Vacation? But you’re retired, you’re always on vacation!

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Someone actually had the nerve to say this to me when I was talking about an up and coming vacation. They were serious. I just want to state my position clearly.

RETIREE’S ARE NOT ON A PERMANENT VACATION!

Although it may appear so by envious and jealous non-retired wanna bees, those of us who are enjoying retirement are NOT, I repeat, NOT on a permanent vacation. Vacationing and retirement are two totally different life experiences. Just as vacationing and working are. As a retiree, I can ‘be’ retired while on vacation,  however, I am NOT on vacation in my retirement. The same goes for the employed individual who is still employed while on vacation but is not on vacation while at work (one would think).

Got it? (This excludes the few whose work permits them to be ‘working’ and on vacation simultaneously. I saw a few while away in Maui. In my opinion, these people are kidding themselves. They may be working but they are NOT on a real vacation. However, that’s a subject for another post).

Okay, so when I go on vacation, I actually ‘go’ somewhere other than where I usually reside. I take a break from many of my daily routines, just as I would if I were working. For example, I may choose to get up earlier while in Maui and walk the beach. I usually eat differently as well, particularly if I’m not doing the cooking. I like to enjoy the area’s local foods and go to trendy restaurants. I even exercise differently while on vacation. I may choose to walk an hour on a boardwalk, beach, or, swim, snorkel, paddle-board or all of the above. While on vacation I ‘do’ things I don’t normally do from day to day while at home such as, go sight seeing, book an excursion, or ride an elephant! (the latter is on my bucket list).

Vacations are something to look forward to and get excited about. They are a break in everyday routines with opportunities to be, do and try something different or new, or not. Vacations are places to relax, rejuvenate and soul search. They are occasions to re-evaluate your life’s purpose, as well as to celebrate and explore new possibilities.

Hmm, that last paragraph sounds a lot like retirement. In fact, in my retirement I do look forward to, and get excited about the possibilities each day brings. I can and do take breaks from what used to be my daily routines, and I do have occasions where I can be, do and try something different or new, or not. I am far more relaxed while being retired and find myself contemplating, soul searching and re-evaluating my life’s purpose on a daily basis.

Okay, so I suppose it could be said, after all, that retirement has some similarities to being on vacation. Ah yes, but isn’t this the reason retirement today seems so appealing to so many. Retirement today offers each of us a means to culminate our skills, talents and wisdom, in order that we may celebrate this new beginning and in doing so, discover a deeper, more meaningful purpose, even while on vacation.

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