Travel Mentoring

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love to travel. My favourite topic of conversation is travel in all its different forms and I’d be quite happy to just drop everything at any time and take off for distant lands. And I think at this stage I’d be quite happy and confident enough to travel just about anywhere in the world by myself. It hasn’t always been this way. There were many times in my earlier days when I couldn’t or wouldn’t have dreamt of travelling by myself or visiting places that I felt were too culturally different or that were likely to pose problems regarding language or food. I guess I felt inadequate if I couldn’t communicate and the thought of eating anything other than the traditional western meat and three veg that I’d been brought up on had me adhering to an Anglo-Saxon travel itinerary. I look back now and realise the opportunities that probably passed me by because I had so many self-imposed barriers surrounding me that I couldn’t bring myself to fight my way through. ‘I can’t’ was always a well used phrase in my vocabulary. Not any more. I’ve grown, I’ve knocked down those barriers, I’ve expanded my world – literally – and visited places by myself that I’d never have considered visiting before, even if I was travelling with someone else. And I’ve felt comfortable doing it. I guess my travel growth phase started back in 2004 when, newly divorced after 30 years of marriage, I travelled by myself for the very first time at the age of fifty. I flew to...

My Travel List

Five years ago I wrote myself a list. I was approaching sixty and I wrote a sort of Bucket List of places I wanted to visit before I turned seventy *said very, very quietly so no one heard me.* I called it my sixties list. A few days ago I came across that list. Now to start with I don’t like the term Bucket List, it tends to imply that the said bucket is in imminent danger of being kicked, and it certainly isn’t, there’s going to be a lot going on before any kicking gets done. I prefer to call it my ‘Travel List’ or my ‘To Do List’ or my ‘Must Go There List’ or yes, my ‘Sixties List.’ Now, anyone with a reasonable grasp of maths will have figured out that, if five years ago I was approaching sixty then now I guess I’m approaching sixty-five (there’s still 8 months to go so don’t rush me). No matter how much I ignore the fact, birthdays do happen but as you know my philosophy is to take them with a pinch of salt, just because there’s a specific year written on that bit of paper we call a birth certificate doesn’t mean that we have to be constrained by the fact that everything stems from there. We’re here to live and make the most of life so let’s do that. Well anyway, five years ago my list looked like this: Everest 60th anniversary trek. Morocco Cinque Terre House Swap – Canada Paris (again) Peru – Hike the Inca Trail and explore the ruins of Macchu Pichu Coast...

Adventure Travel – Why?

Adventure travel has become so much more available in recent years and more people are heading off to undertake more extreme adventures. As I plan my next adventure, hiking the length of Hadrian’s Wall and a bit of wild hiking in the Orkney Islands, I’ve been considering the whole question of why some of us do the adventurous/extreme things that we do? Why do we push ourselves to the limit and sometimes beyond that limit? And do we actually enjoy the stress and the pressure that we put our bodies and our minds under? I mean it would be so much easier to just stay in nice hotels and hire a car or catch a train and see all the sights that everyone else sees when they visit. But oh, so much more boring. I recently did one of those random quizzes that you get on social media, I don’t normally do them but this one piqued my interest, it was travel related. My results (taken with a pinch of salt obviously) indicated that I was an Active Explorer,  so pretty accurate really. But as to the why of it all, why I want to do something a little out of the ordinary when many others are quite happy to take it easy on holiday, well, the answer escapes me. I don’t think there’s any straightforward answer to these questions. In April 2015 I completed my second trek to Everest Base Camp, it was a more difficult trek than the first, there was a lot more ‘weather’ to contend with, we had a diem horribilis when the heavy snow...

Decisions, changes and travel.

