What if we’d never had that coffee


A couple of years ago we wrote a post called “The Coffee that changed our lives” which told the story of how we came to the joint decision to leave our old lives behind and wander off on a life changing adventure. It described how we came to the conclusion over a couple of black coffees that we had to quit our jobs, sell the car, get rid of all of our possessions, give notice on our house, and go travelling.

The Coffee that changed our lives

What if we had never had that coffee and thus never had that discussion?

Quite a dramatic question and probably not really a valid question because it really wasn’t just the coffee that prompted our decision to change our lives. We had ‘sort of‘ decided that we were going to do something and had discussed travelling but it was that ‘coffee chat‘ where we said ‘Lets Go‘ and highlighted the date of June 1st.

But, say for arguments sake that we hadn’t gone for a coffee that morning and had never said ‘Lets Go‘ to each other. What might have happened?

What might have happened?

We had sold our family home and already got rid of 90% of our possessions but we were in a nice comfortable little rented house with a few odds and ends and a few bits of furniture. Still working full time too. So as I have already asked, what might have happened? Let’s imagine a few scenarios then for the past 6 and a half years.

  1. The Rental – stayed put in our little rented house and kept working in the same jobs. Probably upgraded our Renault Clio to a flashier 4-wheel drive and splashed out on a 50″ TV. A few new household items along the way but essentially just treading water until retirement.
  2. The House Upgrade – returned to the housing market and bought a new home in the Maidstone area. Somewhere a bit smaller than the family home that we sold but lots of new white goods and a fancy three piece. How exciting! Once again a bit of treading water.
  3. The Relocation – back in the housing market again but in a completely different place. Who knows where but a different part of England and perhaps looking for new jobs too. Huge changes of course but changing jobs at our age would have been so difficult and traumatic but a real adventure.
  4. The Cappuccino – the inevitable return to a cosy little coffee shop where we have a life-changing conversation about quitting everything and heading off into the sunset.

What’s the conclusion?

These are realistically the four different paths that we could have taken. Between you and me though I’m not sure that any of the first three options would have left us feeling content or satisfied at all. The big question of ‘is that all there is‘ would have remained.

So I suspect, in fact I don’t suspect I know, that we would have ended up somewhere drinking a cup of coffee and coming to exactly the same conclusions.

Any regrets on the decision that we took all those years ago? None whatsoever! I guess that we are now taking Option 5 where we look for a new home somewhere completely new after a brief seven year adventure. No chance of a 4×4 or a 60″ TV though!

Shaftesbury Dorset



  1. I believe life changing moments happen for a reason! We, just by chance, stopped at a community last spring and visited a couple open houses on a trip to North Carolina. Since then, we bought a lot at this community and are going to build our retirement home there!! ( Incidentally, we currently live in Iowa).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in the 1980’s a bunch of us planned a weekend away in Tasmania. One couple pulled out because she wanted to buy a microwave. They were a big deal back then. We still laugh our heads off about that crazy weekend and I’ll bet Shirley can’t remember her microwave. So yes you did make the right decision.

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  3. Have you seen the movie, Sliding Doors? My guess is you would have ended up on the same pathway, just entering through a different gate. And my guess is you will still get your 60” TV, and you’ll still get a lovely home to put it in. We retired 8 years early with the expectation that meant any houses in the future would have been sub standard and barely a roof over our head. Our present house is exactly what I would have wanted if we’d kept working for that eight years and our TV is a good size too. There’s some amazing bargains to be had, and you’ve both learned a mass of skills in the past 7 years. You’ll be able to see the potential in a bargain priced hovel and then use your skills to turn it into a dream home. And when you do, I expect progress photos….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sliding Doors is a great film, seen it several times. You are so right Chris about having ended up on the same pathway. I think we would always have changed our lives in this way.


  4. Mate, you were always going! You’d been talking about it for ages. The question was just when you were actually going to go for it. Best choice you could have made too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting to think about other paths you could have taken, but it sounds like you chose the right one! I often feel as though I’m treading water, but I’m nowhere near retirement age, so there’s quite a lot of it ahead of me. I think I’ll have to find my own alternate path one of these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life is full of opportunities cropping up when we least expect them isn’t it? Just need to make the most of those options I suppose. Different for everyone as we are all on varied paths.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Totally agree, we have never regretted travelling fulltime for four years, longer if you include our motorhoming years. I think the out of your comfort zones makes for more resilience to life’s curve balls. I also believe there is a reason why things happen, though some are harder to work out than others.

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