Ok, so I haven’t decided whether this is worth it yet. By this, I mean getting to go on a fancy vacation in Hawaii made possible by the fact that I have a little part-time job to pay for it. On the one hand, this is an absolutely lovely place to unwind. On the other hand, I wouldn’t need the unwinding if I didn’t pick up the little part-time job by which the lovely little vacation is being paid.
Although we did enjoy one tropical vacation at an all-inclusive resort during the last three years, and a couple of others tagging along with friends, most of our trips have involved swapping homes. We’ve got couple of these vacations on the books for later this year, first to Montreal and then to Australia. These trips take a little extra work: you’ve got to spend the time to find a suitable exchange partner, make your own home presentable for your guests, and then leave their home in good shape before you check-out. But it’s nice because you don’t have to wash blueberries for your cereal in the bathroom sink--you have an actual house with an actual kitchen, including an actual kitchen sink.
On the other hand, you have to clean up after yourself on the home-exchange vacation. At the fancy resort that the part-time job pays for, someone comes in and spruces up the room each day and gives you nice new fluffy towels. On the other hand, you have to bring lots of clothes with you because you don’t have a washer and dryer in your room like when you get a whole house that you swapped for.
But most importantly, when you don’t have a part-time job to pay for the fancy vacation that you wouldn’t have needed if you didn’t have the part-time job, you wouldn’t be getting emails about work while you are on the fancy vacation because you wouldn’t be unwinding from the part-time job at the fancy resort in the first place. You see why I’m confused?
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This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job
the room looks great and not having to cook is better. i don't see the problem with the clothes? hawaii : you need swim trunks, shorts. tee shirts and flip flops? you gotta work on that retirement couture syd :).
Posted by: fred doe | April 08, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Sounds like the flip side of you previous blog (What are you willing to give up?). And I think you answered yourself there. You really like those vacations, it seems, and are willing to pay the price (price = part time job).
If it works for you, why not? And when working REALLY grows old, then bag it. All the best to you.
Posted by: Banjo Steve | April 08, 2011 at 07:09 PM
I'm afraid you are becoming a victim of 'lifestyle inflation'. It sneaks up on you and by the time you realize it, it's too late. As you make more money, you start to spend it. It happens to everybody. Please don't feel singled out.
Does a part time job really cause as much stress as a full time job? Are you stressed out due to the tax season?
The secret is to make the extra money and save it. Not spend it. But we all make excuses and justify the spending till we find ourselves right back in the hole we got out of. If I had kept my spending the same these past 10 years as when I first retired at 50, I wouldn't be going back to work at 60. First you take vacations. Then you buy a vacation home. Then a little sailboat. Then a marina, boat repairs, maintenance costs, yada, yada, yada. Then you become so used to your new jet setting ways (Oh, did I mention the European vacations?) it's tough to go back to the way you were.
Now, I got my spending back down to the previous decade level and it wasn't a pleasant journey. I went kicking and screaming.
Please be careful. It just sneaks up on you and then, you're stuck.
Posted by: morrison | April 08, 2011 at 08:28 PM
I wonder if you've hit your "6 month honeymoon limit"? By that I mean that I've always become bored about 6 months into a new job because I've learned it all, improved what I want to improve and the challenge - and the fun - is gone. I haven't quite hit that at this job because I'm winding down a company so it's staying interesting, but... I can feel it coming. And I'll pull the plug when the fun is gone. And maybe it's worse for you because there isn't an official end in sight? ie - YOU will have to pull that plug? And then you have to transition someone else... etc etc.
Can you pimp the hubby out for a bit? Or he doesn't want to?
Posted by: Jacq | April 08, 2011 at 08:37 PM
@Fred: It's the tennis and hiking clothes. I can't bear putting them on again after sweating in them so need one set for each match/hike. Otherwise, you're right a bathing suit and a sun dress is pretty much it.
@Jacq: I think you got what I was saying.
