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.
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: