Thoughts and Retrospections on Retirement and Travel

Two months in Hanoi! Amazing. I will have been living here for 2 months in a few days. I’ll be traveling to Hoi An during the second month. Its been an amazing little trip thus far.

I think the first two weeks in Japan really set the mood for retiring and knowing that I would not return to the states any time soon or even later. I don’t have anything to go back to. No car, no room, no job. Nothing there awaits me with trepidation or joy. My kids have gone their own ways. Both adults. One lives in Florida with her dude. The other still lives at home due to some challenges he has but in many ways he has grown up and matured. I’m happy for both of them in different ways.

Then there’s the job I had. A wonderful time at Veritas LLC with great people, a boss that started out wrong but became one of my best friends there. A group VP that honored me many times and let our CIO know that many things at a good level were because of my delivery. In the end he also acknowledged it all on LinkedIn by saying farewell. I was sitting over the time-honored beer after stumbling around for the day and getting completely sweaty. I guess its normal to wonder what the accomplishment was, what I had done, where I’m going. I see others traveling in their orbits. They have plans and places and things and agendas. I guess when you have a shorter duration visa for Vietnam you tend to have to make some kind of plan. You know in 3 months you have to leave. But lemme say. Having a 6 month tourist visa was the sauce. For a few reasons I can bullet:

  • the time. I had set in my mind that I would travel slowly and live in places longer. I wanted to learn the place or places. Vietnam has been great for that. Hanoi has become this quality of life to me. Fast, random, full of moments. Without the time, I would never have felt like I truly retired.
  • the trips. I had set in my mind to take trips of shorter duration within Vietnam. I’ll be leaving in a few days for Hoi An and then a few weeks later for Hue. Then a little over a week back and I leave Hanoi and do the run to Hong Kong for days.
  • the pace. I wanted a slower pace to enjoy the first two things. I did not want to rush the days to say I saw the old quarter or the French quarter. I wanted to do repeat trips with a slower pace.

As I look back on the retirement and the no goal goals; I think I met them. There are some things which still get me. I still think of work and feel rushed sometimes. Sometimes it seems like the five pound chicken with the ten pound egg thing. Perhaps I think of life back in the states. How I could never have had a quality of life there like here or Cambodia or Laos. I could never enjoy. I could have only subsisted. Maybe still worked. Still working was not an option. Its like someone emptied the tank with work. I had no more to give. When I left on 28 February, it was like the work tank had emptied and gas stations and new projects would not avail.

The final thing is writing something longer I think. I feel the urge to sit and write something longer sometimes. Perhaps a method and workflow to doing what I did. I don’t need to monetize the blog or have google ads or try to sell patreon support. I don’t really need any more than what I have. This room. The Banh Mi sandwiches and the cold beer with the AC going along.

And you all reading and maybe finding a small thing of value when you decide your days of work have come full circle. I will say that you can leave too. But the countries here are changing fast I think. Vietnam is still a joy at a financial level but the world and its economies are going through growth. Look at where you are and where you want to be. If you are an oldster like me, perhaps consider how you too could leave. I will say the States are no panacea. There is no joy of life there when everything costs and then costs more. You may have some culture shock living elsewhere. That’s ok. We all do. You may find your own place and perhaps its not Asia. Other places are cheaper too.

I will say you deserve more. The states do not deliver the goal if you are old and thinking of living on the pittance that social security doles out. Save some money to have behind you, get rid of debt, find the way to depart. Life will be simpler and easier and more minimalistic. You can wander the streets of the old quarter too!

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.