Finally found the moment to reflect on my ER jump. Well, it finally happened, from 1 Aug, I am a free man at 50 years of age, at least free from sitting in a cubicle everyday
and I am now at my "farm-house" in Hungary. It still feels like I am on vacation, as if it will end some day and go back to work. No surprise, after 23 years working, you are conditioned and it will take time to really feel free. Do I miss work? Not at all, only a little bit the excitement from the Expat life (much travel, meeting different people, parties, benefits, etc..), but I do not miss the politics and bureaucracy at work (which kills the passion). Actually, my wife also needs to adjust to that, that sudden stop of Expat life. So, how are we coping with the freedom? Well, we are doing a lot in the garden, house, etc.. renovating a bit more, but also a lot of practicalities, like getting a medical insurance, getting a car, etc...sounds like trivial for many, but we have been 17 years on the road, and everything was always organized for us, including cleaning lady for the house, chauffeur/driver for the car, gardener, etc.. (really spoiled, to be honest), so now we must get the control back, lol
Do we enjoy it? Absolutely, and the surroundings of Hungary help, it so peaceful, people in village are really nice (going back in time 50-60 years compared to Netherlands, which is good), there is only beautiful nature, fresh air and water, still a bit wild-life, etc.. it is like paradise, especially because it is combined with modern facilities (like good internet, etc..), and there are also very nice cities to go to (if you want to escape the village sometimes, and go to a concert, restaurant, etc..). We also met some people and we started to learn "Hungarian" (not easy) to get more integrated into the community.
Will we for ever like this? Not sure, for now, it is the perfect "stop" after being on the road, get rid of the working conditions, become free in your mind, work at your medical condition (loose weight, etc..), and just enjoy life in a different way, it is like "slow travel" without any push to do anything, only something that you like!
Are their doubts? Only a little bit, but not the step to go ER, it has more to do with those questions, what next? We are not calm in our minds yet, we still want to do a lot (like keep on renovating the farm house and barns, etc..), and if we do nothing for a few days (just talking, drinking and reading), we almost feel guilty. This "being productive" is still very much present.
Strategy? Give ourselves at least 2 years to change and feel 100% free. Do not rush to start exploring other skills yet, only when I feel I am ready for it (I do explore renovating DIY skills at the moment, lol
Anyway, it was a great move and we feel privileged that we can make this ER move in a healthy stage and be free!