It seems any travel we do now feels like practice for our upcoming lifestyle change. We had an opportunity to go to New Orleans for a couple of days over Thanksgiving and then on to New York for a couple more to catch the pre-Christmas excitement and a couple shows, so we jumped at the chance. We found that we looked at the trip in a whole new way since we have committed to our retirement plans.
We are fortunate to be able to use Dan’s accumulated travel mile points for free flights still, and his hotel points for some pretty sweet hotel stays, so our travel budget for these expensive cities at holiday time are pretty minimal. That is definitely on our mind as we know we will be losing those perks when he finally doesn’t have to travel up to 60% for work. If anyone thinks that sounds fun, let me know, I will have him write a piece on why it isn’t and yet why he is still eager to travel after retiring.
This time we decided that, even though we were going to two very different climates, we would pack in carry on only and see how we did. We do have an unnerving tendency to overpack which does not bode well at all for getting all our stuff into manageable luggage for our adventure. New Orleans was going to have temperatures up to the 80’s F and New York City would be down to the 30’s F with possible rain. We had Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, Broadway shows, tromping around both cities, visiting friends and a tailgate party all to consider in our wardrobe choices. Plus technology, pharmaceuticals and skincare/grooming. It was a good challenge. We did it, with a little room to spare. In fact, I took only one extra pair of shoes, which I only wore once, so I’m wondering if there could possibly be one perfect pair of shoes for every occasion out there… We layered, we felt like we were in “uniform” a lot of the time, but that was fine, we were comfortable and generically dressed, and we found that we still didn’t use all the clothes in our bag over the 10 days. I was surprised by what I did use though. I thought I would want to wear the leggings all the time, but I preferred the jeans about half the time, so I am going to have to have a pair moving forward. I thought for sure I would put on makeup for Broadway shows, fancy dinner out in NYC with friends etc., but the only time I had time to do it was for Thanksgiving dinner and I didn’t really care. Side note, my husband is THE BEST, he claims he prefers me without makeup so I am either horrible at putting it on or he is the sweetest guy ever! I didn’t take any jewelry and I did sort of miss having a little accent here and there, although I usually don’t wear much anyway. This is all going to help when it comes time to make the MASTER LIST of what goes in the bag.
Something else that we have discussed and had lots of people ask us, is whether or not we will miss “having a home to go to”. Meaning coming to a permanent place after traveling for a while. That was on my mind a lot as we were running around, feverishly enjoying ourselves in two distinct and fantastic cities. Of course, most people enjoy that kind of thing but you do often hear “It’s nice to be home.” I have probably even said it a time or two. This time we traveled with the idea in mind that soon we won’t be returning to a home of our own as we move about. It felt wonderful to collapse back in our hotel room each evening after about 10 miles of walking each day, the shower, the bed, clean clothes…aaaaahhh. But I was mindful that other than the big factor of missing Enzo the Magnificent,
I was not longing for a permanent domicile, my particular chair, an address or a familiar view. I had my necessities, and as corny as it sounds, Dan is where my home is. In fact, it felt pretty good not to have a yard to manage, a large house to lose things in, so many possessions to ummm, hmmm. So many possessions to I don’t know what, but it felt good. It felt light. Is it going to feel that way after 6 months of traveling light? I hope so, I think so, but that’s the kind of thinking that could keep us from having this big adventure so I will just say, in the words of our Amazon River guide “Yes, maybe.”
Excuse me, I am now on the hunt for the one pair of perfect shoes that can be worn for any occasion…I’ll let you know what I find.