Women Over Fifty Who Travel Solo…Around the World. They Say You Can Too!

Women Over Fifty Who Travel Solo…Around the World. They Say You Can Too!

Women Over Fifty Who Travel Solo…Around the World. They Say You Can Too!

Have You Ever Wanted to Travel Solo? You know…just take off, all by yourself?

Have you always dreamed of traveling to exciting destinations. Flitting from here to there, drinking in the sights, experiencing the culture, actually seeing first hand all the exciting places you’ve only read about?

Are you a woman over fifty who would love to travel but circumstances have caused you to feel you’re not able to?

  • Is it because you have no one to go with you?
  • Are you afraid of traveling alone?
  • Is it because you can’t afford it?

What’s keeping you from seeing all the places you’ve always dreamed of? Do you really, really want to travel? The women you’ll read about below wanted it bad enough that they made it happen.

Most of these women felt the hardest part was just making the decision to do it. Some overcame their fear of traveling alone by first dipping their toe in with a short trip. Most dove in head first.

What would it feel like to sell everything you owned, stuff a backpack full of the only possessions you had left, and hit the road? No obligations and only adventure on your horizon?

The women below all travel. By themselves. They love it. In fact, they prefer it. Most of them are over 50.

  • Some are nomads with no permanent residence…going from one exciting destination to the next.
  • Some prefer luxury travel (but have found ways to experience luxury on a budget).
  • Some like getting into the nitty gritty of the cultures in places they stay, and live among the locals.

But what do they live on? How do they support their travels?

  • Some do house sitting. (House sitting in Italy? OMG, sign me up!)
  • Some work remotely at their regular profession from whatever country they’re currently exploring.  Play by day, fire up the computer and work by night.

They’ll tell you exactly how they do it.  The circumstances that caused them to make the decision to pack and go. They’ll tell you what it’s like to be completely on your own in a foreign country.

All of these women write blogs about their adventures. They share packing, safety, dining and etiquette tips for solo traveling that they’ve learned along the way. They share gorgeous photos from places some of us have only dreamed of going, and they tell us stories about their adventures.

They all have different stories, but the one thing it seems they are all saying is…

Anyone can travel, at any time, anywhere. You just have to decide to do it, and then DO IT!

So…grab your favorite beverage, settle in and prepare to be entertained. Clicking the red buttons will take you to each of their individual sites. Explore. Look at their photos. Visit the “About” pages on their sites to get to know them and their stories. I was fascinated. I’m sure you will be too. Enjoy!


Traveln Lass - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


So if it’s inspiration you’re after – a gentle nudge to make your own travel dreams come true, then you’ve come to the right place. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to think that my crazy travel tales (especially as a solo lass “of a certain age”) might inspire some other lass or lad (of any age) to follow their own brand of bliss, and just pop on a backpack and DO IT!

Note from PattiThis is one of my favorite sites. Dyanne is such an entertaining and engaging writer you feel as if she’s telling you stories over coffee. She’s down to earth and real, and just sounds like someone I’d love to know.


Hole in the Donut - travel solo | Women Over Fifty Network


Working for years at a job she didn’t enjoy, Barbara kept asking herself “Who am I, why am I here, and what is my purpose in life?”After becoming ill and suffering for five years, she was finally diagnosed and treated for chronic Lyme Disease.

As soon as she was healthy enough, she left her job, strapped on a backpack, and traveled solo around the world for six months, determined to visit the places she’d always wanted to see.

Upon returning to the States in September of 2007, she rented an apartment in Florida and continued to travel more than half of the time, while simultaneously pursuing freelance writing opportunities. By the end of 2009 she was traveling so much that it made no sense to maintain a home base, so she sold or gave away her remaining furniture and hit the road full time.


Otts World - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


I am currently in my mid 40’s and have been traveling and living on the road (yes, homeless) since 2006.  How did I become a digital wanderer, New Nomadcareer break guru, and have the most enviable job in the world?

I’m Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it’s not just about travel, it’s also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.

I quit my corporate IT job in 2006 and said goodbye to blackberries, meetings and New York City. My original intention was to simply take a career break and come back after a year and determine next steps.   I traveled around the world to 23 countries, finding a new exciting world outside of my office walls.  My eyes were opened to possibilities and the beauty of simplicity; I didn’t want to go back to my old corporate existence.  Instead I sold my possessions and relocated to Vietnam for one year  in order to keep traveling.  To make money I taught ESL, sold photography, and started really working at  building a blogging and writing presence, including launching my other career break travel website,

Cheryl & Lisa

What Boundaries Travel - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


Before we started “What Boundaries? Live Your Dream!” we DID have normal jobs like everyone else. Really we did. But in 2007, we decided to sell everything and get an around-the-world plane ticket. This travel bug was only supposed to last 6 months, max. But somewhere along the way – we got hooked.

We’ve volunteered in South Africa and MexicoWOOFed in Hawaii and New Zealand, and backpacked across Europe and Asia. So far, we’ve traveled to 5 continents, 48 countries and well over 250 cities. And we’re just getting started!


Women on the Road - solo travel | Women over Fifty Network


Women on the Road is for women who are curious, smart, enterprising, enthusiastic, inspired or dynamic – women who want to see the world on their own terms, usually solo (though someone might occasionally tag along) but always independently.

Women on the Road is for women who are ready to take one big fat bite out of life and smack their lips in glee afterward.

Women on the Road shows you how any woman, of any age, can hit the road, on her own – and enjoy every minute.

Mary Jo

Traveling with MJ - travel solo | Women Over Fifty Network


MJ, is a traveler, travel writer, podcaster, and publisher. When she’s not on a trip, she’s planning or researching the next one and has a bag always packed, ready for the next great adventure. Her travel ethos is Value Luxury – that sweet spot where experience and price intersect to create WOW.


