On Turning 40 (It’s the new 20!!!)

Many of you are aware that I turned 40 years old this week. Yep – the big 4 – 0. It’s not too weird – in fact I feel mostly the same as I did before! But while many women feel a little embarrassed, upset or ashamed of turning 40, I’m actually embracing the turning 40 as my best decade yet!

My motto is that 40 is the new 20….and here’s why….

The Joys of Being 20

Your 20’s are quite often carefree and full of travel, university life or going out while you still live at home and have few bills to pay and few financial commitments. I lived it up in Manchester as a student in my 20s. My uni days were spent attending my religion and theology lectures like a hippy, working in bars and then hitting the ‘Madchester’ club scene! In uni holidays I would work to save and then travel….Italy, Russia, China…..

Reasons why your 20’s are so joyous…

  • University
  • Enjoying time with friends
  • Lack of Financial Commitment
  • Care free attitude to life

Enter the Challenges of the 30s

Most people seem to ‘settle down’ and enjoy their 30s. Maybe get married and have a family….work to pay off a big mortgage. Enjoy a few day trips with the kids in between the 9-5 grind.

Two things about my 30’s…..I was very much in love yet felt I didn’t want the conventional lifestyle and this was a constant personal battle. Secondly, I was very, very ill and didn’t know why (it tuned out to be severe endometriosis). My mental health suffered due to medication for my illness and being haunted by some of the ghosts of my past.

Turning 40 - with camels in Morocco
With camels in Morocco

Most of my 30’s were spent trying to do a teaching job that demanded too much of me, trying to sort out my relationship problems and going through at least 5 operations – 2 of them very serious. In fact, in 2016 I went through being burgled, having a miscarriage and the death of my grandmother all within 3 months of each other. It wasn’t until my late 30’s when things finally started coming together.

My travel blog eventually started to take off in my late 30’s. Despite my health issues I managed to travel to some amazing places including Israel, Morocco and Thailand. I finally married the love of my life at 38 and survived a 7 hour surgery including a bowel and bladder resection at 39.

So it’s safe to say that my 30’s were…..extremely challenging.

Challenges of your 30s can include…

  • Financial pressure of living on your own
  • Relationship problems
  • Having kids – or not having kids
  • Career change crisis
  • Health issues may creep in
  • Mental Heath issues can heighten with pressures of modern life

Enter the Big 4-0 – can I have a do-over?!

Yes, I would like a do-over…..but if I can’t take a do-over, I will happily accept a new decade!

At the start of 2020 I was married, healthy and backpacking in Cambodia. I had a job that I loved and could do a great deal of remotely, and money in the bank. This beats being cooped up in a cold, ill and broke and in a cold ‘two up-two down’ any day.

The hubby? He was at home in Liverpool with our gorgeous new Patterdale baby – Blake! I’m lucky to be with someone who is supportive of the crazy stuff I want to do. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes not, but we always love each other and have finally got it worked out.

Anyway, I was on a tuk-tuk tour of Battambang, one of my fellow travellers – 22 and peachy – said to me ‘I think it’s really great that you’re doing this at your age!’ OMG, at my age?!?!? wtf?!?!?

Battambang Tuk Tuk
Me travelling with the young uns! Shit – time to start dying my greys?!?!?

Oh actually – yeah, fair comment! I was sharing a tuk-tuk with 3 other travellers that I was clearly almost 20 years older than! But do you know what? I felt like I was the same age!

You see, age is really just a number.

But while some people need to be told that age is just a number because they don’t want to admit how ‘old’ they are, I am happy to embrace this fabulous new decade. I 40 and proud.

People turning 40…

  • Are often more financially stable
  • Are happy either on their own or in a relationship
  • Know what they want out of life

I entered 2020 with excitement and fabulous travel plans every month. It was gonna be the most amazing year of my life….

Enter CORONAVIRUS!

You see, life will always throw you curveballs. Never did I make so many travel plans, and never did I have to cancel them!

My plan was to do a country a month in my 40th year on this earth. Cambodia in January and Gdansk (Poland) in February were amazing trips. However, in March 2020, I was heading back to Liverpool from Muscat, Oman on an early flight.

Sharqiya sands meeting camels
Meeting the camels at Sharqiya Sands in Oman

You might want to read my article about escaping Muscat before lockdown.

I then proceeded to cancel several flights and UK based trips over the next few weeks. Instead of spending my 40th birthday having a massive party followed by a trip to Rome to see the Vatican, it was spent in lockdown!

But do you know what? Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that make it amazing. 2020 was certainly not the exciting happy go lucky year that I expected it to be. But I spent my 40th birthday with my hubby and everything that I asked for…Paella, Sangria, a Colin Caterpillar birthday cake and my sweet puppy! It actually felt quite liberating to not have the stress of making plans – relax and enjoy!!!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAdKnSEH-ej/

So despite Brexit and Coronavirus, I know that my 40’s is still going to be the best decade of my life. I’m gonna be travel to at least 5 new countries a year (when travel safely resumes) and growing my blog to a sustainable income level (ok – I say that every year, but this year I know what I’m doing!!!)

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