The Clash is my husband’s favorite band, so it’s appropriate that the lyrics of the song, Should I Stay or Should I Go, speak to me, as we ponder our next move. We are retirement age and our children are pretty much on their own with good jobs and separate lives to lead. We are in a place where we don’t have to make decisions on staying or going, but at the same time, it’s time to give it some thought. Says me.
I like to move and discover new places. My husband enjoys being settled. He’s a true New Yorker, born and raised here, and wants to live somewhere in this state. I like the warmth, I grew up in Northern New England and the expiration date on winters has expired with me. We currently live in a coastal town on Long Island, it’s lovely and it was our dream to be here. But I have new dreams and would like to get out and explore the country more. Including a new place to put my pillow down, in a different zip code.
The reason I like to move more than my husband, may be found in my DNA. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average person in the United States moves residences more than 11 times in his or her lifetime. I am on move 8, my husband is on move 5, so one of us are on pace to meet that statistic. According to the Atlantic Journal, Americans move considerably more than our European peers. When we visited my husband’s relatives in Europe, four generations were living in the family home in northern Germany. I love that, it was steeped in history and they each had a deep connection to their community. Something, Americans really don’t have because we move around for opportunity more than any other population group on the planet.
My desire to pull up the stakes on my tent, pack up and move, may be linked to the “Wanderlust Gene.” In a Huffington Post article, it describes us as being “born travelers,” possessing one gene prevalent in populations that migrated furthest from civilization. It may explain why explorers were compelled to do what they did despite the risks involved. There are other scientists who dispute this. Regardless, I think there are some of us more inclined to move to new destinations, more than others, whether our DNA tells us to or not.
As the song says; This indecision’s bugging me…So after a quick Google search for: Planning your retirement, yielded thousands of search results; I am still no closer to any answers. I believe it comes down to; are we happy where we are? I have a mixed answer to that; yes, I am happy, and I also want to say yes to more adventure. I get restless in one place for too long, that’s just how I am wired. There is one big consideration that can crimp the wanderlust in all of us: Money. I read a few articles on making your money go further, in different places of the U.S. It is overwhelming. What is easy to do is to pick locations to visit on each vacation. And if you are clicking your heals, singing “There’s no place like home,” you may have found it, or you’re longing to get back to where you came from.
That feeling of, “I belong here,” has to do with having our needs met. I know I have a list of items that I require, and according to American psychologist Abraham Maslow, this is innate in all of us. The graph depicts what Maslow found to be important considerations when humans nest and feel satisfied. So, as I go looking for a home that suits our next stage of life, while I am not sure where that will be, I do know I can trust myself to recognize that “feeling” when I arrive there.