When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps sensibility will do the job. Nothing has worked.– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley in Search of America
The conversation must begin with the “why”. Why did we decide to do it; why did this great adventure need to happen? Are we crazy, simply living a purposeful life, or are we masochists who are diving into some level of middle age homelessness and potential financial ruin? All of this circulates in my mind every night and about 3AM when I wake up in a ball of jumpy nerves. As it turns out, these balls of nerves, working through fears, facing challenges are what help me define when I’m going in the right direction with my life. It is those nerves that are my internal indicator of challenge and change that move me to act, think and ultimately grow as an individual.
Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.George Bernard Shaw
I read the above quote and really like the difference in “finding” versus “creating” yourself. “Creating” your life focuses on empowerment and is how we have set off on this journey. We have both spent years working to create professional careers that have been rewarding, with good incomes, and growth opportunities. It is the time for us to turn the page and start a new chapter of our lives. Not simply waiting for us to find it, but to create the opportunity for us to define it. Side note – Toohey will ultimately benefit from our creation as he still has no idea what is going on or about to happen to his “home body” world.
We have casually talked about retirement, travel, living and experiences for years. We often agree on sharing movies, books, and articles that focus on crazy adventures, long through hikes, skiing, running ultra-distance races, travels and adventures. We surround ourselves with people who live extraordinary lives doing amazing things and we are often thrilled and inspired by their stories.
Our adult lives have been filled with running, biking, and swimming long distances, hiking beautiful trails, kayaking, skiing, and camping in amazing places. As I reflect on our life’s script, it is one of seeking challenges filled with adventure and travel. Seeking daily to become better, one experience at a time. As we look to the next chapter, the year will be full of seeking new experiences, freeing the mind to wander into places not yet ventured, and searching for new learning opportunities, all to create the next chapter.
I recently listened to an interview with a person traveling for a living and he made the comment that you can spend your life, career doing the same thing for 40 years and you’ve basically lived the same week over and over during that time. Or you can shift chapters and learn a new life, facing the challenge of growth through change. I can speak only for what I have experienced over the last months since starting this process and that has definitely been a learning and growing experience. I can’t imagine what the next year will hold and I hope to use this web page to share these as we move past each opportunity.