Okay - to pick up where I last left off....A little over two years ago, I was approaching that big milestone 50th birthday. It's funny - because I feel like I was 50 for two years...as opposed to one, because as soon as I turned 49, all I could focus on was that I was getting ready to turn 50.
So about 6 months before the big event, I was having a hard time deciding how I wanted to celebrate it. Do I keep it quiet? Part of me wanted to. Do I make a big deal out of it? Part of me wanted to. I've always struggled between fireworks and a campfire. Never really knowing when to balance between the two. Always wanting both.
Sure, I could throw a big party, go on a major trip, figure out what big gift I wanted...but none of those options excited me. I purposefully (I admit this now but not then) orchestrated an unbelievable 50th birthday experience for my husband that was so over the top - just so I could establish the base minimum expectations that he would have to deliver for mine. Surely he would have to double for me what I did for him. I was so excited about that. The only problem was in the four years between his 50th and my 50th was that our world changed...when the economy changed. And what was then was no longer now. And I actually think this is a good thing.
So I thought about it and thought about it....and then one day it came to me...I decided to experience things in life that I had not done before...and to see parts of our country that I've never seen. I've always been an adventurous traveler all over the world, having visited 6 out of the 7 continents. But I wanted to see more of the every day life in our own country. To do something so different from the life I led...to really step outside myself and learn more about who I really was. That is what 50 meant to me. To learn more about the person that I am - but also to ask myself if I was living the life I felt I was meant to live.
So with that - I decided to take a month off of work, rent a house in Northern New Mexico as my base and to drive across the country by myself. With no schedule, no flights to catch, no place to have to be....no one to have to take care of...other than myself. The looks on the faces of my friends, family, co-workers and especially my husband when I told them what I wanted to do - were at first shock, then disbelief and then amusement as everyone thought by the time the date of the trip I arrived - I would change my mind and not go. I don't blame them for laughing at me. I complain about driving 5 minutes to the store. I don't mind being a passenger - but I have a 7 mile commute to work and even that is sometimes annoying to me.
Boy was everyone surprised when I stepped up. My husband was not that happy with my decision, but finally came to understand that this was something I really wanted to do...and he ultimately went with it and volunteered to fly out and drive my car back for me or ship it back on a truck, if I didn't want to make the return drive home. That is so typical of my amazing husband who will do anything he can to make me more comfortable. I assured him and everyone else - that I would be fine...and that I would keep them all posted about all the details of the trip....so I created a private blog called "Taos or Bust - Celebrating the Summer of my 50th Year" so my friends and family could follow along.
So the next few posts are some of my favorite & more humorous highlights of the trip.
Hope you enjoy!