Mario has a fixation on time. He has developed theories about it, built mobile apps to track it, designed hacks to optimize its expenditure, and a full mental mindset that has proven over the years to be more than what it looked at first as an OCD symptom.
He's definitely a time nerd. At the age of 48, he felt the pressure of the major birthday milestone coming up and felt that he was running out of time. Nope, not about death. He doesn't care about it, he uses death as a motivator to keep achieving tough goals. He is focused on a lack of time to scratch more things off of the list. Life is worth living as long as you can give it meaning by doing something that it matters.
He came to the conclusion that by the time you retire, your mind might be snappy but your body is not. Therefore, all these dreams of doing "this and that" are going to be just dreams because by then you will have a different reality and you didn't prepare your mind and body to handle the next phase of life.
As with all things he has done in the past it's "either go big or go home". He's a social animal but when he is deadly serious about something he barely talks about anything. It is his way of figure it out. He doesn't talk about something unless he's committed to doing it. So, if he's now letting me tell the story is because he "got it" and is acting on it. He's my Elon and Bill gates in one crazy Italian pasta package.
He researched for two years, the tiny homes movement, the off-grid life, the climate shifting, the divisiveness of the country and realized that dying happy and healthier is more a utopia that people cultivate.
Most people don't actively work toward it. Everything rotates around wealth accumulation and the idea of "living healthy". The idea, they don't actually pursue it like it's a life/death option. "I should go to the gym but I am going to eat this burrito first" followed by "now it's late. I will have just a salad, a movie and I will go tomorrow". You probably got the drill.
After all this time reading, asking questions to all sorts of people. Participating in forums with the most out-there type of folks to the most knowledgable of all, he was able to define "what is happiness" for folks like us. We concluded that the way we were heading toward retirement (15 years away from legal status) was not lined up with that new understanding. If there's anything I know about my husband, if he takes an interest in a problem, he solves it no matter how hard it could be. And that's when that is somebody else problem. When he is the one having the problem, he turns into a terminator. Specifically, a T1000, because the other models suck.
The idea of relocating at some point became to shape up. Setting the stage for a place where health, opportunity, joy, and self-sustainability were the leading factors started taking place. We lined up three countries and three specific areas where we would have gone testing our hypothesis and research. Hawaii, Panama, Portugal.
Panama was the first on the list because we had been actively supporting and participating in this young couple's project in building their future there. And what Jordan and Kylee are doing inspired Mario to the T. We were all set to move to Panama for 3 months to lab test the place. COVID happened and Panama kept changing their restrictions and we kept moving out tickets and VISA requests. While this was happening we were continuing researching the other alternatives.
Hawaii had been put aside due to several red flags we had collected and also because of the high cost of living there. That was until Mario spotted an island that he had never heard about it, an ad on Facebook about a wonderful old lady selling her place there... in less than 5 days booked flights, a place where to stay; packed a ton of gear for filming and collecting data, and we flu to Moloka'i. Two weeks later we came back with an offer to the place he spotted and a piece of land that we now own.
Before we committed to the purchase we brought back this old discussion of how to have a beautiful life. How to age better, happier. We sat by the deck, looking at the sea. Then gazing at one another. I told him "I know that you like to work on big projects alone. But share our findings and goals with our close friends. I bet some will see what we see. And friends want friends happy around". He didn't reply but a wife has his way to crack through thick skulls... so as I said, Mario either goes big or does nothing. He started designing a movement and opened his idea, to the world. In the next article, we will tell you why we set on Molokai.