This week I felt extremely sad as yet another close friend, who opted for early retirement, announced she is “selling up” and returning home to good old blighty (UK). Not only is Portugal not the “promised land” she had imagined, but now the honeymoon period is over, at fifty two years old she is totally disillusioned and suffering from boredom.
Here is an energetic and intelligent woman who’d retired at forty-nine. She had not only a challenging career but was also actively involved in a whole range of voluntary work back home. I hugged her and as the tears rolled down my cheek I remembered my other friends who had returned disillusioned back to the UK for various reasons. For some it was financial, as there is no work in Portugal, others strong family ties or sheer boredom.
Early retirement and a more relaxed lifestyle seems a great idea when you are up to your neck in office politics, languishing in a dead-end job or just fed up with the endless miserable grey skies of winter or and even some summers! You may think “Beam me up Scottie to a warmer climate and let me escape the drudgery of my present lifestyle”, but for some, their “dream” and “reality” are worlds apart. Dreams then turn into a living nightmare from which they need to escape and take control.
Life, I have learned, has to have a purpose and structure otherwise there is a real danger one day will just drift aimlessly into the next. There are only so many weeds you can pull, DIY (do it yourself) projects to complete, ladies lunches, coffee mornings, walks etc. There is more to life!
I must be a bit strange because I have so many varied interests and hobbies I don’t have the time for boredom and there are simply not enough hours in the day!
She will be sorely missed as she has so much “get up and go” but in a different way to myself. If you cannot find what you are looking for it takes courage to move on. Hugs to a dear friend the place will not be the same without you!
Have you retired early, or maybe you’re a Mum at home also in “La La” land gradually going stir crazy? Maybe you are even considering moving abroad. Please share your story