Hello fellow early retirement enthusiasts and budget travelers! We are Ellie and Tedly – vagabonds in early retirement. We wanted to share our experience with other people because it’s a little unusual.

Vagabond: (n) A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job. (adj) Having no settled home.

Enjoying ceviche in Mahahual, Mexico.

We do not have a home base. Instead of retiring to a location or traveling for part of the year and then returning ‘home’, we wander. We are slow travelers. We explore different areas in a region or a country for some weeks or a few months. Then we move on to the next region or country.

We are not home sitters (although it’s a future possibility, for the right situation). We are not digital nomads (although keeping up this blog takes some time). We’re simply vagabonds.

Early retirement was an intentional decision to quit our careers before the traditional retirement age. I quit my career at 43 years old. Tedly retired at 52.

How the heck did we do that?! Here is the short version.

Financial independence came from frugal choices and specific lifestyle decisions that allowed for more savings.

Out for an evening stroll on Lake Chapala, Mexico

Tedly started saving decades ago. He owned a low-cost home in a low-cost city and bought a new car once in his life. I got a late start, but was able to save a tidy sum through methods commonly used by people with early retirement dreams. I paid off my student loans, lived below my means, bought a new car only once and drove it until it died. Neither of us wanted children.

Eventually, we hit a magic number with combined assets and decided we could quit rat race. In a former life, we both worked in the news business. Tedly was a multi-media journalist and I was a former news producer.

I started before Tedly, and lived alone in Tulum, Mexico, for several months right after our marriage. Why would I marry Tedly and then leave? Two reasons: to test the waters and to provide incentive to make Tedly take the giant leap! Retirement – and living off savings – can be a scary thing. But we haven’t looked back and we love this lifestyle.

That’s the long story short. In the years leading up to now, there were many hurdles we each had to overcome, puzzles we had to solve. Yet, we made it – we’re here! Well… I should say, we are here until we go wandering off to somewhere else…

On a temple at the Maya ruins in Tikal, Guatemala, early 2016.

We hope tales of our budget travel in early retirement may help or inspire others like us, whether retired yet or not.

If you have any questions about any of the places we’ve visited, please reach out. And maybe one day we will see you out here in the world!

Places we have visited so far.










  1. Ellie. I answered your question about finding protein powder in Mazatlan and the health food store at Plaza Zaragoza. Anyway, I sent you a Facebook message, but you may not have gotten it. I am a lifetime “vagabundo” backpacking around the world since I graduated college in 1971. I am arriving at my condo in Maz on November 3rd for the winter. If you guys are still around, I would be happy to show you the best non-tourist places and secret beaches. Cheers, Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guys – Nice job! My hat is off to you! I can relate – at 48, I too gave up the yolk of the “real world” 24-7 rat race a year and 1/2 ago and moved overseas. You are spot on! :))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your blog. Inspirational! My wife and I have been full time for the past couple of years as a travel nurse and now plan on doing as you do. Travel slow and easy, enjoy the sights and local flavor. We plan to go to Mexico as well as tour the US. Hope to see you on the road, how cool would that be 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, wow, wow! I have stumbled upon a gem of a blog! I can’t even begin to tell you how I wish I had had your guts at your young age (or seemingly young, compared to us!) Congratulations on following your heart and your spirit! As Jeremy and I trek along our Encore Voyage, we are learning precisely the things you seem to have already discovered! We find ourselves thinking, “If only we had known then what we know now.” I have enjoyed catching up to you and will follow along eagerly!

    Liked by 1 person

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