A family man, engineer and engineering manager, Norm worked in the high tech industry for 30+ years. He worked on projects in space exploration, computer storage, digital imaging, video security, and high end computing. All of these were high-stress jobs at places like Martin Marietta, Fujitsu, StorageTek, HP, Schneider Electric, and 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 and living their own dreams, so the time came for an adventure. That's where this story begins.
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. And that's where this story begins.
During the phase of our lives where we were raising children and working jobs, we were just like everyone else. But we always had this dream in the back of our minds of living somewhere different, somewhere really different. At some point, it clicked that it didn't have to be a dream, it could be reality if we worked toward it.
One big motivation for us was to quit living life on other peoples' terms. I was working for the big corporation and doing whatever 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. OK, we weren't miserable but we were certainly more stressed than we wanted to be.
The culture was truly one of consumption. Every where we turned, someone was after our hard-earned money. In return, we would get some cool gadget or something to make our lives "easier". But we wanted to live our lives, not the lives that someone else 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 in turn made all the difference.