Travel near or far: positive aging

Many of us lived the secret life of “Walter Mitty”… daydreaming our way through various exciting but never experienced adventures. Even Walter found a way to actualize many of those dreams into his real life.  Let’s see what happens when your dreams become  a reality.

Pam, Bob, Dixie and Rick try a Relocation Cruise from Miami to Rome, Italy.

Not every one likes to travel. This positive aging tip is directed for those that do and those that aspire to.

You all know there are hundreds of ways to travel.  The four of us have tried many of them both in our nation and in other countries.

Pam and Bob started a business in Europe and lived both in Bath,England and in the Netherlands before returning to the U.S.  We’ve traveled by trains, planes, automobiles and ships.  Sounds extravagant? We’ve usually managed to do this on a “shoestring.”

Our residences are in Florida, one of the places that makes cruise travel fairly convenient.  We tried a Relocation Cruise with MSC, an Italian cruise line.

MSC, Italian cruise line. Great food, service and wonderful entertainment.

What’s a Relocation Cruise?

Many cruise lines move their vessels out of the Florida region during hurricane season. Basically June 1 to November 1st.  These transitions occur during the “shoulder seasons” meaning fall and spring.  Fall is the time the ships return to the U.S. and spring sends the ships to European ports.

Because the passenger’s portion of the trip is only one way (the trip on the opposite portion is up to you), Relocation Cruises are economical.  We booked a 20 day cruise from Miami to Rome. Ports included;

New York City. Standing at the ground level of “Freedom Tower”
  1. Depart Miami
  2. New York City (overnight in NYC port),
  3. Bermuda
  4. Punta Del Gado  Azores
  5. Lisbon Portugal
  6. Cadiz Spain
  7. Barcelona Spain
  8. Naples Italy (tour of Pompeii)
  9. Rome, Italy

We rented an apartment in Rome for four days to tour the area.  After visiting all our ports each couple flew on to their destinations.

Churches in Rome were spectacular, as expected.
Following the Azores, coming into the Lisbon Portugal port
Found artifacts preserved in the lost city of Pompeii

Obviously, the four of us like to travel and have traveled a bit. This trip did not disappoint.  Though I feel a little like those friends who return from their vacations and then bore you with their travel tales and travel slides/albums, I will stop with the photos.

We advocate travelling near, (we live in an amazingly beautiful country) or far.  The new experiences, adventures, camaraderie and friendship can’t be underestimated.  All important to positive aging.

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

One last photo in Rome:

Good friends in Rome. In Italy, Mangia mangia! means EAT!

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” — Tim Cahill

Homework:  If you are one of those who enjoy travel, Checkout a relocation cruise.

Dixie

writers@richlyaged.com

Retirement 5: Mentor a Young Person

Mentor a young person and change two lives at once!

If you read Dixie’s last blog about volunteering, you’re probably full of ideas.  One of the best ways to fulfill your desire to volunteer in retirement is to mentor a young person.  You’d be surprised at the number of younger people who would benefit from your insights and your attention.

You might be able to mentor even before you retire.  You’ve probably noticed in your workplace that there are fresh employees who seem a little like “deer in the headlights” when they first join your employer.

Instead of being a spectator to their discomfort and floundering, make yourself available as a “big brother or sister,” a mentor to gently relay information that will make their transition into the seduction of work a little easier.

Mentors Make a Difference

A good friend of mine, recently retired, became involved in her church women’s group.  She had reached the pinnacle of her career by working hard and then working harder and harder still.  The big recognition reward in her company in addition to salary was earning the coveted pink Cadillac.  She notched 11 of them on her company belt while taking care of her husband and two children.

After retirement she attended a Bible study for herself which allowed her, in retrospect, to examine her life, to look closely at herself and to begin to understand “Sisterhood.”  The “volunteer gig” part of her church relationship in retirement was to spend her time in the “Mom’s Session” with the young mothers to partner with them and validate the importance of the time they were spending with their children while sometimes yearning for the postponed professional life.

My friend’s greatest contribution to these young moms was to remind them how valuable was this time spent with their children and to remind them that this too would pass.  There was ample time left for them to meet their career goals.

Another Story from the Real World

Continue reading Retirement 5: Mentor a Young Person

Retirement 2: Say Yes the First Year of Retirement

 

Yes sign
Say Yes! the first year of retirement.

Say yes invites you to do new things for the whole first year of retirement.  You can pare down and be selective after that.

Before retirement, our lives are pretty much consumed by the time on the job and the ancillary time required to get to and from the job, prepare meals, oversee the household responsibilities and carve a little time for immediate friends and family.

In today’s rapid-paced fast lane, most opportunities not directly related to “the career” are categorized as “back burner.”  Sometimes that burner never gets revisited while the front burner gets “burned out.”

Now you have the luxury of time.  If you plan thoughtfully, you will have the absence of “hurry.”  That formula should result in life fulfillment and self-actualization.  You can try on different shoes to see what’s the most comfortable fit for this new phase of your life.

Be available

Your neighbors, friends, and family are used to having you available for snatches of time before or after work. They have been conditioned to respect your constraints and not bother you for what may be trivial. They have a routine in their lives that hasn’t included you, their too-busy friend. Host a little “getting to know you” brunch at your home to get reacquainted. It would be fun!

The good news is that you are available now!  Go to an unhurried lunch. Take a relaxed shopping trip. Play a round of golf. Attend a class. The list is endless.  This is the time to reach out to friends and neighbors and let them know that you would like to be included. Continue reading Retirement 2: Say Yes the First Year of Retirement

Positive Aging: How To Be Your Own Valentine

Be your own valentine for a perfect Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day – though unbelievably commercial –  can be nice.  Hearts and flowers and candy.  What’s not to like?  That’s all well and good if you’re getting hearts and flowers and candy.  But what if you’re not?  Positive aging means more than just being positive about other people!

We’re often so busy – even in retirement – taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves.  Here’s a solution to that problem. Continue reading Positive Aging: How To Be Your Own Valentine

Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

Dixie recently wrote a post about positive aging being a state of mind.  Well, yes, and a new study out of the University of California suggests that she’s right and that resilience may be the key to positive aging.

Nature is resilient. Be like nature!

How So?

  • Older adults with health problems but high resilience – the ability to bounce back from negative events – rated their degree of successful aging just as highly as those without health problems.
  • Even those who had struggled with cancer, heart disease, and a range of other problems, but didn’t suffer from depression, rated their degree of successful aging quite highly.

Continue reading Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

70th Birthday Celebration: Positive Aging

So tonight I attended another Happy 70th Birthday party for a male friend in our retirement neighborhood. Five days before Christmas 2016 and someone else is joining my exclusive club which requires 70+ years. The club of positive aging.

Celebrating age 70+ is positive aging.Rick & Dixie
Celebrating age 70+ is positive aging. Rick & Dixie enjoying the party.

 

When you live in a 55+ community of retired active adults, everyone is young. Young at heart, young in perspective, young in activity levels. We are surrounded by retirees a little older, a little younger or the same chronological age.

Most of these 50+ party attendees are on competitive tennis teams in our area.  The rest are involved in golf, bicycling, computer classes, choir, swimming, boccie and a myriad of other activities.  The point is, this party was to celebrate aging happily; with camaraderie, laughter with friends, good food and drinks.

 

Inevitable aging doesn’t have to be a sad or lonely decline.

 

Continue reading 70th Birthday Celebration: Positive Aging