Live Life in the Fast Lane
When you stop and think that 50 years of life have passed, you might
encounter some emotions. It brings our frailty and vulnerability to the surface
and generates many questions. Why haven’t we seemed to achieve all that we
wanted in life? What could we have done differently? What are we going to do
with the rest of our days? How is it that we are now looking toward the last
half of our lives when the first half seems barely a blip on the screen?
I am here to tell you that you can do anything you want with your life,
regardless of your age. Life has only just begun! At the young age of 54, I went
on my first solo safari, accompanied only by a Masai guide and the African
version of a Sherpa. In 2002, remembering that 60 is the new 40, I strove once
again to change my life dramatically and moved alone to Africa.
In 2007, I went on my fourth trip into the bush of the Serengeti, to satisfy
my curiosity about the wildlife and see them in their natural environment.
My lengthy journals have detailed the excitement of finding a male lion
hidden under a large, thorny acacia bush or lying like a domestic kitten upside
down in the burning Serengeti sun, tail-to-tail with a counterpart; of sailing a
few hundred feet above the plains of Africa in a hot-air balloon, landing to
have breakfast in the middle of a herd of zebra and wildebeest; of lying on the
top of my safari vehicle taking photos of six male lion cubs in the Ngorngoro
crater in Tanzania; of being chased by elephants; of canoeing down the Zambezi
through pods of crocodiles and hippos; of sitting in the early morning hours
with nearly extinct Bush people, watching as they caught and ate tiny bush
babies. These experiences are forever etched in my mind.
I travel alone without the hordes of people or the benefit of an organized
safari trip. In doing so, I am able to move about as I please and stop and smell
the roses as often as I wish, without regard to any other person, place, or
thing. I am free to be me and to spend as much time as I want enjoying the
magnificence of my surroundings.
Travel to exotic locations can be one of the most rewarding experiences
you can have. The pursuit of different cultures and the joy you get from
realizing the beauty that is tucked away in remote corners of the world can only
enrich your life. Don’t be put off by age—it is just a number. Only your
thoughts can make it mean anything more than that.
Published March 31, 2008