Vacation: the perfect place for a photographer to contemplate retirement

Every summer I do the same thing. I visit some exotic location and, while there, start thinking about retirement. I don’t do this on purpose — it just happens, and I cannot stop it. It happened to me two years ago in Tuscany, and last year in Canada, and this year in Cornwall. I think I can see a pattern emerging. 

Make no mistake about it: Cornwall is absolutely gorgeous. Sophie came to me from Cornwall 28 years ago, and together we’ve been back every few years. Generally she really enjoys living in Holland (she has even applied for citizenship), but once in a while she longs for the green rolling hills and the rocky coasts. And who can blame her?

Because Cornwall is a piece of paradise! The narrow windy roads with the high flowery hedges; the beautiful cliffs that stand tall in the ocean, with the beautiful beaches in between; and the green friendly patchwork of meadows with quaint farmhouses in between. And not to forget the beautiful moors…

So is it any wonder I start thinking about retirement? Not that I am tired of my work, or am looking for way out — on the contrary! I could move here and do photography all day… Life would be so sweet: perpetual holidays! Is it any wonder I think like this every summer?

Three possible scenario’s

This summer I came up with three possible retirement plans. I presented them to Sophie and told her she could choose. Obviously the financial implications of each plan differ a little… I am not sure she was very impressed. But by plan three I had her — well, almost, I think.

Plan one: buy a fishing boat

My retirement urges started with this fishing boat, which I saw in Porthleven. For some reason I suddenly found myself thinking, somewhat uncontrollably, about retirement! I could buy this fishing boat! Sail out to see every day, catch a few fish at sunrise, and then spend the rest of day pottering around my little ‘Starfish’. Maybe take some tourists out occasionally. What a sweet dream… There is, however, one problem, as Sophie (dryly) noted: ‘you don’t even like fish.’ Oh yeah…

Plan two: buy the Mullion hotel

Of two plan #2. This one is a little more expensive, but I though we could buy the Mullion hotel, at the top of the cliff on Mullion cove. What a great location! And what a magnificent view. How could this hotel not be booked completely full night after night…

The first thing we would do, of course, is to change the name to ‘Million Dollar Cove Hotel’. Or perhaps the ‘Million Pound Hotel’…

Here’s the hotel and the view.

Plan three: buy and renovate the old factory on Poltesco beach

OK, we can probably not afford plan two. Two days after visiting Mullion Cove we came across a beautiful beach, on a walk from Cadgwith to Kennack Sands. And here both our hearts were stolen. Because, right on this beach is an old factory that could be restored beautifully (with a little vision). The beach is empty and beautiful. There are wild horses that graze around it. There is a natural pool. The stones on the beach are beautiful and rare… Sophie and I spent a few hours there, almost in complete silence, just enjoying the quiet, peaceful scenery


Back to reality … soon

Three rather wonderful daydreams to fantasise about. I’m sure our actual retirement will be nothing so glamourous. Photographers tend not to make that kind of money. Yet, I can dream, can’t I?

I wonder: do you have wonderful through unrealistic dreams of retirement while on vacation? What do you dream of?

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