Sunday, May 16, 2010

Over Labor Day weekend in 2008, Art and I traveled from our home in Seattle to Asheville, NC to attend a seminar called Paths to Creative Retirement. It was a life-shifter for us. I recognized a couple of things: (1) the only thing I don't like about the Pacific Northwest is January. If we are gone during that month, we don't need to move after retirement. A major realization! (2) My fear of being a bag lady was self-imprisonment in a job I no longer enjoyed, but I had options.

Retirement was nearing, and I started planning. I found a website called Second Journey. Their mission is "Mindfulness, Service, and Community in the Second Half of Life." Right up our alley as we prepared for our post-work lives.

The current edition of their newsletter arrived this week. I saw a trip they're offering: Slow Travel in Italy - Orvieto, Assisi and Florence, with an extension to Rome. We'd planned a walking holiday in Italy for next spring, but this October 2010 journey looked irresistible. It includes what are called Conversational Interludes - deliberate conversations to consider these questions: "Who am I?" "What do I love?" "How, then, should I live?" "What is my gift to the Family of the Earth?"

A first trip to Italy is not in our budget for this year. My Bag Lady was laughing out loud. I admitted this today to my friend Sharon. She said, "Tell your Bag Lady where to get off. Ask her whether, when she's old, she'd rather be sitting on her porch with a bunch of memories in her head or a bunch of money in her lap."

What could I say? Art agreed. He said, "We're not always going to want to travel, or even be able to. We should do it now." He doesn't usually have an opinion on these musings of mine - but when he does, I always listen.

I filled out the application and wrote a check for the deposit. We're going to Italy in October!


#1Nana said...

Good for you! The trip sounds wonderful.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Indeed, it does. Absolutely wonderful!