The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:15 pm 
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I'm a big animal person, always have been and it really doesn't matter what kind of animal; dog, cat, snake, mouse, guinea pig, goat, cockatoo. Only things I'm not a fan of are flies and mosquitos... but if you grew up in Australia you would 100% get it. I've always liked animals better than people and a lot of people think I have a deeper connection with animals than most. We always had pets when I was a kid so it's not like I'm unaccustomed to the inevitable. I had one cat that I'd had my entire life and when I was about 10 she was bitten badly by the neighbour's dog and I held her in my arms for over an hour as she passed away; the memory (and pain) has never left me.

I spent most of my teens and twenties traveling so never had my own pet that I was solely responsible for (without parental intervention). When I met Mr. Benjis he had a 2 year old dog named Molson, who I fell in love with before I fell in love with him! :lol: He was an incredible soul, just the sweetest 80lb lapdog you ever did see. He had an amazing life with us going camping and adventuring and buying our house with a big lot for him to run around on. After Thanksgiving of 2018, we got back from our annual camping trip and all of a sudden Molson started panting and collapsed on the ground. My husband grabbed him up, I ripped the keys off the wall, and we raced to the emergency vet who was over 35 minutes from us. I saw in the rearview mirror Mr. Benjis pumping his chest and just begging him to breathe... I remember asking him over and over to please just stay with us. Alas, 2 minutes before we got to the vet we lost our boy. It was hard, but we also knew he had a long and amazing life, so we were just so thankful to have the years we had with him. We even rescued a kitty in Nov 2015 and Molson helped raise him; we call him our KitBull (Mol was a pitty) because even though he was the size of your hand, the little kitty thought he was a big bad pup and would pounce and play fight with Molson all the time.

We had always considered getting another puppy while we had Mol because he would have been the greatest teacher dog, so patient and gentle. After we lost him, it took a while, but in January of 2019 Mr. Benjis had found a lady in the neighbourhood that had an accidental litter of pups; her red-nosed pitty female and mastiff male. I don't deal with loss well, so at that point, I really didn't feel great about taking on a new puppy but was also feeling the hole in our lives and could see how badly my husband needed something. We thought we knew the puppy we wanted from the pics provided, he looked a lot like Molson! We went to meet the lady and the pups when they were two weeks old. As I was sitting in their pen, there was this little yellow puppy just laying upside down, completely passed out asleep, regardless of the other 11 puppies writhing and wriggling on top of him, paws in his face and all! I just about died of laughter and knew that that puppy was my spirit animal. When he finally woke up I got a little snuggle and some pets in and my whole heart was whisked away. I went in not being sure if I was ready and left knowing that the little puppy was supposed to be ours. So in Feb of 2019, when he was 8 weeks old, we took our little puppy home. Bo. He was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen, and I mean EVER! THE most stunning green/blue eyes, a golden/white coat and just the biggest paws and floppiest ears. I was absolutely smitten. It was obviously hard work with a brand new puppy; me never having actually had my very own pet right from the start, and my husband not having had a puppy for 10 years. It was rough but worth it; we put him in puppy training, took him on adventures with us, and one of our best buddies even ended up getting his brother so he had a play friend right from day one!

