Young, or even middle-aged people, don’t understand. But when I tell old people that I sold my house to travel because I have so little time left, they always understand.
When you are young, you spend time without a second thought; you don’t have to save it–you don’t even have to economize. When you are old, you are painfully aware of how quickly time passes.
You remember when your own children were young, and it seemed that the rest of your life would be spent wiping butts or noses, spooning oatmeal into baby mouths, carpooling adolescents to (choose one) practices, sports events, slumber parties. You remember lying awake at night, waiting to hear your teen’s car in the driveway or worrying about how much he was drinking/smoking/having sex–really. It seemed as though your life, time, body, soul, and psyche would always be indentured to those little beings you helped create.
Then, suddenly, it’s over. The house is too quiet. Once again, you have time. You work more, start a second career, volunteer. Maybe you see the kids at holidays. If you’re lucky, you might see them on weekends. Maybe you go to Florida or Arizona in the winter. Maybe you golf, cook, take cruises.
I don’t want these last precious years to pass as quickly and unconsciously as they did when I could afford to squander them. I don’t want to winter in Florida or Arizona or golf or take cruises. There is too much of this beautiful world that I haven’t seen, and it takes some health and agility to experience it. Old people know how fragile those things are.
So, the possessions I chose to keep are neatly stored in my sister’s outbuilding. I sold my house, bought a truck and trailer, and I began traveling on 10 June 2010. It was hard to leave. Sometimes in the dark of night I wondered if I bit off more than I could chew. But in the past few months, I’ve spent some great time with my friends, parents, kids and grandchildren. I look forward to spending more great time rambling around North America until I decide to go somewhere else. Maybe I’ll volunteer overseas. Maybe I’ll finally learn to speak Spanish.
When I am too old to travel, or when I’ve seen enough, I’ll stop. And someday, if you tell me you want to do something crazy, I’ll understand–because, you know, time passes so quickly.
Disclaimer: People often think that you have to win the lottery or inherit Great Aunt Gertrude’s fortune to travel. You don’t.
I left my freelance and parttime work early and traded security for time. It’s a risk. I still need income, but this lifestyle can be very economical, and I’m avoiding many of the expenses associated with ordinary life–utilities, property taxes, dinner and a movie on the weekend.
I’m hoping that this blog will provide some spending money to keep the journey going, so if you find it interesting or helpful or inspirational, let others know. And let me know what you’d like to see more of. After all, we’re all on our grand journeys together.