Ha, thanks C_L my motivation to retire is outweighing my motivation to work right now........we will see what 2018 brings.
I've spent the better part of the past two weeks doing a long thought experiment on what I would like my next chapter to look like.
Ideally I keep my current job till April 1 of 2020 and take a nice long 6-9 month sabbatical to travel with my fiance, followed by a return to work either full time, part time, or seasonally (depending heavily on market returns and portfolio when the time comes).
There are a few bucket list type adventures that we have the luxury of choosing from for that 2020 adventure.
1) Thru hike the Appalachian Trail. Flip Flop style, starting in Harpers Ferry WV in late April or early May, and hiking north with the spring summiting Mt. Katahdin in August, possibly taking a few weeks to spend time with family, and then returning to Harpers Ferry in September and following the fall foliage down to Springer Mountain Georgia. This would leave us around November, coming back home and living with family during the holidays while looking for work.
2) Splitting the time between a slow travel European adventure, starting in Southern spain or Portugal in April, working our way slowly to Poland by mid May, living in Poland and exploring with family till mid July. Followed by a trip my dad would really like to do.....6-8 weeks of motorcycling from NY up through Canada to Alaska, down the Pacific coast, and back to NY via NV/AZ/UT/CO/WY/MO/SD/PA/etc. We would likely finish early October and also spend time with family during the holidays while trying to re-enter the workforce.
3) Purchase either a mini van or small pickup + trailer and spend 6-9 months slow traveling the USA and Canada, hiking and mountain biking as we go along, visiting friends and family across the country and staying in each place from a few days to a few weeks.
In all scenarios we would ask employers for a sabbatical way in advance, or just quit and try our luck when we get back. We would also get rid of our current apartment, as we cannot justify paying $1100/month for 6-9 months while traveling.
Right now, option 2 sounds the most appealing, as it would allow the trip with pops, who isn't getting any younger. Already have the motorcycle, and an empty apartment in Southern Poland where 75% of my family lives. We would travel hack the cross continental flights so the cost of those would be negligible.
Option 1 would be the cheapest in my opinion, since a thru hike of the AT can be done for $10k total for two people, relatively comfortably.
Option 3 would likely cost the most, but would have the most freedom to come back home if the need arose (unlikely)
Regardless of which option we go with, I think it's going to be a bit hard to adjust back to being two full time career professionals, once that taste of freedom is had..........c'est la vie