We’ll See

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Some of you have probably learned from Facebook that I am now officially retired.  I was planning to work through the end of March but when horse racing in Toronto was put on hiatus, I was off the hook 10 days earlier than expected.  Aside from a three year sabbatical in 2014-2017, I have worked continuously in the horse racing industry since 1981.  It paid the bills and was reasonably rewarding but I doubt that I’ll miss the deadlines, odd hours, working week-ends and holidays, etc.

As recently as four weeks ago I was planning to fly to London, England on March 31 and soon after begin a little 2000 km hike.  The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage that involves a short walk from Canterbury Cathedral to the port of Dover, a ferry to Calais, a somewhat meandering path through France and Switzerland, over the Great Saint Bernard Pass (which is accessible only in summer), and finally through about two-thirds of Italy before ending up in Rome.  Some people do it in one go but it’s likely that I would have split it over two seasons due to visa restrictions and complications that might arise after spending a month in Tuscany. Okay, hangovers.  Multiple hangovers.  And carbs.

When the idea of backpacking through northern Italy became less appealing (and eventually downright impossible), I figured that I would keep the flight to London but ditch the VF and instead divert to Spain where I would do the Camino de Santiago for a second time.  Surely rural Spain would be safe in April, right?

Only a few days after coming up with that beauty it became clear that Spain was headed into lockdown and my second Camino would have to wait.  Suddenly a barren loft in Toronto seemed rather appealing.

Thankfully my landlord agreed to put me back on month-to-month.  I don’t have much furniture left but figure if I’m going to live in squalor, it’s probably best to live in squalor where there’s grocery delivery, free healthcare, and a good hospital within two blocks. Oh, and 24-7 wine delivery!

At this point I have no idea when or even if I will set off on a second round-the-world adventure.  I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be holed up in Toronto until some warm, cheap and semi-interesting country relaxes travel restrictions AND out-of-country health insurance is once again available.

When will that be?  To quote Donald J. Trump whenever he doesn’t know the answer to a question and cannot think up a lie, “We’ll see.”

11 Responses to “We’ll See”

  1. Benson+Fox

    Damn shame when a great plan goes awry. Well, at least you’re stuck in Toronto in the summer.

    Hello from isolation in NZ.

    Grant.

    On Tue, 31 Mar 2020 at 06:42, another100saturdays.com wrote:

    > Mike Hamilton posted: ” Some of you have probably learned from Facebook > that I am now officially retired. I was planning to work through the end > of March but when horse racing in Toronto was put on hiatus, I was off the > hook 10 days earlier than expected. Aside from a three” >

    Reply
    • Mike Hamilton

      Yes, stuck inside in Toronto in the summer. For some that could be tough but my place is damn cold in summer and toasty in winter. Small blessings! Stay well, Grant.

      Reply
  2. Jane Belore

    Hi Mike I’m glad to be updated, but also glad you weren’t halfway to somewhere when this happened. My trip to Portugal also canceled, but to be continued. Who knows where in the world we may meet up? For now I’m happy you’re safe, and many Happy Trails ahead. Happy retirement, Love Jane

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    Reply
    • Mike Hamilton

      The chances of meeting up in Portugal are increasing by the day. I have no firm plans for the next adventure but it’s possible that I’ll just go to several places and stay as long as visa restrictions permit. If so, 90 days in Spain/Portugal would be high on the list… once it’s safe.

      Reply
  3. Betty Ross

    Gosh Mike – you’re selections/comments were the best in the business! You will be mightily missed. If you were still making selections, I would tell you to keep your eye on Beach Sports and Century Heineken this year. Hope your planned journey will materialize (sooner, rather than later). I truly enjoyed following you on your last epic trip. Happy retirement Betty Ross Sent from my iPad

    Reply
    • Mike Hamilton

      Thanks for the kind words, Betty. And good luck with Beach Sports and Century Heineken. They may see some action this year but safe to say they’ll be good and ready for three!

      Reply
  4. Susan

    Hola Mike. I was looking forward to living vicariously through your travels once again and hope its not long before you and the rest of the world can follow their dreams. Take care. Still expecting you to come by for drinks!

    Reply
    • Mike Hamilton

      If this is “EcuadorSusan”, then drinks in your neck of the woods might be delayed by a year but still very much in the cards.

      Reply
      • Susan Gilbart

        it is Ecuador Susan. Anytime you are welcome to our spare bedroom. To stay or as a jumping off spot.

  5. wetnose17

    Mike

    It only took a world-wide plague to delay your travels. Yes, it does seem like a proper decision to stay in Toronto until it is safe – for so many reasons. Wish you an easy quarantine. Hang in there.

    Carol [hunkered down in New Jersey]

    Reply
    • Mike Hamilton

      I’m not nearly as productive as I once was but I am managing to get some long-delayed projects completed. I should be ready to get back on the road with a day’s notice when the time does come. Stay safe, Carol.

      Reply

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