Monday, April 19, 2010

How to run away from home

‘how to run away from home and reinvent yourself’

  • Start as a child with a love of reading. I was the hero between the covers of every book I read.

  • Add, listening to far away, static-crackling voices in languages I didn’t understand on my brother’s crystal radio, and dream of exploring those lives, and there you have it!

  • Cover, and leave that bowl of imagination to infiltrate through life’s ups and downs, keep reading, keep dreaming until life and circumstances add more ingredients.

My extra ingredients included: the deaths of a 20-year old son, and my husband, recovery from alcoholism, and too many birthdays. In my late forties, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Perhaps I could play catch-up with the traditional Kiwi penchant for travel. That germ of an idea, like all living things, divides and multiplies as it sits on the bench of my mind.

I put a sign on my notice board, ‘AGING DISGRACEFULLY’. A list forms, Italy; Scotland; Ireland; Alaska; Zimbabwe, Turkey. Finally, right on target, I buy an ‘around the world’ air-ticket - my gift to myself for my fiftieth birthday.      

Now, choose more ingredients so you too can reinvent yourself – my choices were:
Travel solo
Travel for a year
Make no plans or bookings
Enjoy yourself so much that you cry when you get home in 12-months – you know there is so much more you want to see and do.

Then add:
Two years hard work and saving
Take a short writing course
Have an article about canoeing down the Zambesi published
Sell more travel stories; add the dollars to the travel fund
Buy another international airline ticket
Travel for a year in different countries
Don’t cry as you arrive home; you now know it’s possible to do it again
Publish a book about your travels

Repeat the above as many times as you want to travel; keep writing every day; keep publishing travel stories; accept invitations to visit countries; teach others how to write great travel stories; keep adding to list of dream destinations, and ensure AGING DISGRACEFULLY is on notice board as my (your) constant goal.

This recipe is never finished yet you can cook it, eat it, and share it daily.