Young, retired and bored. Where to go?

Oct 5th, 1999, 07:05 AM
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Young, retired and bored. Where to go?

I am 35, recently sold my company and currently don't work. I have a spouse and 2 year old child and I am bored silly. I live in Raleigh, NC and am tired of the local sites. Any suggestions as to where to go this month (October) with my family that is interesting, fun and doesn't require more than one night's hotel stay while driving there or doesn't involve flying? Money is no object. The South Carolina, Georgia coast seems kind of boring. We went to Hilton Head Island, SC recently. Pretty, but was over it quickly. I need some stimulation. (And the NC mountains don't seem so exciting either). Thanks
Oct 5th, 1999, 07:52 AM
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Your post makes me sad. While I will answer the question you asked, I first want to say that I am having a little trouble sympathizing. Most people would give their right arm to have some free time, but you just express this overwhelming sense of ennui. This makes me suspect that maybe the problem is not the venue, but having a whole lot of free time on your hands. It seems like you are looking for something that travel may not give you, and only you know what that is. I have a hunch that it is not stimulation you need, but to BE STIMULATING. I don't think you need to be entertained, I think you need to entertain someone, or at least to be active instead of passive. Volunteering some time with people less fortunate than yourself -- kids learning to read, old people in nursing homes, veterans in hospitals -- is a great cure for boredom and may also put your current situation in perspective.

That said, you are also hard to advise because you seem to find some particularly delightful places "boring," which makes me wonder what you do when you are on vacation. Are you sitting back and waiting to be entertained, or are you going out and seizing what each place has to offer? You say you are looking for someplace interesting and fun. Can you give us an idea of what kinds of things you enjoy? Some people can be endlessly entertained by relaxing on a beach; others need bungee-jumping. I can understand being tired of where you live (Raleigh), but there are some wonderful places on the NC and SC coasts and in the mountains, and I can't believe that you have tried ALL of them. When was the last time you learned something new or challenged yourself in some way? Have you climbed Mt. LeConte or gone white-water rafting on the Nantahala? It's definitely not "boring." Have you been deep-sea fishing off the Outer Banks? And I can't imagine that anyone could be bored by Charleston, SC.

Assuming that you have really done everything there is to do in the Carolinas and Georgia and found it wanting, and want to drive somewhere close (I assume someone in the family has a fear of flying, since you say money is no object but then say you don't want to go anywhere that involves flying, which is really too bad because it does seem like a drastic change of scenery -- say the Rocky Mountains, or a tropical rainforest -- might do you some good), I would recommend trying Florida, Washington DC, or Virginia. To me, the most interesting and fun place in Florida is Key West. You could definitely drive there from Raleigh in two days, staying only one night on the way, although it would be two long days of driving. Or have you ever thought of a cruise? Lots of them leave from all over the state of Florida -- Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, etc. -- and can give you a taste of the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Bermuda, or wherever you're interested in. If you don't want to drive to Florida and cruising is out, then I would recommend Washington DC. Also, Virginia has lots to do -- Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, etc. -- but something tells me that if you're bored by NC you'll probably be bored by Virginia too, and in fact, you may be bored anywhere.

Good luck to you and your family. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Oct 5th, 1999, 08:22 AM
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G-d, how I would love to be able to retire and stay home with my child.
Oct 5th, 1999, 08:42 AM
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This is the perfect time of the year for fall foilage in New England. That's where I'd be heading.
Oct 5th, 1999, 09:25 AM
Bob Brown
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I am not sure if you are bragging or complaining. But, go to Paris.
But first, learn some French, and study the art history of Europe enough to know what the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay are all about so you don't bumble around like the typical dumb-assed American tourist. Just doing the art history bit should keep you occupied for 1 month or two, and the French lessons, so you can sound semi intelligent and not be stricken dumb when confronted with a French person who does know English, ought to be good for about a year. Then go, and enjoy yourself in a new culture with new challenges.
Just think, if you stay there a year, your child will be well on the road to being fully bi-lingual.
Oct 5th, 1999, 09:25 AM
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My first suggestion is to follow Lisa's advice to help others, and create a Fodorite Travel Endowment Fund so that those of us with less ideal circumstances can find some entertainment of our own!