He was the epitome of a strong and healthy dog, already 70lbs at 8 months old! We had a family vacation planned for Sep 2019, and there's this amazing farm near us that boards animals, so we took Bo for an introductory look around and he loved it! We signed him up, the big day came, and the morning he had to be dropped off Mr. Benjis asked me if I wanted to come, but I told him it was all good, I was super busy packing up for our trip and Bo wouldn't even notice if I was there or not. We went on our vacation (on the other side of the country) and on the second day we got a call from the woman who owned the boarding farm, saying that it looked like Bo was limping. We have always had full pet insurance for all our animals (Molson blew his CCL and needed a $6k surgery that we only ended up paying about $600 for thanks to insurance) so we asked her to take him to our vet to get checked out. From there everything seemed to go downhill very rapidly. The next call we got was that when he was at the vet being monitored, he suddenly stopped breathing on his own and was put on a ventilator. His medical stats weren't very good and they started running tests right away. Every few hours we would get an update of what the vets had done, what had been ruled out, and what their new plan was. By our 4th day of vacation, we had a scheduled call with our vet after an attempt to bring him off the ventilator, where he did ok for a few minutes breathing on his own, then he stopped again and he actually passed away for a few minutes before they were able to bring him back to us. It was at that point we knew we had to go home. It had already been so hard to continue on with our vacation with what we knew, but after that final vet call, we were essentially told to come home and say goodbye. We drove a 4 hour route in 2.5 hours with family in the car, got to the airport and managed to just make the earliest flight out of there (they closed the gate behind us), then we sat on the plane for the most horrible 8 hours of my life on our way back home. Again, I just remember staring out the window and whispering to myself over and over again, "please stay Bo, please stay with us".

We made it home after midnight and went straight from the airport to the emergency hospital he was in. I remember when we lost Mol at the vet, they had asked us if we wanted to go back and say our final goodbyes and a part of me was honestly so terrified because I have a partial eidetic memory and I knew that I would never be able to unsee our boy lying on that table for the rest of my life (I was right, I still see my cat from when I was 10 years old like she's right in front of me). Walking into the room to see Bo hooked up to a ventilator with drips and tubes coming out of him was one of the hardest things I'd ever had to see. He wasn't even 10 months old yet. He was sedated with a cover over his eyes when we walked in but as the vet started talking with us his ears perked up and he kept twitching his head in the direction of our voices; he knew we were there and he knew he wasn't alone. We spent a good hour with him just telling him how much we loved him and how lucky we were to get to be his parents for his time on this earth. We held his paw as they gave him his injection and we said goodbye to our sweet little boy forever. The entire care unit was in tears with us, they knew what a special dog he was. They told us that he had an incredibly severe case of bacterial meningitis and that we would probably never know how he got it. Because he was so young, he just couldn't fight it off. It's a very different thing to lose an older animal who you know lived a good life, to suddenly having your seemingly healthy, young puppy get ripped from you so suddenly. It's been almost a year and sometimes out of nowhere I'll burst into tears over him. He is still the screen saved on my phone and Apple watch and I can't bring myself to change it. I am absolutely not ok still, even after all this time. I can't stand to be asked by people when we'll get another dog. When we first got Bo, the hardest part for me was the overwhelming guilt I felt trying to love someone that wasn't Molson and that took a few months to get past. And one of the things that always sticks in my mind is that I didn't go with him that day to drop him off.

I'm in that same pickle I was in between losing Mol and getting Bo. I feel that hole in our home and our hearts, going camping without a dog is just straight-up weird to us. But I'm also nowhere near close to being 'ok' again or ready for a new dog and I know when we eventually do get to that place I'm going to go through all those same feelings of guilt and betrayal all over again. I'm thankful for my cat (even though he's the world's biggest dick with severe schizophrenia) who I actually almost lost literally one month after Bo! Mr. Benjis was away on a long-planned camping trip with his brother, our cat Tom started meowing weirdly one afternoon. He really hates people, aforementioned schizophrenia, and I had someone in the house to tune my piano so I figured he was just angry about that. The piano guy left and the meowing increased in frequency and volume and after what we'd just gone through with Bo, I freaked the FUCK out, especially without my husband around. I packed Tom into my truck and raced across town to the same emergency vet, the whole time the poor guy was making these horrible, guttural meows. Turns out I got him there just in time. He had gotten bladder stones and it was so bad it had blocked his urethra so he literally couldn't pee and his bladder was incredibly enlarged. If I had been more than 20 minutes longer, I may have also lost him. Thankfully after fluids, medication, and eventual surgery, I got my cat back home safe and healthy. Needless to say, it was a traumatizing 72 hours.

