Life Begins At 40?

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Life begins at forty!

Well that’s what they say, though I’m here to argue this ridiculous myth. By the way, doesn’t anybody know who ‘they‘ are? Seems they have an opinion about everything.

Well I have an opinion too, and it’s this;

Life DOES NOT begin at forty. If it did, then I’m only 3 days old.

No, life certainly doesn’t begin at 40! But lucky me, it definitely does continue to get better and better and better.

On the day of my 40th, last Saturday, I was on Seminyak Beach in exotic, beautiful Bali. To one side of me was the love of my life, Leslie, and on the other side and surrounding me were a wonderful collection of family and friends, including my mum and my brother. They travelled from far and wide…England, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, America, Japan…Scotland. The warm tropical ocean was at our feet, palm trees rustled overhead, and we all had large, icy adult beverages in our hands. It was a fabulous, memorable party, and I thank everyone who participated to make it so special. Thank you all!!Twenty First Century Nomad Bali

Twenty First Century Nomad BaliTwenty First Century Nomad BaliTwenty First Century Nomad Bali Twenty First Century Nomad Bali Twenty First Century Nomad BaliTwenty First Century Nomad Bali

Did I mention that Leslie and I moving to Paris? No? Well, we’ve moved to Paris…yesterday. Our nice little apartment overlooking the Sacre Couer in Montmartre is tiny, but it’s ours, and it will make a nice change from the constant packing and unpacking in steamy Asia and Australia. And it’s in Paris…enough said!! This is the view…Twenty First Century Nomad Paris

Last year I completed one of my dreams; to live in Thailand. Now we’re acting out Leslie’s dream of living in Paris, playing at being a modern day Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, and while drinking slightly less (maybe?) we’re hoping for as much success with our novels as The Great Gatsby. In fact, I’d take 1% of the critical acclaim he received right now for my own novel, and 1% of his talent.

During the 3 months that we can stay in Paris due to Leslie’s visa restrictions…damn that pesky American Homeland Security Department… there’ll be a sneaky week in England via Eurostar for a good friend’s wedding, where Leslie can reacquaint herself with cold cider in front of the fireplace in an old English pub, one of her favorite things in life.

And what do we have planned after that?

Three lovely months in California, including a month long west coast road trip, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, and running in the Santa Cruz marathon…yep, the full one. After that it’s back to Europe, so, we thought, why not jump on the Queen Mary for a 10 day cruise east, and snag another month in England for a school reunion and a couple of buddies birthdays and myriad roast dinners and more fireside ciders. After that we’ll hike for 5 weeks on Spain’s Santiago de Camino, following in ancient pilgrim’s footsteps for 800 miles while making some of our own. Then we’ll house-sit around eastern Europe for a few months, and finish up 2014 with a Christmas in Prague. Why not?

And, perhaps the biggest news of all, on January 31st, 2014, there’ll be a wedding!! MINE!! Yes, a few days ago Leslie and I announced our engagement, and I’m excited to share the news with you all. We plan a small close knit celebration in snowy prague, and we’ll end a fairytale year in that oh so fairytale of cities!

But, does life really begin at 40? I still argue NO!

To believe that life begins at 40 is to dismiss somewhat all the years of life you’ve already lived. I know that when ‘they‘ say it, it’s most likely with a large wedge of tongue in cheek. But I find it a little bit sad. If you’re in your mid or late thirties, and you do subscribe to that notion, it might just give you the excuse to be lazy, to wait for something, to wish away the years until the BIG 4-0 comes along. And that’s a shame. No matter how old we are, or what we do for a living, or where we live, or if we’re satisfied or content with life, whether we’re rich or poor, what matters most is living life to the fullest, extracting every last ounce of life out of everyday we have. We never know what is coming for us around the corner, and life does often have a nasty way of sometimes kicking us in the teeth, taking things from us, hurting us.

So don’t wait until birthdays of medium sized round numbers come along, whether it be 30, 40 or 50.

Grab life by the horns, and say to yourself;

“LIFE HAS ALREADY BEGUN, AND ISN’T IT JUST WONDERFUL!”

No matter what ‘they’ say.Twenty First Century Nomad Bali

All images by varying degrees of drunk people.

