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