You’re not traveling???

Where do you plan to travel when you retire? This has been the most asked question of the last 5 months, ever since word got out of my pending retirement.  Everyone knows that people in my generation are on the move.  We are the RV renters, the cruise bookers, and the endless tour goers. 

Sure, we’ll travel sometime, but summers here are beautiful and there’s no need to hit the road (or the airport) at a time when every family in American schedules its two-week vacation. 

The old saying is that travel is broadening and, a few years ago in China, after a couple of weeks of two banquets a day I can testify that I did acquire new breadth.  

However, yesterday I found another way to broaden my horizons instead of my belly.  I started volunteering to facilitate an adult English conversation class at a local community center.  I had six students, two Japanese, two Korean and two Chinese.  They were advanced English speakers and so were able to easily handle our topic of the day: “culture shock.”  Each student came up with an example of a personal experience, ranging from feeling like an outsider amidst a group of native English speakers at the kids’ soccer game, to being astonished at portion sizes at restaurants.  An hour and a half passed quickly and I learned more about a small facet of each of their countries than I might have learned on a cruise or packaged tour.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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4 Responses to You’re not traveling???

  1. Jackie Smith says:

    One of the things you’ll love about traveling – especially now that you are not on a school district calendar schedule – is the ability to travel during those off-seasons after kids are back in school and there’s a nip of winter in the air. Or spring for that matter before and after school breaks: airfares will be cheaper, seats more available, hotels will offer specials. And the best part is your ‘weekend getaway’ can be taken any time between Monday and Friday. . .without tapping into those precious vacation days!

  2. Karen Clark says:

    Congratulations on your new volunteer experience. So like you and I am sure much appreciated!

  3. Dick Clark says:

    I would be interested in a follow up commentary on why you think people are asking you where you plan to travel. Is it out of envy that they perceive you are free to do something they can’t; or is it a polite comment like the “fine” people respond with when you ask “how they are doing?”

    • stillalife says:

      Dick, I’m not sure the answer, except that it seems to be expected of people who retire. I can think of a dozen people I know who started traveling as soon as they were through working. Ann

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