It's obviously something we know going into and what I truly believe is one of the most unfair things in life, is that their lives are so short compared to ours. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with their loss though. I would happily give up 10 of my human lives just to give my Bo back one full life of his own. I know the our future pup is going to help me heal in a lot of ways too, just like Bo did for me with Molson but I need to get to that point of being able to accept the love and I'm just not there yet. My animals past, present, and future are the greatest joys of my life and I would truly rather love and lose than never love at all but my gosh life likes to throw some curveballs at us. I believe that everything happens for a reason and in the time that it should, so I know that when we're ready and it's our time we'll find another pup. We had a situation pop up a few months ago that one of Bo's sisters actually got pregnant and because of what happens to us, the lady offered us first dibs at the puppies if we wanted. It seemed like a bit of kismet... but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger, not yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:46 am 
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Wow, sorry to hear all that you and your pets have gone through. We can certainly commiserate, as I think just about any pet owner can. People always say to me, "They're just like family," and I always respond, "No, they are family!"

Your post is timely, as our neighbor just lost their 8yo dog suddenly. No visible issues, got a little off eating, after a few days, they took her into the vet, next thing you know, they're getting the call that she's full of cancer. She never woke up from the exploratory surgery. Part of what made it so hard was that she never showed any real symptoms beyond getting finicky with her food. She was playing with our dog the morning they took her in.

That dog was as important to them as any kid, so they're devastated. The following day, I got up my usual early time, to putter around, water the flowers, enjoy some peace and quiet before the day started, and I looked over, and 6AM, he was just sitting on the porch, crying. 60-something year-old man, in over 10 years, I'd never seen him sit on his porch, I'd certainly never seen him up at 6AM, and there he was. Broke my heart.

I won't go into details, but our previous dog, we lost suddenly as well, on the day we closed on our house. Happy moment, until we got back to where we were staying, and our dog was gone. Also 8yo.

We were not ready for another dog at that time, but we knew we wanted an English Setter when we were ready, so we signed up with ES Rescue, talked to them, and with our very specific wants (female, tri-color, 1-2yo, field setter), he told us to expect to wait 2-3 years for a dog to become available.

We got the call maybe three days later that a dog matching our wants perfectly had just wandered into border collie foster home, and that the woman who ran it had to leave town on an emergency, and if we were willing to take the dog as-is, she was ours for free (instead of the usual $150 adoption fee), which meant no spaying, no checkup, etc. She was four hours away.

Well, we decided to take her. I'm not a believer in kismet or fate or any of that, but the weirdest thing was, on top of all that, was we were kicking around what sounded like good Welsh and English names, being that she is a Welsh strain of an English dog breed, so we were thinking Gwen or Vickie or Maggie, etc. Finally, we landed on Kate, but we weren't committed.

We arrived and the woman (who was literally on her way to the airport) gave us the 60-second briefing, we loaded her in the car, and the last thing she said was, "Oh, I don't know if you decided on a name, but I've been calling her Kate. She seems to like that." Kate it was.

Kate's now almost 18, more or less, has been to the emergency vet's three times, and though she sleeps a lot more, she's still her rollicking self when she's awake. It's going to be extremely hard when she passes, and the "she's had a good life" condolences won't mean much. She's been with us over half of our 30-year marriage. It won't be easy.

She will be the last dog we have, at least for the next decade or so, and possibly forever. I'm unusual in that I'm against older folks getting animals that they won't outlive, and making no allowances for what to do with the pet once they themselves die or go into care, and by the time we do think we're ready to settle down with another animal, we'll likely be in our 70's.

Keep us posted on what you do decide for yourselves, please!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:47 am 
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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story! It was actually someone losing their young kitten suddenly this week that brought this all fresh to my mind, pain and all. They really are family, I feel especially so when you choose not to start a 'traditional' family; just because you don't want to pour your love into a human child, doesn't mean you don't have that same amount of love to share.

