2015 is going to be a monumental year for many of us. For me, it means packing up or selling off everything I own, putting what I’m keeping in storage, purchasing the first flight for my RTW trip, packing my bag and stepping off into the unknown.
I was recently asked ‘At your age, why can’t you be like a normal person?’ I was informed that ‘normal people’ stay put, live in the same home year after year, have a close circle of friends, enjoy local activities, cook, clean, babysit their grandchildren, read books and grow old, happy comfortably…. and quietly. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that life. If my husband were still alive, my life would be much more ‘normal.’ But life didn’t give me that option. Because he is no longer part of my life, after 30 years of ‘normal’ I got to make the choice of what kind of life I wanted to live.
I made the decision to ‘not be normal.’ I had been so lucky. Between my business and my husband’s work, I got to live and travel to many places around the world, which only whetted my appetite to see more, do more, and enjoy life to the fullest.
I admit it – I get bored easily. Maybe that’s why in the past 14 years I have lived in Penland, NC, Ajijic, MX, Wilmington, NC, St. Kitts, Eastern Caribbean, a 30′ Winnebago and Chicago, IL. And I wouldn’t have traded a single day (even though there were some really rough days) for the experiences I had, the people I met and the sites I’ve seen.
I love living in Chicago! I love all the wonderful things living in a big city offers – from great public transportation to outstanding theater and music, to festivals and concerts, a beautiful lakefront, an overwhelming selection of wonderful restaurants, unparalleled shopping and a diversity of cultures and interesting people. I have a great circle of friends here now. I belong to several really wonderful organizations. I have access to 2 major airports that can put me on the doorsteps of my children within a few hours. So why, you ask, are you leaving?
Because there are so many places I still have to see! Places that are different and foreign and unique. I want to learn from the people who live there, hopefully, understand a little better their way of life and share mine with them.
So things are getting really down-to-the-wire and I’m beginning to lay out my specific itinerary. Did you know that an American is only allowed to spend a total of 3 months traveling in Europe? That really is putting a damper on where and how long I had planned to stay in certain countries and making me reconsider my departure date due to a couple of ‘locked-in’ dates I have already set in Spain and Denmark.
And then I found the elephant refuge….but that will have to wait until my next posting.