It is no longer surprising to see fellow Baby Boomers selling everything that they have (save for maybe 25 kilos of belongings) to live as digital nomads. They redefine retirement since becoming location-independent.
Ours is a generation that worked so hard in the first half of our lives. We deserve the best experiences we could get not only from traveling– but from life itself, as we approach the last stretch to our finish line.
These are exciting times. We thought we had seen it all, but we’ve been here long enough to know that the Universe is just starting to unravel its brilliant natural magic! To our enormous luck, we are still here to enjoy every bit of it for as long as we are willing to create new dreams, and not lose our child-like wonder!
We are perfect where we are, in this period of our lives when we can feel that familiar surge of a second wind and we are so going for it...
For 10 years, we’ve been active in our community’s environment advocacy. We love what we do and there are also some projects
we really care about that are still in the pipeline. So while others are taking the digital nomad path, we opted to stay in our home base for these reasons.
It also helped that we live within 40-minute drive to an an airport that can take us to any local and international destinations, without the hassles of heavy traffic similar to Manila’s. From here, we can take short trips to places where we could experience a lot of culture and arts, fun things to do for travelers our age, immerse with the locals to learn about their lives, eat their cuisine and take the recipe and other indigenous souvenirs back home.
OUR GOAL IS TO INSPIRE COUPLES OR SOLO TRAVELERS OVER 50 YEARS OLD, WHO FOR SOME REASON CANNOT UPROOT THEMSELVES FROM HOME, BUT ARE EAGER TO SEE THE WORLD IN THEIR OWN TERMS. IN READING OUR STORIES, YOU WILL FIND THAT SHORT-TERM TRAVEL MAY WORK FOR YOU! (We are not Ageists so followers from other generations are also welcome.)
Happy trails, everyone!
💕 Jen & Wiel van der Heijde
You may reach us @ secondwindtravelers. mails@ gmail.com
Jen has been a journalist for more than half of her life. She was a correspondent for a Philippine national broadsheet; stringer for Reuters and Kyodo News; and news researcher for CBS News (all Manila bureaus).
Wanting to expand her horizons, she ventured into corporate communications and worked in the retail, hotel and real estate industry before she found meaning in becoming an advocacy communicator for biodiversity campaigns in her locality and for other international NGOs.
She is the lead convener of Save Subic Bay Movement and the president of the Subic Bay Chamber for Health and Environment Conservation.
Wiel is a garments engineer by profession who specializes in quality assurance, tailoring, and pattern construction. In his youth, he was a sailing instructor; designed (and modeled) men’s wear for his own brand in Amsterdam; worked with Levi Strauss and for a garments manufacturer in China. His most recent post was as a QA regional director for a garments buying firm’s Asia operations.
Today, he found an new occupation that is close to home– that of being a retirement advisor for those seeking to retire in the Philippines.
Jen writes the stories while Wiel, the ‘Dutchie’ in these stories, provides the inspiration, backrubs and the best cup of coffee in this side of the world.
They currently live in a house on a hill, by the rainforest in picturesque Subic Bay, Philippines. Because of his famous stove-top espresso brew, their family and friends began calling their residence “Café by the Forest.” It is not a coffee shop, nor a restaurant. It is a way of life. Here, they bake their own breads and make their own yogurt, too. They love to cook for their visiting children and friends, watch sunsets, walk to the nearby waterfalls and listen to the sound of the forest.
Their second home is the Netherlands, where half of their loved ones reside.
When they are not traveling, they are saving mangroves and spying on hornbills and other bird species whom they call “our neighbors.”
This is the story of their journey through places of the heart and places in the world, beyond midlife. Fueled by their second wind.
— Second Wind Travelers
“Together, we are free who who want to be. Our shared journey is always two sets of feet going in the same direction. We respect each other’s solitude and that of others. We know the meaning of inner self-work and its importance in our lives. We shall continue on this path for as long as we live. There are days when we need to take separate turns to explore entirely different spaces and experience. We allow them, too, because we are certain we will always go back to where we belong: To each other, which is– Home.
The illustration of “House on the Hill by a Rainforest” is an actual view of the home we call Cafe by the Forest from above. This is where we brew love, stories and coffee everyday. The cup with wings of an airplane, with us in it taking the vistas, symbolizes our journey through life and places we’ve chosen to go. We were shown savoring the moment of just being where we are. Blue skies and cotton clouds hover above the world below us, with us, as if saying: “Get ready for the next story when you land. You are about to create new moments.”
All elements perfectly fit the frame: Coffee brings friends and family together at our dinner table, wherever in the world we may be. Sharing stories is a journey in itself, whether you are playing with random kids at the Museumplein fountains in Amsterdam. Or casually asking a famous jazz artist in a Paris club, “What do you think is in the handbag of a Dutchman’s Filipino wife right now?” (He shudders when she shoved bag onto his lap.) Or singing- along with a Fado artist in a street corner of Lisbon. Or photo-bombing young girls who are posing before graffiti walls in Hongkong. Or learning the basics of Flamenco at the Cafetin la Quimera in Madrid. Or just having quiet conversations over dinner with family or friends at home. All those who partake of these stories are nurturing one another with feelings unique to the giver and the receiver.
Our first destination will always be our hearts. This is how we see life in its fullness when we travel and when we return home to take a respite. We shall always be fueled by renewed energy, our “second wind.” For life over 50, is such a grand, grand thing.
The Artist Who Created Our Header Image| Logo. Isak Isobel Caroline Empeño is a creative specialist by day and a master doodler by night. She lives in the same city as ours, with her husband and fellow Kendo artist, Jomar Paul Romero, who is crazy about her and their cats. (We are sure she comes first in the order.)
Check her creative works at: behance.net/isakisobel. You may also follow her at Instagram: IG@4thcaroline
Our CSS Consultant. Marjie Myrtle Marmito is a graphics artist who specializes in HTML and CSS coding, style and layout. Her eye for detail and deadly smile are only two of her strong suit. She lives two cities away from ours. She loves books and the bucolic life like we do.
Find her in Facebook using her full name.
Our SEO Consultant. Rose Tuazon-Castillo is a SEO, graphic and website designer who owns her own company, Logicgateone Corp. She chooses positive feelings over things that won’t give her peace of mind.
If she’s not in her workspace, you can find her helping the local aborigines (called the Aytas) help themselves. This is her fuel in living a meaningful life: https://www.facebook.com/isabelitarosuetaorg