Over 50 & Thriving Series

Thriving by doing more of what you want

January 17, 2019
Thriving by doing more of what you want

My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving series is someone I recently met through a Facebook Group and then discovered we live literally about a 15 minute walk from each other!

Susan Gan from Snap Travel Blog enjoys travelling with her husband John and has reached a stage in her life, like many of us before, where it is now HER time. I was nodding in agreement as I read through her post and the priorities she now has in place to enjoy Thriving Over 50 & Beyond.

Susan has also set up a Monthly Meet and Greet for bloggers in Brisbane which kicks off on the first Saturday in February. I’m hoping to attend and meet her in real life. If you don’t live in Brisbane you can connect with Susan through her website and social media links at the end of her post.

Thriving by doing more of what you want.

Turning 50 wasn’t just a big age milestone for me but a big parenting one as well.

My birthday coincided closely with our youngest daughter graduating from university so as the big day approached I spent considerable time reflecting on what both turning 50 and gaining parental freedom meant to me.

A busy family life

As your married life progresses and children start to arrive, it’s no longer just the two of you and your priorities move from your husband.

Your life becomes all about nappies and feeding times, surviving the toddler years and then preparing your children for school. You blink and all of a sudden you are the activities director, social coordinator and full-time taxi driver for two busy teenagers. That guy you married is still waiting patiently in the background but you’ve forgotten what it is like to spend uninterrupted time with him.

Over 50 and thriving means a lot of things to me including; focusing on health, hobbies, family, friends, travel and reducing work commitments.

Most of all it means spending quality time with my husband John.

Use it before you lose it!

It is amazing what you can get away with when you are young and your metabolism is working at 100%.

Years ago I could eat anything I wanted, live a fairly sedentary lifestyle and not put on any weight. Over the last 10 years my metabolism has stopped completely and I seem to put on weight through osmosis.

My priorities these days are trying to eat healthily and increasing my level of fitness.

Future proofing your body is an important concept in your 50’s and 60’s and the phrase ‘use it before you lose it’ actually starts to have some meaning to you.

We try to do lots of activities together such as walking, hiking and cycling as well as ticking items off our bucket list.

Cuddling a koala, another item off the Bucket List.

It’s all about me!

I realised that between raising two daughters and various pets I have dedicated about 26 years of my life to looking after little critters.

Over 50 and thriving means that I’m focusing on me for a while. I don’t mean that in a selfish way, I will always be there for my family and friends, but I’ve started putting aside some time for myself.

It is important as you approach retirement that you have a plenty of activities and hobbies to occupy yourself both mentally and physically. Too many people work their entire adult life with a goal to retiring but then have a huge void when it is gone.

I have lots of hobbies to occupy my time including blogging, music and crafts, with photography being my favourite. It is important that you find something that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning.

We went on a recent holiday to New Zealand so I could photograph the Lupines.

Do more in your 50’s than in your 60’s or 70’s

We made a decision years ago that we wanted to take a sabbatical from work in our 50’s and focus on travel. Our 50’s are the perfect time for us; our children are independent and we are still relatively young and healthy.

In preparation for our change of priorities, we downsized the family home, along with its hedges and palm trees, and moved to an inner city apartment. During the move, we got rid of clutter and simplified our life.

We are currently investigating the various ways of exploring the world as inexpensively as possible without resorting to backpacking! If you are flexible with your timing and are prepared to compromise a little bit on comfort then there are many options available to you, housesitting and motorhome returns to name a few.

Our preference is to live on a bit less and spend more quality time travelling. Let’s face it, life is all about experiences and we don’t want to leave it till we’re in our 70’s to start having those experiences.

The plan is to be ready at a moments notice to just close our apartment door and take off on our next adventure.

Meet Susan

Susan is a photography enthusiast and travel blogger.
She and her husband John are empty nesters from Brisbane, Australia who enjoy spending their free time hiking and cycling, exploring museums and historic sites and blogging about their travel experiences.

 Connect with Susan

You can also follow Susan and John’s adventures on:

Website: Snap Travel Blog 




If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au and I can provide more details. Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series Or you can subscribe here so you never miss a post and receive a FREE Copy of my latest e-book ’10 ways to start Thriving today’! Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.

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  • Reply Nancy Dobbins January 17, 2019 at 02:28

    Hi Susan,
    You seem to be right where we are…only ten years younger! We downsized and simplified and all the kiddos are independent. And now, while our health is cooperative it is time to do our thing. My word this year is choice – retirement has opened up so many choices! I look forward to hearing and reading more about your adventures!

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:16

      Hi Nancy
      Thanks for your feedback. I am so pleased to hear that you are focusing on your choices. It is such an exciting time of life 🙂


  • Reply Donna January 17, 2019 at 03:40

    Hi, Susan – It is great to meet you here. “Use it before you lose it” is my mantra as well. I love travel and although I am not a photographer, I am currently striving to increase my knowledge and skill in this area. I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:21

      Hi Donna
      Great to hear that you are working on your photography skills. As long you are enjoying yourself, that it is that is important 🙂

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:22

      Hi Donna
      Great to hear that you are working on your photography skills, it is such a fun hobby. As long you are enjoying yourself, that it is that is important 🙂

  • Reply Joanne Tracey January 17, 2019 at 09:10

    Great post, Susan – and lovely to meet you. My husband and I are also in our 50s and while we still have our (nearly 21 year old) at home, and I’m still working 4 days a week we’re getting to that point where we have more freedom. We’ve all heard too many examples of people with massive voids after giving up work, couples who are strangers to each other once the kids are independent, and people who wait for adventure only to have waited too long. Use it or lose it…absolutely.

