My life’s journey crossed significant bridges to become a college student, a military soldier, a husband, and a father.
I committed to a 25-year career that led me to my retirement bridge, crossing my abyss of excitement, fears, unknown possibilities, and imaginative opportunities of an uncharted world.
Other than consuming self-help retirement novels, I had no one individual who inspired or shaped my idea of retirement. I had ideas to conquer my bucket list of items, and I did. I settled into a permanent base camp of perpetual warmth and living near water to fulfill a dream.
As I nomadically travel around the US, I often reminisce about my ancestors and elder relatives who have died, never considering travel, let alone retirement, to enjoy outdoor leisure opportunities or hobbies beyond their careers of blue-collar work.
Oh, I’m sure they dreamed of retirement, but they live during a time of terrorized segregated societal injustices that were a common occurrence.
Many of my ancestors and elders worked until illness caused a doctor’s visit, usually after ignoring ailments and pains, fearing examinations to avoid becoming a monetary burden or being cared for by family and friends. So many worked until death instead of retirement.
Over the past several years, my nieces, nephews, and second cousin’s college and high school graduations have provided me an opportunity to celebrate a new generation.
I have become known as the retired uncle who travels while becoming the inspiration for a generation of siblings and first cousins, approaching life as empty nesters and the end of their careers.
They have begun reaccessing their retirement future because, in the end, they are a generation who will not seek death yet instead enjoy the fruits of their lifetime of labor to live as retirees.
I remaining active daily while consuming ninety to ninety-five percent of fresh fruits and vegetables, as I want to live beyond the twenty-five years I worked to achieve my retirement. Because every day, I wake in awe of what I have accomplished, with my heart beating, eyes blinking, knowing I have my daily lottery ticket called life.
My nomadic travels honor my ancestors and deceased elders whose spirits surround me as I tour the US National Parks, Historical Monuments, and State Parks. I sense their presence, knowing they are proud of me and my travels as their spirits are my accompanied travelers.