My brand: I have three words so far: information, introvert, variety. One thing that I realize as I continue to explore retirement is that I search for more self knowledge.
This search for self knowledge is my first step for this first year of my retirement. I haven’t jumped in to a lot of travel, something that I want to do in the future.
What is my Vision of travel, next year or the year after? I see myself sitting in a cafe, or on a plaza near a cafe. It is out of doors. I am reading and sipping wine or more likely coffee. (Wine sounds better, but lets face it, I want to be awake for this experience.)
So I am sipping coffee, perhaps in Santiago Chile, perhaps in a town in France (it could be Chartres or maybe some place in Provence). It is sunny and comfortable. I have public transportation available.
Hey! I think I found my next brand word (see my post What is your Brand?). It would be Urban.
To me Urban means a city, a lot of cultural opportunities (museums, concerts, book stores, little use of cars, lots of public transportation). I realize that being urban has been a really driving force for me all of my life. I haven’t often lived in the center of a city, but I have always wanted to do that, and I usually lived close enough to a city that I could get there without too much trouble. So I am an Urban soul.
One thing I have been doing is watching the series Mad Men either through DVDs, or on my computer. (These are available through Amazon for instant viewing or buying.) I have had a lot of catching up to do since I did not watch much television when I was working,
Now I am at the beginning of Season 5. In one of the early episodes, Pete Campbell and his wife are attending a party given in an apartment in Manhattan. The Campbells have recently moved to the suburbs, requiring a long train commute for Pete. He has said in a past episode that he loves being in the city on a holiday weekend, when he has all of the possibilities open to him and no interference.
At the party his wife remarked that she could hear the street noise even in the apartment. I watched this happy, dreamy longing look come over Pete Campbell’s face at the thought of the noise and the action in the city. I know how he felt! I feel the same way. To be in the middle of things, to have the possibility to have the best available: that is what the city means to me. (I hope you get back to it, Pete.)
I know why I am an urban person, and why my dreams of my future travel are usually to cities, or to towns close to cities. I was raised in New York City, although most of my childhood was spent in Staten Island, part of the city, but certainly not in the middle of things. Plusses: easy and plentiful adn frequent public transportation. Negatives: distance to Manhattan.
I went to Manhattan as often as I could, and I loved the museums, especially the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the big Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum. The stores were all large and plentiful, and in parts of New York, unusual. (My third Brand Word is Variety). I think living in New York reinforced for me that the world had so many possibilities.
Now I live in a suburb of St. Paul, MN. I don’t have good public transportation into the cities of St. Paul or Minneapolis, but it is improving. Both cities are easy to get to, and it is easy to find parking. These are wonderful cities for the culture, restaurants, variety, and good quality. So in many ways my brand is being honored.
To catch up on other posts: I have finished the book Quiet by Susan Cain and I will say more about that in another post. I recommend it, especially for anyone who is an introvert (more people than we think), or who lives with and/or loves an introvert. I am also reading a book on water issues, very good. And Agatha Christie continues to keep me entertained, with the first Miss Marple book: Murder At the Vicarage. Agatha continues to have that wry sense of humor while she has a straight face and gently pokes fun at the self importance of her characters.