TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPY – BILL FERRY– Gosh! RetireUSA is here! What to do, where to go and what to see. Those are the questions. Retirement is a journey waiting to be taken. It’s the expression of long buried passions. It is opening your eyes to a world that may have only existed in your dreams. It may be as simple as the joy of waking up one morning and realizing that never again do you have to go in to work. Retirement can mean any number of things.

I was blessed to be able to retire before hitting 65 but there was an adjustment period that I wasn’t ready for. That adjustment involved redefining myself as someone who had value away from the workplace. For this male, long defined by the sense of performance and accomplishment found working, waking up one day to retirement was almost unnerving. It was though I had come unmoored. What was my contribution if not to my workplace? My wife had been the anchor at home and still had that almost daily connect with our grown kids. I had some of that same connection but my dominant outlet for self and involvement were well outside the family realm.

Take another look at the image of the train and the bridge. I had been on the figurative commuter train of work for years. The rails helped define my route, my distance and my terrain. Suddenly the train stopped and ran no more.

I was fortunate though. I had a bridge awaiting me. I had had some long suppressed passions for travel, writing and photography. I hadn’t paid much attention to them, given the demands of family, work and life in general. My dormant fancies needed coaxing but with practice (and some classes) my eye and mind became attuned to new things and ways of expressing them. The advent of digital photography was a huge boost – no more drudge time in the darkroom. Now every pixel could be tamed in the computer. Taking pictures was only part of my urge to communicate – I loved taking the shots but sometimes they only told part of the story.  Using them as a foundation, I could go on to describe the mood of the day or flesh out how the shot came to be or even use it as an illustration of what makes a good shot and what doesn’t.

So anyway, I’m several years into this wonderful phase of life. This is not to say I ignore the stuff life throws at us (family and health are still every present), but on most days my wife and I can look beyond that and see what excitement lies over the next bridge. All aboard! I hope the shots and thoughts to come on RetireUSA will help to open your eyes to the new world that awaits. For our story and travels so far, go to Until next time Happy Ferrytrails!

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