Fifty before 50 – Part II

Welcome to Part II of my fifty things to do before fifty list. I hope you will keep in mind this is my fifty before fifty. Make your own list. Hopefully, you can take some of mine and incorporate them into your own.

26. Take a class just to learn, not for your job or a degree – Four years ago after moving to Maryland and really having trouble making new friends an old friend suggested I do this. I took a pottery class in the town where I live. I have since taken several art classes at the local college. Learning a new skill solely for enjoyment is quite different from traditional learning.2015-07-26 09.29.37

27. Sunbathe Naked / Skinny dip (not in a pool) – More communing with nature. Even if you do it in a remote place there is that nervousness about someone coming along. However, there are many places where this is the normal practice. Embrace it. This should be on the list because after fifty you may not want to show so much skin.

28. Triathlon / Marathon – FYI. If you are between 35 and 45 you are at the perfect age for this. Or at least that is what I was told. I don’t suggest doing it necessarily to win. I recommend doing it for the challenge. I knew I would never win because of health issues but I still wanted to do it. The satisfaction of training and eventually completing a full event is worth every drop of sweat put into it.Brig 2003 finish

29. Rent a scooter on an island and find an out-of-the-way beach – If you plan on doing this at a port of call during a cruise, the cruise line will discourage it. Being one who likes to challenge authority Bill and I have done it several times during cruises. They are a great way to zip around an island with few restrictions. Also, If you are cruising, it’s a way to get away from the people and find your own spot for the day.

30. Ride a camel – When I went to Egypt I knew I wanted to ride a camel no matter what. I didn’t care if it was touristy. I just wanted to do it. It was nothing like riding a horse. First of all the camel is kneeling when you get on. This of course means the camel has to get up. The back end comes up first which I didn’t expect. So gravity dictates that your body fall forward in other words toward the earth. As my camel begins to stand everyone starts yelling “lean back, lean back.” I do. Eventually the front end comes up. When sitting atop a camel you are much higher off the ground than I expected.IMG_3612
31. See the Statue of David in Florence – Florence is a beautiful city. There are a lot of reasons to go but the Statue of David has to be one of the top reasons. Yet I have heard many people say we didn’t want to wait on line or even that they were sure there would be a line. Others have said they didn’t feel they had enough time. I say that’s ridiculous. It is one of the greatest pieces of art ever. Make the time. Bill and I went before the Accademia Gallery opened. I was only interested in seeing the Michelangelo masterpiece. We had not bought advanced tickets. We did not wait and we were in and out in a short amount to time because David was my main focus. If you are worried about lines buy tickets in advance online.

32. Eat fish or seafood fresh off the boat – Wellfleet is a small fishing village on Cape Cod. Each afternoon you can drive out to the pier and get oysters and lobster as it is unloaded from the vessels. There is nothing like seafood caught and consumed all within a matter of hours.

33. Couples Spa Day – You may have noticed that while I am adventurous I also like being pampered. A couples’ spa day is like any other experience that you find pleasurable and want to share with the one you love. I think sometimes we convince our self that our significant other might find it too foo-foo or a frivolous splurge.
34. Teach a young person the value of travel – Since I do not have children I have to work on my niece, nephews and other people’s kids. When kids want to travel I always encourage it. There is no better way to form or change your worldview than travel. We had an exchange student a few years ago from Rome. Europeans take a gap year which she did. Earlier this year she decided University wasn’t going so well for her so she volunteered in Cambodia. I was so proud of her and encouraged her all the way. She’s my little mini-me.DSCF0867
35. Whale and / or dolphin watch – If you live close to the coast of just about anywhere this is a realistic expectation. Because there are so many different kinds of whales and dolphins that live in different environments it is something you can do in many regions. I have seen so many dolphins in my life and yet I never tire of seeing them. I have encountered far fewer whales but I imagine the same would be true.
36. Climb an active volcano – It’s like skinny dipping. Even though you know there is little chance of an eruption (or getting caught if we are talking about swimming naked) there is always that slim chance it could happen. But volcanoes are also a good way to learn about geology and the way the earth was formed.IMG_2240
37. Visit the archeological site of Ephesus, Turkey – If you enjoy ancient civilizations I think Ephesus is one of the best. It is an active dig site so they are constantly piecing together more and more history. They are quite literally laying it out a fragment at a time like a puzzle.

38. Drive a luxury sports car – Years ago, I used to drive Jaguars from Long Island, New York to a dealership outside Philadelphia. The Jags went plenty fast enough but they are a bit too refined for my taste. I would like to drive something like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini on the open road. Yeah Baby!!

39. Travel solo to another countryWhen you do this you put yourself in a position of vulnerability. There is the possibility that you will miss a connecting flight, your luggage will get lost, you might get lost and you will have to figure out the solutions to whatever problem arises yourself. It is a great confidence boost. I think no matter how old you are when you do this you are filled with “what ifs.”IMG_3681
40. Go to the local markets in a foreign country
I think the first time I did this was in Athens, Greece. The day we were there they were having a labor strike so many things were closed. Our driver asked us what we liked to do since we were not going to get to see some of the public exhibits. We told him to take us where the locals go. He took us to the local fish market. Now when I am in a foreign country I always make a point of finding these places. I find them to be authentic and energetic.

The following 10 items will need to move to my 60 X 60 list because despite being nearly fifty and fabulous I can’t do it all before the big day.

41. Carnival in Rio –
42. Tango in Argentina – Scheduled for 2016.
43. Go on an African Safari
44. Stay in an Ice Hotel
45. Visit Petra
46. Alaskan Cruise
47. Grand Canyon
48. Coastal Highway in Cali
49. Take a boat down the Amazon
50. Walk the Great Wall of China

BONUS for Women Only – Buy at least one nice piece of jewelry for you. This doesn’t mean go to the local mall and buy something mainstream from a jeweler. If an antique locket is more your style, go for it. Have something created just for you if you prefer. I think we should have one quality piece of jewelry that was not a gift.

Fifty Before 50 – Part 1

Susan Decoteau-Ferrier

Travel writer/blogger, photographer. Avid potter and wanna-be artist. Wife, Mom to 6 fur kids, gardener, coffee snob.

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