Since retiring two years ago, Vadim Ponorovsky has been enjoying the exciting and stimulating life of a roving retiree. He’s been to Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, immersing himself in new cultures and making new friends.
“Every day is a new experience. You see something you’ve never seen, hear something you’ve never heard, eat something you’ve never eaten before,” he says. “Many years ago, at a college party, I said that I would retire at 50.” And he did. When Vadim turned 50 two years ago, he became a roving retiree.
He always loved travelling, but after a successful career in the restaurant business, Vadim is enjoying a more relaxing lifestyle exploring all the world has to offer.
Choosing a new destination is easy for him. He says, if a country is safe, he wants to go there. “Most of my life has been ruled by spontaneity, my motto is, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ The world is huge and I want to see it.”
Vadim prefers slow travel, staying as long as his tourist visas allow. “I can stay in a European country with a tourist visa for 90 days, six months in Mexico,” he explains. “When I get there, I’m not interested in going to museums, I prefer to experience local life and understand how people live on a day-to-day basis.”
Vadim’s monthly budget (funded by his investments and savings) is never above $4,000. “I avoid touristy destinations, as they tend to be more expensive. For instance, in France, instead of Paris, I may choose to stay in Lyon.” He also tries to alternate expensive countries with budget-friendly ones.
“Last year, I spent quite a bit of time in Europe during the summer, which is the most expensive time there. But I offset it by spending a while in Thailand and Vietnam, which are incredibly inexpensive.”
After choosing his destination and researching visa requirements, Vadim looks for accommodation. “Airbnb is a good way to start. If the prices are reasonable, then I just book for the duration of my stay. If they are more expensive, I book for the first couple of weeks and then try to find something cheaper when I arrive.”
Making friends with locals and expats alike while travelling around the globe has been easy for Vadim. “I am constantly expanding the circle of people that I know around the world. Travelling solo is the best way to make new friends, because you are not tethered to someone and people approach you without hesitation.”
Vadim has no doubts about what has been his favourite place on his adventures so far. “Thailand has been my favourite, due to the time I spent in Chiang Mai. A place with 600 Buddhist temples is bound to make an impact. I spent days exploring the temples and quite a bit of time chatting with the monks.
“Food is central to my travels. I love it and want to go as native as possible as quickly as possible. And Thailand certainly offers an opportunity to broaden one’s palate. The wide variety of meats and seafood certainly has me counting the days until I’m back.”
Vadim is loving his life as a roving retiree and has a piece of advice for everyone who wants to do the same: “Buy that ticket and just go! I have travelled so many times when a plane ticket was all I had. We only live once.”
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