We were in Scandinavia recently for a 10 – day long vacation. It was an amazing trip as we soaked in the culture, art, history, architecture and the scenic beauty of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The sea, numerous lakes and the greenery, the waterfalls and a boat ride in the fjords with crisp wind blowing and seagulls flying along, cobblestoned streets lined with cafes and a variety of unusual museums have been imprinted on our minds.
A most remarkable part of our trip was our interaction with the tour guides in the cities we visited. They were all between 60 – 70 years of age, spoke very good English, were extremely courteous and well informed about the history and geography of that region. They gave us all the general information about their country – its population, education system, social welfare schemes, governments, monarchy etc. They showed us around the various monuments, museums, churches, parks, town centers and palaces giving us the details of their significance.
Inspite of their age, they looked fit and full of life – satisfied and as if the second innings was becoming almost as fulfilling – or even more – than the first. Eager to answer all the queries put up by the tourists, they took great pride in showcasing their country and its artistic and historic heritage. As summer months are ideal for visiting these countries, there were lots of tourists from around the world. To be able to cater to the rush season, the guides have to sometimes work in two shifts – morning and afternoon. Yet they always seemed fresh and raring to go. Another good quality was the respect and awe shown by them towards the royal families of their respective countries, speaking high of them. Besides imparting knowledge, their jovial nature made them come across as very warm and friendly.
It was so heartening to meet and listen to such enthusiastic persons, ready to mingle with people of different nationalities and cultures at an age when it is perhaps time for most to retire and call it a day. A real tribute to their spirit and zest for life. You truly get to learn that life can be so fulfilling and fun filled if you keep yourself gainfully engaged in something that you love to do. I am sure they had different professions earlier and have shifted to this career later in life demonstrating capabilities of change and adaptation – a must to be happy in life.
So many 60+ people start feeling old and tired, dull and bored. The Scandanavian guides taught us that it is all upto us to be happy and live life to the fullest, irrepective of age and also for us to decide till when we want to keep going.
So remember not to tire even after you retire!!