Let’s Wander: A New Series
Boomers, it’s time to WANDER! I am a lifelong wanderer. My drive to wander springs from my sense of wonder. I have a strong sense of natural curiosity, combined with a visceral fear of missing out. It has driven me literally to the ends of the earth, hastened by a military spouse whose career took us to some…interesting places. All of our married life, my husband and I loved nothing more than to jump in the car and just drive, anywhere, everywhere.
When my daughter left for college and we were left with an empty nest, I hardly knew what to do with myself. My husband continued with his career, but my career as a freelance writer required a lot of discipline and I found myself spinning. The sense of freedom was so odd, it was almost uncomfortable. For so many years, life was occupied with career building and then childcare followed by managing all of the school years, elder care, maintaining a social life and keeping up with the Joneses, and all the other things that come with being a grown up.
I have a Goals and To Do list that has been growing over the years to the point that it is laughable, ridiculous, and stupidly overwhelming. I am a planner and a goal setter, I guess that is a good thing, but it has been taken to the extreme as in my case. Consequently, those To Do lists have done little but haunt me, and make me think I am accomplishing nothing. The fact is I have lots of disparate wants, needs and interests so I have trouble focusing. There are separate lists for Career, not only this blog but my core business, Company B Communications. There are lists for Home, Family, Hobbies, Travel. There are lists for Health and Nutrition. Lists for Emotional and Spiritual Health. I even have one for Recipes and Cooking since that is a key interest of mine. All these are lists of important things—but in reality, LIFE, the day to day, the maintenance, is what ends up occupying most of my time.
So this blog has helped me figure out what I really want to do. Life is short. That other stuff will get done in its time. On my deathbed, will those lists really matter? And so I am going to focus on one thing, one word, one ideal: WANDER.
To that end, I am going to embark on a series for Boomer Connections. Let’s call it This Boomers Life: Stories from the Road. These will be stories about wandering—maybe wandering just down the road. Maybe to a nearby state which is drivable and therefore easy to access in a day or weekend trip. Maybe further afield.
If I look at past history, our wanderings fall into 3 main categories: Food, The Great Outdoors, and Culture:
- Food is obvious. For us it is often the very source of the adventure. You can even stay local on this one: For example, check out the annual article in Richmond magazine entitled “50 Food Finds” and make it your mission to eat them all! In our wandering, my husband and I make it a point to seek out the best frozen custard/ice cream.
- The Great Outdoors: There is an embarrassment of riches in Virginia and surrounding states: hiking (lots of easy trails for those like me who have a tricky hip joint) or just driving to see a beautiful vista… then finding a winery close by.
- Culture: For example, outdoor concerts, community theater and music, festivals here in town and out of town. Richmond alone hosts a Tomato Festival, Watermelon Festival, Folk Festival—and many others. High on my Travels To Do list is the Crooked Trail, and the Galax Fiddlers convention, both musical pilgrimages, both right here in VA. Just wander into downtown Richmond and seek out the street art. We have some of the most prominent in the entire country. Every town has something quirky and interesting, and if it is cheap or free, so much the better.
In any case, these categories will likely define the subject matter of my posts.
What about resources you say? Yes, money is an issue for almost everybody. I don’t know anyone for whom it is not a concern, no matter how much they appear to have. The good news is most of the wanderings we have ever embarked upon have required little but the gas it has taken us to get there, the provisions, and the occasional hotel room. Of course, adventures further afield and overseas require a lot more resources, but those are the icing on the cake, the good stuff is closer than you might think. Tip: Check out www.onlyinyourstate.com and select the state you want to visit and you will find all sorts of ideas for adventures.
What a big world there is to explore! Boomers, join me. I will tell you about my adventures, hopefully an inspiration to start your own. And if you would, share those with us here in the “Comments” section of the posts so our compatriots can be reminded of all that still lies ahead. Retirement = Opportunity. And ending, yes, but also a beginning.
Boomers, it is time to WANDER!!