Travels with Tam - travel solo | Women Over Fifth Network


When I became an emptynester, I began traveling more adventurously, and solo, as well as writing about my journeys, and thus Travels with Tam was born! My posts include many photographs, so if you love travel photography, food, wildlife and underwater photographs, you have come to the right place. I share stories about traveling, food, luxury hotels, adventure trips, scuba diving, and citizen science.

I want to inspire others to get out and see the world, to expand their knowledge and enlarge their perspective. You can travel and “do good” for yourself, others and our planet at the same time!


Adventures of a Carry-on - travel solo | Women Over Fifty Network


I’m a professional makeup artist with a bad case of wanderlust, an eye for detail, a WSET certified wino, and yes, I’m addicted to Italy.

A curious person, I’m interested in learning, creating, self discovery, connecting with people, having adventures, and discovering beauty. Travel writing and photography are just a way for me to express myself.

Adventures of a Carry-on is a place I’ve created to fill with all the things I find  beautiful and inspiring – art, architecture, culture, people, food and wine and of course, travel!

What you will find at Adventures of a Carry-on

You might find me stomping through vineyards in the Italian countryside, or flying over Napa Valley wineries in a hot air balloon.

I will share first-hand accounts of the places I’m traveling to including; intimate details of tours, wineries, restaurants, hotels and more. Travel lightly, experience deeply is the way I like to roll.



Solo Traveler World - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network
Janice: A love of travel, personal loss and an empty nest all conspired for me to begin Solo Traveler in 2009. Resonating with thousands of readers, it quickly went from personal to public and the Solo Traveler Project began. Janice has been called the doyen of solo travel.
Tracey: One day, when I had dragged Janice out to yet another food and wine event, I was explaining what was special about each of the components of our meal: where the vegetables had been grown, how the cattle had been raised, and why the soil and climate of the local region resulted in a stunning wine. She invited me to write my very first post for Solo Traveler.

Now, as Editor and Food & Wine Travel Columnist for Solo Traveler, I eat, drink, and cook my way around the world, sharing my (frequently wonderful, sometimes unusual) experiences with readers.


Solo Trips & Tips - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


You are never too old to start traveling solo. I was already 30 years old when I took my first overseas trip alone. Actually, I was 29 years and 300+ days. I celebrated my 30th birthday while in Singapore.

There is no right way or wrong way to travel solo. Not everyone should become a nomad. Although I do think everyone should give solo travel a try at least once in their life! Even if you just get out and explore your own city alone, that too could be your start to solo travel my friend 🙂


Tropical Travel Girl - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


Tropical travel has become my passion. I’ve never met an island I didn’t like, although I’ve liked some better than others.  I’m often asked questions like, “What is your favorite island?” and “I’m thinking of going somewhere tropical on my next vacation. Where should I go?”

Through my destination content, blog posts, and photos, I hope to be able to help anyone interested in planning a trip to the tropics, and because every destination is different, I want to help you discover where your ideal island destination may be.

I’ll also be sharing information and advice about planning, packing, and how to navigate the ever-changing world of travel.


Solo Travel Girl - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


I founded Solo Travel Girl because I found myself traveling alone, not lonely. My personal experiences are meant to inspire and empower other travelers to shed their fears and travel solo. I admit to still having uncomfortable butterflies when dining alone in a chichi restaurant or participating in an activity geared toward couples or families but I shrug off my insecurities and indulge in the moment of discovery and adventure.

Topics I blog about include Florida, domestic and international travel, culinary, nature-based/outdoor adventures, solo travel, girlfriend getaways, product reviews and travels with a dog.

Dr. Cacinda Maloney

Points and Travel - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


I have traveled every six weeks of my life for over 25+ years.

A Doctor by profession, I gave up my career six years ago to travel the world even more!

Points and Travel is not your ordinary travel and lifestyle blog. We are a travel resource of content related to destinations about adventure, culture, and smart luxury travel–maximizing dollars for the greatest luxurious experiences.

Storytelling and photography are my two passions.  This is what I primarily do when I travel. Look for a great story about a place and then photograph it. My extensive travels have inspired me to write and share some of my extensive luxury travel experiences with you.


Nomad Women - solo travel | Women Over Fifty Network


The whole point of Nomad Women is to help you, inspire you and empower all you current and future mature, experienced, wonderful Nomad Women, to get up, get out and see the world!

If you have any questions or comments that can help me achieve that, I want to hear them!

Do you know of any Over Fifty Women Solo Travelers that I missed? Shout them out in the comment below. Or if you’re a Solo Woman Traveler, be sure to comment with the name of your site!

Until next time…peace out.

Patti Huck image and signature

“This Ain’t Your Mama’s Wedding!” A Mother Reflects as She Helps Plan Her Daughter’s Wedding

“This Ain’t Your Mama’s Wedding!” A Mother Reflects as She Helps Plan Her Daughter’s Wedding

“This Ain’t Your Mama’s Wedding!” A Mother Reflects as She Helps Plan Her Daughter’s Wedding

I’m so happy to share this post by another member of the Women Over Fifty Bloggers community. Reading her story brought a tear to my eye remembering my own daughter’s wedding and feeling the same shock when helping her plan (and pay for) it. Time is definitely marching on and nothing seems to escape modernization. But…there are still some things that will never change. Enjoy Mary Jo’s story, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.



Blogger: Visiting the Gray Planet

Mary Jo is a happy-to-be 57-yr old blogger living in Denver, Colorado. She launched her lifestyle blog for middle aged women in April of this year. Her writing focuses mainly on aging parents, retirement and gray hair.

