Having been self-employed, I had no wish to become an employee again. I felt free to plan my future, in a way that would bring something very positive and exciting after a series of major personal setbacks.
I had always noticed in my life that, if ever I had a serious setback of any sort, what followed afterwards was always better. A close friend once said that if I fell in a dung heap I'd come up smelling of roses. Well, I've never fallen in a dung heap. But I knew what they meant. As each setback hit me, the more excited I became about what might be around the corner. It had to be something very special.
Luckily I had an occupational pension that I could opt to take at 50. It would be very small by British standards, half what it would have been had I taken it at the full term. But I wanted, needed, to start a new life, and it seemed I was being presented with one of the best opportunities ever.
Choosing Where To Go
I began to plan ahead, and there's nothing more positive than that when things are at a low ebb. For many years I had had a hope of maybe retiring in Spain one day, it was and is my favourite country in Europe. But as time went on, that had faded. Spain was too cool for me in the winter, and was not different or adventurous enough for me now.
Spain is suitable for many of those seeking somewhere that has better weather than the UK. If I had to stay in Europe and could have afforded it, that's where I would have gone. It's a well trodden route for the British, a "home from home", only the weather, on average, is much better, especially in the south. However, I no longer wanted a "well trodden route". Back in the 60's, Spain to me had been an adventure. But no longer.
I needed somewhere cheaper, and also somewhere totally different from the UK. The world was open to me. Once I had made the decision to go, it took me less than a day to settle on Asia. Europe was out: too expensive and too cold. North America had no attraction; South America had some attraction, but I'm not good with languages and it's difficult to avoid the dangers if you don't have any idea what's going on around you. Australia may have better weather than the UK, but was too close in culture and way of life.
© Roy Thomsitt 2004
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