Eileen Durward on making childhood dreams become a grown-up reality
As a child I was fascinated with nature, animals and strange countries, and I loved reading books by Gerald Durrell and watching David Attenborough on TV (amazing that he is still on now!). I wanted to be there, having adventures and exploring new lands. In my childhood dreams I had visions of sailing down the Amazon, walking in the wilds of Africa and worshipping in the temples of Ancient Egypt.
However, real life tends to get in the way of our childhood dreams, and although I have always retained the desire to travel I never had the opportunity.
Suddenly at 50 I found myself on my own (my choice) and, interestingly, during the first month in my new home my periods stopped, never to return. I guess my body was going ‘Hey Girl, it’s time for you now’! My menopause was certainly taking the driver’s seat; the desire for adventure and travel suddenly went into high gear and I realised that I could now no longer ignore these feelings.
I had to work really hard but I managed to save enough for an adventure holiday to Egypt. I was walking in the temples of my dreams, riding camels and swimming in the Red Sea – I was totally hooked!
Being single it isn’t always easy to find a safe holiday and I didn’t really want to travel on my own. Luckily there are companies around who specialise in single travellers’ trips, and I love the anticipation of each holiday not knowing who my travelling companions will be (last time they were all lovely Australians and we had a ball). I do believe that the menopause can make us women become reclusive and afraid of new things so I find that these journeys, for me, take me out of my comfort zone, challenge me and refresh me.
Over the years I have managed to walk the plains of Africa, revisit the temples of Egypt and have some other exciting adventures. Sadly, that Amazon boat hasn’t materialised…yet!
So, what were your childhood dreams? Have you tapped into them yet? Have you liberated them? Good Luck!