Thirty five years ago I was single, touring the world with a tall, dark and handsome Aussie. Zimbabwe…Switzerland…Vanuatu…Egypt… The world beckoned and we made the most of his Qantas flight benefits. We’d close up our flat in Sydney, put the mail on hold and wing our way around the globe for a month or more with barely a look back. No plans. No reservations. Not even a cell phone. Just a thirst to travel and see the world.
Thirty five years, and more than a few white hairs later, we are back on the road again. Today is the first day of our month long adventure to Australia and Fiji and I am a conflicted mess of excitement and apprehension.
Thirty five years does much to ones mindset. That handsome Aussie and I are married. With kids. And grandkids. And a house and mortgage. And our own small travel business in Colorado. We’re not nearly as free as the last time we set out on a month long adventure. And I wonder what the hell we were thinking.
Perhaps we should have dipped our toes back into the vagabond life with just a two week vacation? Will a month be too much time away from the lives we have built? Should I have visited the dentist before we left? What if I crack a tooth? Or lose a filling? Stuff happens. I packed my Medicare card but what good will that do once I cross the Pacific?
My daughters promised to water our houseplants but does anyone really care about my five year old geranium as much as I do? I’ll check emails each day to see if my clients need me but what if a blizzard hits Denver and my spring break travelers can’t get out of Dodge?
One entire month without binge watching Suits and This Is Us. Do they even get Netflix in Australia? Will I forget the plot and have to start all over again when we return?
I used to travel light – toothbrush, Walkman, Advil for hangovers. Now it’s a month supply of Vitamin D to keep my bones strong, magnesium to keep my cholesterol low and baby aspirin to keep the blood flowing. Tooth picks to maintain healthy gums. Ipad to Skype with the grandkids. Umbrella for rain. Jacket for wind. Shorts for heat and jeans for cold. It’s a good thing the airlines enforce strict luggage limits or I would be schlepping half of my house with me.
Today is the first day of what is either a chance to rediscover my youthful spirit of adventure or the overly ambitious journey of a silly old woman who thinks only other people grow old. Might it have been easier to simply buy a sports car, inject Botox into my wrinkles and take up salsa lessons at the rec center? Does the soul of that young adventurer still reside in this aging version of what once was? Only time will tell.