I am so very sorry for your neighbor's loss, it's such a hard thing to deal with after spending so much time as a family unit and it leaves such a massive hole in your life. I know when we lost our puppy, my husband and I spent the entire weekend in bed just crying. In my 30 years, I honestly can't think of a time I felt more pain, aside from losing my childhood cat when I was a kid. I'm not a very emotional person, but if it has anything to do with pets being in pain or mistreated or anything, I lose it, even those bloody Sarah McLaughlan ads on TV I have to change the channel or I turn into an embarrassing, blubbering mess. Animals are the key to melting my icy heart lol.

The story with your Kate does sound like it was meant to be and 18 years is an absolute blessing, but I can 100% understand your reasoning that when it is her time, she may be your last baby. I agree with you completely as well, one of the things that breaks my heart the most is thinking that a pet might outlive their owner and what then happens to that pet afterward? I'm sure we've all read a story about an animal that stays by the side of their owner for days to weeks after their passing, shows up repetitively at their grave, or one that gets loose and ends up wandering aimlessly as they no longer have a source of food, etc. I feel we should always have a plan for our pets, even at our age and when we do eventually get another pup, I take comfort in knowing that if anything were to ever happen to us, my MIL is a complete dog worshipper and she would take our pets in and give them the best life she could.

Ever since I was a little girl I always said if I ever won the lotto or inherited a big sum of money, I would buy hundreds of acres of farmland and create a pet sanctuary where I could take in as many displaced pets of all shapes and sizes, from all over the world, as possible. If I didn't have such strong attachment issues with animals, I would love to foster pets, but I just know that I wouldn't be able to let them go, and then all of a sudden we're going to have a dozen pets up in our small home lol. I am literally the meme where the husband says we have no more room for pets and I circle all the spaces we could fit them :lol:

We have been trying to take a vacation to Iceland for the last couple of years, but after what happened with our pup while we were on vacation last year, I don't know that I'll ever be able to take a vacation while we have a pet ever again; just thinking about it gives me severe anxiety and I guess it's not too far out of field to assume I am a little scarred/ traumatized by that experience. We were supposed to take that trip last month, but obviously had to postpone with the state of the world, and we said that once Iceland was out of the way we may consider getting a new pet knowing we won't travel so much after that. Now looking at having to reschedule for June 2021, I don't know that getting a new fur baby will be on the table prior. Iceland is a bucket list item that has been on my list since my late teens so I will get there or die trying, but I know if we go while we have a pet at home it's going to seriously detract from my experience because my mind will not be there, and I don't want to do that considering how long I've dreamed of going, on top of how bloody expensive it is! My heart kind of hurts at the prospect of not getting a new pup for that long, but I also know what's best, for me at least. But again, I do believe everything happens for a reason, so I never count any possibility out of contention and if something crazy were to happen like we came upon an abandoned or injured animal, I know my heart would go before my head and I would have that animal in my care before you could blink.

I know there will be another fluffy bub that will come into our lives eventually, it'll just be waiting for the right time and circumstances. Even after all the heartache and pain, I would go through every minute of it all over again just to have the time I had with my babies, no matter how brief. I am such a better person for having them in my life and I will always, always carry a little piece of them in my heart. And I think that's the greatest gift of all is that they teach you just how big your heart really is.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:05 pm 
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I lost one of my childhood horses to old age a few years ago. He obviously lived outside, and did his own thing most of the time, but it still hurts. Sid was family, as much as any cat or dog.

I get attached to chipmunks and squirrels that live in the yard, so losing any animal is tough for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:49 am 
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@CFinNY - with Kate being the age she is, she no longer diligently patrols our two acres like she used to. That means I can look out across the back yard and see any number of squirrels and rabbits having a grand ol' time.

I have to admit, it's a lot of fun. We sat on the deck one night last week and watched two bunnies, probably siblings, playing and tumbling, hiding from each other, just like two pups or two kittens. Maybe those will be my new pets. :)

@benji - as Kate has gotten older, we've had an agreement with both our kennel and our vet. They're in communication with each other, and we instructed the vet that if anything happened with Kate, don't even call us (we'd be overseas and hard to get anyway), just get her to the vet.

