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I’m not too old for this

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It might seem like traveling to 50 places I’ve never been in one year would be better for a 20-something aged kid than a 50-year-old working single mom. Sometimes when I think about it, it does sound more a like a “gap year” idea than a practical plan.  Even my mom was a little hesitant when she heard my plans the first time, concerned it would wear me out and not sure how I was going to manage it with a daughter and a full-time job.

I get it.  The 20-something aged kid most likely has way fewer responsibilities and chances are there’s no family to juggle with their crazy dream either.

But I’m not going to let that cause a minor freak out. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. Sure, the 20-something doesn’t need reading glasses when ordering in a restaurant and can stay up way later than I can but I’m betting that I have infinitely more life experience and sheer determination than the kid who hasn’t yet taken life’s biggest hits. I expect both will serve me well in my travels.

For a 20-something, a trip like this would be a break before real life and years of obligations begin.  For me, it’s about finding a new adventure after years of obligations. It’s about experiencing new things while I am still young enough to enjoy them.

I’m not scared about the load of this self-imposed challenge.

  • I’ve always been a goal setter.
  • I’m good in a crisis.
  • I’m a problem solver.
  • I’m open to new experiences.
  • I know what I want.
  • I’ve got a whole slew of people cheering me on and supporting me along the way. In fact, the list of people offering to let me sleep on their couch in order to help my budget is growing! 

Besides, the 20-something is no more financially ready to take this trip than I am. The truth is money could be an issue for either of us. The 20-something probably hasn’t worked a big enough job long enough to have a big savings account and may still be paying off college.  While I have to save for my daughter’s college, my retirement and still keep a stash in case of emergency, I’m going to say that all those years of work mean I will be able to occasionally splurge beyond a backpackers budget. Plus, I’m more creative when it comes to figuring out how to pay for this (well, that part isn’t really a sure thing but I’m hoping so) *Note: Everyone should save for an emergency but when you are on your own it’s even more important.

Admittedly the 20-something might have more physical stamina than I do but this trip is giving me a good reason to get back in shape. Another good reason why I am starting the planning for this adventure a year and a half in advance.

Plus, travel might actually be good for my aging brain and help me live longer. It’s science. For real. 

So what if I turn in early at night? Big deal if I don’t drive in the dark because my vision isn’t what it used to be. I’m not going to miss this opportunity. The sites, the sounds, the foods, the people.  Move over kid, I’ll show you how it’s done.