25 Comments

  • […] Leslie and I got engaged during my 40th birthday celebrations in Bali last year. We’d kind of planned it for a while, but with my mum and brother and many friends […]

  • […] Ian and his wife Rosh, before Leslie and I headed off to Bali, Indonesia for the start of my 40th birthday celebrations. Bali was where it all began for me way back in 1994, and it seemed appropriate to celebrate my […]

  • […] it’s just a sheet of paper with a signature.’ The fact that we got engaged while in Bali, and only 2 days before my 40th birthday was irrelevant to me. But not to everyone, and the […]

  • […] Australia- Paris, France, and in between all that we managed to visit Cambodia, India, the USA, Indonesia & England. But after our time in France came to an end, we decided that a trip to Mexico was in […]

  • […] Steve and I got engaged in Bali during Steve’s 40th birthday extravaganza, we decided to wait until we got to Paris to appropriately clad my ring finger. I have always […]

  • February 21, 2014

    Rusha Sams

    Wishing you a very happy birthday and thanking you for following my blog, Oh, the Places We See! You’re in for more great times!!!

  • January 30, 2014

    Jessica

    Oh, and congrats on your engagement!!

    • February 17, 2014

      Steven

      Thank you Jessica.

  • January 30, 2014

    Jessica

    My boyfriend just turned 40. I’m sure he’d say the same thing, that life doesn’t begin at 40, but I sure think he’d agree that it just keeps getting better and better. After all, he met *me* at 39… I’m thinking my 30s are definitely going to top my 20s. I’ll be 30 in a month!! So amazing for you guys that you’re living in Paris. I am so impressed, if not a little bit jealous. 😉 Happy Birthday!!!!

  • January 30, 2014

    corliem

    Congratulations! Thats brilliant news! Sounds like you two have quite a year planned, I hope it will be a fantastic one 🙂

    • January 30, 2014

      Steven

      Thanks a lot, Corlie. Yeah, loads of exciting plans. We only live once, right?
      Cheers.

  • January 29, 2014

    gallivance.net

    Steve and Leslie, talk about burying the lead! Your GETTING MARRIED! Woohoo! Congratulations – That’s fabulous. Best wishes and big virtual hugs! ~Terri

    • January 29, 2014

      gallivance.net

      I meant “You’re” (fumblefingers) …. and I forgot to say, Happy Birthday Steve – 40 totally rocks! ~T

    • January 30, 2014

      Steven

      Thanks a lot, Terri.

  • January 29, 2014

    gallivance.net

    Happy 40th Steve!! That’s quite the intergalactic bash you pulled off. Bali on your 40th – impressive. Having recently reached three score myself, I should offer some sage advice on milestone birthdays. But from what I see about the life that you and Leslie are living, you don’t my, or anyone else’s advice. You’re happy, have a soulmate, and doing what you want. At 40 or any other age, it doesn’t get much better than than. Rock on Brother and Happy Birthday. ~James

    • January 30, 2014

      Steven

      Thanks James.
      A great time was had by all, no doubt.
      I appreciate the comments.
      Cheers mate.

  • January 29, 2014

    Stampy

    All the best to you and Leslie.Sounds like you are going to have another great year ahead of you while travelling with your wife. Have fun.

    • January 30, 2014

      Steven

      Cheers, Stampy. It’s a year until the wedding, but I dare say we’ll be traveling then too.
      Cheers mate.

      • January 30, 2014

        Stampy

        Sorry for being premature! blog said 2014 which I thought, you were getting married Friday. Anyway have fun and enjoy Paris.

  • January 29, 2014

    Nia Simone

    Congratulations! And enjoy Paris. When you come to Santa Cruz, feel free to drop me a comment… perhaps we can meet.

  • January 29, 2014

    Sally

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! WOOHOO!!!

    Also, life begins whenever you start living it. Maybe “they” just mean that people get caught up in other things and most of us realize, at 40, that we’ve got a lot of living to do. In any case, who cares! Happy Birthday and Engagement and maybe happy February too, while I’m at it. 🙂

  • January 29, 2014

    john

    Congratulations on all counts!

    • January 29, 2014

      Steven

      Thanks a lot, John.
      I’m fairly sure you agree that life doesn’t begin at 40! You’d be 73 now, right? And you have lived everyone of those years to the fullest, I’m sure!

      Cheers, as always.

  • January 29, 2014

    kevin smith

    Great post Steve…..and congratulations to you both. Does the move mean you are slowly making you way back to the UK?

    All the best to you and Leslie.

    Bon adventure in Paris.

    Kev

    • January 29, 2014

      Steven

      Thanks mate. No plans to ever move back to the UK, but we’ll certainly be passing through from time to time. Leslie loves it there, even if I don’t. Looking forward to the upcoming fleeting visit, though.
      Cheers for the support.