For some time, I have been warning that this blog would morph gradually into including a travelogue alongside the usual musings on success and performance. That process begins today, as I thought I would share the edited highlights of my recent trip to Florida. With the police advising us not to advertise absence from the home for security reasons I refrained from posting in real time and after two weeks back at work it seems an almost distant memory. However, some of you may find it interesting and entertaining.
First, some context. Early retirement is now less than a year away, and the Florida trip was an important part of the research for the forthcoming travels. Retirement plans include a 6-month trip around the USA in a rented RV (what the Americans call a motorhome) so this was an opportunity to rent one, sample that lifestyle, and also tick off a few iconic Florida tourist sites that are a long way off our intended route in 2021.
So, we arrived in Miami in mid-March. We wanted a couple of nights to get over the journey and to celebrate Mrs B’s birthday, so we had a lovely hotel in South Beach, just back from the iconic Ocean Drive, but still firmly in the Art Deco quarter. It turns out that mid-March is Spring Break in Miami (and elsewhere), which turns the whole strip of hotels and bars into a hedonistic sprawl of college kids wearing very little and smoking and drinking themselves into a riotous frenzy of all day and late-night partying.
Clearly it is no news to me that I am comfortably middle-aged. I am well aware that although retiring early, I am certainly not the age of college kids. I am also well aware that even when I was that age, I was relatively demure in my tastes and was never likely to be seen at a foam party or rave. Even so, it was like a slap on the cheek to see these youngsters out for fun and realise how out of touch I was. Rather than admiring these young women with very little on, I found my self repeating the mantra “if their mothers could see them now…” under my breath!
Part of the shock possibly came from the size of some of the women involved. I like to think I’m a liberal, body-positive kind of guy who believes that beauty comes in many guises and who laments the drive to supermodel skinniness. In retrospect, I have to admire the confidence of these young women who flaunted their bodies with no apparent concern for their plus-sizeness. It definitely wasn’t demure, but it was definitely indicating comfort in their own skin. And there was a lot of skin on show!
There is an adage in the entertainment business along the lines of “always leave them wanting more” and in over 15 years of selling coaching and training I have seen the benefit of not giving everything away up front. This was a life lesson these young ladies had yet to take on board. There would have been little left to surprise their date should they have made it back to the hotel room.
Mrs B quietly advised me that they may not appreciate being told this at the time, so we left them to their parties and instead had a relaxed and pleasant meal to celebrate her birthday, and an early night. We made excuses to ourselves that we had jet lag, and long travels ahead, but I know we both knew that we could have stayed in Miami for a month, nay a decade, and still never fancied the party!