I was the tour guide proudly showing my out of town visitors around the one dirt-road village that I called home. It was a walking tour and the places of interest where quite far apart. There was much to see: a post office, a butchery, a railway station, a hotel and a country club, that also served as the library, with tennis courts and a polo ground where the horsey people also did gymkhanas.
And there was a police station with holding cells and that’s where I went at the end of my first gig as a tour guide.
I was ten years old and my out of town visitors were all my cousins, respectively 2, 3, 4 and 5 years younger than me. The “charge” was taking the younger ones away from home without telling the adults where we were going. The policeman who “arrested” me was my father, the local cop and a very softhearted man. So my punishment was to sit in a holding cell for a few hours and think about my irresponsible behavior.
As a family we were always touring, going on road trips and exploring the country. That has always been my way of life because I’m so curious about what’s over the next hill or mountain or just around the next corner.
Fast forward to 2012. I realized I was 55 (I’m still trying to figure out how and when that happened), I am a solo ager a k a elder orphan, I don’t have to take care of anyone or answer to anyone so why am I living this boring life? I did a TEFL course, packed my bags and spent five months exploring Tasmania before I got my first TEFL job in the Middle East.Since then I have traveled to about 25 countries, sometimes with friends and often alone.
My trips now have two characteristics in common with that first adventurous tour. Firstly I still prefer to travel to smaller places where tourists are not falling over each other, and secondly, I often do not know where I will go or what I will be doing once I cross the border into a foreign country.
As mentioned before, I’m an orphan and with this blog I hope to build myself a community of people with whom I can share my travels. I want to tell about the embarrassing, the scary, the boring (that will be sitting around in airports), the exciting and the surprising that add up to make memorable travels.I want to share with you the amazing people I meet and I do meet some really special people. I look for them and I find them. I want to show you the art, architecture, books and food that I found interesting on my travels. And I want to show off my photos.
I also hope to inspire other baby boomers to get out of their comfort zone and to explore a world that is unknown to you. Every time I do something out of character and I don’t die, I have such a high and it inspires me to push that envelope. I really want others to do the same.
So here is an open invitation: Come and join me on my travels.