Mary Jo states that aging is like grade school math: “you’re going to add some things and subtract some things”. 

When confronted with the realities that growing older brings, she feels it’s easier when you have good information and you know you’re not alone.

Weddings Have Changed (and that’s putting it mildly!)

My daughter got married last summer which made me a first-time mother of the bride.

The night they got engaged was magical. I remember the young man who couldn’t quit smiling and the future bride glowing with love and excitement. Now I know what they mean by “love is in the air.” As I was glowing with pride and soaking this all in, the arresting thought that we would be putting on a wedding hit me. It was the first of many shocking realizations I was about to discover.

I got married in 1987 and had a lovely wedding very much in line with the standards of the ’80’s. Perms for all! My mother and I planned everything together. We bought 1 bridal magazine and talked to friends who had wedding experience. In a moment of liberalism, we let my groom-to-be choose his own clothes for the wedding. Other than that, his job was to have his mom call me so we could compile a guest list.

So imagine my surprise, when my future son-in-law wanted to be involved in planning his wedding. Apparently this is a thing now: couples planning their wedding together.

I was already a little off-kilter, this being the first wedding in my family with me a member of the older generation. While my daughter’s friends, in their matching bridesmaid dresses, were out on the dance floor, my friends from college and I were competing in the “most years married” contest.

As the planning process began, I couldn’t believe how much had changed since I planned my wedding…

Engagement Pictures

When did engagement pictures become a necessity? In the 1980’s, wealthy people occasionally did that for the newspaper but no one else did. Apparently now, this is one of the first things to be scheduled.


While the happy couple was busy choosing coordinating outfits for pictures, I was contemplating the wording of the wedding invitations. Sadly, neither of their parents are still married (to each other anyway) so to include the names of all involved along with the date, would lead to a lot of extra wording on the fancy 5 x7 invitations with the scroll-y lettering… May eighteenth two thousand seventeen…you know, in the proper way that we did it back in the 80’s.

I was in for another surprise! The modern couple chose a tri-panel invitation that included no scrolls and no awkward listing of parent’s names. They filled the panels with adorable engagement pictures and information about the wedding. In addition, there were no RSVP cards! Nope. We do all that on line now.

When I was engaged,  my mom kept track of all my wedding guests on 4 X 6 index cards stored in a shoe box. A 4 x 6 card was big enough to keep track of the date the invitation was mailed, their response to the RSVP, the gift we’d received and when we’d sent the thank you. I kept this box for decades because it reminded me of the excitement of planning the wedding and of all the people who were there.

Wedding Website

Soon after the engagement pictures were taken, the groom-to-be started working on their wedding website. The website includes a small data base of guest information. This is necessary for sending emails and Facebook invites so all their friends could save the date.

There’s also a section for a biography of the couple and each attendant. This does takes some of the mystery out of the actual ceremony. We used to sit in the pews and speculate, “Is that the bride’s sister? Who do you think that man is?” Now we know everyone’s full name, how they met the bride and groom, and we are also able to read their messages of congratulations on the website.


One very good development in wedding planning is cake tasting!

The Groom-to-be was out of town during the cake-testing event, so I got to go! The bakery had 60 different types of cake flavors. 60! We narrowed our choices down to 6 and emailed the bakery so they could prepare.

When I got married, my cake choices were white, lemon, and poppy seed.

Here’s a tip for cake tasting day: If you’re going to eat 6 cupcakes with icing at 10:00 in the morning, you are going to want milk. You are also going to want to lay down when you get home.

It is now becoming common to skip the cake entirely and have other fun desserts like pie or donuts. What? I thought marriage only became legal after the couple fed each other a delicate bite of cake! They tell me this isn’t true.

Getting Inspiration

I don’t know how modern brides (oh, and grooms) ever make a decision on anything with access to so many choices. Pinterest is inspiring, but it also raises the bar on individuality. In addition to picking a dress and attendants, the trend now is to have a wedding theme: “Island Paradise”, “Wedding in a Barn”, “Summer Romance”, “New Age Bohemian”.

Of course your guest book also needs to reflect your theme. Your guests may be signing a picture frame, a log, or possibly even a surf board. Gone are the stiff little white guest books of my day.


In the 1980’s, entertainment at the reception was limited to throwing the bouquet and watching your parent’s friend’s try to dance after a few drinks. Now we have photo booths and games. Signature cocktails and slide shows. Popcorn bars. Serve yourself candy tables.

When I got married, a first class wedding gave out Jordan almonds wrapped in netting and called it good.

Planning the modern wedding was an eye-opener for me, and a challenge learning to adapt to all the changes. But with the planning over, the big day had finally arrived.

The Wedding Day

The bridesmaids giggled and fixed their hair. The bride and groom’s families got acquainted; trying to make a good impression. The wedding guests gathered and reflected fondly on their own wedding day.

The Father-of-the-bride misted up as he walked his daughter down the aisle.

The happy couple made solemn vows and anticipated their future together.

They started their newly married status surrounded by the love and good wishes of friends and family.

You know…the way weddings have always been.

You can follow Mary Jo on Pinterest HERE, and visit her blog VISITING THE GRAY PLANET for other great stories.

Until next time…

Patti Huck image and signature

This Ain't Your Mama's Wedding | Women Over Fifty Network

Celebrating the Women Over Fifty Who Write For and About Women over Fifty!

Celebrating the Women Over Fifty Who Write For and About Women over Fifty!

Celebrating the Women Over Fifty Who Write For and About Women over Fifty!

I created Women Over Fifty Network to ‘inspire’, ‘support’ and ‘celebrate’ women over fifty. Another way of ‘supporting’ other women is to Connect with them.

