We are both done working in four months, and we have NO IDEA where we are going.
Nick is currently winding down his business and my last day of work will be in mid-December. That’s just four short months away! We plan to stick around for our big fat American, Italian, Greek, corn-free, gluten-free, kosher Christmas celebration with 30 of our loved ones and 8 of our collective dogs. Once that’s done we’ll start traveling. The only thing is, we haven’t decided where to go.
Winters in upstate New York can be relentless. The sun rises late and sets early, leaving precious few daylight hours to enjoy. It’s often cloudy and when we do have a bright blue-sky day, it’s usually bitter cold. It’s typical to have a handful of winter days where the high temperature is measured in single digits. Fahrenheit. That’s cold.
Our TV meteorologists give worst-case scenario weather forecasts whenever a potential snow storm is approaching, sending everyone to the store to stock up on bread and milk, It’s like they’ll be snowed in for a week instead of a day! The cold dark days start in November, and we don’t see any reliably nice weather until the middle of May. Winters are long and we are tired of them. So wherever we go in January, it has to be warm.
There are many places in Europe where winter is more temperate than upstate New York, but they don’t seem warm, just less cold. We’ve dreamed of Europe for ten long years, but I didn’t picture it in January. The first few months of travel may have some challenges, and I think they’ll be more manageable if it‘s warm and sunny. Showing up in winter seems like a bad idea. Postponing our transition to Europe for another 3-4 months doesn’t seem like a great idea, either.
We haven’t seen much of the United States, so we’ve considered a slow-paced cross country road trip on a southern route. That would allow us to cross off some places on our bucket list, like Nashville and New Orleans. Heck, we could even buy a used RV for this trip so we don’t have to worry about dog-friendly hotels! It’s not the trip we’ve dreamed of all these years, but it might be a way to ease into a travel lifestyle. The only thing is, I don’t want to ease into anything! I want to take the big leap into something entirely different.
Mexico is also possibility. We’re going on a quick pre-retirement trip to Playa del Carmen in November to scope it out. We could drive to Mexico in January, which would give us a chance to stop in Nashville and New Orleans. In Mexico, we would be a in a different country with its own unique culture and a foreign language. Caribbean beaches, Mexican food and Margaritas sound like a great way to kick start our retirement!
I suspect we won’t be firming up our plans until late November, after our Playa del Carmen vacation. That’s just 6 weeks before we start traveling. For a compulsive planner like me that’s bound to cause some anxiety. In the meantime, there’s a lot of stuff that needs to get done, like selling our home and getting rid of all of our stuff. And who knows what other options could pop up?
So where would you go if you could go anyplace? Is it someplace you’ve already been or someplace entirely new? I’d love to hear what you think.