January 14, 2005
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are perpetual travelers.
The Mesa couple decided to retire at age 38, and have traveled the world since.
Mesa is one of their home bases, along with Chapala, Mexico, and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Their desire to retire early came after both were working too much and not feeling fulfilled with their busy jobs. They owned a French continental restaurant in Santa Cruz, Calif., where Billy Kaderli was a chef and Akaisha Kaderli was the CEO. He later became a stockbroker while Akaisha continued to run the restaurant. The two worked long hours and barely saw each other.
The two had a new home, a fiveminute bike ride to the ocean, a successful business and were living well financially, but it just wasn’t working for them on a personal level, she said. The two are what they call DINK — double income, no kids.
"Freedom’s always been important to us," Akaisha said. "We have always been self-employed and we decided to make a change."
They spent a couple of years researching and reading up on early retirement. They made a list of what they wanted to learn and do, and in 1991, took the plunge most would only dream about at their age. They became perpetual travelers, and their "gypsy schedule" began.
The Kaderlis moved to Nevis, West Indies, where it was "really slow and perfect," Billy said.
After that, they bought a recreational vehicle and traveled the United States for a couple of years. That’s when they became interested in international travel.
The couple of 27 years look for a good climate, inexpensive cost factor and places that are interesting.
Billy and Akaisha enjoy visiting Ecuador, Thailand and Vietnam. When they visit other cultures, the Kaderlis like to get "local," Akaisha said.
"We eat at their restaurants, shop at their shops, celebrate at their festivals," she said.
They live with native people in their homes, stay at hostels, guest houses and hotels.
The only thing the two won’t do is "insect cuisine" and they prefer places with available hot running water and Western toilets.
"We both wanted to do this before we’re old and can’t bend over and pick up our backpacks," said Akaisha, who despite being a perpetual traveler is directionally challenged and gets seasick, airsick and carsick.
The trips are not just vacations for them. They live for several months and sometimes several years in an area before they decide to move on.
The two have become involved in volunteer work. Akaisha has taught English and started a card business in Mexico. Billy coordinated a scoreboard to be donated to the city they stay at in Mexico, where he also coached a basketball team, fixed up tennis courts and helped raise money to build more courts.
On their travels, they both enjoy eating new foods, especially the local fruits, and trying new things. They try to learn the languages and also try to keep a low profile by not appearing as tourists.
Along the way, they take pictures with their digital camera and keep detailed accounts on their Web site. They keep in touch with family and friends and pay bills through the Internet using their laptop computer, which they take everywhere.
Last year, they traveled to seven countries and three states. They still want to visit Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece, Bolivia and Peru.
Although they both enjoy being on the road, Akaisha said she misses her art supplies and having a female friend. Billy misses cooking the most.
"If you look at the National Geographic, that’s our life," Billy said.
On early retirement, Akaisha suggests to not let "fear live your life."
"Some people say what we’re doing is risky, but you could have a boring life and never do anything interesting," Akaisha said. "We’re achievers. We’re goal oriented."
Find out more
Visit Billy and Akaisha Kaderli’s Web site at www.geocities.com/ba264 to see pictures of their worldly travels and read their early retirement stories.