Couchsurfing

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This past weekend was my first experience with couchsurfing. I was hesitant at first, but I LOVED it. I had such a great time! For those of you who don’t know what this is: couchsurfing is where people from all over the world who like to travel will open up their homes to travelers to stay with them and in return when those people travel to new destinations they will look up who is hosting in the city that they are traveling to and then stay with them. Through this process you gain references for your future travels…. But the best part is… You meet people from all over the world and lean about different cultures. You are able to make friends from everywhere.

This 1st experience of mine I researched the person that I stayed with in Chicago and he had a lot of references. I took a girlfriend with me so that I wasn’t alone. I played it safe!! The host we stayed with then told me that there would be a guy from Australia, a guy from Rwanda and two people from Indianapolis!!! That made me even more excited to stay there and meet people. I know that this is off the wall concept, but this is a great way to connect and meet people. It is a great community and they are all like minded individuals.

Europe- I plan to use this concept when I go backpacking through Europe in July- August. So this was a great start and I’m looking forward to more experiences such as this!!

Daddy issues? Reality check on dating older men

Things to keep in mind if you are dating somebody older than you, ( 12+ years of age difference) when dating older there are benefits as well as risks.

Typically I would write my posts gender neutral, but in this area of interest the statistics show that women are more often in this situation of dating older, as opposed to men.

Benefits: The person has had more life experience and has wisdom to offer you. They are typically more mature. They have seen the good and bad in life they Are generally established and know what they are doing in life as opposed to dating somebody in their 20’s who is still figuring out their life. They offer a sense of safety and security. They can fill voids in some sense ( some call it daddy issues but regardless, if it works for you WHO cares).

Lifestyle: A risk here is that they can be very set in heir ways. Many times when dating somebody older they expect you to drop your life and be picked up and dropped into their life they have set up. This may be a dream for some women….you get a man with a great job and a car and a boat and a house with land and a dog and everything is move-in ready. That is a beautiful thing and hats off to the man for establishing his life like that. But what if you want to live in a loft in a big city and he wants nothing to do with that idea. what if he has a dog and wants more and you dont like dogs…..” exit relationship here” KEEP in mind.. In a healthy relationship that is based on love, each party to the relationship needs to concede and be willing to make changes for the other person. If something as simple as changing which city you live in locally is going to cause an issue where the guy is unwilling to change, and if he isn’t willing to give up a pet to be with you ….is that really somebody you want to be with? I have come across this situation before and it is unfair for one person to drop their life to enter another’s …it should always be 50-50. I think that two people should want to build a life together and be willing to make concessions for the other. If there are more than 2 things you want to change about a person then you are probably with the wrong person. NEVER SETTLE

Health- LETS BE REAL- In the normal way of life with no traumatic events an older person will die sooner than the younger due to simple degenerative health conditions. Heart attack, stroke, diabetes etc. That being acknowledged you have to realize that if you are dating somebody 20 years your senior then when you are 60 they will be 80 if they are still around. Therefore it is KEY in dating an older man that he is willing to make healthy lifestyle choices to make sure he is in good health as he ages to be less of a burden to you. That is not a selfish thing to ask for. It is selfish if the older person that you are dating is not willing to work out and stay in top shape for you. That is the least they can do out of respect for you giving up the end years of your life withy partner to enjoy them in your life now. It’s going to play out to where you are taking care of your parents as well as your husband at the same time. ( this is not a negative…it’s a beautiful loving sacrifice- but it still has to be acknowledged or you will be in denial and quit the relationship early when you realize the expectations)

Finances. When somebody in their 20’s dates somebody in their 40’s it is obvious that the older person will be more financially stable and have more assets than the person in their 20’s. In most situations this is typically the reason for the relationship in the first place…and those relationships end early or are not truly satisfying. Men like to feel needed and they want to be the supporter and women like to be taken care of. This gets complicated when the women quits her job to be a part of this relationship and let’s the man support her. For the time period of the relationship this may work out well for both when both are getting what they need. You both get to spend time together and you can be the dream wife who has dinner on the table every night and meet all his needs as your full time job. BUT if the relationship ends 10 years into it and the woman has been out of the workforce for so long with no income or savings of her own it will be very difficult to be a part of society again. This needs to be discussed as a reality.