Below you’ll find sixteen pretty amazing women writers. They write about women who are over fifty and the interests and issues related to them. They’re damn good at what they do because they themselves are over fifty and live what we live every day. They’re us. They get it.

  • Some of these women offer wisdom and guidance on topics they’ve lived through or are currently living.
  • Others entertain us with their own (sometimes hilarious) stories of the challenges of aging.
  • Still others have found their life’s passion and are anxious to share their crafts, work, or hobbies with you.

Scroll through the descriptions below. When you find one that interests you, click on the button to visit their blog. Support these ladies by reading one of their articles. Inspire them to continue writing for us by leaving a comment. Commenting on blog posts is one of the fastest ways to make a connection with the author, and also with other commentors. (As random as it may sound, lasting friendships began with just one little blog comment.)

Bloggers bare themselves every day, and I know from experience that writing can be a lonely world unless we know someone is out there reading.

16 Women Over Fifty Bloggers | Women Over Fifty Network
Meet 'Leanne'


A blog celebrating Midlife, because the best is yet to come.

This is where I write about how much I’m enjoying Midlife and the empty nest. 

To quote Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

I’d love you to read and leave a comment – it’s a great way to connect and share the journey.

Meet 'Deborah'


Looking for tips & ideas of style for the older woman whether 30 thru 80. Included are topics of positivity, responsibility for what we purchase and general topics of interest for those of maturity and growth.

I create. I research. I like to inspire. A wide range of interests is “my thing”. People surprise me and supplement my learning often.

Meet 'Nikki'


I am a spray painting queen, a dirt digging fanatic, and an over fifty fashion icon wanna be.

Together we can make your home and garden something to be proud of. Nothing fancy or expensive, but always fun and cute.

And did I mention fashion? I love clothes and shoes and although I may have dirt under my fingernails and paint splatters on the back of my arms, I’d love to share some style ideas with you.

I may be a Grandma but I don’t have to look like one.

Meet 'Pam'

Pam Lofton - Empty Nest


I love to share stories of our crazy lives, memories of days gone by, my many opinions, and fun things to do in our touristy town located just over the bridge from Charleston, SC.

So come on over and enjoy some discussions, a few reviews, and a lot of laughter. I would very much appreciate your company as I continue learning about life, love and lifestyle changes. The journey continues to be interesting!

Meet 'Diana'

Diana Cohen- The Wild Child


I’ve been described as an old soul & an eternal child wrapped into one eclectic package. “Nature-filled” living is my passion and I have extensive study and experience in this area.

My mission is to reconnect women with their true nature, gifts and personal magic and create a community of earth-loving women who support each other to rise in their full authenticity and step bravely forward to create a more beautiful life and sustainable world.

My goal is to open women’s hearts and minds to the beauty magic and healing powers of nature/Gaia.

Meet 'Caryn'

Caryn Payzant - The Midlife Guru


Since embarking in 2010 on the “second half” of my life, I’m committed to taking the wisdom and experience gained during my first 50 years and use it as a springboard in to the next 50.

You can count on me for trying new things, looking at old things in a new perspective, and doing all that I can to MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE AFTER 50 in the areas of healthy living, family, education, midlife musings, and meeting women of distinction over 40.

I am excited to share valuable and timely information to inspire you as you pursue your own dreams and aspirations.

Meet 'Meryl'

Meryl Baer- Six Decades & Counting


Once upon a time I worked for a financial firm in a strait-laced, crazy-in-its-own-way kind of world. I eventually quit and moved to the New Jersey shore.

Over the years I accumulated a wonderful husband, two sons, two daughters-in-law, five grandkids, assorted relatives and friends. Every summer they pack bathing suits and sunscreen and make their way to our door at the shore.

No one visits in winter, so I write…about whatever I want – travels, food-a favorite passion and pastime, current events – whatever is happening in a life lived.

Meet 'Linda'

Linda Luke - Life Coach Linda


I am passionate about helping women feel more peaceful, powerful, and positive as they navigate the ups and downs of life. I am described by others as being loving, soft-spoken, and emanating a sense of calm.

I have experienced what it is like to have a yucky life. There was a time when I felt my spirit was going to die if I didn’t change. It was through my own journey to freedom that I became inspired to become a coach and help others see and experience the incredible possibilities for their own lives.

When I am not  on the phone coaching people across the country, writing blogs, or leading workshops, you are likely to find me out for a walk or spending time with friends.  I am a young at heart grandma who also loves to read, learn, and volunteer.

Meet 'Janet'


I like to share about the various aspects of life as middle aged woman, from health and wellness, to marriage, parenting teenagers and/or grown children, career, and staying stylish.

I’m passionate about looking good on a budget – you don’t have to spend a million bucks to look it! I’m all about fashion from the real world, and a bit of an op shopper extraordinaire …

Meet 'Missy'


I’m just a midlife mom & wife who is trying to survive parenting and laundry. As long as there are margaritas, I’m good.

I love Jesus but I cuss a little. (OK maybe a lot).

I’m a humor blogger/writer and share tales of my insane family life as a midlife mom of older kids and a fantastic supportive hubby.

Oh did I mention my love of margaritas?

Meet 'Claire'


I’m a life coach, a nature lover, reliant upon my intuition and believer in everyday magic and miracles that can be found in the small things!

I’m passionate about coaching people who are going through a mid-life transition and who want to dig deep into their soul to find the very best, beautiful version of themselves.

I love seeing people like you discover passions and take action to achieve their dreams.

Meet 'Laurie'

Laurie Stone-Musings, Rants and Scribbles


I’ve been married several decades, have two grown sons, an old, timid cat, and a crazy, new dog.

