Will there be anything to “get away” from?

My wife and I are going on vacation in a few weeks in Cozumel, Mexico for a week. My plan for these type of all-inclusive vacations is to eat and drink too much, while trying to read as many books as I can possibly get through (which is entirely dependent on how many beverages I have consumed). At the end of the week, other than a stomach ache, I will probably be both as relaxed and as ready for my “normal” life as I ever get. My wife loves these vacations, and they are one of the main reasons she has gotten behind our current budget and savings plan, as we have worked in something which she really enjoys, to balance off an otherwise boring budget and spending plan.

As a contrast to our more elaborate December Mexican vacation, we each used a vacation day last Wednesday to just hang out at home. We got a bunch of odd jobs done around our house, played some video games and read.

I think that our Wednesday day off will be very similar to what a post-retirement lifestyle would be like – having time to putter away at little stuff, and still having ample amounts of time to take part in leisure “stuff”. It was nice having a random Wednesday off, it split up our workweek and allowed us to stay up later at “Cheap night” at the movies (where we saw Ender’s Game).

I’m wondering what a vacation will look like for me in the future. I don’t know if either of us will feel the need to spend a couple thousand dollars to go somewhere. Now, it’s nice to just “get away”, but when full time work is done, there doesn’t really seem to be anything to get away from. The couple of thousand dollars may provide much more fun taking part in some other activity that isn’t a week long, or could just be saved outright.

Living in Canada though, maybe we’ll never really lose the desire to get out of the snow. With more time though, we could find a cheap rental property somewhere in the US where it’s warm and take our time driving down, saving money on a flight and food (and causing us to drink considerably less I’m sure).

If you’re retired, do you “vacation” in the same way you did while you were working? If you’re still working, do you think you’ll feel the need to get away when you’re no longer working (even if it’s just from the cold)?

12 thoughts on “Will there be anything to “get away” from?”

  1. I won’t need to ‘get away’ from life (actually I don’t need to get away from my life at the moment) however I will want to get out there and explore the world. There are so many places to see and explore how could I stay away?

  2. Dave, as I write this my wife and I are right in the middle of our 3 week holiday in Mexico (west coast). As we are approaching our early retirements the nature of our vacations is changing. Ten years ago, it was eat and drink and sun all day long… some book reading mixed in there. Now I find us pacing ourselves more, as a way of previewing our retired lives when we will be in Mexico for months at a time. Instead of going out every night, we are cooking for ourselves more, buying wonderful and cheap ingredients at local markets… We are both learning Spanish, and the locals really appreciate the efforts, though we are still mangling their language pretty good.

    Lots of retired Canadians here, so I try to pick their brains about how they pulled off their own early exits (seems like a lot of people retired in their 50’s).

    My wife and I have developed a real love for Mexico – and the fact that the cost of living here can be significantly less than Canada will only help us retire sooner. And to escape the Canadian winter is always a good thing – supposed to be 30 celsius today.

    Enjoy your trip Dave!

  3. Living in SoCal where weather today unfortunately calls for a high of 91D, it’s a bit of a sacrafice to go somewhere else.

    I do like Mexico though. But usually stay at the all inclusives–living with my fellow gringos and rarely associating with the locals. Much like being in a 4 star US resort with 1 star prices.

  4. Now that we’re retired, we actually want to be traveling more, not less. But the nature of our travel has changed a bit. In order to travel more frequently on the same vacation budget, we now do home-exchange for much of our lodging. We have one couple in New York City we exchange with now every year for a month–so it kind of feels like we have a second home in Manhattan. Generally, we like to spend a little more time in places now, rather than the rush that we had to do with only being allowed 2 or 3 weeks of it each year while we were working.

    Having said all that, we do like to do the relaxing, tropical vacation every year or so. You’re right, it’s not the same motivation of “getting away” but it is nice to just read and relax and eat and drink and have some one else waiting on you and cleaning up each day.

  5. 17 sleeps and we will be in lovely Huatulco Mexico for the seventh time!! Never, ever thought we would repeat visit anywhere, but this place has my heart.
    For us it’s bye bye to snow and winter and grey skies–how depressing. If we could we would stay for 3 or 4 months. Love my life, hate winter….
    This has been budgeted for and is part of our retirement plan. When the dog dies our winters will be south!!
    One month in Mexico, and we can hardly wait!!
    We are staying in an AI, but it’s a very local one, not a big gringo resort. We love it!!

  6. Last winter was our first winter away from Toronto. We slowly drove down to Arizona for a few weeks, two months in Las Vegas and then a couple of weeks in Mexico then some time in Sedona, New orleans, Memphis and Tennessee before heading home.
    We are living next week for Florida for three weeks then slowly driving to Las Vegas for two weeks and then two months in Mexico.

  7. Lorain, I see the Mexico bug has bitten you too… I fully plan for 3 to 4 months here every year once I ER… BC summers are amazing, the winters will be avoided at all costs. 😉

  8. Well, I did find this summer when I wasn’t working that I had zero interest in going anywhere far away. I can relax and read and drink wine on the back deck, fish or go hiking in the mountains just as easily (or more easily) at home as anywhere else. Yet it’s not quite the same as going somewhere that’s really different where things are completely new.

    But you can upgrade your desire to travel go a “going to” rather than “getting away from” thing I think as well. I do know with our first cold spell here, I was pricing out southern vacations and looking forward to the time when I won’t have to plan around school vacations when everything is double or more the price. That’s a “getting away from” urge that will likely not go away – and I like winter!

  9. Yep, I pretty much only want to early retire to get away from the cold. I rarely want to vacation to escape my current life; puttering around at home is more fun than going away somewhere. But in the winter getting out of Winnipeg, at least briefly is a necessity now that I can afford it. Also, we both have some wanderlust, so it will be hard to not just drive away when we’re retired. Which is why we’ll probably get an RV, so we can vacation, travel and be home and relaxed all at the same time.

  10. Because it was my commute which led in great part to my retiring early, my desire to do any large amount of traveling now is pretty much shot to hell.

    I have not flown in an airplane in 10 years, by many ears the longest stretch of my life in which I have not flown. And I don’t have any desire to fly again.

    Other than my annual 4-hour car trip to visit my brother for a Thanksgiving weekend, the only extended car trip I have made since I retired 5 years ago has been a weekend car trip (about 3 hours each way) to Atlantic City, another place I have no desire to ever return to.

    Back in my working days I did travel a lot more, such as many airplane trips across the country and many more (and longer) car trips, 1 or 2 a year.

  11. Before I retired my daydreams were all about the leisure I would have, and the joys of being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted. You know what?

    I was spot on!

    It’s fabulous. We’ve never been big travelers, but we get a lot of enjoyment from mini-vacations that may last from two hours to a few days. I don’t care if I ever fly anywhere again, though one of these days will take a major train trip. But the joy of sitting in front of a blazing fireplace on a Tuesday afternoon, reading a book and petting dogs, would be hard to match!

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