Vague Geriatric Wanderlust for the Financially Sketchy

One of my longest-time friends is receiving an award, a really special one, in Denver next month. She invited me. My first thought was, “I don’t have clothes for this!” I described my fashion crisis on Facebook and got GOOD help. Out of THAT I realized 1) I have a fancy outfit, and 2) I don’t want to be buried in it. Realizing I could show up in something other than jeans and a sweatshirt, my fingers shot back to my friend a big, red YES!!! Then I investigated the cost of the hotel and everything else the trip would entail, and I had to write again, “I can’t.”

Friends stepped up with invitations to stay with them, but even then? Not easy. I thought about it for two nights (seriously) and realized that what I really want to do is hang out with her. She’s invited me several times and I have never gone. I wrote again, explaining how we wouldn’t get much of a chance to talk, catch up, anything at the event and I’d really like to have that chance. We’ve decided I will come up for a weekend so we can talk and do things together.

Money is a “thing.” Day-to-day I feel like a well-off, prosperous person but that feeling depends on remaining mostly stationary. I can no longer “GO!” paid for by a credit card I can easily pay off with an extra summer class as I once did.

I had a student some years ago whose father had left his mother and moved back to Spain. The father wanted the son to visit but the son wasn’t sure. We had a heart-to-heart about this (in my mind non-dilemma) and I said, “Whenever you get the chance, GO! Just GO!!” With a ball-point pen I wrote “Just GO!!” on his jeans. He was sitting facing me and I wrote it just over his knee. Over the weekend he had those words tattooed on his leg. I wonder what kind of shit I’d be in today for writing on a kid’s leg…

I still believe in that philosophy, but it’s not that easy. The man “in” my life (at a distance) has written:

* Colorado…….se potessi arriverei lì in un attimo…..adesso abbiamo un volo diretto da Roma a Denver con Norvegian……prima o poi….

BUT — I’m now seriously thinking about going (somewhere). My little first-world crisis last week awakened me to the fact that I’m not really ready just to stay here. The thing about GOING at this point in my life is that it has to be (as with a visit to my old friend) the right journey. I’m not sure yet what that will be — the Middle East or Switzerland. Typing this, I think I made my decision. One of writing’s great gifts is clarification.

As I wrote this post, Mohammed’s radio blared (sweetly), this song that I sang in the shower when I was a teenager. It drove my mom crazy. I don’t sing well, and I didn’t know all the words, but, dammit, I was LEAVING ON A JET PLANE!!!! 😀

*Colorado ……. if I could I would arrive there in a moment ….. now we have a direct flight from Rome to Denver with Norwegian … …sooner or later….

29 thoughts on “Vague Geriatric Wanderlust for the Financially Sketchy

  1. It’s funny you should post about money, being this is my second day of being ‘officially’ retired. I built up our savings as well as I could, while I was working. Yesterday, we decided to finally (after 25 years in the same house) go for new kitchen countertops/sink/faucet. I bit over my budget, but we can handle it. Then my husband had to put his car in the shop–needs a new transmission. The ‘service engine now’ light came on in my car. Dammit. Savings is going down…

    • That’s what happens. My first couple of years here I had money from the sale of my CA house and an annuity. The annuity is now over and last year I bought Bella which is a larger car payment, registration, insurance, etc. I need Bella to live here. But it’s different from finances when you’re working. Still, daily life as a retired person is SO MUCH BETTER.

  2. Martha dear, JUST GO! Yeah, if you pulled a stunt like that with a student today, you’d probably end up charged with a registrable sex offense like another teacher I knew who placed a compassionate hand on a troubled and grieving student’s shoulder a few years ago. Although she was able to plead to a non-sex offense, it cost her a beloved career just 3 years shy of retirement. Enjoy your visit, and congratulations to your friend!

    • Yeah, I wonder about that – I wonder about the girls who came to class clearly having been beaten by their SO or dad and threw themselves into my arms sobbing. Sex offense? Yeah, but not by me. Or the kid who texted me during the fire when I was evacuated from my house, “Come and stay with me.” I’m so glad I’m retired. 🙂

  3. Oh my, good for you! We can still “Just Go” but not quite as often or as spontaneously. And it is wonderful to look forward to. I love that PP&M song. I think I still have the album – I used to sing it all the time (not well either) too. It felt so daring and independent or something. It was one of the few songs I could sort of play on the guitar. Traveling on a jet plane is more of an endurance test for me (today flew to DC for kid visit, but thankfully with no delays), but I try to still Go. An adventure overseas – now that would be a Real Trip. 🙂

  4. My husband has wanderlust too. He is in the process of booking a cruise to Alaska. He;s hoping the rates go down now that there has been such bad press regarding the cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan! I love that you are going to Switzerland. Too bad Bear can’t go too – she’d love the snow!

    • I wish she could go, too. I had a friend years ago who was stationed in Alaska for a while. When he retired from the Air Force, he still used to take his vacations on the Alaska State Ferry. He loved it because it stops in various towns up the coast and he could get off, spend a few days in a town and the forest and get back on and go to the next town. He took his car on the ferry. I always thought that would be wonderful. Maybe your wanderlusting husband would be interested.

  5. Ah, the joy of setting a goal, making plans to realize that goal; enjoy! Happy for you! Funny, I just posted about the perils of putting off items on one’s bucket list, so I’m glad I won’t have to lecture you 🙂

  6. It is hard to “just go” when you don’t have a lot of money but if you are not ready to stop in one place you have to try. I hope you will have a wonderful time planning the journey, nearly as much fun as going sometimes, and see the places you love again.
    I’m not ready to stop yet either but I think that finances will dictate that there are no more big trips for a while. I can still hope for some smaller journeys.

    • I’d got to Tasmania in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Meanwhile just tell it that I dream of it. I guess that’s how life is — one person’s home is another person’s dream. I have a friend in Switzerland who dreams of being here.

      • I still dream of revisiting the UK but I am doubtful that it will happen and maybe that’s not so bad. I can remember it as it was the last time I was there. Things have changed so much since I was last there. If only we all had a TARDIS to take us anywhere in time and space we wanted to go.

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