I love the end of the year as it’s a time for reflection and making plans for the year ahead.
In my case, I add travel to the mix, as this enables me to see life from a different perspective; something I always value as I get new insights into the direction I want my life to take.
This time, I’m off to London, Paris and Copenhagen, to spend time with family and childhood friends, and I plan to bounce my ideas off them.
2018 brought three major changes to my life.
A Place to Call Home
The biggest change was getting my own place to live. Since 2015, I’ve rented a room in a friend’s house. I then moved to my Peace Corps rondavel in Lesotho, and finally returned in January 2017, to stay with my friend, Heidi, once again.
Finding a home happened while I was trying to kill time. I walked into a real estate office in a 55+ community, not expecting to find anything, as most of the condos date from the 70’s and are in need of repairs.
“Do you have a two-bedroom, 2-bath completely renovated condo?” I asked the realtor.
“We have one that has just been listed. Would you like to see it?”
“Why not?” I said, not knowing that the minute I walked in, it would feel like “home” for the first time since my divorce.
From that moment on, I couldn’t stop dreaming about this condo and put in an offer. The timing was perfect as it was close to Christmas 2017, and no one else was looking at homes during the holidays.
I was the only one who put in an offer and I moved into my new condo in March 2018.
I love having my own place and being independent. I furnished it the way I’ve always wanted my place to be: clutter-free and modern.
I didn’t realize what I’d been missing and how important it was for me to have a place I could call “home.” When I traveled, I didn’t look forward to coming back as I didn’t have a place to call “home.” Now I do, and I feel more secure.
My Own Travel Club
The 2nd major change is starting my “Travel with a Purpose” Club in the 55+ community where I live.
The purpose of starting my club is to inspire people to travel with a purpose and to remove any fear of travel. We are now on our 4th meeting, and the club is growing in popularity. I run it once a month, and invite presentations from inspiring speakers who have traveled. You can view the dates and location of upcoming meetings here.
Our speaker on January 17th is going to explain: “How to Pack Efficiently-One Week/One Month/One Carry-On.”
Leading My First Trip to Africa
I led my first trip to Kenya in October, with a theme-focused Safari where we combined helping orphans, visiting their school, and giving back to the African Child Foundation. All 12 women bonded and we have become close friends, getting together once a month since our trip to Kenya.
I’m planning other Safaris with a theme such as elephant and rhino conservation-educational Safaris, writers’ retreats, quilting group Safaris and more.
Several people seem interested in river cruises in Europe. What are your travel dreams for the future? Please let me know.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and may your 2019 be the best you want it to be.