Tag Archives: nomadic

Semi Sabbatical – Month 2

May went by so fast!

Month 2 of our semi sabbatical was eventful, with a big chunk of travel! In just one month, we visited San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; the Bay Area in Northern California; and South Lake Tahoe, right on the border of California and Nevada.

San Diego, CA

San Diego is such a special place for us, because this is where we spent the first 4 years of our career after we graduated from PT school. It is also where we got married, bought (and sold) our first home, and adopted our two sweet senior dogs. So we were happy to have been able to return for a week!

Certain parts of Imperial Beach allow dogs! But Deeks would have rather stayed on the concrete.

We spent a majority of our time in Imperial Beach, the southernmost city of San Diego county. We were fortunate that our friends let us stay in the their home during out stay. Imperial Beach borders Mexico, and you can even see Tijuana in the distance!

Deeks enjoying the sunset in Coronado

Coronado is one of the prettiest beach cities we have every visited in the continental US. Coronado is an island with a military base that is west of Downtown San Diego, and directly north of Imperial Beach. This is a great place to watch the sunset, and the main drive has plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from.

Phoenix, AZ

We continued our semi sabbatical into Phoenix, Arizona. We drove 5 hours to Phoenix to celebrate the wedding of our good friend from PT school. Despite the 100 degree desert heat, it was a beautiful wedding. The wedding as at the gorgeous event venue, Villa Siena, located in Gilbert. We stayed at the Cambria hotel in Chandler, and enjoyed spending our down time at the pool soaking up the sun.

In this desert heat, hanging out in the pool is a necessity…even for Hank!

Then, we spent two weeks after the wedding dog sitting for the newlyweds as they enjoyed their honeymoon! They are the proud dog parents of a 2 year old Golden Retriever named Hank, who was so much fun to hang out with while we stayed in their home. He loved jumping in the pool and playing fetch. And he got along with Deeks, which was a relief!

Golfing at the local course just 5 minutes away from our friends’ house

I made my schedule so that I could still enjoy some relaxation time while we were dog sitting. We played a couple rounds of golf, went on some hikes, and even visited Sedona for a quick day trip!

Sedona, AZ

What’s great about our semi sabbatical is the freedom it provides for us to travel. So on a whim, we took a day trip to Sedona! Less than a 2 hour drive north of Phoenix, Sedona is a stunning little town with gorgeous red rock landscape.

Even in the 95 degree heat, still totally worth it!

When we arrived, we did a quick hike to Cathedral Rock, which was a quick but steep incline that definitely required some fun scrambling to get to the top. We had some ice cream, which was much needed after the 95 degree hike.

Sunset at the Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout

We watched the sunset from a well known vista point: Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout. Deeks got a lot of attention hanging out in his stroller while we all watched the sunset. The red rock canyons looked stunning in this light, and no pictures can do its beauty justice. We met a lot of people at the lookout, and it was fun to socialize with people from all walks of life.

Lunar Eclipse from Sedona, AZ on Sunday, May 15, 2022

Little did we know, that the lunar eclipse was going to happen that night too! So we ended up staying a little later than planned. It was our first time taking night time pics with the Nikon Z5, so it took many tries to get some quality pics of the moon. Sedona is an official Dark Sky community. This means that the people of the city make a conscious effort to reduce their light pollution and educate others about responsible lighting.1

Tierrasanta, San Diego, CA

After our friends returned home from their honeymoon, we drove back to San Diego to do a couple housesits we set up from Trusted Housesitters. Trusted Housesitters is a platform that connects pet owners and sitters around the world. After you pay an annual fee, you have unlimited access to housesits worldwide. There is no exchange of money or goods between the two parties. Although you aren’t getting paid to watch their pet, you are staying in their home for free. It’s a win-win situation, especially during our semi sabbatical!

Our backyard jungle in Tierrasanta with Micah, the Golden Retriever

We got to care for a fun and happy 1 year old Golden Retriever named Micah in the neighborhood of Tierrasanta! Micah tried to play with Deeks, but Deeks is too old to care about that, so poor Micah was stuck playing with us. He loves belly rubs, and is still learning how to play fetch.

We stayed in a beautiful home tucked away in a peaceful cul de sac. The backyard was green and luscious, and it made me feel like I was in a tropical jungle. We got to meet the neighbor across the street, who also has a Golden Retriever, and was very friendly as well.

