I Should Be Retired, BUT ….

I’m over the known Australian retirement age and I have ceased that regular work day routine; wake up, get up, shower up, eat up, dress up, turn up. Sounds familiar? But the day’s excitement really isn’t in “turning up”. It’s BEING UP – on the top-side of the grass. If everyone’s going to ‘end up’ on the ‘other side of the grass’, why not enjoy getting there?

Some get to the ‘under side’ very young in life and before they should have. Others arrive there after their ‘use-by-date’. They become a burden to everyone, including their spouse and family, since the ‘three score years plus ten’ has been reached. So what is a good way to enjoy those “days of fade”?

I guess you couldn’t say I was employed, nor could you say I’m retired. Keeping relaxed and calm is the most beneficial lifestyle anyone could undertake. And so that’s what takes up most of my day. (No one ‘pushes’ this little duck around.) Always abide by the rules of where you are. On the outside, people might say that I am lazy. On the inside, I know I am enjoying life doing what interests me, even if it doesn’t bring in the truck loads of money my talents are worth. Ha Ha!

Many save, save, and then save some more for their retirement and for many, beyond retirement. I haven’t! I’m enjoying life now before ‘they’ provide me with a walking frame. Yes, I have seen a variety of walking aids on cruises and tours, but these poor folk have had to do the tour ‘slowly’. Keeping the walker away from the aisle and away from the busy passing traffic, can be a real chore when ‘things don’t work properly’; and I’m meaning the body AND the walker.

Travel opens up the mind. But to get to some places that will fascinate your tastes, you need to be fit and agile. That includes opening up the body by taking in some deep breaths and making a big decision to TRAVEL. I say that because, for many, the first trip is like that breath of fresh air that opens up every cell in the body and mind for those new ventures. You forget all that drags you down around where you live and work. You begin to look forward to those new and exciting “everyone else has done this, so I’m going to do it too” experiences.

Remember when friends returned from their ‘amazing’ trip? Didn’t they enthrall you with tales of what happened when they landed and how they were taken to this luxurious accommodation looking out over the magnificent blue Mediterranean Sea? You were sharing their special moment that is so indelibly entrenched in their mind. That’s what travel is all about; being able to share what you have experienced because of what someone else has experienced and extending your education at the same time. Every trip you do will be that much different to what your friends’ trip was.

Even though there are many modes of travel, each person has their own favourite mode. For me, my preferred mode is fast becoming cruising. However, I have done coach, four-wheel driving, motorhome ventures, river and ocean cruises. Each can be the best mode to do the particular tour you have chosen. Sometimes you have to ride a kayak, or a donkey, or walk a hundred kilometers; it’s up to you.

Each continent has purpose built travel modes to get around that suit the type of tours being offered. South America requires a lot of flying segments to visit the well-known icons we hear from others about. South Africa requires a 4WD truck, or Land Rover, to cover the distances and view the scenery or animals, on sometimes, very hard, rough roads. In Europe, the coach or river cruise boat is often preferred. North America uses trains, coaches and car hire. Of course, each region can be done differently to each other. But I’m sure you get the picture.

So what’s all this got to do with being retired? When you ‘retire’ you have finished work. I have mixed the two so I manage to both work and not work. It’s a hard job to do but I love it. So what is my work? As you may have become aware, I travel a lot. I write, photograph, and take high definition movies of the trips I do, and convert all that into a blog, a photo book, and a DVD. I then make short movies to be used in advertising or promoting a destination to gain an income.

I have experienced whizzing along the Amazon River before breakfast in search of the fresh-water pink dolphin. To see a lion wake up and prepare himself to meet his mate and announce his intentions with an extended period of jungle roaring is spine tingling. Having cascades of water drop straight down on you is ‘cleansing’, both outside and sometimes inside. A morning sunrise while cruising down the Danube is refreshing at the start of the day. The museums of Moscow and Saint Petersburg give a new insight on the goings on in a ‘hidden country’ such as Russia. Even following the Tour de France can be exciting as you walk the roads that soon speeding bike riders will pass without even noticing the effort you have put in to the walk, can reward that ‘child-like desire’ of riding in a big cycling event. That is a sports lover’s interest.

Can I encourage you to believe that you too can enjoy retirement by expanding your boundaries beyond the front gate? Get out there. The world is your address. See and experience it. Your decision will be your own; but ‘live’ your decision.

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