If you’ve looked around this website, you already know I love being retired. Yet, many of our friends find themselves fighting boredom in retirement. It’s very sad but also very correctable. And just as it is with almost every major change in a person’s life, the first step begins with looking at yourself in an honest way. It is very true that if you change your attitude, you change your world. While I realize that some people find themselves in very difficult situations, sometimes not of their own making, I also know that they have the ability to change that in ways that they never thought possible. If you are browsing around the internet looking for ways to solve this problem, it tells me that you’re a great potential student for transforming yourself and the way you see the world.
The world we live in is the biggest gift any of us has been given and I believe there is at least one aspect of it that represents a source of endless fascination for everyone. For me, there are dozens of categories that I would like to learn more about, and my days are filled with endless journeys down my own private rabbit holes of mystery and knowledge. Fighting boredom in retirement has never been an issue for me and please understand I am not bragging about that, and it doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else. I just seem to have more questions and, possibly, more areas of interest. But it's my contention that everyone has at least one area of the immense world we live in that will spark an interest and a desire to learn more. I happen to love books, but you don’t have to be a great reader in order to feed your mind. There are museums and documentaries and lectures that are probably geared to an interest that you have. I look at retirement at a time to explore. Fighting boredom in retirement can be as easy as answering every question that ever popped into your head and the amazing thing is that, when you start to research the answer, you find out how many other people have the same interests that you have.
You might just have a curiosity for seeing the world and visiting all the places you’ve read about. There are tours that specialize in almost any subject you can think of. Are you a fan of the Beatles music? You can visit Abbey Road and see the Mersey River firsthand. One of my great memories was visiting the Sun Record studios and Graceland in Memphis. Fighting boredom in retirement can start with a list of places that appealed to you at some point in your life. It doesn’t have to be music. Sports are a great source of interesting venues. My first trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame was my first visit to the Catskill Mountains in New York and the whole area became an attraction to me. So much so that we now live in the Hudson Valley. That’s the true reward of following an interest that you have – you never know where it will lead, and you never know when it will change your life.
For many people travel is the one thing they always wanted to do. That was very true for us, and we have been extremely fortunate to make great progress on our list of things to see. My only caution is to not just have a checklist. If the place was worth going to, make sure you take the time to explore it and find out what was the source of your fascination to begin with? For me, the history of the place is the source of my desire to see it and it always takes me back to that first memory that caused a spark and got me to say: I’ve got to see that place. There are dozens of places that I never thought I would get to and am very thankful that I did.
Now, I know some of you are reading this and saying that this all sounds good, but traveling is out of the question because of finances. I have great sympathy for that and it’s very sad to hear that from so many people. I do have a couple of possible ways around this problem depending on how open minded you are. The internet is a great source of information if used properly and is a great way of fighting boredom in retirement. Virtual tours of many places are great ways to get a preview of what’s offered. We use them extensively for research before we go, and I came to realize that many of them offered a great alternative to actually being there. With the crowds you see at many of the famous attractions, a guided tour on video can actually give you better views than you might get in person. Some of our friends said that about seeing the Mona Lisa and the Vatican Museums so keep that in mind as an option if a personal visit isn’t possible.
One other possibility is to make it your mission to get to somewhere you really want to see no matter what the cost is. Sound unrealistic? We have some friends who work part-time and have garage sales every year to finance an annual vacation to somewhere they want to see. They plan it out as if it were a military operation and research the best bargains in accommodations and the best places to eat at prices that are sometimes unbelievable. Talk about fighting boredom in retirement! They have almost as much fun researching their adventure as they do on the actual visit. And the fact they had to work and save up for it makes it all the more satisfying. Some people have suggested that they start a website or write a book about their experience. That may be another way to build up the travel fund. The possibilities are nearly endless. Make it a point today to discard the boredom in your life and embrace the promise of a new and exciting future. It’s time to Enjoy Retired Life!
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