Mobility in the transition to retirement: the intertwining of transportation and everyday projects

Publisher's full text
Marianne Abramsson
Jan-Erik Hagberg

Through travel diaries and interviews with newly retired urban residents in Sweden our aim was to explore (1) mobility patterns in the transition to retirement, (2) the influence of space-time restrictions and resources on mobility and (3) the meaning and embodied experience of mobility. This time-geographic study contributes with knowledge on how mobility is influenced by individual, social and geographical contexts. Illustrated by four cases, our result show that retirement changes the preconditions for mobility and creates new space-time restrictions. To spend more time on projects that were previously carried out outside working time, such as caring for grandchildren, volunteer work and household responsibilities, influenced the informants' demands for mobility and choice of transport mode. However, the informants have resources that can be seen as strategies to overcome space-time restrictions. Most of the informants found it important to structure the day, to some it was vital to have something to do during the day while others enjoyed the possibility to take each day as it comes. Everyday mobility was a way of forming a structure by getting out of the house, either just for a walk or for making errands. The informants' embodied experiences of mobility influenced their choice to walk and cycle for transport for the reasons of comfort, get fresh air, or simply to get out of the house. The daily mobility pattern that was established was a result of individual preferences and resources as well as negotiations with family members. We conclude that the transition to retirement is a period when new mobility patterns are considered, evaluated and practiced.

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