Wednesday, January 31, 2007


My decision to retire was made with a bundle of emotions. Sadness at leaving the very many people in the legal profession that I deal with on a regular basis. Delight at knowing that I will be able to do the things I want to do when (or nearly when) I want to do them. Scary feelings at how I will emotionally handle not having a million and one things to do “right now”. Apprehension at the new person I will discover in myself when I am no longer a national director in a law firm with offices in 10 cities in Canada, corporate paralegal, association committee member, etc. etc.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why South America?

In December 2005 we visited Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, and the Amazon. We loved it. We decided that when we did our “world trip”, South America would be a wonderful place to start. It has so much physical beauty, interesting culture, and warm and friendly people. We thought about the different ways we could travel. We looked at traveling on our own, with another couple, on a customized tour on our own, and then we found the overland adventure companies which opened up the option of local transport trips and overland truck trips. We liked the idea of traveling with a small group, and we liked the idea of using the truck as opposed to relying on local transport. We became really excited until we noticed that one of these companies had age restrictions. No one over the age of 55. They confirmed it to us by e-mail. We were too old. Undaunted, we contacted another company called Oasis Overland. No age restriction. If we were fit enough to keep up, we were welcome on the trip. We hugged each other. We were fit enough – after all, we both run marathons! (It will be interesting to see if we continue to brag about being fit once we start our adventure!) Oasis offered a 15 week trip from Rio to Quito traveling in a specially designed truck with about 25 other people. The hook – they advertised camping on the beach!! We booked. Sixty per cent of the time we will be camping and the other 40 we will be staying in cheap hotels. My biggest fears: bedbugs, bandits, and altitude sickness. Here is the connection to our trip itinerary:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Live Your Dream!

Throughout our 31 ½ years of marriage, Ray, my husband, has often asked me: “What do you want to do when you retire?” I have many times responded: “I haven’t a clue. I can’t begin to imagine now what I would like to do when I retire – its too far away.” Then, one day in April 2004, while on a business trip in Vancouver, Ray called me in the hotel to tell me that his company had done a “re-organization” and he had been given a retirement package. Two weeks later he was retired. The next time he asked me: “What do you want to do when we retire?” I couldn’t answer so glibly, so I thought about it for a while and then answered: “Lets sell the house, put our stuff in storage and go travel the world for two years.” So, we put the house on the market. It didn’t sell. I thought I was safe. In October 2006 we went to France on holiday. The subject came up again. This time the question was “When are you going to retire? If we want to travel, now is the time to do it. We are healthy, and fit. We should travel now while we are able.” How could I argue? I decided I couldn’t live with the guilt if something happened to either one of us before we lived our dream just because I wanted to continue in my job. In early November I told the Chair of our firm I was going to retire.