A place for geezers, grey hairs, and oldies to discuss independent travel. Reminisce about travel in the days before Lonely Planet and discuss issues applicable to the mature traveller.

(For retired folks) What do you do to occupy your time when not traveling?


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Street Food Connoisseur
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  • Added on: July 24th, 2006
This comes to my mind from time to time.

I always work myself to the bone. Every morning when I get up, I just wish I don't have to go to work but then I think I'd be bored when the time comes that I will never get to work.

I mean... We're all travelers here. It's given I'll hit the street without worrying about hurrying back to work but other than that, retired folks, what do you mostly do to occupy your time when you're not traveling?

You are a Nic, a class within itself, you cannot be catagorized by anything.


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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 526
Joined: January 29th, 2004

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  • Added on: July 24th, 2006
Well I am not officially retired yet but I have had the same question. Most of my working life I have worked in fast-paced, high-stress jobs. The few times when my job hasn't been like that I didn't know what to do with myself. So right now I am on a career break (self induced). The last 4 months I have spent traveling and I have only been back for a couple of weeks. I am taking this time to figure out how I would handle actual retirement.

The plan right now involves spending a lot of time with family and friends. But that will come to a point where I have done that enough. I am also working on some volunteer projects. I like the idea of having something meaningful to do but not a very harsh schedule. I also plan to spend some time learning some new things.

I will probably start looking for another job but it won't be a typical corporate job....that much is for sure.

I would love to hear what others have to say too.
o o
..~ ~ |
[(o o)]J


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Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 3686
Joined: April 23rd, 2004

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  • Added on: July 25th, 2006
It's probably going to be different for everybody.
Like I got retired essentially at the old age of heading towards 50 but then set up my superannuation fund and investments etc., all a pain in the bum because there has been all this damm paperwork I just love to hate.

Other than that, personal property interests, buying some sports cars and vintage vehicles and then thinking that was not possibly a great investment and now just never having enough time to do not much of anything but having the goal of re-organising life for more travel seems to fill the time in well enough.

Always more books to read, hobbies not accomplished, and travel in own country to be worked on.
---...--- ---...--- ---...--- ---...---
Joes portly antipodean pal
He just wants my port and cherry ripes


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 144
Joined: July 11th, 2006

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  • Added on: July 26th, 2006
I retired with kids still in elementary/middle school, so lots of things to do in that regard. I also do a fair amount of hiking and geocaching, offroading in my Jeep, and web surfing/internet poker.

It's a good idea to have interests/hobbies apart from your job.
This space for rent


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World Citizen
Posts: 1414
Joined: April 18th, 2004

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  • Added on: August 1st, 2006
Writing (or thinking about writing--a term sometimes referred to as 'cat-vacuuming' Wink)

And planning the next trip!


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: March 5th, 2006

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  • Added on: August 19th, 2006
Not a big problem so far. I retired three years ago (at age 64) after 40 years of stressful, enjoyable and competitive work in academia; lab research, teaching and administration. Guess I am that rare creature on the board - a genuine, very old, pensioner. Haven't looked back - started with a couple of kayaking expeditions to the Queen Charlotte Islands - one of the most peaceful, unspoiled, and beautiful places on the planet - and one to Hawaii. Hope to get back to both next summer. Took scuba lessons, some martial arts, spend 3 or 4 days a week at the gym - necessary to keep my aging but still functional body from deteriorating. So far, so good. Say the occasional prayer of thanks that I was never a jock and into competitive or team sports. Every joint works fine and no arthritis. Did wreck my heart and have a coronary bypass, but that was quite a few years ago and hasn't been a long-term problem. Go fishing or kayaking when I have time - I live on a lake in the woods - 8 miles to the nearest community (710 persons). House and grounds (mostly 5 acres of rock and forest - a bit of lawn) take up some time. Don't like to get up before 8 am - then need at least 2 hours to have coffee, talk to my wife, read yesterday's newspaper, listen to old and new music on the radio, read magazines and articles on the next planned trip. Manage 3 or 4 trips a year. Most recently hiking (Utah - Bryce Canyon and Zion), surfing (week in Mexico) and diving (Belize, Lake Ontario and Nanaimo). Run with the dog, walk with the dog, run by myself, cut the odd tree and chop for firewood, a bit of cross-country skiing in winter. Watch DVDs and HBO. Party, and drink with friends- rarely, but sufficiently often to remember the sensation - to slight excess. Volunteer in cardiac ward at local hospital. Visit with friends and relatives. Write e-mails to friends, son, daughter, other relatives, daydream about future trips, reminisce about past trips. Currently trying to force myself to listen to CDs and read text of very boring book in order to learn a little bit of Thai, Burmese and Cambodian for upcoming 6-week trip with daughter. I am sure there are things I have omitted, but "occupying my time" has not yet reqired separated planning or effort.


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Street Food Connoisseur
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Joined: October 5th, 2005

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  • Added on: August 21st, 2006
Wow that sounds good. I can't wait to get there myself already... Wink

You are a Nic, a class within itself, you cannot be catagorized by anything.


