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Could you retire at 38? After I read this blog post, I grabbed my Magic 8 Ball.¬† And the answer is, Reply hazy, try again. ūüė¶ But, Yes, in my imaginary world. Sadly, that world hasn’t become a reality. The Powerball isn’t rolling my way, my bank account hasn’t afforded me a private island yet and I sit in a cube five days a week. I’m knee/hip/chest?-deep in a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills and two felines. It’s sooooo American of me, right?

But, then I hear a story like Billy and Akaisha’s. Or Amy Vanderhoof’s. Or Shayne and Shannon McIntyre’s. I admit, Jealous Jackie comes out. But, Inspired Irene triumphs. I ‘m amazed, hopeful. I mean, for real, Shayne and Shannon travel the world with a bag of surfboards and two kids.

Although it doesn’t look like I’ll be retiring at 38, the dream is alive and kicking me in the ass. If it were just the thought that counted ‚Äď and not the money ‚Äď then it’d be possible. Because I think about it everyday. Am I the only 30-year-old (whoa, I just typed 30!) that does research on island life, sailing, raising my 2 cats and a kid (maybe on that kid part; haven’t really figured that life aspect out yet) sans Facebook, iPhone and a 24/7 media barrage? I can’t wait to get out of debt, but it’s not in hopes of buying a Range Rover or upgrading to a platinum wedding ring. (Don’t get me wrong, I would looooove a platinum upgrade!) Instead, I’m opting for a way to retire … get out of the rat race … stop climbing stuff … I mean, what’s not to love about wanting a life that includes making margaritas at 2pm (WARNING: This activity can be dangerous!) and playing eye-spy the clouds at the beach. It’s all I’m asking for … is that too much? Come on, who’s coming with me!!??

Maybe there are more people my age that can imagine life without social media and smart phones? Maybe there aren’t. Maybe I’m loco. Maybe I love rice and beans, the smell of coconuts and the sight of a solid tan line against clear blue waters too much. Now, if I could just learn to like seafood …

Until then, though, I’m content with my debt and semi-private, 30-year financed CBS island with a hammock and a hottie ūüôā

In an effort to unclog some of my blogger’s block, I’ve been thinking of a million and one things to post.¬† Should I post about that weird fruit I saw at the market?¬† Or, the pad thai I devoured at Thai Jo?¬† Maybe I’ll write about that article I read about 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals¬†(legally) released into our country’s waters?¬† (About the latter, it’s no joke.¬† Read about it here.)¬† Anywho, no matter what the topic, I seem to get about three sentences deep and then, POOF! my train of thought is derailed.¬† I’m like a stray dog looking for food, but instead of searching through garbage cans, I’m searching through…everything! looking for inspiration.¬†¬†¬†¬†

But, I¬†think I know why.¬† If Oprah were here, I’d tell her it’s an “Aha moment” or some other overused phrase she touts and billions pick up on.¬† In any event, I’ve realized that I’m lacking focus.¬†¬†In Australia, I had blog focus.¬†¬†Road trip across the USA, I still had blog focus.¬† Unemployed and now employed, I seem to have lost my blog way.¬† A bit.¬† Maybe it’s good.¬† Maybe I needed to get lost only to find my way back.¬†¬†I certainly can’t break up with my blog, can I?¬† We’ve been together for two years now…what kind of¬†Dear John letter would that sound like?¬† I mean, I like writing.¬† I want to write.¬† I¬†like thinking¬†up¬†catchy post titles (like this) and blabbing about something I found totally absurd (this) or funny (this) and not having to worry that you don’t really care – because I can’t see you reading this, or how quickly you click off of this page/post.¬†

So¬†my not-so-steady platform¬†from which I shout (er..type) my two cents¬†will become a¬†little sturdier.¬† I hope, anyway.¬†¬†As a semi-new¬†resident of downtown¬†West Palm Beach (going on five months now I think),¬†I’ll try to focus on my experiences here.¬† The people.¬† The attitude.¬† The eats.¬† The beach.¬† The fun.¬† The not-so-fun.¬†¬†The strange.¬† The funny.¬† The¬†disheartening.¬† Of course, all of this will still be wrapped up in my usual sense of humor, accented with my paltry¬†attempts at photography and sprinkled with a touch of sarcasm and odes to great music.¬†

Do you dig, baby?¬† For blogger’s sake I hope so ūüôā

Ring,¬†ring JP’s mobile went the other day. ¬†And, lo and behold, it was Australia! ¬†(Not the entire continent, but some bloke or other.) ¬†Why was Australia calling, you ask; we wondered the same thing. ¬†Did they want us Yanks back? ¬†No. ¬†But, apparently, they want to give us some money back! ¬†We have to thank Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, for coming through on his¬†economic stimulus plan.¬†¬†His stimulus package is “amounting to about 1.8% of its [Australia’s] GDP.” ¬†So, for those who filed taxes in 2008 and made less than $100,000AUD, you¬†get part of $42 billion dollars…sweet! ¬†

Yet another reason Australia makes us smile. ¬†We’re not even in the country and we’re getting benefits! ¬†I would, of course, love to take the money to support the Aussies. ¬†Perhaps I can buy some Tim Tams? ¬†Anyone? ¬†Tim Tams? ¬†I’ll trade ya’…..

I’m a blogger. ¬†You’re a blogger. ¬†We’re all bloggers. ¬†Or, at least, a blog reader. ¬†It’s not always fun or easy to keep writing and posting things that you only hope people want to read or see. ¬†It’s time-consuming, but can also be thearaputic. ¬†
In any event, I thought I’d pass along some blogs and websites that you can surf by while trying to look busy at your desk ūüôā ¬†Yeah, you know what I mean. ¬†Get clickin’.

 JeremyHanlon.com Рfoodies rejoice

MontanaPhoto.com photo lovers smile

Florida Girl in Sydney – shout out to the expat

Renee Claire¬†¬†she’s trying to save the world, what are you doing?

On Call- Pet Services – animal lovers unite (particularly if you’re in Portland)

Mangopunch – straight from the ATL…for now

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