Posted by: Retired Syd | April 08, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Syd, oddly enough, I just figured out this last year that it wasn't that I didn't like work, I just like work that's a new challenge. And then a rest doing other stuff. And then a new challenge again. I don't know why it took almost 30 years of working to figure that out. Gives you the most bizarre and long resume. That I fortunately don't have to update because jobs just come. :-)
Morrison, I'm afraid I am a total failure at this lifestyle inflation stuff. :-( I am trying to loosen up and do it in little spurts with what reasonably fits into the 1, 5, 20 year plan. I just think that most people like Syd and I (ie accounting types) don't have that capacity to ignore reality - or spreadsheets and don't go off on spending benders. Maybe I'm wrong about Syd, but that's the case for me. I don't know, all that spending inflation sounds kind of tiring.
Banjo, I *think* Syd was saying that she doesn't really like the "regular consumer" style of vacation as much as she does her freebie house swapping gigs. Just like I don't like the thought of going on an all-inclusive and would rather take off for the same price in an RV for a month out in the middle of nowhere. Rushing around trying to fit everything in on a 1-2 week vacation just sucks. It's good to know what's not worth paying the price for you even when it used to seem worth it.
Sorry for the comment hijack Syd. I'll go write on my own blog that I'm avoiding now. LOL
Posted by: Jacq | April 09, 2011 at 06:03 AM
Posted by: Stephanie | April 14, 2011 at 03:14 PM
On the surface, house swapping appears to be a cost-effective option. Have you ever had a disappointing experience? (i.e. the house you visited was dirty, or less than you were told it would be).
Posted by: Adam | April 16, 2011 at 07:14 AM
@Adam, I'm sure that happens but it hasn't happened to us. I only swap with folks that post a bunch of pictures. So far, every home we've gone to has looked exactly like the pictures. A couple of the homes are not as clean as I might keep mine, but I wouldn't call them dirty.
I can't say the same is true of hotels I've paid to stay at. I have had several disappointments on that front. Perhaps my expectations are higher, though, when I'm paying hundreds of dollars a night for lodging.
Posted by: Retired Syd | April 16, 2011 at 08:53 AM
P.S. I've always figured, if the place was really bad, we would just move into a hotel, which is what we would have done anyway if we didn't swap. Haven't had to do that yet.
Posted by: Retired Syd | April 16, 2011 at 08:55 AM
Hi There. I really like your site. We just bought a time share that we can let anyone use, year round. It's global too! http://vacations-for-less.com
The reason I posted here is that many retirees stay at our Dominican resort for a period of months.
Posted by: Jay | April 17, 2011 at 06:01 AM
I received a call from my replacement earlier this week about a work issue, as I was walking along the beach in Carmel, CA, gazing at the ocean and luxuriating in my new retirement status. My stomach literally clenched when the calling number displayed on my cell, not because of who was calling me, but rather because of why.
I'm still surprised at what a strong physical reaction I had to the interjection of my old job into my new life. Conversely, I'm very much looking forward to returning home and beginning to work with my first adult reading student, a volunteer position I became trained for just prior to retiring. So, it would appear that it's not work in general I'm rebelling against, but rather what type.
Posted by: Tamara | April 22, 2011 at 06:59 AM
I really enjoyed your post. Room looks great
Posted by: Werner Ladders | April 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM
These days, I don't feel nearly the attraction from the luxury resort. we've never had the money to indulge but it always seemed like what we would do - if we had the money. These days, I'm less tempted. Out initial plan is to spend a month someplace really rich in things to do- maybe Rome. Rent an apartment and just see what happens. If that goes well, the next trip would be three months.
Posted by: [email protected] Lifestyle | May 08, 2011 at 09:38 AM
I feel your confusion. I might have some casual work lined up. Probably be good money. I would love to have the money, but every time I think about working to get it I'm not sure I want many quite that badly. It is a conundrum.
Then again, its nice to have the luxury of problems like these.
Posted by: Beingretired.wordpress.com | May 16, 2011 at 05:12 PM
I would kill for that bad right now! I want to sleep so badly... :(
Posted by: freelance writing jobs | August 29, 2011 at 09:50 AM