Rambling Retirees Trade Home for Open Road

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October 8, 2012 by   Comments Off on Rambling Retirees Trade Home for Open Road

At 68, Barbara Miller Elegbede is living proof that flower children need not grow up, according to a Reuters report.

A self-described hippie, she attended a San Francisco college at psychedelia’s height and remembers friends constantly crashing on the couch of her apartment, just a block away from Janis Joplin’s pad in the hip Castro neighborhood.

Now retired from teaching and secretarial work, Elegbede, has become a full-time “couchsurfer” herself, living in other people’s guest quarters all over the world. (She has a temporary apartment in Tempe, Ariz.)

“I’ve lived in Africa. I know how to take a bath from a bucket … I’ve lived in caves in Greece and hitchhiked all over the world. Next year, I’m off to India for two or three months.”

Call Elegbede one of the “rambling retirees”: folks who give up the senior community or a comfy house for a life of constant travel. And they’re not all hippies.

“The RV (recreational vehicle) has replaced the rocking chair, and the whole notion of retirement has changed in the last 10 years,” says Ken Budd, executive editor of AARP magazine and author of “The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem.”

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