The Perks Of Personal Propulsion



Linda Brown Backpacking Around the World

These are the last few days that I will ever be 74 years old. Next month I will have lived for a full three-quarters of a century and I will be celebrating that in a lovely hostel in Fiji in the middle of the South Pacific. Just now, I’m huddled at a hostel computer in Sydney, Australia, on a rather chilly Sunday, having launched myself into my second solo around-the-world meandering trip with no exact time schedule. I give you this background as the setting for the philosophy I’m weaving in the following list. 

This list was formed after a long conversation with a good friend, who is twenty years my junior and who can’t understand why I can’t just stay home and be available for long chats and the occasional lunch get-together. I began to analyze just what I get from an adventurous life on the road and just from life in general. Perhaps you will see your own self in this, as well. 

An Adventurous Life Gives Me: 

A push from the heart,
A propelling of the mind,
A sensation of self-confidence,
Self-assurance, wide-awakeness,
Being “In-Buzz”,
Having no doubts,
Able to design/write my own ticket,
Visible creativity,
Using my assets to the fullest – health, wealth, imagination,
Seeing no serious limits,
Organizational ability,
Focus – refusal to pour time into frivolous pursuits, even to reading every tempting little news tidbit served up by our computers,
Always having a goal – the more audacious, the better,
Detachment – a certain degree of unsentimentality, knowing that love can be a stretchy-sided thing,
The ability to sort through lots of input and pounce on the occasional gold nugget within tons of dross. Trust in your own radar to do this for you, but follow through when it hits. 

The above things, in general, do not apply to my life or personality in the same full way if I am not “heading somewhere,” either in a project or a destination. 

Movement! Lovely, lovely Movement! 

I hope so. Even if it’s to a smaller degree but a step beyond what they would otherwise ever do. I had a friend who had a chance to layover in Paris for 5 days after flying from the States to Israel. Normally, she wouldn’t have considered it but after reading my book, she decided to take the chance. She had an absolutely wonderful time all by herself and was so proud of that accomplishment. So any degree is worth it. 

This life isn’t all peaches and cream. Tonight I have a sore knee and my debit card won’t produce money, though the bank account has plenty???? But, all is well the minute solutions arrive. I have learned that I can deal with almost anything and that keeps everything moving along. It will also feel better when I leave winter behind and loll about in a Fijian hammock…two weeks away. 


My previous articles have been full of the advantages of chirky cheer. But, let me balance that for you. Eternal traveling can be a royal pain, as well! Most weeks contain only one incident coming unexpectedly to bug the bejeebers out of me but those are almost always swiftly resolved. They are usually of the “I’ll laugh about this later” variety and I don’t even record these minor frustrations. 

But this week has been one for my own personal record books; and it’s mainly because of those positive qualifications mentioned earlier, that I don’t simply throw in the towel and fly home. 

At the moment, I’m a week into every foreign tourist’s worst nightmare with a frozen debit card. This particular card has carried me faithfully through many a country, accessing lovely unfamiliar paper money from far-flung ATMs with never a hiccup. But now, in the classy city of Sydney, Australia, it has chosen to choke for no obvious reason. My bank account is well-stocked; my bank knows I’m traveling, I still have the card in my possession. 

“No worries!” thought I and fired off an email to my banker friend asking her to simply turn the card back on again. But, she couldn’t do that and referred me to their toll-free number. Well, I pleaded with my bank’s Customer Service, explaining that calling them will be difficult for me to do, since my night is America’s day and I don’t travel with a personal phone. I also stay at hostels without the same ameneties as most hotels. Can’t they just solve this matter, electronically, in the same way that we do all our monetary business these days? 

Nope! This frozen debit card requires a personal touch that will require me to call at midnight in order to speak to a human being during U.S. business hours. I blinked! I just bought a phone in order to gain access to my money once again. Luckily, I am carrying a credit card from a rival bank or I would have been very, very hungry by now. 

And that’s only one test for this week. The other involved extra hidden luggage fees but you don’t want to hear about that. My point is that, when the going gets rough…and it always will…about the only glue that will hold you together is to have a habitually-optimistic set point. Like Miss Goody Two Shoes!

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  1. habitually optimistic… love it!

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