It’s Monday but it doesn’t feel like Monday. I’ve lost the rhythm of the days since retiring from full-time employment. For 40 years Monday was the day that I shook off the weekend’s fun, got up early, cleaned up and got dressed, and then trundled off to an office somewhere. I don’t miss that at all, quite the contrary. But it’s hard to get over the change – every day is now pretty much the same. Hard to believe I spent that long in the workweek-weekend oscillation. And now…there’s no reason to hate Monday.
I *am* closing in on a new normal. This time the oscillation is between time spent in Socal and time spent in Louisville. My goal for 2023 is at least 50% in KY, and maybe a bit more. That may also lead to changing our IRS declaration of permanent residence, leading to favorable tax treatment (I’ll take any tax benefit I can legally get). Last year I spent 13 weeks in KY (including the unplanned week between Xmas and New Year’s), exactly half of what I’m planning for 2023. So this *is* a big change. But it’s all part of a plan.
Update, a few hours later. It’s said no plan survives first contact with the enemy. In this case, the enemy is air travel. I’m not sure why, but checking travel dates for the next month or so, airfares between Left Coast and Louisville have become much more expensive. Maybe 50% more. Round trips I’ve gotten used to buying for $500-600 are now $900+. I checked Southwest and United. United was the worst, with fares at $2000+ round trip.
It helps that I’m planning on fewer, longer trips, but geez! I imagine Southwest is trying to recover some of its losses after the holiday debacle, so it’s no surprise that their prices are up. But the timing sucks. I’m trying to be a responsible retired guy, spending less than I did when fully employed. This doesn’t help.
The absolute best strategy looks like taking a low cost airline to Las Vegas, and then doing a SW round trip between Vegas and Louisville. There is one nonstop from Louisville to LV, so at least the return is only a single stop. Or just drive to Las Vegas. That’s kind of extreme, but it’s only 2.5 more hours than driving to any of my usual airports. And it cuts out one layover each way. Still…kinda sucks.
When you get down to root causes of this, it all goes back to Covid. Covid broke the workforce and the travel industry, and here we are in 2023 trying to get used to a system with not enough employees, flights, or competition. The survivors get stronger by charging more.
Gonna have to think about this before deciding how to proceed. I knew I should have bought that private jet <sarcasm>.