I’ve been begging my wife to write a post for the blog, but she always say no. Yesterday she had to write a few paragraphs for a contest to win a travel book; I snagged it for today’s post.
Crap, I just turned 49, and I am stinging from the realization that 50 is now less than a year away. Fifty years-old, what does that even mean? Am I really going to be half a century old? Have the best years of my life already passed along with my youth, or will the knowledge and experience that come with age make the next 50 years even better?
Even though I’m the sort of girl who likes to see my cup as half full (or maybe I should say forty-nine percent full) I recognize that the day will come when I won’t have the energy to venture far from my home. I fear the day when age will make traveling a slow and difficult endeavor. Many of the couples that my husband, Joe, and I come across during our travels are senior to us by couple of decades or more. We watch them using the elevator instead of climbing stairs; we see them taking the bus instead of walking; they limit their excursions to overcrowded sightseeing buses instead of exploring on their own. While I am inspired by their spirt and determination to overcome their infirmities and see the world, there are too many places that I want to visit where health and endurance are a necessity.
I want to travel the mysterious, awe-inspiring South Island of New Zealand. I want to kayak along its wild west coast with its black sand beaches and stunning rain forests; I want to get lost in the maze of ice of the Franz Josef Glacier; I want to trek along Milford Track, seeking out views of glistening waterfalls, rugged faced mountain ranges, and densely packed forests. These are just a few of the 1001 places I want to see before I die.
I have been traveling for the past few years, but my list of places to go is not getting any shorter; I keep adding to the list. So, let’s do the math. If my life’s journey is only half over, I still have 50 years to go. If I have another 25 years of robust health and 900 places left to visit, that means I need to see about 36 places a year. I’ll just round that up to 50; Joe is always saying we need to have a buffer and a plan for contingencies. I’m up for the challenge, but I’m not so sure about Joe, he collects injuries and ailments like old ladies collect cats. He better keep up; the weak and sickly get left behind.