Category Archives: China

Rethinking Retirement

On my final morning in Beijing, we headed to The Temple of Heaven, a Taoist monument dedicated to praying to the heavens to bring a good harvest at the start of spring, and to offer thanks when it was done.

This is a 600+ year old building, that’s managed to survive the Japanese and British, and has been restored to its former glory for tourists the world over to enjoy.

 Temple of Heaven

This story however, isn’t about the monument, but about the fun that takes place in the surrounding grounds of 200+ acres surrounding the central buildings.

Over 55’s can buy an annual pass to the parklands surrounding the temple allowing unlimited annual entry for around $20AUD.  Over 65’s are free.  And you should see what these creative retirees are up to!

On entering at The North Gate, there were couples learning Rock & roll, and incongruously jiving away to classical Chinese tunes.  Check them out here: http://youtu.be/DLVBi86HPoE

Others were honing their skills with a shuttlecock with an agile version of Hackysack.  Paddles were available for those who prefer a racquet to using their feet and large and small groups were loving kicking it around.  The feathered ball was also available for purchase for anyone wanting to take one home to try with the family. I’m kind of regretting now that I didn’t grab one off the touts for practice at home.  Then I’d be a legend by retirement!

 TOH

Others were learning or had mastered the art of tai chi and slowly went about their moves, completely engrossed and ignoring all onlookers.

One group of four that stopped us in our tracks was a human game of quoits and I captured a little on video. Their skills obviously the result of much practice.  Check out their skills: http://youtu.be/dtwF4VzwvyQ

One woman regaled us with her operatic tunes while women danced, and more practiced their musical instruments, mostly brass, and loudly.  And if not well, at least with enthusiasm.

I kid you not, I’m sure I heard bagpipes!

Others had dressed up in traditional Turkish garb and were practising their Whirling Dervish routines.  And all with massive smiles of enjoyment on their faces at the fabulous gift of being alive and the wonderful sense of community they no doubt felt.

So, for all those who think retirement means hanging up the boots, an occasional game of golf or going home to die… Think again!

What was it you’ve always wanted to accomplish?

Maybe it’s time to find a tribe and invade your local park!  Perhaps I won’t lock myself away in a mouldy attic to write a novel after all.  It appears my seniors beach volleyball team awaits!  Or salsa lessons… Retirement’s looking better to me every day!  But hey! Why wait?

2014 Travel Opportunities for Finance Chicks!

This year I’ve been lucky enough to be presented with the opportunity to travel on five separate overseas trips! Awesome!

However, being a mum, running a business and ensuring my clients are well cared for, means not all are possible and I’ve had to narrow that down to three.  Still Awesome!  Starting to learn to not bite off more than I can chew is a new experience for me. I usually take on everything… and chew really fast! And get a little weary in the process…

With Bali and Malaysia already under my belt, it looks like my next adventure will be to Cape Town and Durban, South Africa.  A friend of over 30 years standing has asked me to join in on her adventure into motherhood.  A local Australian clinic has suggested that she investigate treatment options available in Cape Town so we’re off there to check out her options and enjoy the scenery while we’re at it.

High on the list to explore are Robben Island, former home of Nelson Mandela, a trip up Table Mountain and leisurely lunches and dinners on the V&A Waterfront between clinic visits.  Can’t hardly wait!  I’m also looking forward to catching up with friends in Durban who’ve just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

My final adventure will likely take me to Shanghai, China in October so I’m excited to be able to explore three new countries this year.  What a fantastic opportunity along with my usual domestic travels around our beautiful country of Oz! My cousin and her family moved to Shanghai some ten years ago, so will love catching up with them too.  So much to see and do!

The trip I had been really hoping to pull off this year though was a really exciting opportunity, and will be put on the back burner til 2015.  And in honour of International Women’s Day, please check out the work of The Hunger Project. http://thp.org.au/

Through the amazing Business Chicks partnering with The Hunger Project (THP) I’d been through the application and interview process and selected to participate in a leadership and immersion program to Malawi to watch their vision come to life in some of the poorest villages in the world.  The trip involves funding your own costs of up to $5,500 for personal expenses and raising a minimum $10,000 for THP to use in their work.  Plans were already formulating for a Ball, including an auction, live music, movie nights and various other fund raising efforts.  This is something I’m really excited about for next year and although it may not be Malawi, am grateful to have been considered this time around.  I’ll definitely keep you posted on how that turns out!