Denpassar, Bali, Indonesia
At last I find myself with a spare moment for blogging. So this will be my first entry, of many, hopefully, from the other side of the freakin' world.
Was talking to one of my wife's friends last night, a man about my age by the name Handono (or something like that), and he observed that when one retires, one should if at all possible do something completely different from what he was doing during his working years--completely change ones circumstances, location--introduce things that are totally new--a new climate, a new language, a new culture, fresh challenges. In this way we leave our old life behind just as surely as if we had gotten on a rocket ship and set out for another planet. You find a new life, simply bringing along your most favorite things from the old (your wife, for instance). You begin again and you grow. Your mind is active, your experience renewed.
To this I say amen. And I am so very glad that I made this choice--to retire early, to live a second life, to exchange the stress and struggle of the US for a slow life in the islands, where a pack of cigarettes costs a buck and 10 cents, where a meal for 4 costs 30 dollars altogether rather than 30 dollars apiece, where a 3 bedroom house can be had for $300 a month; a place where the sun shines every day, 365 days a year, where harmony prevails among races and religions, where the beach is always about a block or two away and warm as bath water--not a paradise, no (and more about that later), but a pleasant new world with its own challenges and potentials, a place to grow up in one more time, in the hope of becoming a child once again.