Five Years On
It is an anniversary of sorts. I retired five years ago today. I had started my blog nine months earlier in anticipation of my retirement, intending to share information on retirement and post-retirement issues, as well as my profound thinking on subjects of my choosing. That goal lasted less than nine months. Once I was actually retired, I discovered I wasn’t interested in retirement anymore. It was just the start of the next phase of my life, and I put the old one behind me. In some ways, I regret my choice of blog name, but I am still into recharging and reconnecting, even if I am past retirement.
Much of the last five years has been spent traveling, both in the US and abroad. I have been to the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Canada. I may have forgotten one or two. I took photography classes in Venice, Istanbul, Arles, and Cuba. I floated down the Nile. I saw elephants in the wild. I flew to Paris just to see an art exhibition and added Christmas Markets to the itinerary because I could. I spent Christmas in the shadow of the Matterhorn. I visited friends in Sweden.
I took several road trips through parts of the US, including backroads and byways in the routes when I could. I took a sleeper train from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, California. I spent time with family and friends across the US in New York, California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, South Dakota, and Minnesota. I attended graduations and weddings, celebrated holidays and birthdays, and enjoyed the company of some of my favorite people. I attended the Women’s March in Washington, DC.
Part of my new approach to life happened when I discovered blogging photo challenges. They opened up a way to share my love of photography and travel and, at the same time, document my post-retirement life. Not only did photo challenges make me look at my images in new ways, they inspired me to improve my photography skills and vision. It could have been a Crayola color or a square or a cosmic challenge. A big thanks to those bloggers who take the time and energy to host challenges. In a way, my blog posts and photo challenge posts are a chronological record of my last five years. I try to use photos from recent trips or events to respond to new photo challenges. Sometimes I reach back into my archives, but I love going through my latest images to find a good fit for a new challenge.
What’s on the agenda for the next five years? In the upcoming months I will be visiting Newport, Rhode Island, going to see an art exhibit in Southern California, spending time with family in Alaska, making at least on trip to upstate New York to float in my sister’s pool, and touring southern Italy in September. For the rest, I’m flexible.