Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:
Amazing over 50’s
I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.
This month I’m happy to introduce my first ‘amazing over 50’s’ couple, Jon and Jo. Together they write a fabulous blog, which I personally love reading, called JWalking. A few years ago they made an interesting and brave life decision, which has taken them all over the world.
Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something and the ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series
I’ll hand you straight over to Jon and Jo…
Hi, we’re Jon and Jo a fifty-something couple originally from Kent but currently on a little adventure that takes us all over the place. Just over four years ago we quit our jobs, sold our house, and gave away all of our possessions in order to wander off and see what life had in store for us. We’d brought our three wonderful sons up in Maidstone, Kent and absolutely loved being Mum and Dad to them but when they left home we suddenly felt that there may be more to life for us rather than just tread water waiting for retirement. Our home had become just a house and we’d never been possessions orientated so we just decided to let go of everything and go. What was the worst that could happen?
We had a huge variety of reaction from friends and family ranging from ‘are you crazy?’ and ‘is this a mid-life crisis?’ to ‘what a great idea’ and ‘aren’t you brave’. We were both 53 when we made the decision and of course age is a consideration but we’ve never been hampered by how old we are and wondered how we would feel in 20 years time if we hadn’t done anything. We would regret it of course. A lot of people couldn’t understand why we would do such a thing ‘at our age’ but it actually had nothing to do with our age, it was just how we felt.
So we spend approximately a third of our time housesitting via the amazing TrustedHouseSitters website, another third working for our keep in different locations, and the final third just backpacking and travelling anywhere and everywhere. We’ve travelled far and wide to wonderful locations such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand and also seen a whole lot more of Great Britain in our JWalking lives. All we have is a backpack each and a single suitcase so we carry our home on our backs but we don’t need very much. Just a new challenge, a beautiful sunset, and each other.
It seems a fairly long time ago now that we turned 50 but it wasn’t actually a huge milestone for either of us, it was just another day. We have always had the opinion that you are ‘as old as you feel’. It’s an age-old expression but we sincerely believe that age isn’t a barrier to anything. The biggest issue is certainly health as you get older and if you are sensible and careful even that becomes a non-issue. We spend a third of our time or more housesitting so do a lot of dog walking and when we are travelling we love to hike a lot. Plus with not owning a car all of our transport is via train and that involves even more walking so we are fairly fit. Also we are very careful with our diet and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables alongside a very low carb intake. Seems to work well.
One of the things that we are extremely proud of in our new life is our carbon footprint and the fact that we really don’t have one. No house and no car of course and we don’t waste a single thing. We eat everything we buy and any new clothes or shoes just replace what is currently in our backpacks with the old items going to charity. I’m so proud too of the way that we are actually living our lives and the freedom that we have created for ourselves. We love living in different places constantly and relish meeting new people everywhere we go. Our life is always changing and we never plan more than 3 or 4 months ahead so the future is always exciting.
Something we always stress whenever we chat to others about our life is that it certainly
isn’t for everyone and we would never dream of suggesting that we have all of the answers. Having no house or possessions just would not work for so many people and that is perfectly understandable, we all have our likes and dislikes so it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. We aren’t lucky either because anybody could make the same decision that we have made and get rid of everything to travel, it’s a life choice. What we are lucky with however is that we both wanted the same thing at the same time. It would be so difficult if one of you wanted to live this travelling life and the other wanted stability and a home. So we never ever give advice to anyone to follow our lead however interested they are, it’s a huge decision that you have to make yourselves. What we do advise though is that people think about their lives, consider what they want from them, try and imagine how they will feel looking back in twenty years, and just be brave with their choices. As we often say to each other, ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’.
As for the future, we have no idea what that holds for us. We’re in the back end of our 50s now but feeling fit and healthy and still full of excitement over exploring this big wonderful world that’s all around us so see no reason to stop travelling. Irresponsible maybe, immature perhaps, but having a whale of a time so far and looking forward to as many new experiences and new places as we can get to. As far as we’re concerned life is to be lived and we don’t want to look back with a single regret. So if you see two slightly daft, slightly grey backpackers wandering through a railway station near you stop and say hello. It could be us, and we may need a bed for the night.
Thank you so much Jon and Jo for being my first couple on this series and for being an inspiration to all.
Well, what can I say except, how utterly amazing!
The lifestyle you live – ‘not letting age put you off, no possessions as such, no house, not knowing what your plans are after 3/4 months’. I honestly think you have it totally right! I’m in awe of you both and I’m guessing your sons are very proud of you.
If you’d like to read Jon and Jo’s blog, it’s here at JWalking
You can follow them here on Twitter
They’re here on Instagram
I’m sure Jon and Jo would love to answer any questions you may have, so ask away in the comments 😊
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