By Bonnie Michaels
For the NABBW
Are you lacking excitement and passion in your life? Do you feel stuck in your career plan and want to reinvent it? Boomers who are in transition looking for a way to” kick start” their lives might consider taking some risks and have an adventure.

After years of helping corporations and individuals with work and family issues, I took a break and went off with my husband to explore and volunteer around the world for a year. Sound crazy? It was one of best decisions I made about jump-starting my life.

With one suitcase each and a round-the-world ticket, we each chose two destinations and the rest was serendipity. Our goal was to explore, renew, volunteer, and figure out how we wanted to live the rest of our lives. To fund the trip we rented our home, which paid for expenses, if we lived within a simple budget. Finding volunteer opportunities was important to provide us with room and board.

With one suitcase each and a round-the-world ticket, we each chose two destinations and the rest was serendipity.

Each of us had a vision.

  • For me, number one on my dream list was studying Flamenco dance in Spain.
  • For my husband, it was archaeology in Israel.
  • We both love Australia so joining the Willing Workers on Organic Farms made it possible to volunteer for room and board.
  • We made Japan our final destination and volunteered through Volunteers for Peace in a little village, Hoshino, in western Japan.

Along the way, we had opportunities to go off our loose plan and that led to many exciting adventures and discoveries.

What were some of the lessons learned?

  1. Removing ourselves from familiarity and daily routines were components that led to change and excitement in our lives.
  2. Taking ourselves out of our comfort zone, trying new things and problem solving promoted ideas and creativity.
  3. Dealing with a daily set of new challenges enhanced our ability to be flexible—an important skill in today’s world.
  4. Having “time out” to reflect without the usual daily interruptions added to our ability to get in touch with ourselves, our dreams, and our relationship in a deeper way. It clarified what was really important to pursue in the future and how we wanted to live out the rest of our lives.
What can you do to put the passion back your work- life?

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to think about all the places you dreamed of visiting or all the things you would love to do and learn—a trip down the Amazon, volunteering, learning a craft, or walking the Appalachian Trail?

You could have a set plan to study or visit in one country and have some specific timetables and destinations that are preplanned. For individuals who like spontaneity, you may choose to wing it and make decisions along the way.

For boomer women without partners traveling alone is a rewarding experience. I needed a boost again in my life and went off to explore many Australian outback towns and on my own for a month. Learning to deal with my fears of the unknown was a rewarding and strengthening experience.

The net result of these adventures is that if you stretch and venture out of your comfort zone physically, emotionally, and mentally you will be rewarded with renewed passion for your life. You will be clearer on your values, priorities, and develop new skills as well. These experiences can provide you with a view of your authentic self in a constant changing world and be blueprint for the next years of your lives.

book-happyapp-250wBonnie Michaels is an expert in work-life balance, life’s transitions and happiness. She provides solutions for individuals and businesses around the globe through her consulting, workshops, speeches, media appearances and writing. She has co-authored Solving the Work/Family Puzzle, A Journey of Work-Life Renewal: The Power to Recharge & Rekindle Passion in Your Life, Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags and the e-Book, The Happy App: A Process for Boomer Bliss. www.upsidethebook.com, www.mwfam.com