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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Am I Ready?

How I wish I were 20 years younger.

I wish this not to escape the creeping debilities of old age -- arthritis, osteoporosis and cataracts -- but to have more time and opportunities to engage my passions for photography and wildlife, wolves and elephants in particular.

I am now at a turning point in life. I have been retired for nearly six years, and my daughter, who is getting married later this year, will move to Japan with her new husband, who is in the military, for a minimum of three years. So I will have no reason to stay where I am, aside from the fact I love my house and the privacy it affords me. 

So if I were younger, I would shed most of my personal belongings, downsize my house, simplify my life, and spend a lot more time traveling the world. I would love to live somewhere on the other side of the world, so it doesn't take 19 hours on an airplane to reach someplace in Africa, one of my most favorite destinations. 

But as I told a friend the other day, inertia is very powerful. The thought of getting rid of most of my possessions, selling my house, transporting my three dogs and moving someplace on the far side of the globe is a bit more than I wish to take on at this point in my life. I would love to learn about life in a foreign country. I would love to live somewhere that has no ice and snow. I spent 3 1/2 months living in Moscow close to 20 years ago, an experience I fully embraced and enjoyed. Of course, I speak Russian, so navigating the subway system or shopping for groceries and even asking for directions was not an issue for me. But am I up for such a dramatic change in life at this point? Am I ready to be totally on my own in a foreign land?

It's a lovely dream, but am I ready to make it a reality?