Showing posts from September, 2023

Appreciating a nomadic lifestyle without owning a home: A journey of FIRE (financial independence retire early)

  Ocean City, MD during sunset Walt Whitman:  “I take to the open road.  Healthy, free, the world before me.” The day we started our early retirement (August 24, 2020), was the day we said goodbye to our townhome, a place we called home for close to 14 years.  It was the best “home” we had up until that point in our (my wife and I) lives.   Lots of good things happened while we lived there:  I got my last job, which would allow us to retire early and we brought home our baby Toby , a super furry Pomeranian!  It was truly an “ American Dream ”, to be able to live in a nice suburb of Philadelphia , feeling safe with plenty of room to roam inside our 3 story townhome.   We felt like we had “made it”.  We would spend evenings sitting in our walkout basement, looking outside at the fast moving traffic on US Route   422 while talking.  We would play our favorite music in our living room in our surround sound home theater system by Onkyo .  On weekend mornings, all of us would hang out in ou

Our first trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Our review of the most visited national park in the United States!

  Alum Cave Bluffs, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN John Muir:  “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Living on the East Coast of the United States, it’s hard not to be reminded of the Great Smoky Mountains .  It seems most people have visited the place, thanks to its close proximity to most big cities on the East Coast.  It is also the most popular and most visited national park in the US with over 12 million visitors in the calendar year 2022 alone.   My in-laws have visited it, and so has one of my best childhood friends.  They talked about the mysterious, cloud filled mountains that look like smoke, and they talked about the vastness of the mountains. My wife and I had talked many times about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park , but we never got around to it until February of this year.  We were wrapping up our 2 1/2 months long cross country road trip going from North Carolina to Southern California , and we decided that this

Review of Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, MS: A must for fans of Elvis, rock & roll, and Americana!

  Statue of Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley Birthplace, Tupelo, MS Leonard Bernstein:  “Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century.  He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution…the 60’s comes from it.” Growing up, I was always a fan of Elvis Presley .  It’s not because I personally got acquainted with his music and fell in love with him when I was real young, but rather, it was my father who had a huge influence in me loving the man, the legend, and a huge part of Americana. Few times a week, our family would listen to the sweet sound of his sonorous voice, at times singing achingly melancholy love songs, and at other times singing upbeat rock & roll numbers, singing like no one that came before him.   The more I listened to Elvis, to more his music became part of who I am.  His music was my comfort, my solace, and at times, it literally felt like going home, to a safe place, a home.  His music represents a warm