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that I’ve been a little bit absent lately, from here on the blog and from my Facebook pages – both personal and business. Or maybe you haven’t even noticed I’ve been gone. I hope that’s not the case, I hope you’ve missed me To explain. I had ‘stuff’ to attend to. I’d come up against a bit of a wall, it was blocking my way and preventing me moving on with life, I needed to get around it, or over it, or through it. I needed to break it down, brick by brick if necessary. It was time to make some life decisions and implement them, and I needed the space and time to do this. Those decisions weren’t easy, there was some serious soul searching going on, some big questions asked and answered with an honesty that we generally struggle to produce in our lives and ultimately a complete change of lifestyle and direction was called for. The good news – that wall has gone, I did break it down and I am back on track – a totally different track and heading into a totally new and exciting future. Some details, in case you’re interested: –       I sold the home that I’ve lived in for the last 12 years. –       I sold or gave away many of the unnecessary ‘things’ I’d accumulated over this time. –       I put my good bits and pieces – some furniture, photo albums and things that I didn’t want to part with into storage. –       I packed a suitcase of clothes, a plastic tub...

My new business venture

Where it all began My life, with apparently very little conscious thought on my part, has taken some very interesting twists and followed some very unexpected paths – particularly since I turned forty. Things all started off pretty normally, well, what I considered normal anyway. I was married at nineteen, as you did in those days, I had my two daughters in my early twenties and we all spent the next twenty years enjoying life. We travelled, we took the girls on a 3 month campervan tour of England and Europe when they were both under five, the eldest still remembers her fifth birthday in Switzerland and the birthday cake she couldn’t eat because it had liqueur in it, and we even moved to the UK for five years and experienced living in another country (love the place, by the way). We camped in Brittany, we threw snowballs near the Jungfrau and we ate ham sandwiches in Venice. We moved house several times, building new homes in new areas and we always had a project on the go. Life was good. But ….. Somewhere in the middle of that well-ordered life there was a glitch, I began to feel restless, I figured there was more out there but I wasn’t sure what. You’ve probably heard all this before from me so, to cut a long story relatively short: I went back to university in my 40th year. After 15 years of part time study I ended up with a PhD – go figure. At 50 I disbanded my marriage of over 30 years. In my 50s I stayed in an...

My ‘lightbulb’ moment.

Have you ever had one of those ‘wow’ moments in life, a light bulb moment, one of those moments when you go ah ha, yes, that’s it! I’m sure that you have, they don’t happen very often but when they do they can be life changing. I had one of those moments years ago that led me down the path of study, achievement and a dramatic shift in my life. Ultimately, it led me to questioning myself, to challenging myself and to realising what I was capable of. I guess it also led to a few dramas in my life including getting caught up in the Nepal earthquake last year. Well, a couple of months ago, I had another one of those ‘moments,’ one of those moments in time that you just know, if you go with it, things are going to change, move forward and open up a whole new set of experiences. Stop the waffle you say, what the hell am I talking about? I was in the same spot that I’d been in all those years ago, things were okay, things were good but ….. there was something that just wasn’t there and I couldn’t even have told you what. Then, one morning I was listening to a podcast, I’m not really sure even which one it was, but one of the women on there said ‘I’m a Life Coach’ and something clicked within me during that talk, I think I actually said ‘ah ha’ to myself. This was something I’ve done informally for ages now, why not build a business around it. So, I did the whole Google thing, researched the hell...

Making plans not excuses.

We all need plans. Making plans and following through on them gives us a purpose in life, but so often we have no plan, we’re meandering through life or at least through the next few months with no goal, no aim and therefore no purpose. And I’m not really talking major life plans here, just what gets us through the next few months or years, just something that we really want to do or achieve or try. For a long time now I’ve been an advocate of the school of thought. Particularly when it comes to travel and adventure, getting out there, having fun,  exploring and experiencing … making memories. In the contest between material possessions and memories, for me, memories and the making of them wins out every time. Stop making excuses. Last year around this time I got somewhat peeved by the amount of comments I was getting in response to my posts on travel and adventure. Many of these people were around my age or younger and they were coming up with all sorts of reasons why they couldn’t travel, why they couldn’t explore, go on adventures, challenge themselves to experience other cultures, other lifestyles. All of theses reasons were just EXCUSES. The problems, as most perceived them, always seemed to centre around financial constraints, family needs, lack of a travelling partner and then the big one – AGE. They were coming up with reasons why they couldn’t rather than figuring out how they could. No, you’re not too old! I countered all of these arguments in a blog post but that last one, ‘I’m too...

