I left work a year ago and at first, I was unwilling to do anything. After waiting and planning all the things I would do when I was no longer working, I finished work and did nothing. For about 3 months. It must have been a needed transition time. I felt like I was wandering in a corridor that had lots of doors but that I could not make a choice.
And then it was over. And my year of adventure began.
I rode on an elephant and he went swimming while I was on his back. His baby romped around in an unruly way, given his size. Ironically the baby’s name was Lindsey. (Think Lohan :))
On Mother’s Day, I rode an ATV through the backroads of Mykynos with my older son. What a great way to spend that day.
I sold my big house and moved into a nice townhouse. I am still working to purge the many boxes that are waiting to be sorted.
I went to cooking schools in Bali, Vietnam and Thailand and learned some amazing traditional dishes from each country.
I drank wine with new friends while sailing in Halong Bay in Vietnam.
I work out every day and I love it because now it is not just another item on the list but instead is a feel-good thing and the results are showing in small ways.
I learned how to make my own wine although I will always prefer the kind that I don’t make!
I went to the cottage and worked for 2 weeks, sitting on the deck overlooking the lake.
I wrote a book for a company in California and I write blogs for several different companies and I have learned that I can love the thing that earns me a living.
I have started to do yoga and it brings me to a happy peaceful place when I do it.
I went back to the lodge where I spent three summers working as a bartender when I was eighteen. It is a Fairmont property (Jasper Park Lodge) now and it is stunning in a way I did not recognize then. They upgraded us to a lakefront suite!
I drank Canadian wine in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia at the most beautiful winery I have ever seen.
I rode my bicycle through Myra Canyon in British Columbia.
I visited the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia and I can still feel the awe that I felt when I was there. Of those who walked those halls before me.
I sat in the background of a Buddhist ceremony while the monks chanted. And on another day, I sat with a monk and chatted.
I skied in Banff Alberta in Canada on the most gloriously sunny warm day that you could hope for when you are skiing.
I visited the long neck hill tribes in Thailand with four amazing women.
I ate at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Greenwich in London England.
I drove a standard transmission vehicle through Croatia and I only stalled it twice.
I wandered aimlessly on the Promenades in Croatia drinking in the sights and sounds of a culture so different but the same,
I spent three days running and eating around Bangkok, solo.
I went water skiing and tubing for the first time in many years.
I received my certification as a Personal Trainer.
I received my certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
I read about 60 books this year…lots of time to read is one of the great things of being retired.
I hung out in Greenwich in London for two weeks pretending that I lived there because I love it that much.
I snorkeled in Bali, rode a bicycle through Vietnam, and swam on amazing beaches in 6 different countries.
I listened to the sounds emanating from the Sea Organ in Zadar, as it groaned it’s symphony to those who had come to listen.
I wandered around England, Croatia, the Greek Islands, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand….and Western Canada and Florida!
I met dozens of amazing new people, many of whom I am still connected to.
And I have many old friends, who have, in different ways, been part of this incredible year too.
I arrived at my 1 year away from work anniversary and realized that I definitely made the right decision. Life is good.
And now I need to start creating 2014. Because that is what this is. Creating moments that add up to days and weeks and months and years….and they add up to a lifetime.