Take regular vacations and exercise. “All work and no play,” they say. “Umwana ashenda”: traveling opens your mind, while exercise keeps you fit and refreshed. Traveling will relax your mind, while exercise will keep you young and vibrant.

There is a requirement that every year, as a family, you take vacations and build memories. Finance and property are unquestionably valuable inheritances, but memories are priceless yet precious souvenirs imprinted in one’s heart. Memories with the ones you love are forever engraved in the family tree; they make up the veins that make up the foundations of the respective legacies and bring life to generations.

It is important that, while one engages in other activities during retirement, a properly laid out savings plan for holidays and trips is put in place. This will entail devising a strategy for traveling in the most cost-effective manner. Building memories within your budget Part of the strategy to make travel affordable will entail advance bookings, off-peak travel, promotions, and network marketing incentives that would offer fully paid-up trips. If at all your profession is one that has those annual conferences, it may well be an opportunity to bring your family along. In fact, those that are in active employment should start their travel diaries early enough and utilize those work-sponsored trips to incorporate their families as well.

Who gets to be born in Zambia and not see the Mosi-O-Tunya, Lake Kariba, Samfya Beach, or the Northern Province water bodies? Depending on how deep the pockets are, local tours can be adopted. Within Lusaka, for example, there are a number of sites that can be visited as you unwind and build memories. Take a trip to the presidential burial site and learn about Zambia’s political history and why the graves were designed that way. It costs only K2 to enter, and the tour guide is excellent. I was shocked at how many things I did not know about our former presidents. Ideally, when I went to visit the grave of my president, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, I ended up learning about the others as well. Visit the old state house and learn about our first Republican president. Kafue is just a bus ride away. Get a room at one of the lodges and go for a boat cruise on the Kafue River. Game drives in either the Kafue or Luangwa national parks are another option. The various traditional ceremonies are some of the events that you can use to go out there and build wonderful memories. There are so many historical sites that you may visit as you plan for your annual vacations. You may not need to fly out of the country to enjoy life; Zambia is sufficient as long as it is land-linked. In fact, vacations are better when you are around familiar faces and feel safe. We were never created just to survive; the breath of life is for living. Therefore, retirement is the time to live.

The trend is usually that by the time Africans or Zambians are in their 40s, they will look and feel very old. The gyms are flooded with people aged 30 to 40, while those 50 and older tend to just go with the flow. Potbellies are not healthy. Exercise should become a lifestyle so that the blood is kept running. The choice of food is important. One must ensure that their diet includes fresh, organic, and healthy foods. You cannot enjoy your retirement when most of your finances are going towards medical bills. The entertainment world has shown us that, indeed, when you exercise regularly, the number of years you have lived on earth will surely be just a number.

If you can get a gym subscription and workout according to your capacity, team up with individuals that will motivate you to exercise and keep fit. The other option would be home-based workouts. Download apps that will guide you through your workout routines. Connect to the television, and you could even set up a home gym. Walks in the neighbourhood do not cost anything except snickers.

Well-travelled individuals will do business differently. Even the decorations in the house will indicate to you that it is not a Sesheke affair or that some Kalaluka played a part. (I know my Lozi friends always see litapi and sand in everything.) Enjoy your vacations and learn from others about how they live their lives whenever you travel. The Zambian way is not the only way. It is surprising how much money you make by taking our culture to the world, “Zambia Kuchalo.” Ain’t we eating Indian food and lining up for Chinese takeout? Remember that retirement is just an extended opportunity to celebrate this gift called life.

The author is a retired officer of the Zambia Airforce and an Advocate. He can be reached via email: [email protected] or Whatsapp: +260 97 9165574