Friday, April 28, 2017

The Plan

When I was a kid, my best friend and I had what we called simply "The Plan."  It was ingenious.  The idea was that if we were ever confronted by a bully or group (herd?) of bullies, my best friend, who had a flare for the dramatic, would distract them and I, being the larger of the two of us, would hit them from behind with whatever convenient, preferably heavy, object I could find.

Thankfully, we never actually had to use "The Plan" since there really weren't any bullies around to be thwarted, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to come into play anytime soon, so I am officially stealing its name.

So please allow me to unveil...

The Plan

  1. Buy a house in Maine
  2. Between now and the time my son graduates from high school (2027, assuming he holds up his end of the bargain), do the following:
    • Enjoy trips to the house in Maine
    • Hike a lot
    • Save enough money to retire
    • Prepare the house in Maine for full-time residence
  3. Retire
  4. Sell the house in Virginia and pretty much everything in it
  5. Hike home to Maine
Much like its original incarnation, The Plan is elegant in its simplicity (and naming).  It's also a bit short on details, like HOW we're going to do all of this, but that's what we're going to explore on this blog.

As of this posting, step 1 is done and step 2 is in progress.  Steps 3 and 4 are a little ways away, and could actually end up swapping places when the time comes.  Step 5 is a topic of constant discussion and planning.

In future posts, I'm going to explore each of these steps in detail.  But for now, you've been thumped on the head with the heaviest object of them all - The Plan - so you're going to need a little time to recover.

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Let's Get Started - An Introduction

So, who are these weirdos who want to retire early and walk to Maine?

I'm Jeff, the main writer of this blog.  I'm in my late 30s (as of this post) and have been working in Information Technology my whole working life.  I started off with a huge company that moved me around the world as part of a leadership training program, then jumped right into an Information Security role back when Information Security was still kind of a new thing.  Since then, I've moved on to a couple of different companies and currently find myself as the Director of Information Security at a large professional services firm.

This probably sounds more glamorous than it actually is.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy my job, make good money, and am good at what I do - but at the end of the day I am still a middle manager in IT, with all that entails.

Before I entered that proverbial rat race, I grew up in a Podunk town in beautiful northern New Hampshire where I did well in school and poorly at sports.  I spent my summers working at an amusement park, and later a paper mill, before heading off to college in another Podunk town, this time in upstate New York.  During my college years I earned my beer money by working at the paper mill and developing shareware computer games (nothing you've heard of, so I couldn't afford much beer).

Anyway, I've been away from Podunk towns and the north for quite a while now, and quite frankly I miss it.  I visit as often as I can and can't wait to get back there.  In the meantime, I get my fill of small towns and outdoorsy goodness by hiking on the weekends, mostly in Shenandoah National Park and nearby.

Maybe I'm greedy or selfish, but that's just not enough for me.  I want to get back to small town living, get out of the rat race, and hike whenever I want in the beauty that is Maine and New Hampshire.  So a few years ago, shortly after an unexpected and life-changing event, I made it my mission to make that dream come true.

So without further ado, let's get this story started...

PS - My lovely girlfriend, hiking partner, and future fellow Mainer will introduce herself at some point as well.