Within the hour, after checking in at our hotel, in Lihui, Hawaii, we met two couples that are retired. Our rooms were not ready, so we all lingered over snacks, drinks and conversation. After the initial, hi how are you and where are you from, the questions about retirement began…when did you retire? Why did you retire? How are you spending your time (other than traveling to Hawaii!)? 😊
“It was time.” “I wasn’t planning to, but my husband did and he wanted to travel and do other things”. “Health issue was looming, so we said “let’s be good to ourselves.” “What are we waiting for?” All these answers seem to be universal in the world of retirement. After these points were made, the dialogue moved into example after example of people they knew of who postponed retiring because: “They really need me here so I don’t feel I should go.” “I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.” “I want to make a bit more money so I can really enjoy myself.” And yet, in each case, sadly, they never got to retire because illness prevented it and/or they passed on. So our new poolside friends are on a quest to get the most out of retirement – yeah for them!
We were a bit surprised to see so many Retire-Agers here. Of course, it is a more serene environment than Maui or Oahu, where the younger people gather to party, party, party. And of course, it is post holidays and pre spring break, so school is in session. But the number of us in our age group is far more evident than any other. This beautiful isle is the perfect destination for Retire-Agers to gather, relax and meet up with others who are doing the very same thing. I love to watch them…in the pool doing exercises, taking a swim in the warm water of the Pacific, going for a long walk, heading to the golf course. The hotel offers a full schedule of activities: yoga, ukulele lessons, joint massages, garden tours, learning simple Hawaiian words and phrases, painting and other crafts, tours to the state park and other points of interest, etc.…and they are lining up at the door to get in! I also like to watch them at meal times where they settle in and begin their animated conversations. These people are adamant about exploring and living life and I admire them – I plan to emulate them to the best of my ability. By far though, the best thing I like to do is talk to them! I find their stories fascinating – it was history in the making and everyone played a part. The word history, in Greek is Istoria. It means both history AND story – because after all it is one and the same. And these people are living proof of it.
After dinner, we chatted up another couple sitting at the bar next to us. They are Retire-Agers and are enjoying life – they are energetic, youthful and fun! They told us that they have always wanted to visit Greece – specifically, the island of Santorini. I whipped out my phone and showed them the photos I have of this beautiful place. That clinched it…they will try to get there next year, when we are there so we can show them the Greek ropes!
Retire-Agers are everywhere! I am not sure if that is because we are of the same age and we naturally gravitate towards one another or if there are so many of us now, we have taken over…what do you think?
I told everyone we met so far ( three couples in one day!) about this blog and hope they tune in….cause there so much more to come!
We are on it!
Lihui, Hawai 1/31/2020 Photograph from The Personal Collection from Helene and Zaf
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