Living Large

My Beloved and I just returned from a week in Paris celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary. I don’t know what is more astounding to me about that sentence: “a week in Paris” or “44th wedding anniversary!”

In addition to all the amazing art, history and architecture, we made it a point to enjoy the Parisian café scene where you sit outside and watch humanity go by.

Anyway, when we mentioned to our friends and family that we were doing this, the reactions played along the lines from “How romantic!” to “Wish I could afford to travel like that” to “I’m downright jealous.”

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting upon this response and I’ve realized that it takes three elements to live this kind of seemingly extravagant lifestyle.

1. Money
2. Health
3. Courage

Money is actually the least challenging obstacle to overcome. Think of all the stuff you’ve acquired in your life. There’s a pattern: If you really want something, then you’ve figured out a way to get it. So if you really want to travel, you’ll get the funds from somewhere.

Of course, if you want to travel more than just an occasional splurge, then you have to budget and save for it. But this article is not about being a prudent financial planner for your retirement. It’s about crafting a lifestyle you love.

Health is a much greater obstruction for many people. You know all the fast food, alcohol  and cigarettes you indulge in right now? These excesses are going to make your body pay dearly in later life. Over 70% of medicine in the US treats the effects of poor life choices that result in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you can’t walk to the mailbox, how are you going to travel around the world? Trust me, the rest of the universe is NOT ADA accessible.

With the diminution in health comes the greatest barrier of all…

Courage is the biggest component of travel. Some folks are just too afraid to get out of their comfort zone. I understand. In the beginning, we were scared to travel outside America, too. But we’d already explored all 50 states and wanted to see Europe. So we did our research, girded our loins and stepped out into the unknown. Now taking at least one big trip a year is an essential part of our annual budget: mortgage, food, car payment, clothes, and travel.

Suppose you’re inspired by thoughts of experiencing new places, what action could you take this very minute to start realizing your dreams?

Walk.

That’s it. If you live in a car-intensive locale (which is pretty much everywhere except NYC) then start walking. Park in the outer reaches of the parking lot. Walk around the block. Walk up the stairs. Just MOVE! And…

Drink water.

Drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water. If you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water.

Make these two simple habits a lifelong practice, and you’ll find the money, the time AND the courage to live your dreams.

Till next time…

1 Comment

  • Cynthia A Lucas

    Reply Reply April 23, 2015

    Anne, Thank you for the common sense approach to telling the truth. To live healthy is not rocket science. Just exercise, eat healthy, and drink lots of water and fluids.

    Good to hear common sense makes life worth living. Like one of Dallas’ former mayor’s, Laura Miller used to say, “It is the little things that make difference.”

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