Don't put off until tomorrow ......

A friend was telling me last week about how her parents decided that when her Dad retired they were going to do all the things they hadn't had time to do before.  Her Dad died six weeks after he retired.

Over the years I have been told over and over that everyone thinks this kind of thing will never happen to them and that they have all the time in the world.  I certainly thought that and if I have one real regret it's the amount of time in the past that I spent at work.   It's now been brought home to me with brute force that life can change in an instant (or a diagnosis) so my advice is 'Go For it' whatever it might be.  'It' might be the trip of a lifetime, a weekend away, a bungee jump (although why would you want to do that?), a trip to see long lost friends or relatives.  Whatever it is do it sooner rather than later.  If my regret is spending too much time at work my satisfaction comes from knowing that we had some amazing holidays when we spent time doing things as a family.  Nothing too daring you understand just places that were slightly unusual as well as those that were more mainstream.  If we ever had a windfall, which wasn't often, I would look to see where we could go.  This led us to Antigua for watersports (Jake and Ash not me), Mont Tremblant in Quebec for skiing and six weeks in Western Australia where we got to stay with friends on their sheep farm and Ash helped to put up a farm shed as well as spending time with said friend's parents two blocks from the beach.

If I saw somewhere intriguing in a magazine I would research it and put it in the back of my mind for sometime in the future.  This led us to Morroch Bay on the west coast of Scotland where you drive across 2 fields and down a cliff face to get to a cottage on a beach.  It led us to Osea Island off the coast of Essex where we drove across a Roman causeway at low tide, where we felt as though we were in a set from Miss Marple and where we had the island almost to ourselves (it was January - few people are that mad).   It led us to Passe-a Grille in Florida when we were actually staying in Orlando for 2 weeks but I had read something about this community and persuaded Ash to drive the three hours it took to get there and to book into a tiny resort on the end of the peninsula for two nights where we could sit and watch the sun  set over the sea.  He's a fervent photographer especially of sunsets and one evening had his camera set up just as a lone canoeist came into shot at the perfect moment.  He agreed the trip had been worth it just for that photo.  It led to Comino which is an island between Malta and Gozo reached by fishing boat.  There are no roads, shops, trees or bushes, just a hotel on a rock in the Mediterranean. 

There have been numerous other amazing destinations over the past 36 years and I haven't finished recording them here but what I need to tell you is that if you want to do something don't start by saying 'we can't because.....'.  Instead say to yourself 'I want to do this so how am I going to make it possible?'  Our honeymoon was spent on a campsite in the south of France in a tent that was already up and surrounded by other, very close, campers.  We got there on a coach.  For our 25th wedding anniversary we flew to Nice, picked up a soft top Mazda, drove to the same place and stayed in a hotel.  Just make sure you do what you can while you can and don't wait for the time you can afford it, or you can get the time off work, or you have the right friends to go with.  Do it as soon as you can.  You really don't know what's round the corner.