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March 21, 2013


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I am a combination of wanderlust and stay fixed at home. I enjoy entertaining, particularly at the holidays, here at home. I treasure my monthly book club, and go to considerable lengths to work our travel schedule around it's meetings. There are certain annual December holiday events we do with friends and family I couldn't imagine missing.

On the other hand, I crave new sights and experiences, so we travel some 6-7 months of the year. This satisfies me for now.

I so admire full time RV'ers, but I don't see myself giving up my home base at this time, and likely not in the future either.

Whether we stay where we are (S. California) or relocate at some point primarily depends on our daughters and who has the first grandchild! Maybe. Life here is awfully good as it stands.


I so agree with you. I watch those shows and dream about exotic living. But then I think of what I have here in my own city, snow and all and realize I'd miss the family and friends too much. Mostly when we travel, it is just so nice to come back home to our own bed. But travel we will be doing when both of us are fully retired--bits at a time. Just because the world is such a wonderful place to leave unexplored. Enjoy your pork-fests!


Without a doubt I could create a satisfying life almost anywhere, and I do enjoy living vicariously through Expat bloggers, but since the retirement life I have is pretty nice I am content to just explore.

We are not nearly as organized with our travel plans as Tamara, but we do try to plan the longer trips well in advance while leaving short-term road trips to happenstance. Having the time to research travel and lodging bargains and being able to be spontaneous is a great benefit to being retired.

Thanks for the link to Kathleen's posts. I enjoyed reading several of them.


Sydney, you are a gem.
I've been feeling defensive since I retired a year and a half ago, at the age of 43. Everyone keeps asking me why I don't go live somewhere exotic instead of staying in my mid-sized West Texas town. You've put everything I've felt into perfect perspective. I've worked so hard to become a part of this community after 18 years, and even feel like I can go to any function alone because I always run into people I know. It's hard to explain how much that means to me. Plus, staying in a town that is 'easy to live in'... No rush hour traffic, relatively little crime, friendly folks... Is so important to me. You can't put a price on comfort. Thank you for helping me articulate that!
Having said all that, I still do love to travel and see new things. Would love to hear your thoughts on the minimum length of time you can visit a place and get to know it at the slow place you mentioned.

Retired Syd

Angela: While I admire those that retire in exotic places, I guess the reality is that we all have different weightings to the priorities in our lives. Makes the world go around, right? In any case, I think like the others mention above, a community you are connected to (and especially kids and grandkids) are perfectly good reasons to stay put. Nothing wrong with a home base you like from which to take off on explorations from time to time (with frequency and length depending on your own personalities.)

I like a good month somewhere, but Doug gets a little antsy to get home at about the 3-week mark, so that seems to be the sweet spot that can please both of us. (Plus the garden isn't in quite as bad of shape if we get back in 3 weeks--a month away makes it a little harder to face!)


No offense, but it seems like you are trying to convince yourself of something that you truly feel inside yourself. I agree that friends and family proximity is great but isn't one of the points of retirement to be able to do something that you feel deep inside?

I have been reading many retirement blogs on the internet and have to sometimes wonder if some folks were so focused on 'retiring' that they really never talked to their spouse about how they see the rest of their life playing out and discuss with each other their desires (even if a bit outlandish or bold).

I live in an area where there are lots of well- off retirees (private golf club etc) but on closer observation have found that it is often one partner (husband) who is having his fun (golfing) while the spouse is often tagging along (albeit with a polite veneer which hides her sense of dissatisfaction.

I sincerely hope you are eventually able to do some extended travel/stay in those places that you currently admire vicariously. Life is too short and precious for rationalizations.

Retired Syd

Mark: I certainly didn't mean to denigrate travel, I still love to do that! But the fantasy about selling the house, ditching everything--well it turns out that isn't consistent with my priorities.

You can read as much as you want before you retire, talk as much as you can with your spouse, etc., but the truth is, sometimes it's hard to know what your priorities in retirement will really be until you get there. When you are working, your fantasies are sometimes colored by how much you want to escape your work. Then when you remove the work and see what's left--that what's left is really great, you might not be so eager to escape anymore.

And since one of my top priorities is a happy marriage, I'm happy to get my travel in smaller chunks and appreciate all the other great things about my life when I'm not traveling.

It doesn't sound to me from your comment like proximity to friends and family is that much of a priority to you--which means your retirement might look very different than mine. Nothing wrong with that!

Tom Sightings

I agree, there are no friends like old friends, but ... I'll pass on the pork.


This is a good post about the dreams, fantasies and goals that make a retirement great. My hubby and I and our two lovely Lhasas like to sail the Caribbean waters for about half the year. We spend the other half of the year on land. This duality works well for us. It is always good to get on the boat, for a simpler life and some adventure. And then it is good to get home to a large bed, shower, garden, friends and family. Oh, life is good!

Retired Syd

hohalfmeasures: Sounds like you have struck the perfect balance! And I love that your doggies are sailors.



I recently came upon your blog and am really enjoying reading it. I think you have indeed found your ideal retirement.

After I retired my wife and I actually did live for three years in her home country, the Philippines I met quite a few American expats there, some of whom found their dream of retiring abroad a fulfilled dream,and others who had found their dream of retiring abroad had become a nightmare. My advice for those considering such a move would be to research the country/countries you're interested in and then visit for at least a few months before making a major life decision like selling your house. thanks and I look forward to your next blog.

fred doe

No matter where you go, there you are? Where to go? Now there's the rub? Like Goldie Lock's quandary:) I hear ya syd

Rick Jantz

Good article. I had recently come across another one that discussed how cheap it was to live in one of the Caribbean Islands or somewhere. I thought that was pretty cool and, while I had never considered it before, find the idea intriguing to say the least. Not sure if my wife would agree and don't know how long I could be away but it's a nice thought. Maybe a 6 month stint?

Rosie@CT Party Bus

I, unfortunately am not retired yet but look forward to it. I am not so sure I will stop working (I rather enjoy what I do) however the moments of knowing I can retire anywhere and at the right time is looking like a luxury I am excited for. This was a great article, it really makes you think. As of this exact moment I want to in Cabo San Lucas or Portugal ;).

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