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:31

      Hi Joanne
      Thanks for your feedback.
      It sounds like your little chick is teetering on the edge of the nest. It won’t be long now till she/he spreads her wings and your and husband can enjoy your empty nester lifestyle 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 17, 2019 at 20:04

    Hi Susan – lovely to meet you and there were so many things that you mentioned that I could relate to – the “time for me” and the slowing metabolism especially! It’s lovely that you can afford to stop working in your 50’s and spend time travelling. We haven’t reached the retirement stage yet so it will be another 5 or 10 years before we do any more serious travel (ie: trips that take longer than a week or two). I don’t think we’ll be downsizing either – I need room for my kids and grandkids to stay when they visit! I hope you’ll start linking up with us at MLSTL and have a great time at your meet and greet 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2019 at 08:36

      Hi Leanne, it was lovely to meet Susan and she lives nearby would you believe? I’ve been thinking that downsizing can be overrated, says she who is moving to an apartment. Lately, though I’m thinking that a small house where you can accommodate family and friends, have a small garden and space would be lovely. 🙂

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:40

      Hi Leanne, yes your are totally right. Getting all the family to fit in an apartment can be tricky, although futons are a marvellous invention 🙂

  • Reply Debbie January 18, 2019 at 10:52

    Nice to meet you Susan, am now following your blog and social media. I could totally relate to your post and am in a similar situation myself. Thanks Sue for another interesting guest.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2019 at 08:34

      Thanks Deb! I love the people I meet through blogging and everyone has their own story. It’s great! xx

      • Reply KRISTINA CASSELS-BROWN January 28, 2019 at 04:44

        So iv found you -yay whilst younger you hit it on the nail. Now it’s time for ‘me’ and hubby we’ve done our time -paid our dues kiddos on their own indroendrnt flught path Iv relocated us (with hubbies approval) in a larger much older home . rather than downsize we left the busy Auckland life for far away down South -almost the bottom of the world. ‘Tis peaceful down here and iv planned regular trips north to stay present with close friends snd omg thanks be for mob phones Facebook Instagram snd face time . Also getting to know a few local women who are inspiring snd Also now close to our daughter who eithbhef now hubby are having g a baby. So cool after years of self doubt and even lower self esteem disguised by competent achievement and just getting on with it I have time to just absorb life snd listen to my yearnings snd help them evolve . Sweet justice after years of longing for peace and s slower pace of Life – it’s here I’m enjoying this new beginning and another bite at the apple in this later part of my wild miraculous wonderful life ♥️

        • Reply Sue Loncaric January 28, 2019 at 07:15

          Hi Kristina and lovely of you to visit and leave us your thoughts. It is an exciting time of life and even though moving can be a little stressful it sounds like you have the right attitude and are settling in well. I have visited NZ three times as I live in Australia and I just love the country and natural beauty. We visited Bluff which I believe is the Southern Most Point in NZ are you near there? Have a great week and hope you visit again.xx

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 16:52

      Thanks Debbie
      Really appreciate the positive feedback 🙂

  • Reply Samantha Smith January 20, 2019 at 06:51

    What a fabulous post, lovely to meet Susan & related so much to everything she said. Really enjoyed reading this ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2019 at 08:31

      Thanks Sam, I love introducing women in this series who are taking life head on. Have a great weekend xx

    • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 17:10

      Hi Sam
      Thanks for your feedback, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Reply Samantha Smith January 20, 2019 at 06:54

    Oh I loved this & could relate to such a lot of it. Lovely to meet you Susan & I’ll be a follower ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2019 at 08:27

      Hi Sam, I think we all can relate to Susan and I’m looking forward to following her experiences and adventures. 🙂

  • Reply Susan Gan January 20, 2019 at 17:00

    Sue, Thanks again for the opportunity to share my thoughts. Looking forward to catching up in person xx

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb January 23, 2019 at 06:01

    Love this post Susan! “All about me” – this is how I’m feeling right about now. We’ve been tortured with the idea that this is selfish — but making yourself a priority after years of putting others first is healthy. I find being free to drive my adult son somewhere when I want to is very different than feeling like I have to. The list goes on…

  • Reply Erica/Erika May 24, 2019 at 04:54

    Hi Susan, I have been reading through the Thriving series and I feel compelled to comment on your story. I love the New Zealand photo! I am grateful that we were in New Zealand the beginning of 2019. Stunning scenery, great people, a wonderful adventure. The “All about me” post is relatable. Yet, we now have the privilege of spending time with the grandchildren. A great story. I am heading over to your blog site:) Erica

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