It’s been a long time we have introduced someone inspiring to you! But as it’s said the best things in life comes with patience…
How many of you have already planned your retirement? Put your hands up if you are equally scared for the upcoming “What Next?” moment of your life. So, here’s an exceptional inspiration for you guys!
Introducing David and Veronica James from Gypsynester, who chose to look at this next phase of life as a beginning instead of an ending. At the age of 56 and 53 respectively, they decided it was time to take an early retirement to do something different. Rather than staying in an empty nest after the kids were finally out of the house, they planned to get rid of the nest completely and start a journey for life!
On a journey of being gypsy for over ten thousand miles they have given us some serious travel and couple goals, proving that when it comes to travelling and adventure, age is just another number!
Let’s hear from them about their journey so far!
What was the inspiration behind stepping out of your nest and becoming Gypsynester?
Initially what got us wandering around the U.S. was as a way to catch up with family and friends. We had lived on the Caribbean island of St. Croix all through our children’s high school years, so it was hard to visit relatives and friends up in the states. When our youngest graduated, we figured a good way to reconnect with overdue visits was to get a motorhome and make our way across country. Once everyone was visited, we liked it so much that we just kept going. Veronica had worked in tech for years and had started GypsyNester.com while we roamed around, mostly as a way to keep our loved ones posted on our adventures, but when we decided to continue our travels we thought that we should also focus on the blog. Along the way we wrote the book Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All (Skyhorse 2015)(http://goinggypsybook.com/) and visited all fifty states and over fifty countries on six continents.
What was your most recent trip?
We just finished a week on the big island of Hawai’I, where we got to see an erupting volcano, walk through lava tubes, and of course spend some time on the beach.
What has been both of yours favorite memory so far?
There have been a ton of amazing moments for us, walking on the Great Wall of China, visiting Cuba, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, teaching and going on safari in Africa, and seeing the northern lights above the Arctic Circle in Norway, but the most exhilarating had to be Skydiving Over Queensland in Australia. Jumping out of an airplane 10,000 feet above the Coral Sea was a rush like none other in our lives. Can’t say it’s one we are in any hurry to repeat either.
What is your typical daily budget whilst travelling?
These days most of our trips are sponsored so we really don’t spend much. When we do travel on our own we definitely try to keep the cost down. We are not really into the fancy restaurants and high-end resorts, we like to look for a more local flavor, often opting for food trucks or funky neighborhood joints so we can usually get by on less than a hundred dollars a day for both of us.
Which place stands high on your bucket list and why?
Antarctica, because that would be the last of the seven continents for us to visit. New Zealand, Egypt, Iceland, India, and Southeast Asia also stand out as places we would love to see someday. There are dozens more, and untold new places we want to explore, so our journey continues because we are constantly looking ahead, beyond the horizon and over the next hill.
How do you determine where to go next? what kind of places appeal to you?
Now that GypsyNester.com has become popular our plans are usually set by who asks us to travel with them to write a story. We like active adventures and have been lucky enough to work with several companies that specialize in them such as bicycling and walking tours with Backroads, VBT, and Country Walkers, voluntourism with Discover Corps., and continuing education with Road Scholar.
How do you pack for a trip? What are the key-points you keep in mind?
We travel so much that we have it down to a science. Truly, we hardly even think about it. The same basic things come on every trip, then the weather at the destination makes for the biggest variables. We hate to check bags, so cold climates make packing harder to fit everything in. No matter what, we adhere to what we call the One Trip Rule. This means that we must be able to carry all of our bags at one time. It makes it so much easier to keep track of everything, and our belongings never get left unattended while moving between airports, taxis, trains, shuttle buses, and hotels.
What are your 5 must have travel essential items?
Obviously the camera and computer are indispensable, but we love our iphone with the built in wifi hotspot, it would be hard to get along without it. Also, on trains, planes, and automobiles, the inflatable neck pillow is a must. Is that five? No, only four, let’s see then, got it, plastic bags to protect those things when we get caught in the rain.
How do you manage to keep your skin healthy and fresh while traveling? What is your everyday beauty routine like?
Wow, that’s hard because every day is so different for us. Mostly I just try to keep my face clean. I always carry face wipes with me and use face-wash and a tinted moisturizer with sunblock in it.
How you both manage travelling to new places, not knowing their local languages?
We do know a bit of Spanish and Italian, not fluent by any means, but enough to get by. Otherwise, English is definitely a good language to know worldwide. In the travel industry, such as hotels and airlines, we can almost always find someone who speaks a little. Beyond that, we have become quite adept at pointing and pantomiming, and sometimes even drawing pictures, in order to make our intentions known.
Do you follow travel blogs? If so, name some bloggers that you personally like.
When we were just getting started we met Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel. She was so nice, and also helpful, really got us to see the possibilities. She never felt that there was any competition between bloggers either, saw that we can all help each other, and we have tried to continue that attitude. We also like McCool Travel a lot along with The Food Travelist, Luggage and Lipstick, Lifestyle Fifty, Sand in my Suitcase, and our friend Suzanne Fluhr at Boomeresque.
Is there any travel tip you both would like to share with us?
Don’t think of reasons you can’t, think of reasons you can. You can never plan for every possibility, so be flexible. We actually adopted the motto: The plan is no plans and it has made traveling so much less stressful.
Wanna catch on their various travel experiences? You can follow their page here gypsynester.com
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