Freedom 55, anyone remember that. It was an old ad campaign from 40 years ago. Very catchy and has stuck with us. Did it happen, not really, not in the way the ad campaign meant – Retire at 55, at least not for most of us. We started thinking about it at 50, and here we are at 64 still thinking about retiring. We are definitely having a lot of fun dreaming about it.
There have been a number of places we were going to retire to, Florida, Arizona, California. Then the more we thought about it the less we wanted to be tied down, especially for the first 10 years and especially while we remained relatively healthy. In 2018 I finally talked Jim into going to Portugal. Love at first sight. This is where we would like to spend our next 10 winters. In 2018 we did Lisbon and the Algarve – 10 days. In 2019 a month, Sintra, Algarve and a couple of days in Seville. Still love it. The weather is ok, great walking weather, great sunbathing weather in the backyard of our timeshare. The pools were cool and the ocean was chilly. That’s OK, as long as we can walk and walk and walk. Everywhere is so close and so our dreaming moved up another level. 2020 was going to be at least another month, starting off in Spain and then back to the Algarve. The people are amazing, the food delish and the wine even better. What more could we ask for. Well our 2020 plans went a little awry when our daughter and daughter-in-law announced that babies were arriving for Christmas. I like to travel but I like babies even more. All plans were on hold until we saw how everyone was doing. Thank goodness, we would have been arriving in Spain just as Canada was telling everyone to get home. Rain or shine there truthfully is no place like home, but that hasn’t stopped our planning and Portugal will be on the list for a long time.
Our dreaming hasn’t stopped and we are hoping on 2 months in the Algarve area in 2021 with trips to other places on our list. Gibraltar, Madrid, Porto. Everywhere is so close from here. Lovely dinners at the Cheeky Pup and Julia’s on the ocean. Trying new Portuguese wines. New golf courses and lots of walks both along beaches and over cliffs. Next year I’ll be 65 and have to remember to pack my walking sticks. In 2019 our oldest grandson joined us with our daughter and her husband. The only thing that can replace the memories of walking along the beach with their family is having our other children join us and learn to fall in love with this beautiful country and their people. Stay safe Portugal we will be back.