Hiking to the South Fortuna summit

Tierrasanta is a neighborhood of the city of San Diego that borders that is unlike most of the city. It is a quieter, older part of San Diego. It is situated amongst many canyons and has multiple trailheads, including ones leading into the popular Mission Trails. We even got to go on a quick hike to one of our favorite peaks, South Fortuna.

La Mesa, CA

After a few nights with Micah, we moved on to our next housesit in the east county city of La Mesa. Zazu is a cuddly and friendly 13 year old cat, who loved ear scratches and snuggling on the couch. He was a super chill pet to take care of, and he got along with Deeks well.

Zazu’s favorite sun spot on his tower

Our stay was in a beautiful new luxury apartment complex, complete with a pool, jacuzzi, and gym. We spent our nights relaxing in the jacuzzi before bed, and worked out in the gym in the mornings to start our day. Great ways to bookend our days during our semi sabbatical!

Downtown La Mesa is up and coming, with a main drive loaded with restaurants, cafes, and thrift stores. As San Diego residents start getting priced out of homes, many people are moving just outside to La Mesa, where you can find more affordable homes. This community is primarily young families, and is growing every year.

Oceanside, CA

As nomads on a semi sabbatical, we learn to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. As we were leaving San Diego, my car broke down…right on the 5 north freeway!

I know my car is small, but it looks a lot smaller on a tow truck.

With the help of AAA, NK towing, Oceanside Transmission, and S&S Complete Auto Care, we are able to get my car fixed in 24 hours! We are so lucky that we had friends in south Orange County who let us spend the night at a last minute’s notice. The next day, right at 5 pm when they closed, we were back on the road and ready to say good-bye to Southern California.

Redwood City, CA

Our next housesit was located in Redwood City, just 30ish minutes south of San Francisco. We got to care for a rambunctious, friendly 2 year old corgi named Crouton. Crouton loves playing tug-o-war, and loves to be pet. Deeks and Crouton didn’t get along that well at first, but Deeks held his ground with the active corgi, and soon enough they were able to cohabitate in peace.

Crouton the Corgi makes this view even better!

We stayed in a gorgeous apartment complex right on the bay! The view from the patio is of the marina, and it’s an amazing view to wake up to every morning. Sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee, working and enjoying our semi sabbatical, is so calming and relaxing. There is also a nice nature trail on Bair Island, right next to the building. I didn’t think I would get this much calm nature just outside of San Francisco!

San Francisco, CA

Since we’re so close to the city, we would be amiss if we didn’t stop into San Francisco! Prior to our semi sabbatical, my husband had never been to Chinatown, so of course we had to make a stop there.

We were so hungry after the long drive up, so we enjoyed dim sum from Hang Ah Tea Room, the first dim sum restaurant in the USA. We had all of our favorite classic dim sum: shu mai, har gaw, bbq pork bao, soup dumplings.

So many forture cookies – and they even gave us free samples!

We needed to walk off our first lunch, so we stopped by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory, where we got to watch them being made by hand. You could get all types of fortune cookies – flavored dough, chocolate dipped, and more.

So. Much. Good. Food.

We we’re still a little hungry, so we ate some of our favorite classic chinese food – honey walnut shrimp, salt and pepper calamari, and sticky fried rice.

The rest of weekend we got to catch up with friends and have them meet us all around the Bay Area. As much as we enjoy seeing somewhere new, our favorite part about this semi sabbatical is reconnecting with friends we have made in all walks of our life.

On Saturday, we met up with our friends who we actually spent the last 2 years with in LA! This couple met in college at University of San Francisco, and one of them was born and raised in the Bay Area, so they knew the area pretty well. They recommended a brewery on the southern outskirts of the city to meet, and we enjoyed an oyster and seafood dinner in the ferry building.

On Sunday we drove to Half Moon Bay to hang out with an old friend from PT school. We spent most of our time at Hop Dogma Brewery, where her husband works, and we got to watch the Celtics beat the Heat to make their way to the NBA Finals.

We also were able to grab brunch with another friend from PT school, and my former roommate, on Memorial Day. Her and her fiancee came up to us in Redwood City, and we got to meet their dog. It was a great way to end our stay in the Bay Area!

