Retirement can be a difficult time.
Especially during the first year. Humans, we do not like change. And the transition from a fervid, caffeine-fuelled work schedule to a blank, relaxation period can actually bring with it plenty of unforeseen, daunting troubles.
One way of dealing it is to make like my father, and start the party by enrolling yourself into an unthinkable variety of university courses. Foreign languages, creative writing, a bereavement counselling course… Extravagant lunches with old friends in café gardens, foreign film club twice a week, starting to write a novel, occassional trips to the National Costume Museum… Cake making, singing, violin lessons… (Well, actually, the last three I made up, but I´m giving him a couple more months).
This is one way of dealing with it.
But not everyone´s that crazy. Another way to gently break into the different style of living that comes with retirement is to spend a bit of time home exchanging.
If you want to take advantage of your retirement in order to have more holidays, home exchange is a brilliant way of taking safe, comfortable trips all across the world. Plus, because they´re so cheap, you can afford to take them right through the year.
Alternatively, if you´re thinking of buying a second home, or of moving to another area, home exchange is the perfect way of scouting out your ideal location. Not only do you get to sample the area first out, but you also get a feel of what it would be like to LIVE there, in a home. Hotels can be misleading, and also if you go on package trips you tend to feel set apart from the actual community way of life. So it serves not only as a way of packing holidays into a sardine tin, but also as a trial period for potential new areas to live in.
The transition between a flat out, or even a relaxed part time working schedule, can be a tricky psychological adjustment. So if you feel feel a little blue, or are finding the displacement that often comes as you embark upon a life of freedom a little strange, then you can ease into it smoothly. Catching some sun, or seeing some inspiring art in a completely new environment, can infuse you with a sense of well being, and motivate you to learn some new relaxation techniques.
Home Exchange is not just about summer vacations. It´s can touch all corners of your life.