Leaving Athens in the rain. Photo by Francoise Cauchie

Flying High Solo is changing, at least for a while. I launched this site as a magazine, to report on things relevant to solos – interesting people, places, and things to know and do.  I didn’t intend to write about what was happening in my life. That was then… Now I’m facing some major life changes that require most of my energy. So it is with mixed feelings that I announce Flying High Solo will morph into a blog and a magazine for a while. Most of the stories right now will be about my life and experiences, my journey to some new place – and what happens along the way.

Major Life Change

After retiring from teaching in a nice little college town to which I came 14 years ago for the job, it’s not the place I have seen myself staying. So, my big decision is: Where in the world should I live?  And, of course, a myriad of other decisions flow from that.  What will I do?  How will I find friends?  Is there good medical care? Etc., etc. etc.

Facing these decisions is stressful for everyone, and facing them as a solo, living alone, is even more so. On the up side – you’re free to do as you please, you have no one else to adapt to or negotiate with.  On the down side, you have no one to influence the decision, no one to pass it off to (I’ll go where you think best, honey), no one to plan to be there with.

Going Public

One reason I decided to “go public” with this is because I know I’m not alone in facing this decision. Many people are in the same boat, not only solos, not only retirees, but people in many stages of life – young adults just starting out, mid-career folks seeking change, empty-nesters, people laid off from their jobs, widows and widowers.

I will admit that I have three children scattered around the US – one in Virginia, one in California, and one currently in Texas, but that is temporary. And I have seven grandchildren, none of whom have I lived in the same town with – let alone the same state. We have wonderful visits!  But Virginia is crowded and expensive, California is wonderful but expensive… and I must build my own life and not depend on my children to entertain or take care of me – at least not yet.

What’s next? (Many of us ask.)  Where will I live?  What can I afford? What will I be doing?  Who will I meet and connect with?  Will I have a support network?  Will I fit in?

An American Immigrant

As I write this, I realize facing these frightening unknowns sounds like the

Along the road, nice open fields in central NY.

immigrant experience. I’m only thinking of going to a new state – a new city.  My own grandparents took long arduous journeys from Poland to Ellis Island more than a hundred years ago.  And they faced way more uncertainty than I’m facing.  Maybe their daring spirit is part of my legacy – and why I don’t seem to stay in any one place forever.

I’ve lived in four states, Massachusetts, Michigan, Colorado, and now I’m leaving Ohio.  Maybe wanderlust is in my veins.  Maybe jobs and other things ruled my life and I followed. Maybe I never really had much choice until now. And the freedom to make choices is not that easy.  It’s darn hard.

In light of this crossroads, Flying High Solo will change for a while.  If I have time to write articles based on interviews, multiple sources, and research, I will. If not, Flying High Solo will become a blog about my journey to my next place. I hope these experiences and thoughts will be helpful to those of you who face similar life-changing decisions.

I invite you along to share the road – and hope you will offer your insights and experiences to all of us.

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Comment(s) on What’s next?

  1. Kamilla says:

    I am resonating with major “aha!” in your words – it seems that many boomers find themselves in this season of uncertainty and personal transformation – your likening this to the experience of an immigrant opens an enlarged perspective for me -thank you! I for one would love to see you write more about this along the way.