Corey Belize I started this blog to be the story of a journey.  Well, the journey hasn’t quite begun yet, but the planning is well underway.  I retire from the Army effective August 20, 2015, and have to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.  Where to start?  Like any good Army officer, I started with the planning.

I am going to devote the rest of my life to the ocean.  An open ended statement, and I will be the first to admit I don’t know what it entails.  I did not major in oceanography.  I don’t know how to operate any kind of boat.  I have my advanced open water qualification through PADI but don’t consider myself to be that advanced of a diver.  So where to start?

Education is always a good place to begin.  I signed up for a school in Key West (Florida Keys Community College) that will get me certified as a dive instructor and a research diver.  From there I will see what jobs are available or continue on in school.  Thankfully, my years of service and two deployments have been rewarded by the G.I. Bill.

So how do I get from Long Beach, Calif., to Key West, Fla.?

One step at a time.

It scared me today when I ended my lease effective October 28.  Signing the paperwork made my departure real.  So I committed to the future.  As a Game of Thrones fan, I quoted Dani Targaryen: “If I look back, I am lost.”

A lot of change is policing up the small details well in advance of execution of the plan.  I keep a couple of different notebooks for long term and short term planning, from monthly lists of dates to the nitnoid adminstrivia of every day life.  In order to know the sea better, I want to learn how to sail.  So I laid on a sailing lesson here in Long Beach.  If I am going to start school in Key West in January, I need some housing; so I laid on a road trip with a friend in September.

Last but not least, I am going on an “I love me” retirement trip.  After my 40th birthday “I love me” trip, this will be the second splurge this year.  So not like my usual frugality but much enjoyed.  The flight to Palau leaves October 29 and returns November 14, so I am locked into checking out of the apartment, packing the Great Escape (my trusty Ford Escape who has already crossed the country with me once), and upon my return to Los Angeles, starting my roadtrip: the Great Trip East.  November 16 I will leave the home of my birth, my home for the last three years, California, behind me.  For good or for now? I don’t know.

Again, former Pentagon Action Officer and US Central Command PAO Planner here: of course I am already delineating the details of the Great Trip East.  One of the first things that struck me was how blessed I am with friends.  As I perused Google Maps determining cities to visit, friends came out of the woodwork: reporters with whom I previously worked, Navy shipmates, Army buddies, childhood friends and college friends.  I hope to see many of you along the way.

It has been quite a journey these past four decades, and I have unlimited roads opening up before me.

Please check back on this blog to share my journey with me!