The vet had signed paperwork from us, releasing them to use their best judgment for her care, including euthanasia if they felt it necessary, had instructions for the disposition of the remains (cremation), and all that.

That was designed to give us peace of mind, but it never worked, because when we'd get back, I'd call the kennel first thing, and I always expected to hear, "She died while you were gone."

With her age, I'm hoping she passes before things open up again, but except for slowing down considerably, she still seems rock-solid. We're used to taking two trips a year, and it's been since Spring 2019 since our last trip (had to cancel this year's trip), so we're really getting the itch.

That's why we're not getting another one after Kate, at least not for a long time. We're close to retiring, and our plans are to travel, travel, maybe some travel, and after all that, a little travel. Hard to do with an animal. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:45 am 
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My childhood dog, Spaetzle, died when I was away at school. It was my senior year before heading to college, and he died just before I came home for winter break. I was so upset. Spaetzle was my best friend. As he got older, I knew that every time I was home from school it could be the last time I'd see him, but knowing that didn't prepare me for coming home to find him gone. I think I cried every day I was home for break.

About 12 or so years ago my husband's family dog, a 19 or 20 year old mixed-breed, died. My husband doesn't look like a guy who would be crying over anything, but he would sit outside, like he was watching the birds and squirrels, and I could tell he was crying. Pets are family, and losing them hurts regardless of what anyone says to the contrary.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:44 am 
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@CFinNY I absolutely agree that species makes no difference! Before we lost our older dog, we lost our 10 year old snake. 99% of people thought I was crazy for crying for about a week over him, but he was a part of our family. I've had guinea pigs that I have been just as attached to as any other cat or dog I've had. And if I had my way, we'd have chickens, bunnies, goats, and pigs on our property too; pretty much if it isn't human, I have a lot of love for them! :lol: Since we have no patrolling pups anymore, the wildlife has started to take over our property as well. We have a pair of bunnies (I think they're mates) and we watch them dash around the back of our property and munch on the grass beside our house. A bunch of different birds like to nest around the yard each year as well, plus we recently discovered moles! They're obviously a pain in the ass but I also kinda want one lol! I'd never seen a mole in real life until last month when we discovered a dead one on our driveway (we had a metric shit ton of rain here the last couple of months and we think their homes may have been flooded/ contaminated as hubby found 2 dead moles (no signs of wounds or attack, which is common in our neighbourhood with coyotes, etc) in the same week).

My hubby is the same way (big, burly bearded man too), not super emotional and in our 8+ years I can count the times I've seen him cry on one hand. He got our older pup when he was 8 weeks old, so that was hard to watch when we lost him at almost 10 years old, but the puppy situation just hit on a whole new level. Even today I'll watch him emotionally detach as soon as Bo is bought up in conversation, I think it's still too painful for him to really process properly and it doesn't help that we'll never really have closure or know what caused it. It took well over a month before I could even say his name out loud without tearing up.

@CarryOn that's such a good plan to have! I think we were naive at the time thinking we would never in a million years have to think about having a plan like that in place for a 9 month old puppy. But even if we did, I feel we'd be in your same shoes; the moment you'd come home from vacation you'd kind of be expecting the worst. It was something that even crossed my mind at one point, but you try and tell yourself something like that would never happen. And that's definitely what I'm struggling with now, I just can't even fathom the idea of traveling with a pet at home, but that travel bug is never going to go away for me. Our last international vacation was Feb of 2018 to the Dominican, then our last actual vacation was that East Coast trip Sep of last year, and having had to cancel Iceland for June this year, I am freakin' itching to get out! I keep trying to tell my husband that we should just reschedule and go to Iceland end of this year instead since Canada is doing so well and Iceland got such minimal COVID exposure anyway, but the problem is that here in Canada it is required that you self isolate once you return from any overseas vacation, and neither of us could afford to take the week for the vacation itself off plus 2 weeks after to self-isolate. If you don't have the travel bug it's so hard to explain to people that it feels like your soul is being pulled out from the inside! Travel, especially to new and exciting places I haven't been before, is my happy place and my zen and what keeps me going in this life. Without it I feel like a shell of a person lol! I always tell my husband too, if we ever win the lotto or come into a good sum of money, we'll probably be traveling for at least 6 months straight. Definitely hard to have a fur baby when that time comes!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:09 am 
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If you don't have the travel bug it's so hard to explain to people that it feels like your soul is being pulled out from the inside! Travel, especially to new and exciting places I haven't been before, is my happy place and my zen and what keeps me going in this life. Without it I feel like a shell of a person lol! I always tell my husband too, if we ever win the lotto or come into a good sum of money, we'll probably be traveling for at least 6 months straight.
Yep, we were talking about this the other day.

