When Judy’s marriage ended, she knew had to do something to increase her income and she ended up finding the job that was meant to be. Another area that was a challenge for her, and is for many newly-single people, is travel and vacations. When you’re used to traveling with your husband, it’s not that easy to just suddenly go adventuring on your own. Here’s what Judy did:
My husband and I used to travel quite a bit. We didn’t have extravagant family vacations but we would go and do things. Not ordinary things, like one of the trips we took when the girls were young was a covered wagon trip in Kansas. We always did things that were a little different but after he moved out I didn’t have that opportunity.
There were some things I needed to do at the house during the summertime; the backyard was left a mess, I spent one summer painting the exterior of the house … those kind of things. And at that time I was using my folks’ money to help me through college and I couldn’t have said,
“OK mom, I’m going to take this month’s money and go to …”
Then about eighteen months ago, the Girl Scout council here mentioned they needed chaperones for a trip to Alaska. I had been with my troop for eighteen years or so. I think I’ve had 150 – 200 girls go through the troop and I’ve got quite a few of those who went ahead and got their lifetime membership. Well, I’ve got friends in Alaska who I’ve known since right after I got married so I’ve always had in the back of my mind to visit,
“Yeah, when I get old and rich, I’ll go to Alaska.”
When they said that all it was going to cost me to go was a $500 deposit, I thought I might as well apply for it.
“$500 to go to Alaska? Yeah, I can handle this.”
I didn’t think much about it and left taking a 24-hour bus trip to see my daughter. When I got back, they called and asked if I would be a chaperone!
I did end up going. I called my friends who I hadn’t seen in ten years and said,
“I’m coming to Alaska. Can I come and visit with you for three or four days?”
I ended up spending eight days with them in Anchorage and then met up with the Girl Scouts in this little village called Cordova. We did a lot of outdoor activities like kayaking, motorboating, hamburger roast. We also had to take this little five passenger plane back to the mainland. I think of all the activities, that was the one I was worried about because I’d only flown in a little plane once and it was not a good experience.
We took off from the island from this gravel strip and we had a woman pilot. She was so good! We flew up over the glaciers and then she’d say,
“Oh, let’s go look at that moose!” and down we’d go.
After that I thought,
“I could do this every summer, travel to someplace different.”
I have a deep appreciation for people like Judy who are Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders. My daughter was a Girl Scout and my son is still in Boy Scouts. People like Judy are part of that extended network that help to raise your child and to keep your child safe. The more eyes the better, I say! I also appreciate them for being the role models they are and for exposing my children to activities that aren’t interesting to me but might spark a passion in my children.
What Judy did here was to take an activity she was already involved in and find an opportunity to broaden that and travel with a group. Chances are that if she was with her husband, she might have seen the call for chaperones but dismissed it thinking that she and her husband had other plans. It may not registered with her consciousness. But divorce brings a change of perspective and new opportunities.
Traveling and vacations for me has been pretty easy because my children are still at home and I plan trips I know they would enjoy. I know however that will change and who knows I may still be single then. Will I be brave enough to travel overseas? I hope so – one of my girlfriends years ago would take these amazing trips to Asia with singles groups and secretly I was quite envious of how daring she was.
Heather-Marie shared her story a year ago about how she was a traveler and she was determined not to let her newly single status change her lifestyle – read about her world of discoveries. (As an aside – this is an amazing coincidence because today is December 23 and Heather-Marie’s piece was published December 22, 2009 – hard to believe the timing of this.)
Any recommendations for traveling as a single person?