Sisterhood – the value of the women in our lives.

Last weekend I spent a couple of days with a very good friend who I’ve known for several years, today I had lunch with my daughter and tonight I’m having dinner with another good friend who I met relatively recently. Next week I’m heading off for a weekend of relaxation to celebrate the birthday of another friend who’s the same age as me and definitely on my wavelength. So what? You ask. Well – these ladies, and others like them, are my lifelines. Earlier in the year I gave a talk in a country town here in Western Australia to celebrate their 2015 Day for Women, the theme was Embrace the Sisterhood, and in preparing the talk it really brought home to me the importance of the women in our lives. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women in my life. Those who came to stay and who will be around forever and those who were in my life for only a short space of time but who were so instrumental in getting me to where I needed to be. Some know they played a part, others have no idea how fortunate I consider myself to have met them. Those of you who have been around my blog for a while will know what I’ve managed to achieve. How I returned to study in my 40th year and somehow, after fifteen years of part time study while still dealing with the dramas of family life, I came out of the University of Western Australia with a PhD in my hand and a bewildered look on my...

Going back – revisiting the Himalayas.

I don’t know about you but there are so many places in the world that I’ve visited that I’d love to go back to. I’ve been there once … or twice … or several times, and still there’s a pull that they exert on me to keep revisiting. The pressure to go back. I want to go back to Paris for the pastries and the sheer Frenchness of it all. I want to go back to Rome for the ancient monuments and the quirky streets, to Florence for the art and the architecture, to Crete for the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle, and I’d love to go back again to England and Scotland, for the history, the Roman ruins and the beautiful countryside – and the list goes on … Switzerland, Cairns, The Black Forest, Antibes, Broome …… In a weeks time I’ll be touching down in Kathmandu ready to head off on my trek into the Everest region – AGAIN! But my reasons for wanting to revisit this area and this type of holiday (okay – some may not call trekking at altitude a holiday) are different and a little hard to describe. The pressure of life. As I sat in a café today with my flat white and white chocolate and Raspberry muffin – because I’m going to be burning it all off over the next few weeks – I looked around me and saw so many people with so many things to do and so many places to go. They’ve made time for coffee with family or friends but they don’t seem relaxed, it’s more like an obligation in their lives, having to schedule...

Countdown to Kathmandu: the philosophy of it all.

It’s 128 days till I head off on my next big adventure – my second trek in the Everest region of the Himalayas – and I’m counting the days. It was a big decision to make. I remember how difficult the Everest Base Camp Trek was the first time round – the hardest thing I’ve ever done, both mentally and physically, and I have to ask myself why I’ve chosen to do it again. Guess what? I have no answer to that question. I’ve tried to figure it out. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, a lot of talking to myself, getting all philosophical and questioning the whys and wherefores of this strange concept called life. Why do we make the decisions that we do? What propels some of us to explore the boundaries of our mind and break through to a world that stimulates and excites us? What impels us to broaden our horizons, leave our comfort zones behind and barge into the realm of travel, adventure and exploration? Why don’t we just bask in the comfortable cocoon that we sometimes allow society to build around us? As I sit here today, making lists of things to buy and things I mustn’t forget to pack for my trek next April, and places I want to visit while I’m in Kathmandu, I’m excited. I’ve got that buzz back, that frisson of elation and intoxication, that tingle of anticipation that comes when you’re planning a trip. So, whatever it is that makes me keep wanting to travel and explore and push myself on these adventures, I hope I never lose it. It’s...
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