Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Retired at 55 - 10 Months Down the Road.

Have you missed me? Did you think I was sitting home watching TV? Not quite.

I have just returned from a 6 week road trip through 8 states and over 3,700 miles. I also have over 3,400 photos to process and a lot of stories to write. I had only scheduled for 3 weeks but I just didn't come home. I actually could have gone one more week but I do have a few obligations at home. And money.... not enough. 

For about half my career I was fortunate enough to have 4 weeks vacation a year. Sure there was years I got none from changing jobs or took very little and opted for the cash instead. Only twice did I vacation slightly over two consecutive weeks. A cruise to Alaska and a cruise through Northern Europe. 

When you ask most people what they plan to do when they retire - the answer is usually travel. Some manage to squeeze out a week here and there. The reality of locking up the house and taking off seldom meets most people's half thought out plans. Travel is hard. Couples seldom agree. Bad things can happen. For me worst of all - you might miss something because you failed to research. 

I don't have any of those problems. I've traveled all my adult life. I have never fully unpacked a suitcase since 1986. I don't remember a time I slept in the same bed for a full 30 days in a row. In the last 3 years I've juggled a condo, house renovation, and girlfriend in three different cities. In years gone by I worked in 8 different cities so on average a week a month was spent in hotels. 

Even so - Six weeks is a very long time. Long enough for the road work near my house to be completed and for me to forget my password to my computer. I didn't even recognise my own bathrooms as I remember the disaster they were the last 3 years and had just renovated them before I left. 

As I write this I am already checking bank accounts, making doctors appointments, looking at a map of the US, and planning for another go in just a few months. It has always been my dream to travel when I retired and so far that dream is coming true. 

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