog! My husband and I are still fans of the big adventure – having lived in Europe and started a business there in our 40s. Now we’re back home in Florida but plan on spending three months a year living elsewhere – while we still can! Next year we’ll be spending the winter in Spain. Now I’m writing a blog about positive aging with my best friend of 40+ years. Stop by and read about our adventures at richlyaged.com! Thanks so much for this post. I’ll be back.
    Pam

    1. Dear Pamela, thank you so much for your comment. I love meeting like-minded people!
      I’m thrilled to know you will spend a few months in Spain – it’s on my to-do bucket list although my husband prefers a warmer climate during the winter so I have to settle for tropical paradises – Ha! Life is good.
      You’ll find a whole chapter in our book about negotiating rental homes – our experience is – a set price is never set! We’ve been able to rent 5 star luxury accommodations all over the world for much less than the ask.
      I just checked out your website – awesome posts, informative, interesting and well written.
      Are you on social media?
      Wishing you much success with your upcoming book (writing one is an adventure in itself). Safe and happy travels! ~ Carrie

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