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 18
Joined: April 15th, 2005

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  • Added on: August 23rd, 2006
we "graduated" from teaching about 2 months ago ;~]. our daily schedule is often like this:
morning - up about 7 or 8A, brew coffee and drink while checking email and day's weather. let traffic pass by and then about 9A walk/run to get the newspaper (2 to 6 miles depending on chosen route and store). cool down and then do some light weight work and stretching. my wife may go to "Curves" and/or the gym for a group session. read the paper and eventually have late breakfast about 11A.
afternoon - i usually pursue my hobby of photography. processing images recently acquired, posting and commenting on photo sites, working in my studio for presentation and sales. often, other family chores and visits done.
evening - tv, reading, listening, and more web time. some of the time is research for the next trip scheduled for october and november to bali and china. i really need to do some language study.
take care jh
travel light and wear a smile.


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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 706
Joined: February 19th, 2006
Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: August 28th, 2006
Well we retired young with a 5yo & have been planning a very ambitious slow tour of the world,so that tends to keep us very busy.I can not imagine NOT being occupied as we alway have more ideas about things to do than time to do them and I could fill more than a few lifetimes ,let alone a retirement. Wink

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.


Armchair Traveler
Posts: 39
Joined: September 14th, 2006

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  • Added on: October 19th, 2007
Last night I watched About Schmidt, the Jack Nicholson movie where he plays a man having a difficult adjustment of just sitting around in retirement. I was reminded of how many of the retire overseas marketing shticks go with the “Do you want to sip Margaritas on the beach for the rest of your life? Then click here!” angle. I wonder is that really what people want, or is it just what they think they want?

With that thought in mind here is a quick list of productive ways you could spend your time overseas.

Teach English
Be a travel writer
Work for an international non-profit

It seems like a pretty obvious and pretty short list.


Lost in Place
Posts: 55
Joined: May 21st, 2007

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  • Added on: October 20th, 2007
Due to health considerations, I 'retired' 7 years ago; my spouse was terminal and the first 4 years were spent traveling thousands of miles for medical/surgical care and such...so not much decision making there. The last three years have been filled with spontaneous travel (less than a week type trips), remodeling my home, renovating my yard (about 3 acres), taking 4 extended trips in US, one in Central America, and volunteering to teach English in our local community, go to gym 4-5 times a week, etc. I sleep late when I want; read more than I used to; surf the internet for lots of ideas for where to go next; I love to travel, but I like having a home base to come back to when I'm ready. Surprisingly, planning long absences is a bit tricky...bills, insurance, taxes, yard care, etc... but bored? Not really...sometimes a bit alone (not lonely)...no family or close friends, so occasionally the sound of another's voice would be nice; but, then I look around, think of something/somewhere to go and off I go to the next adventure. Sit on the beach and drink Margarita's...??? What do we do after the second one??? Where's the museum, festival, ruins, market, restaurant, what's around the next corner? I just got my backpack repaired...I'm ready to go. (my age is 50+ in case you were wondering). I don't know what the next 30-40 years will be; guess I'll find out while they're happening, but travel is a key part for as long as I'm able.


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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
Posts: 355
Joined: May 1st, 2007

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  • Added on: October 21st, 2007
Hello there,

I'm 34 and I retired 2 years ago... Big Grin
Just kidding. Actually, I'm on disability due to my progressive form of M.S.... and I'm not bored. As eveyone said you can sleep in, read, surf the net, dream about you next trip, plan it, etc. I also teach private lessons 1 hour each day.
Because of my health, everything I do tends to be difficult. And so even cooking a meal and washing the dishes can occupy an entire afternoon... And I regularly need to rest. But I'm NOT bored. I'm constantly singing, well-known songs as well as made-up ones... Wink
I'm now in a wheelchair and my house isn't totally accessible yet (It's in the process...) But soon I should be able to go out by myself, walk the dog, run some errands, etc. I think that with the right attitude, you can have fun even when your physical capabilities are limited. Especially when you have all the time in the world...

But my advice is to live in the present. If you have a dream, GO FOR IT NOW! Don't wait 'til later because you never know what might happen. And don't worry about how you'll spend your days when you retire. You'll have plenty of time to figure it out when you get there...


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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 632
Joined: April 12th, 2007

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2007
My wife and I kayak fish. We only live about 35 minutes from the Gulf Coast. It gives us lots of things to do together.
The feature I most value in a pack is a Sherpa.


Armchair Traveler
Posts: 37
Joined: November 26th, 2007

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2007
I have three incredible and very active dogs at home that keep me busy feeding and playing with them not to mention walking them together. They got jealous and I have to walk them separately at time. In the evening, I workout in a gym to keep fit and healthy ( we need that for traveling, right !). Otherwise, I am behind the PC surfing or doing " research " for my next trip overseas. Enjoy my retirement, have so much time to do what I always wanted to do at my leisure!
Happy retirement!


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 160
Joined: December 27th, 2006

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  • Added on: December 14th, 2007
Its pretty sad that a lot of people think they need a job to keep them occupied -as the above posts show a job just gets in the way of living!

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