The Rise of the 50-Year-Old Adventurer

grace's musing


Have you ever thought about throwing in the towel and leaving it all behind to embark on an adventure of your own? This week our founder Grace Fodor takes a look at the increasing number of women in their 50s and beyond doing just that!


Many of us loved ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, the best-selling 2008 novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, about a former journalist who sold up her entire life and travelled across the world in her 30s to find herself.


The idea that we could start again, pick up and discover an entire world of adventure, free of the ties that bind is a seductive, secret dream for many of us - releasing us from the shackles of lives filled with domestic duties, work woes and the pull of other people’s needs.  


Seductive enough that you’d really do it, though?  And even more surprisingly – do it in your 50s, when traditional stereotypes say that women are winding down to a peaceful retirement?

 fear of flying

The answer for an increasing number of middle-aged women is a resounding ‘yes’.


In the 70s, it was Erica Jong’s ‘Fear of Flying’, the 80s had Shirley Valentine and the 90s brought Patricia McCairen’s story the ‘Canyon Solitude’ about a woman who white water rafts through the Rockies.


Following each of these books/films' success the number of women packing a rucksack (or a Louis Vuitton - I wish!) rose exponentially, until it's now almost a rite of passage.


We’re not scared anymore. We’ve had careers, raised families and bought homes – but few will say that that’s enough to fulfil us all. We still want adventure and as we enter our 'prime' years the urge to make a life about more than duty can be overwhelming.

eat pray love


We’ve earned the means, and the right to have it I believe, but that doesn’t stop some calling it ‘selfish’.  In a piece for the Independent, Charlotte Raven asked if this ‘mid-life crisis’ made women delusional, narcissistic and blinded by their own selfish needs.

Her argument is based on the idea that death will come-a-calling, so how dare we inure ourselves against it by enjoying one last hurrah on our own terms.

I say ‘who cares’.

We spend so much of our lives devoted to nurturing the needs of others (and will continue) – if we then decide to make ourselves a priority when the demands on our time should be less all-consuming – for however long we want – more power to us.

Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got a Balinese Yoga Retreat to book.


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