On this site, we're all big on the idea that you give your own life meaning, you don't just assume that The Meaning Of Life is Born, School, Married, Work, Kids, Retire, Get Fat, Die. If rescuing animals is your meaning, then that's valid, and if eating ice cream and watching TV is your meaning, then that's valid, too.

Well, our meaning as a couple is traveling. Especially my wife. It's her career as well as her passion. Right now, it's not just that everything feels on hold or stuck in time in a day-to-day fashion, it's the fact that we can't travel that really has us feeling...unsettled, but in a really surreal way, like the planet has broken out of its orbit and is just drifting aimlessly through space, if that makes any sense. Except for the weekly grocery shop, every day is almost exactly the same.

With two trips a year, usually, we were always either coming or going, and that was really where our focus was, getting ready for the next trip, and now we don't have that, it's like we have nothing to do except water the flowers and cook supper.

Our retirement plan, not far off, is to go somewhere like Scotland or Germany or Portugal, and rent a place for a month to three months, then do something like a cruise or a train trip, then back to the US for a few months, then back at another long trip, like to Alaska for a month, that kind of thing. Not very animal-friendly, so no animals until we're too old to do that.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:42 am 
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Quote:
Quote:


On this site, we're all big on the idea that you give your own life meaning, you don't just assume that The Meaning Of Life is Born, School, Married, Work, Kids, Retire, Get Fat, Die. If rescuing animals is your meaning, then that's valid, and if eating ice cream and watching TV is your meaning, then that's valid, too.
Ok, I've literally never related to anything more because I'm probably a little column A and a little column B. Maybe I'll be the person validating my life by rescuing animals WHILE eating ice cream :lol: And I also absolutely understand the whole 'every day feels the same' and without a travel plan in place, it feels really bizarre not to be planning for an upcoming trip. I'm a huge type A person when it comes to work and organization, so I love to plan and tend to be balls deep 6 months out from a vacation lol. But I LOVE it! I feel like it truly makes the vacation experience last longer.

And I'm not going to lie, I'm very envious of your retirement plan, that sounds bloody amazing (I found out I have Scottish heritage a while back and it's somewhere I've dreamed of going since I was in my early teens)! And Mr Benjis and I have talked about taking our trailer for an epic road trip up to Alaska and back during a summer one day too. When I was much younger I always thought my career path was going to be some kind of government interpreter, as I've always loved languages (I have 5 under my belt now) and cultures, and always wanted to find a career that could support that soul-wrenching need to travel. Of course, life happened and it didn't quite work out that way. We only get 2 weeks a year vacation right now with both our jobs but are hoping within the next couple of years of loyalty, we'll be able to bump that up to 3 weeks per year.

We were just talking about our retirement plan last week and we actually just completely rejigged it! We were always planning to knock our house down and start over; it was built in the 50s, it's smaller than our needs and it's just... not my taste? Not to mention it's literally been my dream since I was 6 years old to be able to build my own house. We always lived in rentals growing up so I never so much as got to paint my bedroom or even affix things to the walls, so the first thing I did when we bought our house 4 years ago was repaint everything by myself. So the original plan was to knock it down and rebuild in about 4-5 years, during which time we would live in our trailer for the build, then once the house was done we would sell our current trailer and get something smaller (as the only reason we have a 27ft is because we knew we would be living in it at some point but it's just a touch too big for the offroad, backwoods camping we like to do). Then hopefully 20 years down the road, the new mortgage would be paid off, we would sell everything here and move up north.