Children: Typically ,e in their 40’s have had children who are grown now. They are usually done having kids. This needs to be established before the relationship continues…..do you want your own children? Do you get along with his? If he already has his own then they will most likely not be ok with him dating you! I mean face it, if your dad came home with a girl your age, how would you feel? Lets be real…. There is a stereotype and there will always be judgement. You have to accept the fact that you will never be #1 in his life if he has children. They will always come first. That is how it should be. At the same time the man should never sacrifice his happiness because of a simple unapproval from the children. if that is the case then you need to move on for your own good and fall in love with somebody else who will treasure you and make you feel wanted in the midst of his circumstances. never let your needs be bypassed because of somebody else’s choices in life. Never sell yourself short. If the kids are grown and they have their own lives then it should be a non- issue.

Retirement: This goes along with finances. When dating somebody who is set up to retire in 15-20 years, this can pose a problem if you are both not on the same page. It can work out well if the man says that when he retires he wants you to retire with him and to not work anymore and then you guys can enjoy retirement life together. That would be best case scenario for the relationship. Sometimes if that is not the case where the man can financially offer that to you, then you will come into the situation where: you go to work 40 hours a week and you are stressed and tired just like any other real- life producer and you come home to a retired husband. He has done nothing all day and is stress free and making travel plans in his retirement dream living. This is dangerous territory. It can be easy to start to resent him. I have seen this many times. It is very hard when one person has several years till retirement and their spouse sits around drinking margaritas all day. It isn’t a typical lifestyle and that is a hard pill to swallow and it isn’t something that is thought through when starting the relationship.

Do you and the person have the same retirement goals.. That is HUGE! If the person you are dating or married to wants to move to California when they retire and you still have 20 years left at your job and you like the place you work at, are you willing to move jobs for the last part of your life if you have to continue working? All things that are difficult to think about but are a reality and need to be considered.

I’m just giving some common problems that I have witnessed and experienced myself. Dating older is a wonderful thing and I approve 100%. Most of my boyfriends have been 35-50 and I am 25 years old. I have learned a lot through the process and I have learned what really matters and have seen the realities of the end-goal. Just have fun with dating and make sure that younare both on the same page…..but realize that there are definite considerations to make if you see the relationship going further than a learning experience.

When you are ready to settle down…make sure that you are not settling!

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Whenever I get stalled in life and need to find direction or I lose heart or I feel stuck and alone I refer to my favorite Dr. Seuss book….

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. Your feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who decide where to go. You’ll look up and down the streets. Look em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains in your shoes full of feet, you are too smart to go down any not so good street. And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out-of-town. It’s opener there in the wide-open air. Out their things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. Your start happening too. Oh the places you’ll go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sites! You’ll join the high flyers who soar to high heights. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You will pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest……. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t. I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that bang ups and hangups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickly perch and your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a lurch. You’ll come down from the lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a slump. And when you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun. Unslumping yourself is not easily done. You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? You dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win? And if you go in, should you turn left or right… Or right and three quarters? Or maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind maker upper to make up his mind. You can get so confused that you’ll start into race down long wiggled roads to break necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdest wild space, headed, I fear toward a most useless place. …..The waiting place…….. For people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a yes or no or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for when to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps, for their uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a better break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. NO! That’s not for you!!! Somehow you’ll escape All that waiting and staying. You’ll find the right places where boom bands are playing. With banner flip flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winningest winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when I don’t. Because sometimes, they won’t. I’m afraid that sometimes you play lonely games too. Games you can’t win because you’ll play against you. ALL alone! Whether you like it or not, alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot. And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between Hither and Yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on. But on you will go though the weather befoul. I knew ago their enemies prowl. On you will go through the Hakken- Kraks Howl. Onward up many of frightening Creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you’ll hike. And I know you’ll hike far and Face up to your problems whatever they are. You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You Up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that life is a great balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never makes up your right foot with your left.

And Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! It’s 98 and 3/4% guaranteed KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So… Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali van Allen o’shea … Your off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… Get on your way!

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Backpacking Through Europe-

Backpacking Through Europe-

In July I will be going on a backpacking trip through Europe. I am looking for some advice from people who have gone before or suggestions from readers who live in Europe…any suggestions of places to stay, places to eat or places to see…even treasured cities to visit. Major cities/countries I will be hitting include. Dublin- London- Amsterdam- Belgium- Prague- Germany- Barcelona- Paris -Venice- Italy- Switzerland -Open to others as well. If you have any light to shed on the trip for me please let me know. I will be traveling with 2 girlfriends. we are flexible and spontaneous. 42 days long for the trip.