I like to share insights on aging, family life, and the bumps, turns, and surprises along the way.

Meet 'Kathryn'

Kathryn Mayer - Writing Out Loud


An irreverent storyteller with a foul mouth and big heart, Kate Mayer is a writer, humorist, and activist writing out loud with humor and grace about parenting, social issues, midlife, and, sigh, gun violence prevention.

Mayer shares life as she lives it in Newtown, Connecticut. Since the Sandy Hook shootings, she writes and speaks often about and for Newtown, sharing stories to connect people to create kinder, safer communities.

Meet 'Kathy'

Kathy Marris-50 Shades of Age


I commenced 50 Shades of Age in 2012 as a platform to encourage and inspire women of my age. The majority of us have led a busy fulfilled life being mothers, wives and co-breadwinners.

After reaching that milestone age of 50, with kids leaving the nest and feeling unemployable, I felt a big void in my life. It was with this in mind that I decided to start up 50 Shades Of Age – a website where I could reach out to my sisters and tell them that their lives could be so much more. I wanted to be the voice for the new-age over 50 year olds to empower and motivate them to feel worthy again! We have so much to offer.

My real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas. I hope to continue to bring more stories about this very popular past-time for our age group.

Meet 'Jana'

Janet Botkins-Cabinart


Being married 31 years, a slight tendency toward a cat disorder (kept in check by a sensible husband), editing and book design, knitting, long walks with friends, reading great non-fiction and occasionally fiction, letter writing, gardening, dark chocolate, and hanging out in Mineral King in the summers.

My website is about Tulare County California. Finding, showing off, and focusing attention on the good parts of living here. Mineral King, Sequoia, Three Rivers, citrus, old buildings, general scenery of the area – it is all here for you to enjoy. Art has been my full-time profession since 1993 and CABINART is the name of my studio.

Meet 'Janis'

Janis Heppell- Retirementally Challenged


I started my blog in the months before I retired in part to work through my ambivalence about my upcoming life-changing event. Was I ready?  Would I have enough to do? Now, looking back several years later, my only regret is “why didn’t I do it sooner?”

No longer needing to navel-gaze about my retirement, I now enjoy writing about all sorts of topics, including travel, relationships, photography, gratitude, and whatever else pops in my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

So, am I still Retirementally Challenged? Yes, but in a different way. I’m still retired and I still find challenges, but the challenges in my life are mostly positive and self-directed… they are what make life interesting.

Don’t Give In To Christmas. Break Traditions. Be The Change

Don’t Give In To Christmas. Break Traditions. Be The Change

Don’t Give In To Christmas. Break Traditions. Be The Change

This Christmas is an unusual one for me. Although it’s a bit uncomfortable because it’s out of my norm, I’m learning a lot from it.

What Christmas Was Like Growing Up

Growing up, our Christmases were big. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t grow up rich by any means. My dad was in management at the paper mill in our small town, and my mom took in ironing for extra money. My older brother and younger sister and I went to Catholic school. We lived modestly.

My mom was an excellent seamstress, so when Christmas came, we had box after box of beautifully sewn clothes. My parents put aside Christmas money all year, and my mom (the voice of reason) had to keep an eye on my dad who wanted to go crazy with the shopping. She managed to keep him reeled in until Christmas Eve when he always managed to sneak out to buy each of us one of the big items that mom had earlier put the kibosh on. He loved Christmas. Mom made sure our gifts were wrapped beautifully and that there were even amounts for each of us to open. Christmas was my favorite holiday.

Continuing Christmas Traditions With My Kids

When I got married and had my own kids, I re-created my childhood Christmases for them. I sewed and crafted, and made sure there was always that one gift for each of them they hadn’t expected they’d receive. I filled stockings with fun, small gifts, and we carried out the traditions of setting cookies out for Santa, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, and waiting until Christmas morning to open the rest.

Our Christmases had been everything I’d known and loved. Until one Christmas when they weren’t.

My divorce and loss of a second income had forced me to take on a second job. Money was tight and my lack of free time made it more difficult to craft gifts. My mom had passed away from leukemia, and my dad had a fatal heart attack shortly after. I was missing them both terribly. My divorce had caused a strain on my relationship with my ex’s parents, although they remained excellent grandparents to my kids.

The heartbeat of my family had crumbled. I was mourning the loss of my parents, was exhausted from working 15 hour days, had fallen behind in bills and had no idea how to pull Christmas off for my kids. They were too young to understand the financial position we were in, and there was no way I was going to let the light in those two pair of beautiful excited blue eyes dim at Christmas because of it.

It’s Not Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

My sister and I went to Goodwill and bought tutus and hats and frilly “dress-up” clothes for my daughter. I found a recipe for Play-Doh and I made tons of it in colors you can’t buy in the store. I bought cookie cutters and rolling pin accessories.

I found cars and trucks for my son that looked brand new that I couldn’t have afforded to buy new. We snuggled and I read them the Night Before Christmas and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. We sang Christmas songs. We went sledding and ice skating and invited the neighborhood kids over to build snowmen and have snowball fights.

I wrapped the gifts in newspaper and bright bows. Even though we couldn’t afford a tree, we spent a day making Christmas ornaments from Popsicle sticks, adding paint and glitter. As Christmas got closer, my heart was breaking that I hadn’t done enough, and that they wouldn’t have the Christmases that I’d had at their age.

Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

A few days before Christmas my ex-father-in-law showed up at my door, which was surprising. We exchanged guarded greetings and a bit of uncomfortable chit chat while I nervously waited for him to tell me the purpose of his visit. He finally said, “Well…, I stopped by to see where you want me to put this tree.” He had brought us a beautiful Christmas tree that he brought in and set up for us. I loved that man more that day than I ever had. He stayed for a cup of coffee afterward and we all talked and laughed (and I cried). I have never forgotten that day. Our house smelled like Christmas, and the kids and I hung our handmade ornaments on our beautiful tree.

My sister, my kids and I went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was their first time at church. We fought to compose ourselves when my son asked why there was water in the ashtrays (Catholic churches had holy water outside the doorways). With all the incense and rituals that happen at a Christmas mass, his curiosity was on turbo. His head whipped around every time the choir at the back of the church started in. During a very quiet and respectful moment when the priest, in his ceremonial white robes raised the gold chalice to be blessed, we about lost it when my son asked “Is that God up there on the stage?”

That was years and years ago. My kids are now adults. And you know what’s amazing to me? That very Christmas, the poor one that I stressed over and cried about, the one I didn’t feel I’d done enough, the one I felt they’d been slighted on, that was the Christmas they remembered the most. Thirty plus Christmases have passed since then and both of them agree that, that one was their favorite.

It Takes Courage To Ask For Help

For the past couple months I’ve been worried about my daughter who was recently let go from her job for standing up for something she believed in – something that was right. It has caused a huge financial hardship on her family. She worked in radio and spent a good amount of her time fund-raising for various causes and creating awareness for child abuse, women’s issues, etc. She loved helping her community. She’s a giving, loving person with a huge heart. The realization that my daugher needed help and I wasn’t able to provide it was crippling for me.

That old feeling of shame and sadness that I wasn’t able to do enough started creeping in. Then once again, as it had before in my life, help came unexpectedly.

After trying to make arrangements with their landlord and creditors and getting no cooperation or understanding, my daughter posted a request on social media: “We never thought we’d find ourselves in this position. I’m embarrassed to be asking for help, but if there is anything you can do, it would be so appreciated and when we’re able, paid forward. Also, if you know of anyone looking for web design or marketing, it would be hugely appreciated if you could refer us to them”. Knowing my daughter, I knew how hard that was for her to post and the pride she needed to swallow in order to take care of her son.

I couldn’t believe the messages they received, some of them from childhood friends she hadn’t seen in years. Some were listeners when she was on the radio that she’d never met. Gifts were delivered for my grandson with only the message “Merry Christmas!”. People donated money anonymously thanking her for her contributions to the community. There were people offering words of encouragement who said they had found themselves in a similar position at a time in their life. They had received help and now wanted to pay it forward.

They cried for a solid week (and so did I) for the generosity and outpouring of love they received. The willingness of these people to give without hesitation or need for recognition was inspiring. People who had very little themselves but reached out anyway to help someone in need, and asked nothing in return. I’ve never witnessed such unconditional love and could only send a prayer of gratitude to every single family that helped my daughter and her family. I will never, ever forget their generosity.

Because of people’s kindness, my grandson will have some gifts for Christmas, and by my daughter’s family using a portion of those donations, several other children in need will also be receiving Christmas gifts this year. They had already started what they had promised…to pay it forward.

Silent Night, Holy Night. All is Calm…

This year on Christmas Day my husband and I will be alone. My daughter and grandson live out of state. My son will be traveling over the holidays. My step-daughters and our grandkids live out of town and will be spending Christmas at home with their children. Because of job changes, money is tight for us this year, so we aren’t able to travel to spend Christmas with them, and our gift giving has had to be kept to a bare minimum.

This holiday season has shown me the true meaning of Christmas. I have been humbled and touched beyond words. By having less abundance of money in our lives this year, it has forced me to focus on the blessings we’ve been given and show them the appreciation they deserve. When I spend some quiet time to reflect back on the year, I see those blessings all around me…


  • a bill worry taken away by my husband’s unexpected raise
  • a friend’s phone call at a time I was feeling really down
  • my husband coming home with flowers for me
  • the Facetime hours I get to spend re-enacting plane flights with my grandson
  • phone calls with my brother that go late into the night
  • daily emails from my sister who ends each one with “I Love You”
  • my health
  • an open invitation from my friend who lives on the beach to come stay with her
  • my immediate family, my extended family, my neighbors, my friends
  • the connections I’ve made through Women Over Fifty Network
  • the opportunity to do what I love to do every day
  • the relationship I have with both my children
  • my brand new great-niece

Be The Change

My focus in the coming year will be on giving. Smiling. Taking life a little bit slower. Being more understanding, more patient. Believing in myself and believing in others. Doing everything with love. Appreciating what I have.

If you’re spending Christmas alone this year, get snuggly, take out a notepad, and make a list of what you’re thankful for. I think you’ll be surprised at how full your life really is once you start to count your blessings.

Money comes and money goes. All it does is buy new things or pay for things you’ve already bought. It has value, but it’s cold and can be heartless. Appreciate the little things in life. Friends and family cost nothing, they can never be replaced, and they are invaluable. Hold on to them and love the stuffin’ outta them!

Christmases are different now for us. They’re not the ones I remember from long ago. But you know what? That’s okay. I’ll hold them forever in my heart, but it’s time to start new traditions…paying my blessings forward. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress and impersonal world we live in. When we move at such a fast pace, it’s easy to miss those little smiles and kind words of the people around us.

Today was an emotional day. Neighbors dropped by home-baked cookies and sweet Christmas cards. I received a text message from one of my son’s employees thanking me for helping him through the year. When making a call to the power company for an explanation of our bill, I talked to the sweetest woman who bent over backward to help me straighten it out. Her kindness was so unexpected. Tonight we spent the evening with friends – the kind who are real and honest and fun. My whole day was filled with warm, loving people who touched me to the tips of my toes, and I had a thought.