My second is to go to this website: and do an event search for the South Atlantic states in the next 30 days. I just did it and found a huge list of unusual, interesting events going on in your general area, including:

two bluegrass festivals

several halloween festivals including the "Haunted Islands" one in Georgia

Michaelmas celebration in Asheville, NC

several Indian reservation events

many celebrations of Civil War battles

a Star Trek exhibit

a barbecue festival in Vienna, GA

a forest festival in West VA

a road race

and the 19th annual Bridge Day on the New River Gorge in WV featuring parachuting, rafting, climbing, mountain biking, and funnel cakes

I have never been to any of these but I have to say if not a single one floats your boat maybe it's time to go to dry dock for some repairs.
Oct 5th, 1999, 09:42 AM
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I think "retired" isn't the appropriate word for someone who is age 35. You may have the financial ability not to work, but I believe you will soon find yourself back in the work world. There aren't enough vacations to keep you stimulated, on a daily basis, for the next 50 years. Also by limiting yourself to driving trips you have already found that the most interesting destinations require plane travel.

You ask where to go?

I say back to work.

Vacations are much more enjoyable when they are not your life's goal.

Best of luck.
Oct 5th, 1999, 09:54 AM
K Noel
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The Annapolis Sailboat Show is this weekend-about a 4.5 hour drive from Raleigh. Maybe you'll find you and your family a new pastime! PS, I'm 40 and sold a business a year ago--we don't have to work, so we're helping the folks down east who were wiped out by the floods--very rewarding all the way around.
Oct 5th, 1999, 09:59 AM
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Spare me the oration Lisa. I didn't ask for your sympathy, hunches or assumptions. It seems that you would rather rattle on then offer valid suggestions. Did you really read my post? It says I have a 2-year-old. Whitewater rafting? Mountain climbing? Deep sea fishing? With a little child? Are you daffy?
I've lived in NC all my life and have visited all the mountain and beach areas many times over. That's why I'm looking for something else. Fear of flying? No but my child is always suffering from inner ear infections and I don't want to take him in a plane because of the pain.
I also don't want to drive for hours and hours on end. Is that fair to my child?
I have worked by butt off for 14 years to build up my company and was made an offer I couldn't refuse. So sue me.

Hey Bob. Can you drive to Paris?

Volunteer? I have spent the past 8 days in Eastern NC helping families they were devastated in the flood. I think my family deserves some time together now and we wanted to get away for a week. If you can't handle the fact that I don't have to work then that's your problem.
Oct 5th, 1999, 10:10 AM
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Good comeback Pat. Lisa needs to ease up on the counseling. Good for you on the success you have achieved so far.
South Florida Pat. You can drive there with one overnight hotel stay. Naples, Orlando, Captiva Island. All wonderful and relatively near each other.

And who says you have to go back to work to enjoy life? My wife stays at home and raises our kids and she loves that she has that option. And she works harder than me.

Besides...isn't surfing the net and getting bad advice from people like Lisa entertaining enough?
Oct 5th, 1999, 10:40 AM
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Don't ask for advice if you're going to bash anyone who gives you some. . . .
Oct 5th, 1999, 10:42 AM
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Had you qualified all of what you just said at the beginning, you would likely have gotten some fine advice. Your initial post was extremly blase. In fact, I came to the same conclusion that Lisa did.
If you were to identify what you find "interesting" the people who are familiar with areas that might appeal to you would have something to work with and could tailor their suggestions.

Just a thought.
Oct 5th, 1999, 10:48 AM
martha python
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It's the traditional Fodorite response, I guess: "Could you be more specific?"
Are you looking for something that will be fun for you and your spouse and not unpleasant for your 2 yr old, or is the point of the trip to do something that the young 'un in particular will find entertaining (not to mention WDW)? I take it the idea is to get yourself somewhere and part it, not to travel around a couple hundred miles a day? Are you sporty types, historians at heart, what?
Oct 5th, 1999, 11:12 AM
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I don't want to just walk on the beach or look at trees. I want WOW! I want to learn some things and to be entertained.
I want to let my son nap during the day while we have some quiet time and I don't fancy night time activities. I want to taste different foods and see different things. This is the only time in my life (til my husband retires) that I will have this free time with my family so we are going all out.

