How do we top 6.5 years of travel in the U.S. and around the world (twice!)? We probably can’t.
Our years of travel will always be one of the best periods in our life, but we always like to look forward and not back. How could we ever follow those exhilarating years of travel?
Before our very long non-stop trip even began, we spent many happy years planning the details.
So, why put a stop to a good thing? In the midst of our non-stop trip, we knew the day would come when the travel would end so we started planning all the details of our life-after-travel.
Many decades ago, we discovered the place where we wanted to go when we had aged well and good. It seemed to us that, as we could see the day coming when our travels would end, we should shape our plans to move into a small cottage of our own. The cottage would be nestled in a community of remarkable people and a wide array of activities that would keep us interested. When and if we needed it, there would be assistance provided as we aged and even fulltime care if either of us required it.
For us, we couldn’t imagine a better way to live as we aged. It was our ideal final destination.
We knew where we wanted to go, but we didn’t know “when”. We sought the advice of friends. The consensus was to move in “early” enough to enjoy the many benefits, make friends, and to be accepted (which required that we each were able to live independently when we moved in). We decided that time for us would be our mid-70’s.
The road trip continued across the Great Plains, up over the Great Lakes in Canada and driving east into Maine, then we turned south.
We slotted in a stopover in Pennsylvania along the way at Kendal at Longwood, a beautiful community (a certified arboretum!) very close to Longwood Gardens, one of the best horticultural display gardens in the U.S. Kendal is the community where we wanted to live. We’d already visited many times before, but on this visit, we hoped to find the perfect cottage to call our new home.
Sometimes everything falls together just right, and this was it. We were shown a one-bedroom unit with porch and a garden. The ideal place for us!
While the cottage was readied for our move-in, we resumed our road trip, heading south.
A few months later with Spring approaching, we finally arrived at Kendal – our (almost) last destination. When we opened our suitcases to unpack, there was a hesitation. Our suitcases have been packed for six years, and we literally lived out of them all that time. The reality of ending our life on the road was before us. We had loved every single minute of travel, but now it was time to change our direction. This truly was leaving one wonderful life for another very satisfying one. How lucky are we, we thought, as we unpacked our suitcases?