Your Third Life Starts Here.
In our first life, we wonder at all the things in this world but have little freedom to experience it.
In our second life, we gain practical wisdom, but our obligations keep us grounded, with the wonder of the past put on the back burner.
In our third life, we realize we have an opportunity to bring our two past lives together: freedom to wander and time to wonder.
Before we get to your third life, however, let’s back up a bit and tell you about our first and second lives.
We are just your typical kind of couple.
Jiab, born and raised in Thailand, is from one side of the world.
Jim, a born and bred Texan, is from the other side.
Jiab is quiet, serious, and reserved. She has a no nonsense attitude, is frugal (or “cheap”), and analyzes every decision (big or small) with meticulous mathematical precision, living by the motto, “When you think you’ve double-checked the figures enough, do it one more time.” Through her perseverance and ability, Jiab helped break both the glass (women) and bamboo (Asian) ceilings to become a vice president at a major bank.
Jim, by contrast, lives by the motto “Dignity is overrated” and “There is no such thing as an unexpressed thought.” Jim’s passion has been the art of communication, and particularly media literacy, or how do we teach kids to be more discriminating and savvy consumers of information. To that end, he has gone from teacher to author of articles and textbooks on the subject.
The chance of us meeting each other was extremely slim, let alone getting married and then raising four wonderful cats and two boys (in order of importance to us) over the last fifteen years. Our shared love of travel, adventure, and learning, combined with our individual strengths that Jiab makes Jim be serious and focused, while Jim makes Jiab see the humanity and fun in things, has proved the not-so-secret of our marriage. And that, despite our playing a lot of tennis together, we never question each other’s line calls (maybe just a prolonged stare now and then)!
Together, we have reached our financial independence (FI) from an initial negative net worth over the last fifteen years. By reaching FI, we are able to retire early to start our third life.
We learned of the world (the “what?”) in our first life, and figured out how we might best live with purpose for our children, our community, and ourselves (“how”) in our second life.
Now, we want to combine the wonder of first life and the wisdom of second life to not only enjoy what the world offers, but to rediscover ourselves and each other (the “why?”). This is what we call our third life.
As we are starting our third life adventure, we don’t know what is up ahead on the trail, but we want to connect and exchange experiences with our fellow third life travelers:
- If you are at about the same place as we are, let’s exchange experiences and tips!
- If we are ahead of you on the trail, please allow us to tell you the easy and rougher stretches of the road we have traveled as trail markings.
- If you are further along than we are, please share your wisdom!
Perhaps, through this blog, we can not only share our successes and missteps, we can at the very least meet fellow third life adventurers, comforted by the fact that none of us, either as individuals, trekking with a partner, or leading an expedition with an entire family, travels alone.
What you will find on yourthirdlife.com
The yourthirdlife blog is new to us and is our joint effort to share our sometimes similar, sometimes differing, perspectives as we navigate through our third life. Whether you are a meticulous planner like Jiab, or a “this feels right and if it isn’t I’ll talk my way out of it” venturer like Jim, we hope it will inspire you to start thinking about your third life and how you want it to be (and how to survive traveling with whatever kind of person you are not!).
While we have ideas where we want it (both our lives and the blog) to go, we are aware there are so many things we don’t know, so bear with us as we attempt to paint this blank canvas in the coming months and years. We’re gonna be flexible, take what comes our way, and most of all, make the best of it and laugh while we do it!
Here are some topics we plan to address:
- Simplifying – The more you can jettison, the less you worry about.
- Personal finance – How to lay the groundwork and maintain a comfortable living level to give you freedom to wander.
- Living abroad and experimenting with new ways of living – Adequate finances may let you “sea the world” (as they say in the navy), but it takes an open mind to see the world!
- Reflections on different cultures – The more ways of living you are exposed to, the more ways to enjoy life!