Fit for purpose

That’s an expression you will have come across in relation to goods and services, but I couldn’t help applying it to myself as a rhetorical question: “fit for what purpose?”.  I was thinking about an answer when I reflected on my recent travel activity – one that I had not planned for myself.

A couple of months ago one of my sons unexpectedly whisked me away on a rail and bus trip in northern Queensland. That little adventure turned out to be a bit more vigorous than I would have planned but I was surprised at just how well I coped!

I was chuffed but apprehensive when he carted me off. Had I planned it myself, I probably would not have been so adventuresome, so I was a little apprehensive at first. With my son as a great companion, we set off, had a great time – and returned safely.

I had been away on a solo cruise in the past year but since most other cruisers were partnered, I found mixing difficult and I was, unsurprisingly, quite lonesome. The escapade with my son just reinforced my view that a shared experience is far superior to travelling alone.

However, a more mature person like me travelling alone needs to do a careful audit before becoming too gung-ho!! Right at the start I know that the essential travel insurance for a 90-year-old person is likely to cost more than the trip! Any travel plan needs to be carefully researched and the physical risk aspects need deep consideration. I talk to my doctor before I commit to travel plans.

As we all move along in retirement our travel objectives and capabilities both change. Certainly, the obvious attributes to consider include our mobility, mentality, fragility, and physical restrictions. When we aspire to travel alone or even as a couple, we also need to consider the timing and seasonality (not to mention the cost!).

Despite all those obligatory alert notes and appropriate health-issue cautions, we oldies should continue to think positively and creatively about breaking the tedium of our day-today existence in creative ways. Sometimes, we have to accept that reading about travel (and other things, too!) has become our limit.

Perhaps a local bus rip might be enough to disturb the cobwebs! I took a local bus to my next-door suburb recently; did a little window-shopping, had a coffee, and hopped on the bus for a return home. See, I am adventurous at the local level, too!

Having a physical health and exercise regime is vital for our fitness, but having a positive mental attitude is just as critical! Telling yourself too many times that you could not cope usually translates into a self-fulfilling reality.

So be encouraged, stretch your life’s elasticity, away somewhere or locally, and remain ‘fit for purpose’.