If all goes right I plan to retire from U.S. Federal Civil Service in less than 3 years from now. By that time I will have served for over 38½ years (military and civilian time combined). I’m ready to retire.
I have multiple plans on staying busy on a day-to-day basis in the next part of my life. They include full-time ministry with a local church, working indoors or outdoors at a Florida State Park, working as a docent at a local museum, and if that’s not enough then perhaps working at Publix – where shopping is a pleasure. #LOL
I also want to travel more. For many years I’ve talked about (and even blogged about) taking a 100-day / 10,000-mile road-trip completely around the circumference of the continental United States (clockwise) averaging about 100 miles per day, and mostly driving along the roads less traveled – our old U.S. highways. I don’t really talk about doing that anymore. I don’t mind driving around and exploring the backroads of Florida (and maybe even nearby states like Alabama and Georgia), but I can’t really see myself driving all around the country. Driving is less fun now than it used to be. As I get older the aches and pains while driving increase. I also experience anxiety attacks while driving. Also – most other drivers annoy me substantially.
I’ve recently been eyeing (and doing research on) a new way to see America after I retire – by rail and coach. A couple of years before my Dad passed away from Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 2010 he was planning one final family trip for the 5 of us (Himself, Mom, Brother, Sister-In-Law, & I). In fact he planned it all and even booked the nearly 2-week trip. It was a combination train and bus tour of several of our great National Parks out west (in the Rocky Mountains). I think the tour commenced in Bozeman Montana and concluded on the Las Vegas Strip. I was really excited about the trip. Unfortunately my Dad soon canceled the trip when his conditions deteriorated further from the disease.
(Side Note: Tomorrow – the 23RD of April – would have been my Mom and Dad’s 55TH wedding anniversary.)
In memory of my Dad I really want to take that trip that he wanted to go on with his family – perhaps not necessarily that same exact trip via that same exact travel agency, but a similar one to it. I know that they are quite expensive. I saw one for $4,320 per person for 14 days, and that includes all hotel accommodations, and a meal a day. $4,320 probably means well over $5,000 (possibly even closer to $6,000) with taxes, fees, and other charges included. I have at least a couple of years to do extensive research and price comparisons for this trip of a lifetime.
For the past 30 years I’ve seen and experienced the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific via 22 cruises (138 nights at sea). I actually have my 23RD cruise booked. As I retire from my career on land I may very well retire from my vacations at sea. As the title of this blog post states – I want to see America after I retire.
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