A family man and engineering manager, Norm worked in the high tech industry for 30+ years. He worked on projects in space exploration, computers, digital imaging, & video security. All of these were high-stress jobs at places like Martin Marietta, Fujitsu, StorageTek, HP, Schneider Electric, & Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
With a wonderful wife, he helped raise two great boys in Colorado USA, and tried to experience everything the area had to offer. The boys are on their own now, living their own dreams, so the time came for an adventure.
Originally from Kansas, Deb spent most of her life in Colorado. She has always loved animals, working in vet hospitals and as a groomer for many years. With a little help from Norm, she raised two amazing young men who are showing their own skills and talents in the world today. She discovered beaches, ocean water, and islands on her honeymoon back in the day, and never forgot how that made her feel.
Deb was the driving force behind the plan to retire early. While her husband worried about the dollars and cents, Deb knew it would all work out and pushed for the good life over the safe life.
When we were raising children and working jobs, we were just like everyone else. But we always had this dream of living somewhere different, really different. At some point, it clicked for us that it didn't have to be a dream, it could be reality if we worked toward it.
A big part of that dream was to quit living on other peoples' terms. I was working for the big corporation and doing what needed to be done because that was how you succeed. The high-tech product development grind was getting to be too much, but it was required to pay for the rampant consumerism that we had fallen into. We weren't alone in that, but misery, even with company, is still misery. (well, we weren't miserable, but we were stressed out)
The consumption culture was everywhere. Someone was always after our hard-earned money, in return for some cool gadget or something to make our lives "easier". But we wanted to live our lives, not the lives that they wanted us to live. We wanted to live our lives on purpose, not on autopilot. So that's the mental shift we made, and that has made all the difference.
If you want to contact us, we have a page surprisingly called "Contact Us". Click it - we love to hear from our fellow kneedeepers!
Knee Deep In It - Worldwide!
We've continued gaining traction with this blog, and that has picked up significantly since we started doing the Vieques Beach Directory in late 2018 - it's very popular. Here are some fun stats from Google Analytics:
- We have now reached readers in 107 countries/territories around the world!
- In the U.S., we have readers in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
- We've had over 12,000 total readers visit the site, hitting 90,000 pages.
- In the last year, we're averaging 900 users & 6000 page views per month.
- Our top 5 countries/territories are: the USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, the UK, and France.
- We round out the top 10 with Australia, Germany, India, Mexico, and Italy.
I want to give a special shout-out to Honduras, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Martinique, Barbados, Puerto Rico, USVIs, BVIs, Sint Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, and all our other Caribbean Kneedeepers!
A big thanks to all of you around the world who are following along - you make it worth the effort and the energy we put into this blog!
So we're not exactly "almost famous" but maybe a tiny bit. Our parents love us anyway. 🙂 We did get a mention in the NY Times Travel section, which you can find here (Returning to Vieques) - search for "Norm and Deb" 🙂 and have now done a guest spot on Ann Nelson's "Retire Well, Retire Happy" Podcast out of Australia (it's embedded below). Both were a lot of fun - check them out!