One of the great things (perhaps the BEST?) about being retired is freedom. Being retired is akin to being a kid again; the freedom to wonder around the neighborhood at will and no one to answer to…except your parents when you don’t come home at the appointed hour. Of course, if you are an adult and retired, then you can stay out late every night of the week, if you so choose! It’s really a wonderful feeling and just thinking about that freedom brings a smile to my face.
This freedom has had me thinking about living abroad lately. I can’t say specifically what *one* thing has happened to have pushed this to the front of my mind recently, perhaps it’s several things. I believe the overarching reason is perhaps age. I am still quite young (42!) and am pretty much capable of doing anything physical that I was able to do 20 years ago, albeit a little slower. And of course, there are no guarantees that in 20 years that I will still be as capable, or hell, even still alive!
During my working years (and the couple of years in retirement) our travel has been restricted by some sort of obligation. When working, it was…well, yeah, that looming Monday morning commute that you would have to endure a mere 7-10 days after you triumphantly declared to all your co-workers, “SEE YOU BITCHES LATER!!!” Oh, how I hated that…it ruined 1/2 of the vacation just dreading going back to the grind. Well, that pretty much subsided when I retired, but seeing how as my wife continues to work, I now have to endure the pain vicariously THROUGH her…and it’s just as terrible. As a matter of fact, our last vacation was terrible in the we went with two other couples and 5 out of 6 of us had to go back to work. And well, the guilt that I felt over NOT having to work was simply overwhelming. But, guilt is a pretty useless human emotion (that’s a whole ‘nother post!) but it was still terrible. Even more troublesome is that we are financially independent enough that my wife DOESN’T have to work! WHAT?!? Really? I know…I know. That too is the subject of another post (I have lots of ideas for posts, I just can’t seem to motivate myself to post every day) but suffice to say, my wonderful wife isn’t on board with the early retirement boat…at least yet.
Well, the point of all of this is to say that I think being able to travel for long periods of time would be fantastic. One of my favorite places in the world isn’t too far away (about 2 hours by plane and then 30’ish minutes by boat) and every time I go, I long to return…and I dream of staying longer and LONGER. This destination has many apartments that are VERY reasonable and you can stay for a month or a year…it doesn’t really matter. All I know is that when I talk to the ex-apts that have lived there, they all seem to LOVE it. And not just “Oh, I love living here…it’s great” it’s always a most exuberant “OH MY GOD…I LOVE!!! LOVE!!! LOVE!!! LIVING HERE!!” They seem to be so enthralled, it can be nauseating. Is that jealousy on my part? Hell yeah it is; yet another useless human emotion.
I am not really sure what the point of this post is, perhaps it’s just some venting. And well, that was the point of this blog. I have lots of time on my hands and not too many people to bitch to, so what better use for this medium? I don’t envision making $100K a year on this thing (or even $5 a year) so what I say is inconsequential.
Well, I will say that Spring is definitely in the air and the weather is absolutely perfect, So while all my neighbors are still slogging it out in the salt mines, I think I will go take an afternoon nap in my hammock and dream of being an ex-pat. Yes, I am still FREE….