I've always told Mr Benjis, the only thing I need in my retirement is to be by the water; either waterfront or a magnificent water view. As an Aussie who spent the first 21 years of her life on an island continent, water will always be in my soul. So the new plan we are working towards, is in about 5 years when we refinance our house, we'll look at buying a piece of waterfront land up north with the equity. Up there you can get a couple of acres for around $50,000 - $75,000, depending on the region, so we'd just need around 20-30% of that as a down payment. We can use the land immediately as we'll be able to have a private camping spot to go to that we no longer have to worry about if there will be too many people there, if we'll be disturbing anyone if we pull in at 2am, etc. Rather than totally knocking our house down and starting fresh, we're going to knock it down to the studs, square out our L shaped foundation, and just restructure everything. This way we can still make more space, pretty much start fresh, have the layout meet our needs but all for less cost, less dicking around with permits, and less time. We'll live in the trailer while this happens, but doing it this way means we're looking at about 6 months max as opposed to 8-12, whether permitting. Once the house is rebuilt, sell the trailer for the smaller one that we will then go camping on our waterfront lot whenever we please. In 20 years the current house mortgage would be paid off, we can sell everything here, and then we'll have also paid off our land up north and can just move everything up there and build ourselves our tiny old people home with a decent amount of bank to keep us going.

One of the things I like best about not having kids is that we don't have to put everything on hold or wait 18 years to do what we want. So while all of this is going on, we'll still get to travel and explore, etc. By the time we're retiring and moving up north, most of our friends and family will have just gotten their kids out of the house and will be starting where we are today. While they finally get to start traveling and living their lives, we'll be settling down and, fingers crossed, retiring by 50-55ish. That doesn't even take into account that those guys will probably be no closer to a retirement plan than they are now... you know, the one where their kids take care of them apparently. We already have envious family members in their 50-60s who have dreamed of having a trailer like ours and their retirement plan is to sell their house, give a bunch of money to their kids for downpayments, buy a trailer, and then finally travel. We get to do all of that without having to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to kids who can't save their own down payment because they had their own kids, but we're young enough to enjoy it to the max.

I do see us getting another fur baby eventually, but I just don't think it will happen until we can finally get to Iceland. I also travel independently, and with a close group of girlfriends, so a few places like Europe that I intend to go, Mr Benjis may not, which means someone would be able to care for the fur babes without me having an actual meltdown lol. I know a lot of people say 'it's just a dog' or 'they're just pets', but that not that case for most of us, and if I have a pet it's my goal in life to provide the best possible life I can to that animal. Out of all the current strangeness in the world, the most foreign thing to us right now is not having a pupper around the house, but we have to let calmer heads prevail!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:03 am 
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I'm a huge type A person when it comes to work and organization, so I love to plan and tend to be balls deep 6 months out from a vacation lol.
That's how we are, but in different ways. MrsCO is very, very detail-oriented, right down to knowing where the plugs are in our hotel room six months before we get there, and she likes a detailed by-the-minute plan for each day. That's what makes her a great travel agent for her clients.

I like the days to have a more general feel, but I want the logistics planned to death. For example, I know what I'm packing for a trip six months ahead of time, and I keep it on a spreadsheet, broken down by day, so when it comes time to pack, there's no, "Should I bring this?" and no, "What am I going to wear today?" nonsense.
Quote:
We were always planning to knock our house down and start over; it was built in the 50s, it's smaller than our needs and it's just... not my taste?
MrsCO doesn't give a toss about the house, or what's in it. She sees any expenditure in terms of vacation money. It's why our furniture is over 20 years old and are carpet is 16 years old and her car is 14 years old. As soon as I say, "You know, the couch is really starting to look ratty, and it's hurting my back," she shoots back with, "We're not getting a new couch. A couch is two tickets to London. No new couch!" :lol:

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