South Lake Tahoe, CA

After brunch, we made the 4 hour drive to South Lake Tahoe, where we stayed until the end of the May. We spent our first day there hanging out at Regan Beach, where dogs can be off leash. Deeks really enjoyed sniffing around, and the soft sand was comfortable on his paws for him to explore as much as he wanted. For dinner, we enjoyed wood fired pizza and pay-per-ounce beer at Lake Tahoe AleworX.

I hate wearing shoes on the beach, but it was way too cold to go barefoot!

The next day we found a paved nature trail to Nevada Beach, which is a dog friendly beach! It’s just under 4 miles round trip, and it was stunning! The walk to the beach was very woodsy, surrounded by trees and meadows. Once we got to the beach, the water was crystal clear and insanely blue. Although the weather was a bit chilly, the sun was shining bright and there was no cloud in the sky, making it a perfect beach day.

Sunset over Lake Tahoe from the East Shore

We stayed along the east shore of the lake, and stumbled upon Logan Shoals Vista Point. It was a gorgeous view overlooking the whole lake and the mountains in the background. We ended up coming back here to watch the sunset later in the day. There is something so peaceful about watching the sunset on Lake Tahoe. The calmness of the lake water, the peacefulness of the surrounding. I wish we could stay longer, but it’s time to head to Reno, NV!

If you want to follow us on our journey, check out our Instagram!

If you want to travel more, or you want to and you want to learn ways to save your money, check out some of my other blog posts:

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Note: I am not a certified financial advisor/planner or a certified financial analyst or a CPA or an accountant or a lawyer. Remember, I am an allied health professional, just like you! This website/blog is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Please consult with your financial advisor(s) regarding your personal finance, investment, and tax matters. 


  1. https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/communities/

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Semi Sabbatical – Month 1

Month 1, in the books!

So my husband and I have finally made the decision to quit our in-person jobs to go on a semi sabbatical!

We call it a “semi” sabbatical because we are still technically working during this time. However, we are only working part time, and we are working remote jobs that allow us flexibility to travel.

But the main reason we are going on a semi sabbatical is to reconnect with each other, our friends and family, and to remember why we love the work that we do.

So on April 1, we said good-bye to our in-person physical therapy jobs, along with the lease on our apartment. It was tough saying good-bye to our patients, but the month of April proved that we made the right call.

Getting Buck Wild at a bachelorette party in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

I actually started my portion of our semi sabbatical a little earlier, with a bachelorette party for one of my good friends in Nashville, Tennessee! The girls and I spent the weekend bar hopping, enjoying live music, and taking in the liveliness of this city. I had never experienced Nashville before, and the music scene here is truly above and beyond anything I would have imagined. Plus, exploring the town with a fun group of ladies made the experience even more enjoyable!

Going on a crisp, cool morning walk in Chatham, NJ

Chatham, New Jersey

The hubby and I met up in New Jersey, where we spent the night in the suburb town of Chatham with our friend’s parents before we caught a red eye the next day to Milan, Italy. Chatham is a beautiful and picturesque east coast town, with gorgeous homes and big lots and trees abundant. Whoever says that New Jersey is the “armpit” of America, clearly has not explored Chatham!

Duomo di Milano, aka the Milan Cathedral

Milan, Italy

Our semi sabbatical started to feel more real once we touched down in Milan, Italy. We got to check out Duomo di Milano, the fifth largest Christian church in the world! Also called the Milan Cathedral, it covers an entire city block and has over 3,000 statues, gargoyles and figures.

We also got to see The Last Supper painting, which was an incredible and powerful sight to see. It is originally a wall painting, and the original church it was painted in was actually bombed during World War II. However, by covering the painting with a wall of sandbags, they were still able to keep it intact!

So. Much. Pasta. Mmmmmmmmmm…

Bologna, Italy

After a few days in Milan, we continued our semi sabbatical to Bologna, which was a short hour train ride away. Our primary reason for visiting Bologna was to attend the wedding of our two good friends that we knew from our grad school days. Bologna is the 7th most populous city and the food capital of Italy. And after eating all the tortellini and tagliatelle, I can see why!

Crazy that we met these amazing people in PT school back in 2013, and we’re still friends to this day!