At the risk of sounding sappy and dramatic, I started thinking how easy it would be for people to just be kind to each other. It’s not that hard to do, and what a different world this would be. As I wondered what it would take to make this happen, I noticed the gift my daughter had given me for Christmas. It’s a simple gold bracelet with the words inscribed “BE THE CHANGE”. 

I have my answer, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Patti Huck image and signature


If you’d like to join me BE THE CHANGE, I’ve found the bracelet that’s exactly like mine. You can purchase it by clicking the button below.

Donna Carman: Reinventing My Life – From Unmotivated and Miserable to Loving Life and Lean!

Donna Carman: Reinventing My Life – From Unmotivated and Miserable to Loving Life and Lean!

Donna Carman: Reinventing My Life – From Unmotivated and Miserable to Loving Life and Lean!

Hey all,

I received the following email and I wanted to share it with you…

Hi Patti,

Nice to “meet” you. I’m Donna. I live in the Dallas-Fort-Worth region of Texas. I found your page on Facebook. I have been thinking about creating a similar page. As I linked out to your website, I found I felt like I already “fit in”, like I related to what I saw. Simple, common, over-50 women things…nobody selling me anything. Nothing popping up at me telling me to subscribe today to win something. Just realness. So thank you.

I’m going to share my story, because I too have thought about this concept, and believe 100% in it. We all have something. We all have a story. How we got here. What’s happening. We’re all different, yet so much the same.

So here’s to you! To your site! And to letting me share my story and journey with you. Thank you for having the courage and willingness to create your site and share it with the world. That’s pretty darn great and I’m glad I found it today. 


I agree with Donna. We are all different, yet so much the same. And yes we all DO have a story. I hope after reading Donna’s, you’ll be inspired to share yours with us too. It’s super easy and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Click HERE for instructions.

If you connect with Donna’s story or have any questions for her, it would be great of you to leave her a comment below, or just a thank you to her for sharing her story with us and letting her know that you read it.

And now, I’m turning it over to Donna.

Patti Huck image and signature

Donna’s Story: Reinventing My Life

I grew up in a small Midwestern town. Nothing crazy. Nothing too much out of the ordinary. I was raised with a religious background, however my parents quit attending when I was in high school, so while I have continued faith and beliefs, that’s pretty much where that stays. I learned early on, though, how powerful our creator and maker is. I still believe today, that we were created with love and beauty. That we are such incredible beings, and the world we have been given is quite the gift.

I married in my mid 20’s. I don’t believe I was in love at the time. I believe I felt it was what I “should do” next. I think I was glad someone was so into me, and even though I had my reservations, I quieted them and to the courthouse we went.

I had a few jobs in my 20’s.  In 1991, I took a temporary job, that was supposed to last the week. I ended up still there months later, and the following year was officially in the door with a large telecommunications company. Someone told me that first week, “Congratulations. Keep your nose clean, do your job well and you’ll be set for life”.  I stayed with that company, through its many mergers, reorganizations and process improvements and workforce reductions. Twenty-three years later, I opted not to re-locate, looked for another position in the company, but ended up finally off payroll at the end of 2015.

During my late 30’s, I realized my marriage was never going to work, especially when my (now ex) husband had told me he no longer wanted to be a husband or father. I wasn’t about to beg him to want it. He clearly didn’t, and it was best for our son, to let it end. As I faced the daunting thought of dating in my 40’s, I thought at times I would be that crazy cat lady on the beach somewhere before I found someone who wanted to be with me, and I wanted to be with them! What the heck happened? When did I put on the extra pounds and stopped caring how I looked? When did I stop caring about myself period?!!  It was a crazy wake up call.  I remember seeing a picture of myself, and literally not recognizing who I was looking at.

So long story short, I kicked my butt in gear, quit smoking, started exercising, stopped eating so much sugar and junk food (put down the jar of frosting and learned to eat more than cookies and cake).

I started dating again, but stopped. Then started again, for another week or two. It’s nuts dating in your 40’s. At least it was then. The whole time though, I immersed myself in the world of health and fitness. I found meetup groups that weren’t for people wanting to date. I joined one to learn ballroom dancing. I joined another to hit the tennis ball around again (something I used to enjoy in my teens). I paid for swimming lessons, so I could learn how to swim better. I bought a road bike, and starting finding trails near my house. I loved being healthy, being fit, being outside, feeling alive!!!

Eventually I poked around the online dating sites again, and lucky for me, met the most fun, smart and talented man!! We dated for awhile, and eventually decided it was silly having two different places, so he moved in with me and we’ve been enjoying our lives together ever since! He never ceases to amaze me. He has a heart bigger than Texas and talent bigger than the world, I think!

When I knew my corporate job was coming to end, I discussed the possibility of starting my own business with him. He knew my heart. He knew my dream. To have a place where anyone could go, to get healthy, get fit, find their confidence and skill. To help others find happiness. I didn’t want to own a gym. I wanted a place where anyone could go, when they wanted, and just enjoy life.. enjoy outdoors, enjoy health.  I wanted to help children learn what they are great at, to have them experience confidence in themselves and taste things besides soda and candy and do more than play video games or watch television. I wanted a place where aging adults can find excitement and laughter, relaxation and care.

I have yet to finish my dream, but I started my new path, at the end of 2015. I studied and became a certified trainer in 2016. I kept studying and practicing what I was learning with friends and family. Earlier this year, I became a certified health coach, and last month, finished my nutrition studies, so I’m now a certified nutrition coach as well. With my boyfriend’s help, we turned my son’s old bedroom into a cardio room and our garage into another workout area.  I’m starting a small in-home health and nutrition coaching business, where I plan to offer services to women who are looking to start getting back to self care and confidence, either in my home or theirs. I plan to offer training to active seniors who just want to move a little more, or need help preparing healthy food.

