Financial Independence Travel Inspirations

It’s Victoria Day today (or as many Canadians call it, the May long weekend). The May long weekend typically is a sign that summer is around the corner and we will start getting lots of sunshine here in Vancouver. In case you’re wondering, Victoria Day is celebrated in Canada and Scotland and began as a celebration to honour Queen Victoria’s birthday. She is the 2nd longest reigning monarch in England as she was on the throne for 63 years and 216 days. Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on Sept 9, 2015. Who knows, maybe we will one day get an Elizabeth II statutory holiday? I’m all for more statutory holidays.

One of the goals, once we are financially independent, is to travel and explore the world. Both Mrs. T and I would love to say that we’ve been to all 7 continents one day. The last few years, my parents have been on a lot of cruises and exploring the world that way. They really like cruises because they can just get on the cruise ship, leave their luggage in the room, relax, and check out the different cities. They don’t need to worry about catching flights, finding hotel rooms, or finding places to eat. This past weekend they just returned from a 30-something-day cruise where they cruised from Singapore all the way back to Vancouver, stopping in places like Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Alaska. I guess that’s a benefit of being early retirees and the kids (me and my brother) are completely independent.

Wow my parents have been to a lot of countries. 56 and counting.

A post shared by Bob Lai (@tawcan) on

To me, exploring the world via cruises isn’t my type of travel. I like to explore and have the flexibility to do unplanned activities. I also like the idea to immerse myself in the local culture by staying in a city for an extended period of time. Mrs. T is like that as well.

Back in 2004 when I worked and lived in Germany for 8 months, I travelled all over Europe. I loved exploring a new city without using a map and I would walk around randomly. This sure provided some good adventures… like the time I got mugged in Barcelona by a bunch teenagers and I ended up running after them to get my wallet back (I caught up to one and got my wallet back). Therefore, I enjoy reading travel stories from the likes of Jereme and Winnie from Go Curry Cracker and Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution.

Mrs. T and I have travelled to many places separately but we haven’t been to as many places together, and certainly not together with Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0. So today’s post is an inspiration on places that I have been and would love to go back with Mrs. T and the kids in the future.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Taipei, Taiwan

Yokohama, Japan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Vatican City

Edinburgh

WWI cemetery, Belgium.

Neuschwanstein, Germany

London

London

Miyajima, Japan

Great Wall, China

Osaka, Japan

Barcelona (do I look super young here? This was taken in 2004, 14 years ago)

Maui

Venice

And of course, many more many more places I’d love to explore and see with my family.

Dear readers, which cities would you love to see & explore one day?

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Mindy
    May 21, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Top of my list are Turkey and Greece – hopefully I’ll be able to get to them next year 🙂 I feel very privileged to have travelled to 50 countries, but working full-time means squishing beautiful destinations into shorter trips, and not really doing them justice. I decided to quit and take three months to travel full time later in the year, so I really look forward to some slow travel!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Haven’t been to Turkey and Greece but many of my friends have. Would love to go to both and see the historical sights. I think I’m somewhere in the high 20’s range in terms of how many countries I have been. Would love to hit 50 countries one of these days.

  • Reply
    rn
    May 21, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Yes there should be more statutory holidays in Canada. I think only in Quebec, it’s called day of the patriots instead of victoria day. I think it is to commemorate those who sacrificed themselves bravely during the battle between the English and French on Abraham’s plain. (Pls correct me if i am wrong about the reason behind the different statutory name in Quebec)

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Right I think Quebec calls it “National Patriotes Day” (Journée nationale des patriotes). At least across Canada we all have a holiday on the same day. 🙂

  • Reply
    Norm
    May 21, 2018 at 7:47 am

    My list is too numerous to mention. Don’t get me started. Iceland has always been at the top of my list. I’d like to bike around the whole country one day, but I want to wait for the tourist influx to die down, and I’d also have to get in much better shape!

    I will say I just booked a trip to Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong for next year. We’ll be in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year!

    • Reply
      Aaron Posehn
      May 21, 2018 at 8:39 am

      Norm, if you think you’d be into biking, you might also consider biking around Taiwan at some point. It a very popular thing to do, and I believe the entire island is only 1000km. I biked from Hualien to Taitung in 2013 over a few days, which was only 200km. I also motorbiked around Taiwan’s Penghu Islands. It’s a very scenic country in general, especially the east coast.

      Just putting it out there for an idea. That said, I also have it on my bucket list to go to Iceland!

      • Reply
        Tawcan
        May 22, 2018 at 11:11 am

        One of my cousins did biking around Taiwan a while ago. I’ve been heard this is the “thing” to do in Taiwan. I would love to do this one day.

      • Reply
        Norm
        May 22, 2018 at 11:31 am

        That sounds fun, Aaron! And I’m sure the weather is more hospitable.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

      We would love to go to Iceland. We thought about stopping over on the way to Denmark one of these days. Have heard a lot of great things about Iceland. Having said that, we would love to spend at least a week there rather than just a quick stopover.

      Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are on our list too but they are a long way to fly to from Vancouver. Would need to stop somewhere first.

      Spending in HK for Chinese New Year will be a ton of fun! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Aaron Posehn
    May 21, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Happy Victoria Day as well from Vancouver!

  • Reply
    Joe
    May 21, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Great pictures! I’ve been to many of those places in your pictures. It’s great to visit, but I’d like to take more time to experience the place. Those short trips weren’t enough.

