I took early retirement about a dozen or so years ago and never looked back. Now I spend quite a bit of my time travelling, discovering new wines and pursuing my passion for food in both eating and cooking.
I have travelled to over a 100 different countries. I am not sure of the exact number but I stopped keeping track a few years ago when the number passed 80. To be fair, there are some “unique destinations” that are so different than the country that it belongs to that they should be counted separately. For example, French Polynesia, where Tahiti is part of, is claimed by France but is very different than the Country of France in every way but the official language.
There are not many countries that I have not been to but still want to visit. Instead, I would like to re-visit the countries that I enjoyed in the past and to explore new destinations I have yet to discover in these countries.
Although I have wine almost every night, usually with dinner, I love seeking out and trying new ones. I would go through periods of being enamoured with wines from particular regions and try to taste and learn as much about them as I possibly can. I try to incorporate visiting wine regions with my travels. So far, I have visited over 50 different ones (appellations) around the world. The truth is most of these regions also have very good food.
I would not call myself a wine collector but I do have some interesting bottles in my cellar. In all, between these and my everyday drinking wines, I probably keep around 400 bottles in my home and another 150 in my winter place.
I have always loved food. It may be a cultural thing. I started cooking for pleasure when I was in my teens and have continued to learn and experiment since. I mostly learn by trying and rarely follow written recipes although I did have classical technical training from a culinary academy (I attended chef school after I retired).
In the past, I had written restaurant review columns and been a “secret taster” for a major restaurant chain in the U.S.. Nowadays, I do some occasional restaurant consulting when the opportunity arises.
I do follow food and restaurant trends, especially in fine dining and I try to learn about and taste regional foods when I travel.
I have been blessed with being with a wonderful person for almost 40 years. Someone that is mostly understanding but always tolerant! The consummate companion and the ultimate enabler in my relentless pursuits and endless adventures.
Currently, I call Vancouver, Canada home. I generally spend 4 to 5 months annually in my house in Puerto Escondido, Mexico during the winter months. I cruise around the British Columbia coastal waters on my boat “Sol Searchin'” during the summer and do most of my travelling in the Spring and Fall seasons.