Does life really begin at retirement? No, but a new type of life is certainly possible. In the last couple of weeks I have had the pleasure to meet two men who since retiring have lived the life of their dreams. Even though the lifestyles they have sought out are 180 degrees different, both are exactly alike in the fact that they identified what they wanted to do, then succeeded at doing it. Donald Miller, a retired international banker, now owns and operates a winery in Baja Mexico. Bill Burke, after a career as a corporate attorney, has chosen a more active lifestyle that has taken him literally to the top of the world.
Adobe Guadalupe is located in Northern Baja Mexico. Once just fallow land, it has now been cultivated and is home to 60 acres of prime vineyards. Miller will tell you he always had a soft spot in his heart for wine, and determined that once he retired he would set about growing grapes. In the late 90’s he and his lovely wife Tru were visiting Mexico and found the ground they would put their heart and soul in. Prior to the turn of the century there were only about a dozen wineries in the region. That number has since grown to over 60 and has become known as the Ruta del Vino. Along with the wines the Millers produce, the couple also transformed their grand hacienda into a bread and breakfast. A concept that is somewhat new to the Country of Mexico is catching on. Clientele is a pleasant mix between U.S. citizens and our southern neighbors. Don and Tru enjoy nothing more than enjoying a fine dinner and a glass of wine with the guests they are currently housing.
Far from the temperate ocean breezes of Northern Baja, pushing high into the atmosphere is the “Death Zone” of Mount Everest. As unlikely as it may seem, it is here that Bill Burke finds his element. Explained in a matter of fact manner, the mountain climber says that when he retired he wanted to find a hobby that would keep him active. Beginning at the ripe young age of 60 he began climbing. First in the U.S., mainly in the Sierras, Burke now holds the record as the oldest American to have climbed the highest mountain on each continent. This gives him entry into the very select “Seven Summits” club. Yet, not content, Burke has actually climbed 8 summits. As there is discrepancy as to which mountain constitutes the highest peak in Australia/Australasia he climbed both that are in the conversation. That way he felt he could lie to rest any disputes that might come up. In 2014 he will attempt to climb Mt. Everest from both the South Side and the North Side in the same season. To date, this is a feat that has not been accomplished by anyone of any age!
Two seemingly different individuals, each with different thoughts and ideas, but whom will tell you it is never too late to follow a dream. For them each day is something to look forward to with excitement. They know from experience the second part of your life can not only meet, but exceed but the dreams that you have.