That’s all you have to do right? Just decide. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, no hesitation or overthinking required. Whether it be your career, that troubled relationship or something as simple as what you are going to cook for supper tonight. Just make that final decision, decide and go with it. Right? Ya sure, if only.
Interesting word decide. It comes from the Latin dēcīdere which literally means to “cut off from”. To exclude all other options so that we are left with only one remaining choice. Easier said than done for most. Despite older adults having multiple reasons to embrace the nomadic lifestyle, there are few who actually decide to do so. Apart from money, fear is what keeps most adults in their home. Somewhere along the line though I remember reading “Let fear be a counselor, not a jailer.” so I have kind of incorporated that into my own life.
Then again, it’s not that the nomadic lifestyle is well suited to everyone. It does take a certain mindset of laissez-faire to put yourself out there in the world like a trapeze artist working without a net. There’s concern over the perceived language barrier and the difficulty involved with being understood. Bothersome worry over our palettes and varying foreign cuisines. Maybe it will be too spicy or, worse yet, too bland. They may overcook their food or undercook causing extreme health issues. Will they cater to my vegan or vegetarian ways or will they be overly carnivorous? Let’s not even get into currency exchanges, real estate laws and strange foreign tax treatment. It can be all so overwhelming.
All of that though pales in comparison to The Biggy. It gets mentioned every time I talk to someone about my desire to reside in some distant land. The ominous universal healthcare. It’s a like a dog with a bone. I do get why this is at the forefront of a lot of baby boomers minds. For those already afflicted with a precondition, it’s a valid concern. That said though, it is certainly not a justifiable concern for everyone.
We tend to discount and dismiss the thought of moving to another country based on false beliefs without ever taking the time to do any due diligence or deeper investigation into whatever alternatives there might be. We assume, wrongly in many cases, that our health care system is superior to that of other countries when, often, nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve developed a culture of thought in North America wherein we have come to accept and believe that good health care has to be expensive to be good and that anything less is somehow inferior. We have been sold a bill of goods and, as with many other things we have come to believe, simply don’t challenge our preconceived notions.
Of course, the imagined problem with having to decide and “cut off from” arrives in the form of that old cliche, “burning your bridge.” Now there’s something we were all taught by parents not to do, under any circumstance. Our mothers and fathers went through the “dirty thirties” and learned some very hard life lessons. You didn’t dare give up what you already had for what might be. The notorious “if come, maybe.” was an idea not to be entertained. Afterall, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
I can still recall my dear momma saying, on more than one occasion, “don’t throw away one broom until you have another.” It’s a wonder we can muster the courage to do anything at all with this, “don’t leap before you look” attitude. I mean, let’s be honest, you could end up past the “point of no return” and then what? Well, that is actually a very inviting question but being that security ranks number four on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs few of us, if any, will ever dare to find out. The irony is that there is nothing less secure than security. So much so that, I think I might as well just “throw caution to the wind” on this one.
Regardless of whether you are 55 or 60 today, the fact remains, you will be 65 and 70 respectively in ten years. That’s a given. The only question now is how you will choose to arrive at that point. When I was 30 I thought that I was too old to go back to school, that that door had closed behind me. Then 40 came and I realized that I had just been a young punk kid at 30. Being 40 though, I knew for sure that it was too late now to start over in a new career. I mean, “who is going to hire a 40-year-old when there are so many younger candidates out there?” Then the day came when I arrived at 50 and it dawned on me. At 40, I had had innumerable opportunities and chances to begin a new career but just didn’t take them. Surely now though, with me moving into my middle age at 50, my prospects are few if any.
It’s a natural presupposition that the media and society perpetuates. Pharmaceutical adverts run all day long reminding us of our failing health while Metamucil commercials play off of our constitutional shortfallings. Watch out that you get enough bran in your diet and cut back on that salt intake. You begin getting updates from the government, with respect to your pension plan, spelling out for you the amount of money you’ll be receiving in just a few short years.
Your friends begin to reflect on the “good ole days” and post those old familiar songs from a “bygone era” on social media. Exclaiming with a certain nostalgic pride that their beloved songs were from a time when music was still music. The very same music your own parents couldn’t stand mind you. At this point though, I think I may have finally clued in. I am going to be 60 in 18 months and dammit it isn’t too late. It may be later but it’s certainly not too late.
Of course, this self-reflecting on one decade to another cannot be perpetuated forever. I am at a point in my life that I just recently coined decimal decadence. So that’s it, I have decided. I have cut off all other options. Then again, perhaps life helped me to decide, but no matter. The decision has been made and I am very glad and excited to have made it.
So far, only a few have reached out to me, with respect to Doyen Digital Nomads. Thus, I am still pretty much a solo traveler on this crazy journey. Although, at this early point of my sojourn, I am alright with that. I don’t have any links to post or email lists to put on autorespond. No websites to drive traffic too or opt-ins to engage with. Not yet, anyway. They are all in development but with a learning curve as steep as Mount Everest it’s going to be another month or so before they are ready to go live on the worldwide weeb. I do have this blog though and that’s a start.
Afterall, it was the Buddha himself who said, “No one saves us but ourselves, we alone must walk the path.” I don’t know if there will be any form of redemption on this path but I do believe in my heart of hearts that a sense of adventure and joy will be and that alone makes it worth traversing.