One of the joys of traveling is easy access to new experiences. I have to say that I have sorely missed this in the weeks since we have been back home. In truth, new experience opportunities are available without travel, but as we get older and have had more experiences—and we get stuck in our routines—it gets harder to have these experiences in our day-to-day life. In some ways I envy my 11-month-old niece, for whom almost everything is a fascinating new experience.
A few weeks ago, I entered into my fiftieth year (as a separate entity) on the planet. I have been contemplating how to celebrate this milestone over the course of the year and I think I have finally come up with an interesting, yet achievable plan that also addresses the need for travel-like stimulation. So, here it is: I want to have 50 new experiences before my 50th birthday. I only have two on the list so far, so I’m a little behind, but I think it’s doable.
Here are the guidelines I have established for myself so far. I’m sure that they will evolve as the year progresses.
- New recipes don’t count, but new foods and drinks do. So, another variation on chicken would not count, but oysters would. (Not likely to happen.)
- New teams don’t count, but new sports or levels do. So seeing the CSU Rams is not different from seeing the CU Buffs, but seeing the Broncos or the Avalanche or a college football bowl game would count.
- New workouts only count if they are different from anything I have done before—so a different route doesn’t count, but skate skiing or riding an ElliptiGO would count.
- Event rides/runs/etc. do count if I have never participated in that event.
- New states, countries, and national parks count. Maybe cities—TBD. Getting to my 50th state (Vermont, if you were wondering) would be a treat as well as a new experience.
- New exhibitions don’t count, but new museums do.
- New books, movies, and performances don’t count, but new genres could, if I identify such opportunities.
The two new experiences I have had since the beginning of year 50 are attending a Bicycle Tourism Conference, which I have written about here, and establishing a limited liability company in Colorado. Establishing an LLC sounds complicated, but in fact it really involves finding a business name that no one else is using, then typing in that name and your name and address (about five times) before remitting some funds to the state. But it was a big step forward in forming our business, and unlike anything I had done before, so it counts.
So, friends, family, and fans, if you have ideas for me or want to invite me to do something new—I’m ready for some interesting experiences!