I believe in the power of a positive mind, and feel that no one is better than anyone else. I believe we can be our own best friend or our own worst enemy. Some days we can be both. I do things from my heart and put all I have into them. I want to touch the lives of women, who like me, for so long felt like I wasn’t just quite good enough, that if only xxx or yyy would happen, I would be happy. Life is too short to live waiting for xxx or yyy.

I want to live now and although I have my super scary days, where I think maybe I’m not really good enough after all… I am reminded that I am as good as anyone else who has gone before me. We live in a time where we can learn, grow, experience and so much more… anything we want.

I believe aging can be exciting. It comes with health challenges, but I don’t think that means we have to just accept aches and pains as part of getting older and stop enjoying the things we truly love to do. I think with age we gain wisdom, strength, and experience.  

Donna Carman

Donna Carman

Fitness Coach


Donna owns her own business providing nutrition and fitness coaching.

Her favorite place to be is at the beach. She loves being outdoors, sitting on the patio, working in the yard, shopping at farmer’s markets…just being in the fresh air.

She normally gets up early and walks 2-3 miles a day, has breakfast with her boyfriend, then they work out together when he comes home from work. She has recently returned to journaling to clear her mind.

Her favorite quote is “Make the most of the dash!” (_ _ – _ _)

Thank you so much Donna, for sharing your story with us. You’ve inspired me as I’m sure you’ve inspired so many others. Don’t you dare doubt yourself. You are, without a doubt “good enough”. You go girl!

Until next time, peace out-

Patti Huck image and signature

My Story-Donna Carman | Women Over Fifty Network

Starting Over. Who Says You Can’t Re-invent Your Life After 60? Meet MEREDITH MARAN – Author

Starting Over. Who Says You Can’t Re-invent Your Life After 60? Meet MEREDITH MARAN – Author

Starting Over. Who Says You Can’t Re-invent Your Life After 60? Meet MEREDITH MARAN – Author

Starting Over Again…and again, and again

It never ceases to amaze me how people come into your life at exactly the right time. Have you noticed that? Funny how life works. Funny, but not funny, ya know?

I know that in my life when I’m caught up in a shit storm and wading through the muck, I’m hard pressed to imagine that any good could possibly come from it if I should survive with my mind intact once I’m spit out on the other side. But it does. Almost always.

It’s happened over and over. When everything sucks, crap is coming at me from every angle and I’m forced to take my life in a completely different direction, that new direction ends up being the exact one I needed to take to get me to a better place. That new direction is one I would never have orchestrated on my own, and is usually a place I never in a million years would have thought myself to be.

Meet My New BFF: Meredith Maran

The story below reinforces my belief that ‘everything happens for a reason’. I immediately loved Meredith. She’s the author of “The New Old Me”, a story of starting over. She’s warm, spunky, funny, caring, positive and fiercely indendent. Aside from one very short e-mail exchange, I don’t know her. I was able to determine those qualities from the heartfelt and candid podcast interview you’ll listen to below.

During our 60’s, a time when life is supposed to get a little easier for us as we look forward to retirement, her life completely fell apart. She was blindsided by a rapid succession of life events.

If you are presently or have ever been in a place where you feel you’re getting hammered from all directions, you’re alone, and you’re not sure what your next move should be…listen to the interview with Meredith below.

You’ll hear traces of lingering pain in her voice, but you’ll feel her resiliency and determination that, I don’t know about you, but she put a renewed fire in my soul and reminded me of something I’ve preached, but sometimes forget myself: Every little thing’s gonna be alright.

She, my friends, personifies the strong, intelligent, empathetic, independent woman – the woman that the Women Over Fifty Network community was built around, and the type of woman I personally strive to be every day of my life.

NOTE: This is an audio post. Click the triangle below to listen…the intro ends at :26, then Meredith’s story begins.

NOTE: I love her thoughts at position 9:25 on the audio. EVERY WOMAN WHO IS OVER FIFTY NEEDS TO HEAR THIS!

Re-Inventing Myself After 60: Meredith Maran's Story

by DAYA Podcasts



Author |Speaker |Editor

Like a lot of women her age, MEREDITH MARAN has a hard time believing she’s a woman of her age. And yet she’s published more than a dozen books, including The New Old MeWhy We Write About OurselvesWhy We WriteMy Lie, and A Theory of Small Earthquakes. She writes for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and others.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Meredith lives in a Silver Lake bungalow that’s even older than she is. Anne Lamott said of Meredith’s skills as a coach for aspiring writers, “She’s the best in the biz.”

Learn more about Meredith and what she does HERE. See her books HERE

I love that she’s so down-to-earth and relatable and I can’t wait to read her memoir “The New Old Me”. My plan is to start with her most recent book and then work my way backward through the others. If you’d like to do the same so we can compare notes, you can order it through Amazon HERE(And just to be clear, I have no affiliation with or am receiving compensation for promotion – I’m just a huge fan!)

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Did anything in particular resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time…peace out.

Patti Huck image and signature

DAYA (Don't Act Your Age) Podcasts

DAYA (Don't Act Your Age) Podcasts

Guest Post

Meredith’s story is narrated by Stephen Johnston and produced by Rich Halten and Stephen Johnston at “Don’t Act Your Age,” a podcast about over-50’s who have earned every one of their gray hairs. You can hear more of their podcasts by subscribing to Don’t Act Your Age on iTunes HERE

Starting Over. Meredith Maran | Women Over Fifty Network