My son is too young to try and entertain with trips so this vacation is for me and my husband. He is just happy to be with Mommy and Daddy.
Oct 5th, 1999, 11:16 AM
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First of all, I wasn't suggesting that you strap a life-vest on your 2-year-old and hand him or her a fishing pole, Pat. It's actually possible to go on vacation with your family AND do things like hiking, fishing, or rafting. There are these great people called babysitters, which you can either bring on vacation with you (you said money was no object), or hire through the hotel or resort once you're there. That way you get to go out for a few hours and have a little adventure with your spouse.

Second, you obviously didn't read my post if you think I didn't offer any "valid suggestions" -- Washington DC, Florida, and Virginia meet all the criteria in your original post. And I don't see what's wrong with the idea of taking a cruise. They leave from all over the eastern seaboard from ports that are less than one night's hotel stay away from Raleigh, and don't involve flying.

I think it's interesting that you asked for suggestions and then complained about the suggestions you received. If you reread my post you'll notice I never said you didn't deserve to go on vacation with your family -- on the contrary, I suggested places! And so did a whole bunch of other people who responded. Now, wasn't that nice of them? And sweet of you to thank them for their suggestions, too.

P.S. It's great that you helped the flood victims! At least that must not have been boring.

Oct 5th, 1999, 12:13 PM
martha python
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Would you be willing to take the train? I have never been able to utter the phrase "Money is no object," but if that were the case, I'd be tempted to go to New York--but not by driving. A description of the Four Seasons in the month's PlanET has me drooling, plus you'd be near FAO Schwartz and the park for non-naptimes:

I hope the URL doesn't make the margins go all hinky--I've tried to break it up.
Oct 5th, 1999, 12:55 PM
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Good comeback, Lisa.
Pat, we can't know everything about your life and your first note didn't list anything about the 2-yr old's ear problems or what kind of things you were looking for (it was pretty negative and who hasn't worked hard their whole life!) so you are bound to be "misunderstood". Take the advice you want and try not to attack the people giving it.
Any place can be WOW if you have a good attitude and good company and maybe for you one of those is lacking. New York city by train with a nanny sounds like a good option.
Oct 5th, 1999, 01:07 PM
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Lisa, Pat..neutral corners.
Pat, what about Cape Canaveral? Definitely a WOW experience.
You can check out NASA launch schedules at
It's close to all the WDW business but that's avoidable if you choose. For a meditation on what might become of American society in the next century (oy), visit Celebration, the Disney new town near Kissimmee.
Oct 5th, 1999, 02:12 PM
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This weekend in downtown Raleigh there was a walk for children with Down's Syndrome. You should have been there. My nephew was there who is "down". In the Triangle, there are numerous ways to help people and beat the boredom. Do go somewhere and have fun like Richmond or DC, but spend your other time helping our community, maybe you won't be bored. I live in your same town and work 14 hours a day at that big computer company in the Park and would kill to spend some time with my nephew and kids like him. This is no lecture, just telling you about a new opportunity right at your doorstep that doesn't cost a thing, yet the payback is big.
Oct 5th, 1999, 02:57 PM
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Somebody said DC, some of the things about october in Washington that make it a great time to visit and some things to do are listed. IMHO, you ought to find a dozen WOWS in the list no matter what you like.

1. meets all of your criteria
2. weather is great (summer is HOT)
3. less crowds
4. some of the best museums in the country (how long are you staying? try everything on the mall, plus the holocaust, the phillips and the newseum in VA)
5. visit congress and the supreme court in session.
6. many great civil war locations you can do in a day (inclduing gettysburgh, appomatax, fredricksurgh, wilderness, 1st and 2nd bull run and harpers ferry name a few) and be back in dc to sleep (see another string regarding best hotels--may I suggest the 4 seasons?). if you go to a battle lcoation, pick up a map and tape at a visitor center and take an audio tour.
7. arlington cemetery
8. baltimore--45 min by car. try a baseball game. try the aquarium.

9. perhaps the best variety of food on the east coast south of nyc. (indian, thai, ethopian, chinese, vietnamese, japanese, tapa bars and the list goes
on). go to adams morgan

10 Redskins Ticket. lots of ticket outlets for legal (but expensive) resales in dc.
The only draw back is no krispy cream nearby, so bring at least a dozen with you. Enjoy.


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