    I’d love to visit Argentina, Brazil, and other countries in South America. I also want to spend a lot more time in Asia. Whenever we go to Thailand, we’re busy with extended family. I need about a year in Thailand so we can take the time to explore various provinces and nearby countries.

    We’re going to Iceland with another family in about 3 weeks. It should be a great trip. We’re not big fan of cruises either. Mrs. RB40 gets motion sickness…

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Thanks Joe. I would love to visit Thailand one of these days. South America is on our list too. My brother went to South America recently and raved about South America. Having said that, travelling with kids might be a slightly different experience.

      Looking forward to your trip report for Iceland. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mr. Tako
    May 21, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Well, as you probably know the food in Japan is pretty amazing. The hot springs are pretty great too.

    For our next big trip, I’d like to hit up Thailand, Italy or Spain, and possibly Costa Rica. We already traveled quite a bit in our younger days, so the travel bug has worn off a little. With kids it’s also super expensive to travel internationally too.

    For the next couple of years we’ll probably just do summer road trips around the United States & Canada with them. That’s my current plan, but it could change at any time!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Yup, food in Japan is pretty amazing!

      We spent 2 weeks in Italy for our honeymoon and we’d love to go back there with kids. Spain is another place we’d love to visit together. Thailand and Costa Rica would be interesting too. Now with kids we really need to consider how long the flight is. Ideally breaking down the flight is a good idea, like stop over somewhere along the way.

      If you come up to Vancouver, certainly hit us up.

  • Reply
    freddy smidlap
    May 21, 2018 at 11:55 am

    we were just saying yesterday that we should go to the rhone river valley in france. we love the wines from there and some of them aren’t too expensive. mostly we like staying in the u.s. as we’ve gotten older. when we went to spain we enjoyed the villages much better than larger cities.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

      I haven’t been to Rhone river valley in France but have seen pictures from my parents. Look awesome. As much as we love to visit bigger cities, we like to spend more time in smaller cities.

  • Reply
    Greenbacks Magnet
    May 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Nice photos. I have heard that Japan is a nice place to travel to. I have been so focused on FIRE that at times I forget to stop and smell the roses. I am making more of an effort to take some time out and travel and explore. This post definitely inspired me to do that. I do plan to attend FINCON this year so that’s a start.
    Thanks,
    Miriam

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Thank you. Japan is an amazing place to visit. Having said that, I’d love to visit less travelled Japanese cities/towns.

      Probably won’t be coming to Fincon this year. Hopefully next year.

  • Reply
    FullTimeFinance
    May 21, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I dream of doing six months at a time living at one of these places like a local. Maybe rent an event or something in those countries where such a thing works.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:28 am

      That’s what we plan to do. Having done that before (living in Germany for 8 months), I think that’s the best way to travel, as you have a base rather than having to backpack all over different countries.

  • Reply
    Wealthy Content
    May 21, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Great list, Cinque Terre and Hong Kong is definately still on mine. The only real question is where is South Africa?
    It is even blurred in your parent’s photo. 😉

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Would love to do a safari adventure in South Africa and see all the different wild lives.

  • Reply
    FIRECracker
    May 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Happy Victoria day and thanks for the shout-out, Tawcan!

    I’m with you on the whole travelling on our own versus travelling via cruise. I get that it’s more convenient for older, retired folks and families, but I definitely enjoy the freedom and flexibility of wandering on our own more (plus there was that time we almost missed the boat–literally–when we took too long getting back from the Tower of Pisa in italy. Not fun.)

    Hope you get to visit all 7 continents and have lots of travelling adventures!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 23, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Anytime FireCracker! A bit jealous that you guys are living in Germany for an extended period of time and travelling all over Europe. 🙂

  • Reply
    Whymances
    May 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

    You’ve been to some nice places! I no longer keep a list of where I’d like to go. It’s too long. Rather I have a list of where I’ve been and where I’ll likely not go. Much shorter! Next trip is to Iceland this summer!

    My best traveling story is how my partner lost his ONE and ONLY pair of shoes while staying at an Air B&B on the day we had a flight back home first thing. Turns out the host had had a disagreement with his friend (they were drunk) and his friend took the wrong pair of shoes when he stormed out. Luckily said drunk friend had same shoe size as my partner, so he didn’t have to walk through train and airport with cardboard taped to his feet (I had no other solution at 5am other than bare feet). So he came home with a much better pair of shoes. Fun times!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Keeping a list of where you don’t want to go is definitely a shorter list.

      Wow that’s a crazy & funny story on how your partner lost his one and only pair of shoes. Good thing the host’s drunk friend had the same shoe size. It would suck to have to go through train station and airport with bare feet or something taped onto his feet. 🙂

  • Reply
    The Yolofied Monkey
    May 23, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Great! Very inspiring! Watching this post says it all! Inspiring really! Here also thinking about traveling more, leaving the golden cage that is. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 24, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you, The Yolofied Monkey. Glad to have inspired you with this post.

  • Reply
    Owen @ PlanEasy.ca
    May 24, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Our next travel adventure will be a bit closer to home. We’re going to take a road trip out east for 2 weeks. Not this summer but next summer. My wife and I drove across Newfoundland about 5 years ago and it was awesome. So many great people and beautiful places. Plus the food! I can’t wait to do it again.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Neat! Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Canadian province I have not been yet. Would love to go see this part of the country in the near future.

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