The Arizona Experiment!

The factor that drew me to early retirement is freedom, and that’s nonetheless the very best a part of it. 

Again in 2005, the first cause for this freedom-seeking was having the ability to dedicate my greatest hours to being a Dad – I had a sense my profession in tech can be too demanding to maintain as soon as the full-time job of elevating kids kicked in.

Eighteen years later, wow has that guess ever turned out to be proper. Early retirement has proved to be essentially the most superb, worthwhile journey and it’s nonetheless simply getting began. It was an astonishing 13 years in the past that I wrote to you about Little MM beginning kindergarten, and now he’s performed with highschool.

It has given me the house to get pleasure from so many new experiences, working arduous and taking part in arduous typically, but additionally slowing issues approach down when essential, to cope with and develop by way of some actual hardships.

However now, with that child-raising part lastly virtually performed, I’m cashing in just a few of these Freedom Chips for a very huge change: shifting to a heat sunny place for the winter to check out a brand new life within the walkable, bikeable, car-free group you’ve most likely heard me raving about up to now: Culdesac Tempe.

So on the primary of December I’ll be packing up the important garments, instruments and devices, and throwing my highest mountain bike onto the Mannequin Y to make the epic highway journey throughout the mountains. Simply in time to flee the incoming Colorado winter. And my son will probably be becoming a member of me for the journey!

In search of updates? I’ve added a separate tracker web page right here.

Heading West…

We’ve booked ourselves a spacious two bed room condo there, for 4 full months. Little MM will probably be roughly alternating his months between Arizona and Colorado so he can nonetheless have time with each dad and mom, whereas I’ll be there the entire time. 

A giant a part of the enjoyable is that this can drive me to invent a complete new life for myself, away from the straightforward comforts of the large group and plentiful building websites that preserve me so busy right here.  It will likely be each a giant change and a major problem, which is strictly what all of us want regularly to maintain life stuffed with that means and pleasure. 

So What Are You Going to Do in Arizona?

Wanting ahead to changing this with a *actual* Arizona mountain biking image I will probably be taking quickly.

The precise particulars are nonetheless within the works, and I’d love to listen to your concepts and suggestions (see the “get in contact” observe beneath. However right here’s what I’ve received up to now:

  • Meet as many new individuals as doable, and reply the burning query all of us have: what sort of individuals select to maneuver to a car-free neighborhood within the middle of a super-car-based metropolis?
  • And naturally hang around with present buddies who dwell within the space – do you know our personal Protection Critic (aka Chris Smith) already lives in Culdesac?
  • Share among the experiences, whether or not good or unhealthy, right here on MMM and on locations like Twitter and Instagram so you possibly can dwell vicariously by way of this expertise.
  • Use my newly liberated further free time to go to their kickass on-site health club to get in further good condition. 
  • Use extra of that free time to put in writing extra weblog posts and sweep among the cobwebs off of this uncared for on-line persona of mine.
  • Take a look at the climate app on my cellphone periodically to cackle on the blizzards I’m lacking in Colorado and have fun my luck compared (the everyday “winter” day in Tempe is usually within the mid-70s which suggests sandals and palm bushes and outside eating the entire time)
  • Host just a few meetups in Culdesac’s outside plazas like we did final March
  • Begin a unusual free handyman enterprise the place I assist new residents arrange their IKEA furnishings and transfer heavy stuff and cling work, as a combo of assembly individuals and being helpful and exercising my compulsion to construct stuff.
  • Trip bikes! Loads. Discover the distant corners of the Phoenix metro space and the encompassing desert valley and mountain trails on mountain bikes, common bikes, and the e-bike that comes included with the primary 200 Culdesac residences.
  • And maybe most significantly, assist my almost-adult son get all kinds of recent experiences throughout his visits, by dwelling in a model new metropolis for the primary time since he was born waaaay again in the identical period as my very own early retirement.
One in every of Culdesac’s essential “parking tons”, adjoining a restaurant patio
My future health club (particularly the stuff within the far background)

Is There a Greater Image To All This?

Okay, you’re onto me. If I’m going to go to the difficulty of typing shit into the pc and sharing it with you, there’s often a objective behind it different than simply journaling my very own private life, and this one other a type of circumstances. 

To begin with, there are the first-layer egocentric objectives: I wish to have the very best winter ever, meet a bunch of sensible new individuals, and I additionally need Culdesac to be an enormous success so they may construct extra neighborhoods like this across the nation and set an instance that completely improves the best way US cities construct and increase themselves sooner or later.

A lot Higher than Parking Tons

However even when you don’t care about all that, I additionally wish to use this as somewhat assertion about attempting deliberate life adjustments.

