Many avid travelers fantasize about ditching all their possessions and hitting the road during retirement. Lynne and Tim Martin have actually done it.
Three years ago they sold their house in California, gave away any belongings that wouldn’t fit in a 10 foot by 15 foot storage locker and declared themselves “home free.” Her memoir, Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World, is one of two new books that cater to an apparently growing number of baby boomers who would like to spend their golden years as ex-pats.
For the Martins that has meant renting apartments or houses in various locations, mostly in Europe, for two or three months at a time and going native: stocking up in the spice bazaar of Istanbul, shopping for produce at the biweekly market in the 15th Arrondissement of Paris and exploring London from a suburban outpost. About 18 months into the journey, work became part of their routine, after Lynne Martin’s Wall Street Journal article describing themselves as “senior gypsies” led to a book contract. By then they had already lived in Mexico, Argentina, Florida, Turkey, France, Italy and England.
“We meet people who are realizing that they have a lot longer to live than anticipated,” she says. “They are thinking, ‘maybe I can do something more exciting than live at 234 Poplar Street’” (or wherever).