The Director of The Banyan Golf Resort in Hua Hin Thailand thinks the model for retirement is wrong.
Ironic given that he manages a facility designed specifically to offer its often retired guests total relaxation in their later years in a country feted for its laid back culture.
“I’ve been working on the idea that stability is not boring” he says almost leaping out of his skin as he says it “I am now at a place where I am not running away from normality”.
To say that Bruce Hancock is passionate is to make mention of the fact that Everest is tall for a mountain and that Tiger Woods has dropped a little in form since the early days.
Bruce is PASSIONATE with a capital YES, and that’s not a bad thing.
A New Zealander and adoptive Australian, he is also far from home.
Following the early and untimely death of his father when Bruce was just 15, Bruce’s personal journey can be described as nothing less that remarkable in its colour and movement.
From being gored by a bull in Southern France (and spending 4 months in hospital having his bowel, bladder and self-repaired…yes….he was gored in the his butt) to getting elephantiasis in one testicle “I would have been happier” he says “if it had have been both” to running experiential get aways for major hotel chains replete with fire walking, abseiling and high ropes, and creating Earth Care, part of a sustainable tourism program in the north of Thailand for Bruce, this has been one wild ride.
So how does a man from small town N Z, having so far lived a massive life around the World on an action packed journey filled with drama and intensity, find himself in meetings about lawn cutting?
“Well, I can’t see myself retiring, no, and I think the way people live, working and working, then discovering when they stop that they are, maybe, resentful, and that they don’t know themselves, I think that’s not what it’s all about”
And for Bruce, this idea that there is something more is the key.
Is this it?
It’s a three word mantra that has resonated in his head from a very early age.
Following his injury in France, which was only part of part of an adventure that at one point saw him cutting cooch grass with a pocket knife on a remote goat farm in central Australia with a boss who heard voices and walked around at night with a gun, to selling flick knives to Malaysians in KL ( who then refused to pay him and used the knives he had just handed over as motivation for him to bugger off sans cash), to a disastrous episode with magic mushrooms in Bali ( and we’ve all been there) as well as a bit of wine women and song along the way- and all before the age of 25- Bruce got into fitness, and not in a mild way.
Bruce doesn’t do things in a mild way.
Ultra Marathons, degrees in fitness and what would now be called sports psychology, the Kokoda Trail, Director of health and wellness at the internationally renowned wellness spa Chiva Som, as well as Health clubs for the Sheraton, personal training and personal development coaching, the overwhelming sense you get is energy.
Energy, energy, and lots of it.
So back to ‘today Bruce’ and his life in Hua Hin.
In case you don’t know, Hua Hin is known as the Royal Resort Town due its connection with the Thai Royal family. Essentially, the King and Queen spend large amounts of time in the area. There is a Palace, as well as several other smaller Royal residences. For Thai’s looking for a bit of R&R from the hustle of Bangkok, it’s a dream location. It’s also known amongst Thais as a ‘white town’, and not just because of the tourists.
There is a large expat retirement community and the local shopping mall sells wheel chairs, imported ice cream, denture cleaners, adult diapers and wine, as well as DIY home renovation products galore.
There are two international style private hospitals within walking distance of each other on the main road, and more massage parlors ( not the happy ending ones, although there are plenty of those too) and more pharmacies than you could point a stick at.
It is sleepy. No question.
It’s also a good place to raise a family, something in his life now, and a good place to regroup.
“I’ve had a cat’s life” he says. Possible more than one, this writer quietly thinks.
“But I have my passion projects. One in particular that involves helping people tell their stories and leaving a written legacy for their families”.
Is that it?
No, there is something more.
It’s all about something more, from either inside himself, or for the people around him, and that’s the secret.
If ever there was a man leading the way in living life to the max just to see what’s there, even in the quiet times, Bruce Hancock sells it.
#TRAVEL #PEOPLE #RETIREMENT