For Riddle Village resident, Dee Eagan, traveling has always been a passion.

Oftentimes when people envision retirement, they think of simple, quiet living. Now that there is more time and fewer responsibilities, relaxing at home can be the biggest luxury. For Dee, retirement was not a time to slow down, but rather an opportunity to experience this fascinating world we live in.

Dee has traveled to 50 countries throughout her lifetime, with several more trips planned in the coming years. On average, she travels to 2 countries a year. Recently, she has visited Kenya and Tanzani, and by the end of this year she will also see Finland, France and more.

Growing up in the Depression, traveling was not always possible for Dee. However, her interest in learning about other countries was always significant. She remembers reading National Geographic magazines as a little girl and being amazed by the geography and history of other countries.

In 1981 Dee went on her first trip abroad with her husband. In Italy, she remembers taking a day off of the bus tour to visit family. Since then, Dee has been able to meet almost all of her family that lives overseas. Her goal now is to make it to Buenos Aires to meet her last 2 cousins.

After her husband passed and her children finished school, traveling became her primary focus. She figured it was as good a time as any to see places like Germany, Egypt and Austria. Dee says she remembers deciding, “I’m not hanging around for anything. I’m going to start doing the things that I would like to do.”

Since retiring and moving in to Riddle Village, Dee’s traveling has not slowed down, but the worry of a house while away has been eliminated. She knows while she is enjoying her travels, everything back home is taken care of. Not having to worry about maintenance work has been a relief to her and her children, who used to rake leaves, shovel snow and bring in her mail while she was abroad.

At Riddle Village, Dee likes to live the way she always did. She goes to programs that interest her, and sometimes she even gives a few presentations of her own about her most recent trip. This is easy for her to do because she always documents her travels.

“When I am back after a trip, I am working on my pictures. That is, deleting the ones I don’t want, maybe cropping some, making a document describing each picture, making a document of the daily journal that I kept, and putting an album together,” Dee says. “I am also planning my next trip!”

This summer, Dee is crossing something off her bucket list that she has been dreaming of for 15 years. She will be boarding a boat in Norway that travels down the coast delivering items to villages and townspeople, where she will get to spend time interacting with them and learning about their culture. She also has a trip to France planned with her grandson where they will go on a Rhône River cruise.

Whether she is building habitats, traveling through a desert or going on a safari, Dee says she has appreciated every trip she has gone on. Each one has been a learning experience about archaeology, history, and herself. Dee believes seeing something in person is far more meaningful than looking at it in pictures, and she encourages anyone who is able to, to get out there and see the world.

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