By throwing myself into a brand new group which aligns so properly with my very own values, I hope to function a reminder that perhaps you may wish to strive the identical factor. Or simply strive something new.

In a snug, affluent nation like ours, among the in-built tendencies of Human nature are likely to work towards us, saying,

“Hey – I’ve seen we now have loads of meals and cheap shelter and that’s adequate.
So let’s simply double down on the Netflix, consolation meals, and occasional luxurious purchases and that may preserve us protected.”

As an alternative, I would like you to set your life treadmill to only a little bit of a steeper, more healthy incline setting.

Which means questioning the established order and doing all your greatest to maintain at the very least one little experiment on the go within the background. Possibly which means forcing your self to maneuver to a greater place, or taking steps in the direction of getting a brand new job that provides you a greater work-life steadiness.

The most important transfer I ever made was leaving household and buddies and my previous job behind to maneuver to the US, alone, at age 24. Wanting again, I’m shocked I had the braveness (and the organizational abilities) to drag that off again then. I’ve turn into older and a bit slower, and so comfy that it’s arduous to think about doing one thing so daring now.

However even right now 24 years later, I thank my previous self each single day for doing it. My current life is an extremely totally different and higher factor due to that previous little bit of braveness.

The spirit of constructive experimentation may additionally imply beginning to problem your physique extra usually – giving it tougher work and exposing it to a wider swath of temperatures and actions. Or becoming a member of new Meetup teams to increase your circle of buddies and experiences. 

It doesn’t actually matter precisely what you do, so long as you level your ft in what feels like a great route and simply begin shifting. Create some purposeful change, which can certainly really feel a bit troublesome, just because change is difficult. And arduous issues are good. 

Future Arizona Neighbors: I’ll see you in 4 weeks!

Additional studying: I’ve been studying books, doing life experiments, and writing in regards to the worth of strategic hardship for some time now. However the newest is a guide known as Dopamine Nation by the proficient psychiatrist/writer named Dr. Anna Lembke.

To summarize: your mind creates a baseline for happiness based mostly on the HARDEST factor you do, after which compares all the things else to that. So when you do arduous issues, life basically appears implausible due to this angle. In the event you remove all hardship, immediately even the pleasures of life appear bland, and you reside a spoiled and unmotivated life.

To get in contact: ship me a DM on Instagram or use the e-mail handle “e-newsletter” on the area of this web site. (Publication subscribers may also simply reply to this publish when you acquired it through e mail.)

Fascinated by stopping by on your personal Mini Culdesac Experiment? They’ve just a few short-term leases out there at moderately cheap charges (lower than close by motels) – test em out at

What is going to you do along with your automotive?

I’m bringing the automotive simply as a handy electrical shifting truck to hold two individuals and 4 months of dwelling provides. As soon as I get there, I’ll discover a protected place to park it offsite and dwell the total car-free way of life of Culdesac, very like I do after I’m right here at house. I usually solely use automobiles to hold actually heavy stuff or for journeys to different cities and states, but it surely’s even simpler to perform this in Tempe with its location proper on the sunshine rail and with their onsite bike, scooter and even automotive sharing tons.

What about your own home?

My place in Colorado is presently arrange as a two bed room home on the primary ground, plus an condo with a separate entrance on the walkout decrease degree. After I’m at house, I exploit the entire thing as one house – the condo simply makes an ideal place to host a reasonably fixed stream of visiting buddies. However for the winter I’m hoping to hire out one among these areas to a buddy or trusted acquaintance who will take excellent care of all the things, whereas I depart the opposite part free for the occasional visits I’ll be paying to this space over the winter. Apart from maintaining a tally of the place, it is going to be a good way to observe the age-old Mustachian strategy of creating wealth whereas taking holidays!

What Occurs on the Finish of March?

Because it stands, I’ve no plans past this level. I’ll head again to Colorado for my house base, however with this being a brand new part of life I’ll be layering on new adventures. Apart from the 2 mountain properties that I’ve been serving to to construct out, I simply teamed up with a buddy to assist him create an intentional (and considerably experimental!) dwelling group in Denver known as Wild Life Ranch. 

We’ll must cowl extra of that in a future article, however the primary concept is that he’s changing a 13-acre former horse ranch in a comparatively prime a part of the Denver space, right into a future village of higher-end tiny homes and different dwellings. These will probably be organized round good widespread facilities with a giant emphasis on individuals truly having fun with the method of dwelling collectively, versus simply dwelling individually side-by-side as we are likely to do in regular neighborhoods.

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