The wedding was situated in the hills of Pianoro, at a gorgeous winery overlooking the countryside. This evening really reminded us of why we chose to go on a semi sabbatical. Reconnecting with our friends who we met almost a decade ago, in this beautiful country, filled our hearts.


After the wedding, we flew to Lisbon, Portugal. Our semi sabbatical continued with the help of my old coworker and good friend. She is Portuguese and recently moved back to Lisbon last year. She planned out the entire week for us, and I am forever grateful for her as our tour guide. I don’t think we would have seen as much as we would have hoped for if it wasn’t for her!

The OG Portuguese sausage! Hawaii people will understand πŸ˜›

Lisbon, Portugal

We spent the first day in the city of Lisbon, eating copious amounts of sausage and pasteis de nata, as we walked on the cobblestone sidewalks on downtown. We walked along the river, and explored Time Out Market, which had so many food options to choose from.

Can you spot the hubby in the castle?

Sintra, Portugal

Then we explored Sintra, a cute tourist town just outside of Lisbon. In this town, we ate travesseiros and drank ginjinha out of chocolate cups. We visited Quinta da Regaleira, a castle/garden that was created by a bored, rich dude who wanted to open a portal to another dimension. I wish I was joking, but I’m serious! He built a bunch of castles and caves surrounding his palace in the lush hillside of Sintra.

Gorgeous cliffside in Cascais

Cascais, Portugal

We stopped in Cascais, a coastal beach/cliff town just west of Lisbon. The main attraction is Boca do Inferno, or Hell’s Mouth, which is a cave that is similar to a blow hole. We watched the sunset over the Atlantic here, and it was truly a sight to see. To watch a sunset over the Atlantic was also a first for su!

Came for the views, stayed for the port wine πŸ™‚

Porto, Portugal

We drove to Porto for a day trip, where this city by the river was full of beautiful architecture, many street vendors, and a gratuitous amount of port wine. Port wine is made in the region just east of Porto (hence the name), and all the ones we tried during our tasting and cellar tour were fantastic. We also got to listen to live traditional Portuguese music, watching the sunset on the river, as we enjoyed our port wine, which was such a neat experience.

Hard to believe they have big wave surf competitions here during the winter!

Nazare, Portugal

We did a quick trip to Nazare, where the beach is popular for its massive waves during the winter/spring months. The biggest wave ever surfed in the world was here, measuring at almost 30 meters tall. But when we visited, it was completely flat. It was hard to picture a wave that big here!

This Hawaii girl was in her element in Algarve

Algarve, Portugal

Our last day of our semi sabbatical in Portugal was in the southern coastal beach district of Algarve. It’s typically warmer and sunnier in this region as compared to the west coast, and is a popular tourist destination for Europeans. We were lucky enough to have such warm weather, that we even got to jump in the ocean for a bit!

Back to California

We returned to Los Angeles, where we spent the majority of the last two weeks of April with our good friends who we had gotten closer with during the pandemic. These two were a part of our “quarantine bubble,” and it was nice to be able to spend more time with them before we left Los Angeles.

Shredding the gnar gnar

Mammoth Mountain, California

We drove up to Mammoth during the week to get one last mountain day in for the season. Going on a Wednesday was WAY less crowded than our usual weekend trips. We got a ton of runs in, and we still had time at the end to grab a beer at the local brewery before driving back down to LA.

Paddling an OC1 in Morro Bay

Central Coast, California

We also did a little impromptu trip to the central coast of California. We spent a few days during the week in Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Morro Bay. I was privileged enough to be able to paddle and OC1 during our time in Morro Bay! The bay was calm and quiet, and I hadn’t paddled for years. It felt good to be back in my element, enjoying the peace and serenity of Morro Bay.

Next month, we continue our semi sabbatical in San Diego, followed by Phoenix, then making our way up to Northern California for Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned!

If you’d like to continue to track our journey across the US and the world, follow us on instagram: @thirddecadenomads

And if you’re looking to find ways to save some money so that you can start planning for a semi sabbatical, check out these other blog posts:

Note: I am not a certified financial advisor/planner or a certified financial analyst or a CPA or an accountant or a lawyer. Remember, I am an allied health professional, just like you!This website/blog is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Please consult with your financial advisor(s) regarding your personal finance, investment, and tax matters. 

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