Retirement Talk for Boomers, Seniors and Retirees

                                                                                                                                            What to do with the Rest of Your Life?

Episode 111 Part 4 Road Trip: Why Travel?

“I wanted to see where man was born.” That’s the reason I travelled to Africa. I served as a driver on a study of the spotted hyena on the Serengeti Plain. I was younger then. A few years latter I travelled to Nepal and helped an anthropologist study monkeys around Syambhu, a Hindu temple in Katmandu. That was the initial plan. In the end, I spent most of my time with a Swami Darmiyotti, a Hindu Sadhu talking religion and philosophy, visiting untouchables, and finding out what they really mean by the word, “enlightened”. I like to travel with a purpose and I like to meet the locals.

This is Retirement Talk.

I know a lot of people who travel and they like to go first class. They stay in beach resorts or Hilton Hotels. My experience has always revealed the similarities of such places. A teacher colleague of mine traveled the world and went from Hilton to Hilton; and then shopping to shopping.  I don’t quiet understand it. I guess different people are excited or enthralled by different experiences.

Now we are perched on the threshold of another trip; a road trip across the good ol’ USA. What is it that I want out of this trip? That’s the question that had to be addressed and articulated for me to really feel comfortable undertaking such a journey.

Doing something different with my life has always held a great deal of appeal. Keeping a certain consistency is good but sometimes the call of the open road is strong. Some of us want to see something different, be somewhere different, met different people. A trip spaced out every few months, or every few years, can be real nice. Plus that, my wife wants to go. She has been talking of taking a long road trip for several years but something has always popped up that seemed to be better. This time our diversion came in the way of a home exchange with an artist in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It sounded good, but I have this thing about flying and the problem it causes for global warming combined with the personal discomfort of airline seats. A road trip seemed more appealing. Brenda readily agreed. Although she still studies her Spanish on a daily basis.

These podcasts have evolved into a project that also support a road trip. I want to talk to locals as we move along and find out a bit about their retired lives. Why is this a, “good, or bad”, place in which to retire? What do you do with yourself in retirement? These two questions might serve as a way to meet people and strike up conversations. I want to explore different regions of the country. Perhaps there is a difference in people’s desires, expectations and experiences.

Hopefully the two basic questions will lead into a more varied exploration of people and their values. I would like to get into the uniqueness of each person; find that “story” that all of us have lying within. 

This type of trip also appeals to me because it will allow us to take much of our daily life along with us. We will take our bikes. I will take my guitar. Brenda will take her paints. Then by taking a laptop and a small microphone I will be able to do these podcasts from the road. We will see how that goes. I’m sure that the time we have to spend with all of these things we bring along will be limited. Some days will be consumed with driving. However, we have a well known habit of going slow and stopping often. Sometime during most days the bike, guitar, and paints will be used – at least a little.

I suppose a big reason for travel is that it is highly valued and pumped by our culture. The papers, television, books, etc all hype the exotic world of – just over there; somewhere else. We seem to always want what we don’t have. If we live where there is snow, we dream of sandy beaches. If we live in the city, we dream of the bucolic country side.

I really don’t want to go anywhere. Then again, I have this urge to do something different. Be somewhere different. It is sort of a schizophrenic situation; if we could only be in two places at once. So the great compromise sets in: stay in the Pacific Northwest most of the time and then force myself to venture forth. Life is good without the travel, but…

This is Retirement Talk