Growing Old, Growing Free

The freedom getting older brings can be exhilarating. We have worked all our lives, maybe raised a family, cared for others. We have cooked, cleaned, taxied, wiped noses, kissed scrapped knees, and hugged away tears. It has been a joy, a real pleasure, but now that we are older, we have a little time to do things for ourselves. And what wonderful adventures there are to be had!

Three years ago, I moved back to England and couldn’t believe the price of property. It had truly exploded in the two (pandemic) years I had been away, and I found myself priced out of the market. It was a little scary, and for a while, I was wondering whether I should have come back.

Serendipity

I decided to temporarily rent a little holiday shack (aptly named Serendipity) on the beach for a season, and absolutely loved it! Breakfast on the veranda, lunch on the beach, and dinner on the barbecue, what more could anyone want!?

From my little wooden veranda, I could hear the sound of the waves as they lapped against the shore. If I stood on the sand dune, I could see the moon reflecting its golden glow on the ripples of the water. I witnessed magnificent sunrises, and sunsets so vibrant they took my breath away. I had my little dog for company and life was pretty perfect.

Everything Changed

Sadly, it didn’t last long as four months later, I lost her. She was 14 and had always been active and happy, but it was a huge blow, and for the first time in my life, I felt lonely. I stopped going to the beach as it was filled with people playing with their dogs, which meant I missed talking with others. It was so hard, and I didn’t know what to do.

One night, feeling a little sorry for myself, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I found myself booking a cruise to Norway. I always thought I wasn’t a ‘cruise’ type of person. How wrong I was! I absolutely loved it and, although I didn’t know it then, this was the start of an adventure that saw me solo travelling to many incredible places and having the time of my life.

A few weeks later, I took another cruise, this time to the Mediterranean, visiting France, Spain, Portugal and some Mediterranean islands. Slowly, it dawned on me that this is what I wanted to do, and the following year I embarked on a challenge – to travel full time for one year, for the same price (or hopefully less) than renting a property and living in England.

Setting Myself a Huge Challenge

My travels took me to much of Europe, including the beautiful island of Madeira. I swam with turtles in Barbados, danced in the rain in The Rain Forest. I stayed at a Buddhist monastery, cooking and cleaning for the Monks, swam in The Blue Lagoon in Iceland, slid down a mountain in a basket and drank from an ice glass in an ice bar in Norway.

I have met so many wonderful people and had the most incredible time and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Life is a great adventure and just because we are older doesn’t mean we are not a part of it. In fact, with our wisdom and experience we are a huge part of it.

If you would like to read a little more of my adventures the first three chapters of my book, Growing Old, Growing Free are on my blog. The entire book is available here.

Let’s Start a Conversation:

Have you ever had a big adventure? Would you solo travel for a year? Where is your dream destination?

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