Steve, a most interesting plan from someone who appears to have lived a most interesting life. You are right, of course, that not everyone needs to retire in order to go cruising - although in my case, I will
have to retire from my present position as I am unable to take a lengthy sabbatical and, in any event, have no desire to return to it. That being said, I have no intention of 'retiring' in the classical sense, but rather will be 'tacking' towards a new career.
Does 'going' imply 'leaving'? For most of us I believe it does, even if only for a year or two. Certainly we will be leaving behind not only a career, but a lifestyle. We will leave behind family
and friends. We will leave behind our roots, or to some, anchors that have become quite firmly set in a good holding ground.
Does that also mean that we must give up all other passions? Of course not. Indeed, for many of us it is an opportunity not only to continue
with exisiting ones (perhaps cooking
, or music
, or photography
, or writing, or travel, or languages, or...), but the opportunity to finally give these passions the time they deserve.
In the final analysis, however, I still believe that for most of us there is
a 'massive lifestyle trade-off' in order to pursue our passions. The hope, of course, it that for the most part it will prove to be a trade up,
rather than a trade
down. And at least for me, in order to give this new lifestyle a fair chance, I would prefer to leave knowing that I have provided for the needs of my family
, including those I have left behind. When I leave it will not be in order to run away from my past or present obligations, but to run towards
a new and hopefully, brighter future.