Today I turned 66 which at one time was the day I planned to retire. I actually retired on January 11 2010 which is 1403 days ago and some of you might remember my first blog entry about my retirement. This is now the 418th entry which means that every 3.36 days there was something interesting that made me want to share it. Mind you, I really enjoy rolling over in bed in the morning after a poor night's sleep knowing that I can sleep in as long as I like because there probably won't be anything too interesting happening that day.
The big surprise for me since I retired has been the success of house exchanges. Years ago I thought the ideal life for me would be 4 months in Oz, 4 months in Europe and 4 months in the USA. We don't have quite those proportions but we are close enough. The exchanges have lessened the need to move to Oz immediately and we can be more patient. The exchange rate and the housing price bubble in the Sydney area has made such a move foolish right now. Robin might disagree.
Some of the best advice I received prior to my retirement came from a friend called George. He advised me to get plenty of exercise and the walks across the Grand Canyon and England really worked for getting me out on my walking loop on the rotten days. I'm still pondering what major walk I should plan for next year.
However I am pondering a mammoth journey where I fly to Oslo and take a train and bus to Narvik above the Artic Circle in Norway. I will then take trains through Sweden, Helsinki in Finland, St Petersberg & Moscow, Mongolia, Beijing, Hanoi, Saigon, Cambodia (by bus), Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Essentially from the most north west station in Europe to the most south east station on mainland Asia. It should take 45 days. I am open to advice on the subject, particularly the Russian and Asian sections.
One of the other pieces of advice from George was to help me decide if I should retire early. He said that it was very doubtful that if I kept working and retired at 66 that I would say 'Wow, am I glad that I worked those extra years'. How very true. Four hundred and seventeen blogs prove it.
Click here for my theme song this coming year.