Celebrating the transition into retirement part one

Following his retirement as CEO of Group Five at the end of last year, Mike Upton and his wife, Cathy, took a trip of a lifetime to mark this significant transition. This journey afforded them not just an opportunity to enjoy different countries and cultures, but also time to reflect on what they really wanted for this new phase of their lives.

Cathy and Mike have kindly shared their blogs about this milestone trip, which we have posted on our Retire Successfully website under the Play section.  You can follow them on their journey as it unfolds – just click through to the account of the next leg of the journey … and watch that space, as Mike and Cathy will be updating us as they complete their writing and downloading their photographs.

Mike and Cathy on the 17 Mile Drive

Left: Mike and Cathy on the 17 Mile Drive

 Here is the first extract from the Upton travel diary.

Following a 16-hour flight to New York, and hunting for a lost bag at JFK, we caught our connecting flight to San Francisco. Six hours with my own television screen allowed me to watch the Indian Wells tennis live, with a bit of sleep in between.

While our hotel was comfortable, our first shopping trip to the local Safeway supermarket (for apples and yoghurt) was certainly not a familiar experience.  I was served by my first transgender teller: ponytail, painted nails, lipstick, huge hands flamboyantly ringing up my purchases, he was friendly and, no doubt, used to being a curiosity to first-time shoppers.  We also witnessed a shoplifter trying to dodge the security guard, with six large bags of crisps … he got away, sans his plunder. We assumed he must be one of the many homeless we saw in San Francisco, lolling about the streets and parks in long dirty robes.

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