Writers Abroad Blog
The Next Big Adventure
Posted by Maggie Shelton

At sixty-one years old the question of what I want to do with the rest of my life pops up frequently. In my head, anyway. Maybe by this time most people already know this, or, perhaps theyre already doing it. Not me, though. Ive always been one to plan for the next adventure even as Im experiencing this one.

Our granddaughter looking out over Rosarito, Mexico

My husband and I are private pilots and have owned our own small airplanes for most of our forty-two years together. We began with a Piper Tri-pacer that we hand started by swinging the prop. In that we flew over the top of Mount Saint Helen one week after it blew, our two sons, ages two and three, sitting in the jump seat behind us. The image of that smoking giant surrounded by miles and miles of mud-slicked terrain with pine trees on their sides like toothpicks, remains firmly stamped onto my mind. From that plane we moved to Cessnas, 172s, 182s, 210s, and my own plane, a sweet little 152 that now lives in Israel at a flight training school. Oh yes, we keep track of them after we sell them, where they are and if theyre getting the attention they deserve. Planes are like children, or, in a different context, mistresses, in that one becomes emotionally involved with them.

Landing at Ensenada, Mexico

My husband Guy learned to fly helicopters when he went to Viet Nam in the early 1970s, and he brought the Flying Fever to our relationship. I saw early on that his passion for flying would either result in a separation between us or as a point of unity. So I got my own pilots license and the pictures of our planes rest proudly on the living room wall, nestled amongst all of the other family photos.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, we have a plan. We come up with them every decade or two. Our goal is to investigate the possibility of becoming you tubers. Vlogging. Were most familiar with Baja California in Mexico, the small peninsula that runs under California USA. We spent years exploring the small airports there, staying in remote and not-so-remote areas, and now were looking into the possibility of vlogging about it.

Guy, El Piloto

Weve set the end of this year to get the house in order, scan the photos, finish the family stories, get rid of extra stuff and pack away what well want in our old, old age. If all goes according to plan, it will go into a storage unit where we will keep the Tahoe and a travel trailer. This (huge) house will be sold and well take to the road for a year or more.

Of course things might go awry. Or off track. One of us might die, or get sick, or, or, or. When I was nineteen and Guy was twenty-three, he took a job with a military contractor to work for the Shah of Iran. We were posted in a hardship area on an Iranian military base. When my aunt, who had never left her state, heard of this, she was appalled.

How will you ever be able to save up to buy your own home? she asked, after several other what ifs failed to change my mind. That question decided me. If, I thought, my next adventure was centered around being able to buy a house my life was over before it began. We were definitely going.

Of course, carefully laid plans are not always a go. Life happens and I get that. But it gives me a definitive goal to do what needs to be done anyway. Clean things up for the next adventure, no matter what it is, is where my head is at these days.

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Monday, February 13, 2017
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