An Adventurer looks at 50
Yes, I know, Jimmy Buffet made famous his book about turning 50, which gave me the idea for the title of this post. Well, I’m not 50 and I’m not Jimmy Buffet….but my brother turned 50 this week and it truly made me stop and think. I’m just a few years behind him and I’m in the last few laps of the race to where the “50” checkered flag waves.
What’s wrong with 50? Not a thing. They say it’s the new 40. It’s simply another milestone in the road of life. But…as I mentioned…it made me stop and think. I was raised to believe I could accomplish whatever I wanted in life, that anything was possible and that I was my own limiting factor. I was also raised with a pretty basic Protestant work ethic, work hard for 40 years then retire and play. That was the part I never could grasp. Why???? So, I opted to play as I went along. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for 65 years to roll by before I started living my dreams.
Now, as I “approach” 50, I think of all the things I would have missed out on so far. I would have 15 years left of “nose to the grindstone”, “climb the corporate ladder”, “save for a rainy day”, “work now, play later”. That’s a decade and a half! That’s 5475 days!!!!! Holy Crap!!!
Here are some highlights of my life. This is written simply as a way to see what I might have missed had I lived my life keeping my nose to the grindstone.
Climb in the Himalayas
Travel to all seven continents
Scuba dive the world’s best destinations including Galapagos (6x), Palau (5x), Papua New Guinea (2x), Truk Lagoon (2x), Cocos Island, CR, Fiji (5x), French Polynesia (2 years), the entire Caribbean, Australia (3x) and many places off the grid
10 years guiding in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks,
15 years guiding all over Europe
5 years guiding in Central America
Worked on six different cruise ships worldwide
Seeing Antarctica, one of THE most amazing places in the world
Too many to count world famous attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Ephesus, Cinque Terre, Great Pyramids, multiple crossings of the Panama Canal and Suez Canal Four crossings of the Atlantic Ocean
Visits to islands I can’t pronounce such as Niatoputapu and Tuop
Climbed the highest peaks in Spain and the Netherlands
The ability to live in a remote area like Montana and not rely on where I live to make a living
Taking thousands of people scuba diving the world over to show them the beauty under the sea
Starting a non profit foundation and having the time to pursue it
Travel to over 106 countries World cities such as Istanbul, Paris, Marakesh, Kathmandu, Barcelona, London, Athens and Cairo
Incredible cultural experiences across the globe
7500 scuba dives
If I can do all of this in 25 years, I imagine what I can do by the time 50 turns to 70. Imagine what you can do if you are still 25, or 30 or yes, even 40. Are some of your dreams on this list?
In the past few years, I’ve also seen my share of sadness, of friends in their 40’s struggling with life-threatening illnesses. I lost one of my closest friends to sudden death just three weeks after turning 50. These are the wake up calls to get out there and keep doing and being and living and exploring and adventuring.
No, I haven’t read Jimmy Buffet’s book yet but I will. But I will always remember his line from Last Mango in Paris, “…..and Jimmy, there’s still so much to be done”.
To your Adventures!