What makes someone take a Midlife Adventure.
I’ve had a very successful career with the opportunity to work in Australia and New Zealand holding senior management roles since I was around 25 years old.
My Career has given me many exciting experiences and the opportunity to travel around the world to have meetings with interesting people and promote the businesses I have worked for.
Working across the IT sector in Management, Consulting, Project Management and Support roles I have achieved many important career and personal goals. Nearing my 35th Birthday I started to think about doing something for myself to take a gap year and explore, something I never did when I left high school.
Over those first few years the idea of an adventure started to appeal more and more and things came into place. I purchased a Toyota Troop Carrier thinking that this might be the vehicle that would allow me to get out and explore. That had a few test runs but busy with my career and not enough time and inconvenience of living in the travel vehicle it became clear it wasn’t the right choice of vehicle for my needs.
Then in 2016 I upgraded the Troop Carrier to a Toyota Prado as a good towing car. Not long after that I purchased a caravan, a Jayco Destiny Outback Poptop.
With the car and van now available and working for myself I still didn’t have the time to do much more than weekend trips on occasions, so there was very limited on the distance I could travel.
In 2017/18 I moved back to Adelaide my home town and found myself back managing another team and moving further forward with my career.
With a health scare in late 2018 I finally decided to put the brakes on and take the risk take a career break to travel Australia.
Approaching midlife I took the risk. Not knowing what I would discover, not sure if I could manage living a completely different lifestyle to the comfort I had created around me. I headed out in May 2019 to see how long I could go and what would happen on a Midlife Adventure.
The settling in period was interesting moving every couple of days, completing hundreds of kilometres and experiencing a lot of interesting places.
Each day completing a blog post with pictures chronicling the journey and sharing it with mainly family and friends who wanted to track my progress.
My management experience ensured that I set clear goals for the trip before I left.
- Complete the Blog Daily
- Catch up with friends that time and distance had made difficult
- Touch the water in the North/South/East/West.
- Work within a budget
- Experience the culture and history of each location
- Be safe but take risks to challenge yourself
At just over 5 months on the road and 24,000 km completed I can report that I am on track having achieved all of the goals I set above for my Midlife Adventure.
As a solo traveller I often get asked, do you get lonely. In this highly connected age that is actually really difficult to get lonely.
I have recently read the book Lionheart about Jesse Martin’s solo sail around the world and earlier in the journey listened to the Audio book of Jessica Watson in her book True Spirit. They were at sea physically disconnected from everyone, where as I can go down the pub and meet neighbours at the caravan parks where I stay. They had a clear goal and faced their challenges as we all do, it is how we let those challenges impact us that matters.
Lonely is just a state of mind you can choose to be social and choose to have some time on your own, does that mean I wouldn’t prefer to do this with friends of course not, but I can appreciate this experience for what it is an adventure. I also think on a journey of discovery that many things are actually easier on your own.
The journey till now (Broome, WA) has had to fit to a time frame that meant I could fly out from Perth in November. That date is approaching and I’m well on track to make those dates. After that the journey slows down significantly as the Christmas period approaches. This will bring new challenges to the adventure and approaching the starting point of this journey will come decisions on what path continues beyond this midlife adventure.
There are many experiences that shape us in life, some for the good and some for the bad. There is a clarity of mind that comes from adventure that helps you map out a plan for the future you become more aware of your passions and better at setting priorities for yourself that can be ignored too easily when busy working in your career.
There is an age old conundrum is it the journey or the destination that matters. Well I can say it’s both, the destination has to have enough significance that it drives you to make the journey, but the journey has to be experienced fully to appreciate the destination.
In the normal hum drum of life it is very easy to live each day into the next. Having journaled over 150 days of my life this past year you appreciate the vastness of the journey be it a 400km drive, a 10km walk or a day sitting around doing the washing and watching some TV. The phrase is true, we are a long time dead. As a result no matter what your dreams are seek them out, don’t settle and don’t live a life of regret.
Be it an adventure of youth, an experience of a lifetime at 70+ or a Midlife Adventure, wherever your destination, whatever your journey, make the most of it and don’t let fears hold you back from living your best life.