• Thomas Corrao

Welcome To Our Blog - This is Our First Post

Hello, welcome to the Stray Compass Travels blog! My name is Tom Corrao, and I’m the author of this site. I’m so delighted that you’ve found your way to our site and hope that you will sign on as a subscriber after seeing what we have to offer. I’ve been working diligently lately getting everything ready for publishing. So, I’m thrilled to be publishing to the site finally.

In the Stray Compass Travels blog, I will cover issues related to retiring earlier than normal and living life on the road in a recreational vehicle. I will cover topics related to retirement preparation, planning, and the necessary steps to take if you’re looking to take on a more minimalistic and healthy lifestyle on the road.


Originally the idea for this blog came to me after contemplating my upcoming retirement and the realization that I will soon be able to get out and see something other than the inside of the County Jail. You see, for the past 24 years, I’ve been working in my hometown jail as a correctional officer. A profession that wasn’t originally in my life plan, but one that I sort of fell into, that has helped care for my family and provide for our needs over the past quarter-century. It truly does seem like only yesterday that it all began, but in truth the years have been filled with many memorable experiences that have helped me learn and grow as a person.


I'm not going on this journey alone. My wife Nozomi, who's ultimately responsible for me being such an open-minded thinker, will be right there at my side. Nozomi's from Okinawa Japan, a small island in the Ryukyu island chain south of mainland Japan. We’ve been married for 38 years now and our marriage has been a good one. The kind with ups and downs of course, but one where we have always given support to one another when one of us needed the other to cope with life’s stressors. I'm really lucky to have her in my corner.


When I first brought up the idea of going on the road, Nozomi was a bit skeptical because she knew it would take a lot of effort to prepare for such an undertaking. She also knew that my thinking has always been grandiose in nature and that there have been times when I was unable to meet my goals. But then there was the fact that she never really cared for living in snow country and she has always loved to travel and we have already traveled to many places during our time together. The fact is that it didn’t really take too much convincing for her to offer her support to my idea in this instance. I really knew it was a viable plan though when she responded to me with a famous Okinawan proverb, “Nan kuru nai sa” Which loosely defined means, “No matter how bad the day may seem, always remember that everything is going to be alright. Never forget who you are and live your life for today as well as tomorrow. Oh yeah, and never forget to smile”.


While Nozomi maybe my rock, she also told me that she would leave the blogging up to me, she’s simply going to be my silent partner in this undertaking as far as social media goes anyway. You’ll see her in pictures and video but it may be a rare thing to see her address the camera during one of our adventures. You'll just have to consider her to be sort of like Teller, of the famous magician's duo Penn and Teller, and don’t expect her to say too much.


In closing this first post I would just like to say that I will do my best to pass along everything I can during my transition to freedom. I've often said to myself, “You know you’ve spent more time within the jail than you’ve spent outside breathing fresh air. Maybe it’s time to get out on the road where you can experience fresh air every day!” The thought has been a lingering one and now the light at the end of the tunnel is drawing nearer. The dream has turned into a plan and of has become the number one motivating factor in me finishing up my career in a strong fashion. I’ve been working tons of overtime in preparation, and as September 2021 approaches, I'll be working hard to improve my web presence and passing along the things I learn about retiring at age 60. I’m so glad you’ll be here to see the process! Thanks for reading this first post and please hit the subscribe button to hear more about our transition over the coming months. Take Care!


Tom

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