Each year we say we'd like to spend part of the summer away from the Arizona summer. When we owned an RV we made that happen. For the last few years, though, we have stayed at home. Being close to everyone has been more important.
We are healthy enough as I write this to not have many travel restrictions. Would I scuba dive like I used to? Probably not. That is pretty strenuous. Would I agree to walk across Ireland? Maybe, depending on the length we covered each day and the type of accommodations at the end of each day (no tents!).
I prefer to avoid air travel as much as possible simply because airlines have made that form of transport as legally close to punishment as possible. Actually, my first choice would be train travel but Amtrak pulled out of Phoenix almost 20 years ago so that isn't a viable option. That means we usually drive.
For Betty and me the only real restraint at the moment is a self-imposed budget. And that really gets me to the core issue of this post. At some point our health will begin to limit our travel options. That is as given. It could be something dramatic that changes our lifestyle completely. More likely it will be a gradual decline in physical strength and abilities.
There may come a time when one of us is afraid to have the other in a foreign country where medical care is more of an issue. But, for now, these scenarios are not in play. So, should we ignore our carefully planned budget for travel and "go for it" while we can? Should we do all we want even if we have to tap into savings and investments that weren't supposed to be for traveling?
Should we live with the worn out carpeting for another few years and put the money into trips? Will we look back at some point and kick ourselves for not having the experiences while we could? Or, will we second guess our decisions to put ourselves in a financial hole that may have serious consequences?
In our household, this is an ongoing debate, but we have taken steps to travel more while we can. Overall, we are homebodies. We enjoy where we live and the people who fill our lives with happiness. We have a schedule of volunteer, and social events most of the year. We buy season tickets to Broadway shows that visit town. I enjoy finding things to do in the area that are different and low cost.
Betty has been strongly hinting that her days of RV travel are not over. A small Class B motorhome is her dream. We both see one or two longish road trips in our future.
I guess the most important step is to prioritize our wants. In that way, if a health issue arises we will have had the experiences most important to us.
Then, we must decide how deeply to dig into our retirement fund to pay for this. If RV #2 happens, our budget would undergo a major overall. There will be some serious discussions over the next several months. Don't tell her, but I miss the RV, too.
|Me, contemplating my choices|
I hope we have at least another 10 years of travel ahead of us. Deciding how to balance our desires with our resources and what we view as responsibilities to our family keeps us constantly reviewing our options.
How about you? Have you decided to travel now and worry about the expenses later? Or, have health issues forced you to scale back? And, if so, are you content with your life?