One of the perks of this semi-retirement gig that Papa and I have entered into is that we’ve had time and opportunity to embark on some journeys from home.
Since Papa left his full-time (headache-filled, stress inducing – need I say more?) job a couple of years ago, he has been working part-time in another place of employment. Eventually, he will fully retire but not just yet.
He enjoys this current position but appreciates even more the fact that when he departs from his job, he leaves work-related worries behind and doesn’t ‘bring them home’ with him.
Even though in the last few years I only substitute taught part-time, I too have vacated the working world to babysit one of our granddaughters a couple of times a week.
So far, it’s worked out well and we’ve been able to realize our dream of traveling. We’ve actually ventured on more trips this past year than we have taken in a long time.
One aspect of retirement that we discussed long before reaching our 60’s was that we wanted to do a bit of traveling when we hit our retirement years. Not big extravagant trips like an 80 days around the world thing, just jaunts here and there to places we’ve never been.
Partake of time off to go visit our grown up offspring who live in different states than us. And maybe, if finances and health endure, we dreamed about perhaps one day visiting the old countries – places in Europe where our ancestors once came from.
I don’t know if we will fulfill that dream, but for now, we’re content to travel right here in our own native land – the USA. I’m not really one to make bucket lists, but I do have a goal of visiting all 50 of our states. I have 10 more to go and I’ll have achieved that aspiration. Plus there are a number of places that we would like to visit again because we didn’t see all that we hoped to see.
Last June, we journeyed north with stops in New York state (where we’ve been many times before) for some sightseeing in areas we had not seen. From there we drove to Massachusetts and my history buff husband ticked off some historic sites from his own to-see list including Concord, Boston, Quincy, and Plymouth. We both thoroughly delighted in a drive to the tip of Cape Cod as well. And from there, we visited Rhode Island and Connecticut.
In the fall, history won out again. Our middle daughter inherited that history-loving gene from her dad. She had never been to a well-known Civil War battlefield in our own state. Both Papa and I have been there before, but we knew it would be worthwhile going back, so we loaded up daughter and granddaughter and spent a few days there.
For our 40th wedding anniversary, our children gave us a monetary gift to take a respite away for just the two of us. Their suggested idea was a bed and breakfast somewhere within driving distance, but Papa and I decided instead to use the gift for airfare.
In February, we boarded a plane and flew westward to spend some time with my oldest sister and brother-in-law who have retired to a beautiful spot in Arizona. Two more states checked off my list as we ventured not only to interesting places in their area but also to Nevada as well.
In addition to those jaunts, we also traveled out of state to visit our children, taking a couple of little side trips for sightseeing along the way.
And just last month, a vacation to the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine gave us a time of refreshment away from home.
We stopped at various scenic sites in Vermont – covered bridges, the Quechee Gorge, and a few small, quaint towns there. Traveling into New Hampshire, we viewed the majestic White Mountains and on Papa’s birthday, we rode the Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest point in New England.
From there, we ventured into Maine to the Acadia National Park and took a leisurely drive down the coastline stopping at a few lighthouses on the way.
It was just the ticket this Mama needed. A chance to get away from the hum-drum of everyday life. A welcome change of scenery. A trip making memories.
My plan is to share some of my travel photos with you as they inspire me to write future blog posts. A change of place, even through photography, can serve as a catalyst for creativity, at least for me.
Since we’ve been back home, I’ve felt refreshed and renewed. That’s what travel does for someone who enjoys a change of pace and a change of place every once in a while.
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca