Did you hear about a Kiwi woman who runs away from home, then, whether being charged by a hippo, is trying to sit cross-legged and meditate at a Buddhist retreat, or is living with a young lover, she revels in it all.
No wonder she reinvented herself as a travel writer. That woman is me.
At a recent talk I presented a few facts about myself to answer the the question they had asked – “how and why did you run away from home?”
I told them
- Got first my passport in my forties and have made up for lost time ever since.
- Ran away from home when I was fifty and travelled for a year with no plans from Alaska to Zimbabwe
- I’ve had a colourful life, reinvented myself a few times: worked in real estate; been a model; a waitress on a Malaysian beach; an alcohol and drug counsellor, worked in suicide postvention, and even managed a catttle farm for three months.
- I’m now following a childhood dream of being a writer and have written ”Naked in Budapest’ about running away from home.
- I’ve had many travel related pieces published in magazines and papers as diverse as the Press, Listener, Women’s Weekly, NZ Gardener, NZ Wilderness, Korean Air and Emirates’ in-flight magazines, and the South China Morning Post and a UK magazine to name a few recent ones
Why did I run away? In my late forties, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just knew I wanted more. Widowed – youngest child dead, two adult children away from home – and a secret desire to ‘do something.’
Friends hitting the brick wall called ‘50’ were not happy about the event. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming, drummed in my head: on its way ready or not. I needed to change the perception of that fast-approaching milestone that those friends were giving me – that it was the beginning of a downward slide. How could I look forward to this half-century event?
So, I started saving, resurrected another childhood dream and planned a trip around the world – from Alaska to Zimbabwe :all with no plans and travelling solo.
It was so good I did it again and again – each time for a year! And I will travel again as soon as I save some more!