Two More Geezers Hit the Open Road

We’ve finally done it!

On November 6, 2015 at exactly 12:39 p.m., two more crazy geezers (that’s us) hit the open road with not much more than our backpacks and rollie-bags. Other than a few boxes temporarily stored with a friend (Thank you!), everything we own now fits snugly in the back of our mid-size SUV.


Welcome back…

This blog has been dark the past few months for a couple of reasons. Some might call them excuses, but, whatever…

I started Just a Backpack with the intention of sharing my experiences and all the information I was gathering as hubs and I began our journey of downsizing and exploring some very cool and unusual options for a new lifestyle in retirement. One that involved living on MUCH less money yet still finding ways to travel, eat well, drink good wine, savor the magic in everyday moments and conjure up as many adventures as possible in whatever time we have left. Diligently I searched the internet and talked to those who were blazing the trail ahead of us. We began testing the water, one shaky toe at a time.

Much of this journey I shared here on the blog. I heard from folks all over the world who read my posts and were inspired to take action of their own. Many of these readers were now living the life I was planning and here I sat. Still planning. Still writing about planning. Not feeling like I was brave enough to take the leap of faith.

There were also family plans and responsibilities that I definitely wanted and needed to be available for. So I waited. For the Perfect Moment. There was always a good reason to wait. But, truth be told, good reasons are often just fear in a fancy dress.

So, to paraphrase an old saying “Them that do, get to doing it and them that don’t…keep on blogging about doing it”. Put up or shut up. So…I decided to shut up for a while.

Of course, anyone who knows me, knows that you cannot shut me up for too long.  So many fabulous things have happened while I was gone from the blogosphere that it feels like the perfect time to fire up the laptop again as we hit the road to see where this journey takes us.  I hope you will come along for the adventure.

A very casual “what if” conversation between hubs and I while riding the train from Seattle to Portland set so many wheels in motion it made my head spin. Watch out what you wish for! In 90 days we listed our house. Got it ready to sell. Had 8 offers, 3 escrows (and a partridge in a pear tree). Sold or gave away everything we owned. Took too many trips to the Goodwill to count. Filled 2 Am Vets trucks with donations. Launched one under the cover of darkness stealth car load drop-off in a friend’s apartment complex dumpster and hosted our first Sip, Savor & Sale goodbye party. They came, they sipped and they BOUGHT!  Whew!  Just writing that poops me out!

I’ve finally figured out how to set a new course without pulling the plug on my safety net until I am ready. It turns out I need that safety net firmly in place to take a leap of faith. I am okay with that. It also turns out that Mr. If it doesn’t fit in a backpack and rollie, we don’t need it.” had a very hard time letting go of his stuff. Stuff like old t-shirts from 1980, five fishing rods, hip wading boots, tools and stuff I’m sure I don’t even know about. Hub’s backpack and rollie is currently 2 rollies, two backpacks, a very large canvas duffle-bag and other various carry bags and boxes. Obviously, we both have work to do.


On the other hand, I managed to create an office-on-the-road with my two laptops, one plastic file box, a desk drawer in a small handle carry plastic box and a lightweight lapboard as my desk top. So far, it’s all working just fine.  It’s all about organization. Not generally my strong suit.  Another growth opportunity!

Hubs and I are house and pet sitting in the Pacific Northwest through the New Year and hope to head south to sunshine and warmer temps for January and February and then sometime in the spring (after the snow and before tornadoes) we’re going to head east across old Route 66 to check out the middle south.  Along the way, we will be looking for a comfortable place to set down new roots and a launching pad for future travels.

Stay tuned!


P.S.  If you know of anyone who is in need of excellent house sitting services please send them our way.  Our house sitting website is GlobalHouseSittingPros. We’re also listed with Trusted Housesitters, House Carers and HousesittersAmerica.




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17 thoughts on “Two More Geezers Hit the Open Road

  1. Nancy! You and Les are true inspirations to us all. I sit writing this under the glow of your two fabulous lamps I bought at your party. You can visit them any time. Thank you for keeping the blog alive…..and the lamps! Best of luck to both of you. Am spreading the word as we speak.

    • Thank you Eve! Let’s have a happy hour meet up when I get back to Portland next week. When are you heading south?

  2. Congrats, Nancy! And I think we all blog about planning. I’m actually planning on concluding Journey to Ithaca with a video of us sailing over the horizon. I’ve waffled on the song, but you’ve given me a new idea:

    • Bethany, I LOVE the song! I hope to read your blog post about sailing over the horizon. You are living the good life right now and I enjoy reading about your adventures in parenting the boat life.

  3. Nancy, as I said many times you are a great writer, I’m so happy for you guys! I knew you would do this when the time was right for you. I’m looking forward to following your adventures! Robbie

    • Thanks Cheryle. I am shooting for once a week. If you want to, please sign up on the blog and new updates will be delivered right to your in box. Your brother says hi! He is watching MASH on TV. Some things in live never change no matter where you are. 🙂

  4. You guys made the dream real with careful planning and a leap of faith. So incredibly proud of you, dear friend! Enjoy the adventure of this freedom and keep us all posted!

  5. I can relate to a lot of your experience having gone through a major downsizing last year. We however did not downsize to the level you did and still have a home base with probably too much stuff. Good luck at your adventure. I look forward to reading about it.

    • Hey Thanks Lea. I am so enjoying your photos of NYC. Who knew life was so full of adventure for the middle-agers (or late agers – us).

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