We live in the closest thing to Paradise this side of the Pearly Gates. We’ve lived in Panama now for 17 years. It has been an amazing adventure! I could never have anticipated or predicted that retirement would be like this. But I’ve always believed that God has a plan and it’s a plan for our good. It’s turned out to be more than I ever expected.
In addition to our adventures in Panama, for 15 years I’ve been traveling the world on cruise ships talking about the places we visit. Yes I know, it’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it. And, just to clear this up, cruising isn’t going to disappear. The way we do things on board has changed somewhat as we enter the world of the “new normal” dealing with Covid. Like most people in the cruise industry I sat out most of 2020, but have recently returned from two months working on small ships cruising the Columbia/Snake Rivers and Puget Sound and I look forward to working more on small ships where I have opportunity to meet and interact with people. Cruising will continue and as I look forward to moving into my 80’s, I plan to continue working.
So for years I’ve been traveling to some of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world and as a result people often ask me, “What’s the best place you’ve visited?” That’s tough to answer because there are so many beautiful places in the world filled with beautiful vistas, interesting cultures, and beautiful people. Everyplace, in it’s own way, can be beautiful when you are there if you approach it with an open mind and look at the good.
Panama has been wonderful and has been for the past 17 years the perfect place for us. Well, like most perfect places, not entirely perfect. Don’t get me wrong, Panama is not perfect. But for us, and the title of my book THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE, sums it up, Panama allowed us to escape the high cost, traffic and hassle of life in the States and to live better for less.
As we have both gotten older, and since I spend 4 months on ships, we need less responsibility and to be able to pick up and go. On most of my cruises Nikki can come along at little or no cost, but with the responsibilities of the house and farm, it takes a lot of advance planning for her to be able to join me, and often the opportunities for her to come along are last minute.
So it is time for us to move on to Retirement 2.0.
And what happens now? Mystery and anticipation are part of the adventure! We’re open to the next great adventure and we’ll know what it is when we see it.
I’m not a follower of professional sports, but I do know that games are won or lost in the last quarter. As we move into the last quarter of our lives it is important that we do it right and that we give it all that we’ve got. We’re not looking for big trophies or spraying champagne as we cross the finish line, just a “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy that I have prepared for you.”