I am writing to you today from New Zealand. Travel can mean different things to different people and for me outdoors activities are often a part of my travel experience.
This week I am skiing in the Southern Lakes region.
In the final weeks of winter this is a land of a million shades of brown. A raw barren beauty with clear mountain water braiding through shingle river beds. The hills are covered with dark gold tussock and grass that looks like textured velvet from a distance, rising to snow topped mountains.
I am skiing with an interesting collection of women, each at different stages on their learn to ski journey, which has made me think about how women pursue their dreams.
My friend in her late 40s has decided to take up skiing this year and is exhilarated by the physical challenge and by being in the mountains – both very new experiences for her but she is determined this will now be a permanent part of her life.
My aunt is returning to skiing after many years and is showing great courage and determination to go back to the beginning learning to ski in her mid 50s.
I know how they feel because I didn’t learn to ski until my mid 30s and found it very challenging because you need to take physical risks to improve and that takes a certain amount of mental strength to overcome the caution that grows with age. Now I can whizz down the slopes and this year enjoyed the achievement of my first ‘black’ runs.
For all three of us embarking on this journey came after an upbringing that did not involve sports or outdoor activities. But we are proving it is never too late to embark on a new dream.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is my almost four year old daughter. I watched her four days of ski lessons with something like envy. As she learnt to balance on her skis and tried to make a wedge shape she is making the first steps in what I hope is a lifetime of ski and travel dreams.