Growing up in Florida I wanted nothing more than to graduate, join the Air Force, and leave the state. Sure I enjoyed skipping school my senior year, loading up the trunk with beer and heading to Daytona with my friends to get drunk, play football, and trip over the waves. And yes this was the time of MTV when they showed music videos not all this reality TV crap and went to Daytona durinig Spring Break. But still I didn’t like the state. It was just too damn hot. You took a shower and got out and was immediately sweating again. On top of that, despite the fact I love my family, too much of my family was around, I mean 8 generations of family all within 4 surrounding cities. It was like we were the mafia and we ran central Florida. Finally, there were the retirees. I mean, come on, this was Florida, it was supposed to be the state of youth. I was 16, 17 years old and there seemed to be more retired people than people my own age, thanks to this (at the time little) retirement villiage called The Villiages. It has now taken over Lady Lake, Leesburg, and trying to take over Florida.
Seriously, the people thought they owned the state. They drove around in their golf carts and if you were younger than 60 you got attitude like you had no business being in the state, it didn’t matter you were born there and they were just snowbirds from another state who migrated like geese to the warmer weather. I hated dealing with the people and their little community, yea no kids allowed so if you happened to be retired but had kids late in life, sorry you can’t live there. Now to give you a time frame this was the mid to late 80s. A lot has changed since then but at the same time a lot has stayed the same.
This got me to thinking though, I am going to be 40 in a couple months, though I am not considered retirement age, I am a retired Air Force vet, so I am officially retired even though I am still working as a civilian now. And one day I’ll be one of those retirees traveling around the U.S. in an RV and flying around the world seeing new places like Amsterdamn and Australia both of which I have every intention of seeing long before my second retirement. Though with that said, I can say without a doubt I still, will not move back to Florida permanently (maybe for a short time until my kids are grown but that is it), and I definitely will not become one of The Villiages retirees. I am a Floridian Air Force brat by birth but I’ll be damned if I die there. I plan to be a retiree of no place but a resident of everyplace.