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Maldives

Bit late to start a ‘Gap’ trip but better late than never…

Where to begin…

Retirement, strange concept, inciting feelings of relief, anxiety, emptiness, despair, excitement and basically complete bewilderment and confusion. Those that have a clear path and vision are indeed very lucky or probably just way better prepared than me.

After some time I have come round to the view that retirement is not the end but rather just the beginning. It’s what you make of it; it’s how you look forward rather than backwards, on a past and really quite radically different existence to a new, current and exciting future.

Montreux

Onwards and hopefully upwards….

To ‘move’ is essential – ” I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move” (Robert Louis Stevenson).

I spent 40 years of working life travelling the World, sometimes based out of the UK, sometimes out of Saudi Arabia, Spain and laterlly in the UAE. I visited countless countries, cities and places across continents; but although I made a point of being almost ‘Brysonesque’ in wandering around on foot wherever I was, I had relatively few opportunities to get a real feel for the local life – which in reality may not always be comfortable, convenient or clean but how else can you be sure what ‘local’ really means.

I guess if you want you can wander down the main drag of the likes of La Plaka district in Athens with all its neon lights, souvenir shops and overpriced ‘fast food’ versions of Greek restaurants, or you can can go down the dimly lit, parallel local streets just a stone’s throw away and experience a grand meze on a rusty table, dining with locals for a fraction of the price and tenfold the experience. It is your choice.

My first, post retirement, adventure begins next week and is to South East Asia; wandering from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi to Hanoi and Hue through Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, Siam Reap and beyond. May well be a few temples, trains, boats and planes, not to mention the Tuk Tuk’s…. and hopefully the six Nations Rugby in some remote bar or other along the way. But most importantly the opportunity to experience, meet and observe the people, cultures, cuisines and history of the region…cannot wait! Best pack a bag …..

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