How Travel is Helping me through Menopause
Technically what I'm experiencing is peri-menopause, and it has been going on since January 2018 in full force. Hot flashes, insomnia, lack of focus, weight gain, depression & lack of sexual desire are making my life feel dull and uninspired.
The best times have (not surprisingly) been the travel that I'm privileged to experience. These trips (New York City, England, San Diego, Vancouver BC & the PNW coast) get me out of my "poor me" mindset, and force me to pay attention to the world around me, instead of my internal challenges.
There are a number of ways that traveling is helping me, and might be able to help you, too. The first one is the simple concept of changing locations and getting out of my comfort zone. Being in a new environment, new stimulation, exciting surprises (like first class travel), & being around new people.
Part two is exercise. When I'm exploring a new area I walk a LOT. (When I'm here at home I sit a LOT). At home I have to trick myself into getting to the gym or out for a walk, but when traveling I want to see EVERYTHING so I get out & move my body. (Big cities are my favorite ~ public transportation in London and NYC make it even more fun to explore).
I then find that photography is an excellent motivator to get myself to interesting locations and, while there, to look intensely at the views around me. What is unusual? What is colorful? How is light effecting the people and the buildings? Will that mural be an interesting photo, or are the humans more fascinating that the street art? Can I learn a new setting on my camera? Will my Instagram followers like this better, or that??
Not an insignificant part of my travels have been the men that I've met (and often dated). This part has added a bit of excitement to each trip. Bill in Charlottesville, Hans in France, Eric in NYC, Jeremy in London, Robert in San Diego and David in Vancouver BC. I'll write more about travel and dating soon, and how I've met men through OKCupid.com and talked with them at length before meeting (and vetted them for safety). I've been really-really lucky to meet some truly fabulous men, and I even have a few lifelong friendships from this process.
One of the things I haven't yet explored fully is the idea of house/pet sitting. I have done this in Dublin & London, but only recently signed up for TrustedHousesitters.com planning to take advantage of this more in the future. I'm also going to explore HomeExchange.com. My home in Portland, Oregon is lovely, and in a very popular neighborhood, which should work to my advantage in finding beautiful places to stay in larger cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. There is also this blog... and who knows? Perhaps my experiences will be of some value to other mature, single women looking to get off the sofa and see the world.
I'm incredibly grateful that I CAN travel as much as I do. It is truly making this transitional period more enjoyable (and, not insignificantly, looking forward to my travels is making the exhaustion, depression and the hot flashes bearable).