Let the Adventures Begin

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I celebrated my 64th birthday last weekend. What a fun, if busy, time…experiencing 64 wild things for my 64th birthday over the last two months. Was it easy this year? No. I struggled to fit time into my schedule to complete the activities. Am I grateful that I did the birthday game anyway? Yes I am!

I managed four birthday update posts this year. Here is the final one, Let the Adventures Begin. What a great way to start the new year. Truly, I’m grateful for a January birthday.

Let the Adventures Begin title meme

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday

As a reminder, here’s how this works.

I listed and numbered 64 activities in my notebook. Beginning on November 7, I randomly selected a number, using an online generator, and then dated the chosen activity.

While there are some “wild” experiences on the list, I’m leaning heavily into adventures. My word for 2022 is adventure and I’m super excited about that. As I complete this wild year and embrace an adventurous one, this blend of birthday activities moves me solidly into a new year.

I created birthday posts to update what I did. And like last year, I didn’t write about every experience but highlighted some. I also note whether the activity is completed, in process or scheduled out.

Here are the final activities.

12/15/21 Reach Out to 10 Adventure Companies for Collabs (in process)

12/16/21 Create a Wild Woman Playlist on Spotify (completed)

Using Spotify is a fun way to create a playlist of songs. Some of the songs on my list include last year’s song, Girl on Fire, plus Eclipse of the Moon, Jaguar Dreaming and Earth Breath.

12/17/21 Design an Adventure T Shirt (completed)

I’m having fun designing tees and sending them to my daughter in law Megan to create! My little granddaughter Finley and I even came up with t shirt ideas for Christmas gifts to her parents. I appreciate Megan’s willingness to take my ideas and turn them into reality for me! Check out her Facebook page, MiliLou Styles. I’m excited to wear my wild woman and adventure t shirts this year.

Let the Adventures Begin tee
Let the Adventures Begin – design an adventure tee

12/18/21 Research Things to Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea (completed)

I’m excited about visiting this charming European style city in California.

12/19/21 Research Things to Do in Chicago (completed)

Chicago is an short plane ride from Joplin. I’m aware of the high crime rate, which puts this city a bit lower on my adventure list than other cities. However, it’s still a place I want to explore.

Let the Adventures Begin chicago
Let the Adventures Begin – Research things to do in Chicago

12/20/21 Email Pitch to Fort Lauderdale + Accommodations (in process)

12/21/21 Email Pitch to Boston + Accommodations (in process)

12/22/21 Eat at a New to Me Restaurant (completed)

While enjoying my getaway weekend in Springfield, MO, I ate Peruvian food for the first time, at Café Cusco. Read my review on Journey With Healthy Me HERE.

12/23/21 Create an Adventure Playlist on Spotify (completed)

Some of the songs on my  Adventure Playlist include Life is a Highway…this year’s song…plus I Lived, Castle on the Hill and Another Day of Sun.

12/24/21 Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Travel (in process)

12/25/21 Create Simple Christmas Décor (completed)

I cheated on this one. I created the simple décor before Christmas Day, knowing this activity would pop up at some point. Due to my schedule, I really simplified my Christmas decorating, relying on Decocrated items from the Winter 2021 Box and a few pieces from my own collection. I actually like what I created so well that some of the decorations are remaining up until spring!

Let the Adventures Begin decor
Let the Adventures Begin – simple Christmas décor

12/26/21 Create a 2022 Symbol Board (in process)

12/27/21 Email Pitch to Portland + Accommodations (in process)

12/28/21 Research Things to Do on John’s Island, South Carolina (completed)

I’m excited about this return trip to the Charleston area, scheduled for May. I have comped accommodations too, in an Airbnb on the island. While I’m planning a day trip to explore more in Charleston, the rest of the time I’ll enjoy the beauty of this island. One of the things I’m thrilled about seeing is the Angel Tree, a 400 – 500 year old Southern Live Oak with an impressive size and spread.

Let the Adventures Begin angel tree
Let the Adventures Begin – Angel Tree on John’s Island

12/29/21 Research Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale (completed)

Another of the cities on my adventure list, Fort Lauderdale shares my maiden name, Lauderdale. I’m looking forward to a visit here!

12/30/21 Email Pitch to Tempe + Accommodations (in process)

12/31/21 Research Things to Do in Seattle and Portland (completed)

I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest. I’m excited to visit both of these cities and explore.

Let the Adventures Begin portland
Let the Adventures Begin – Research things to do in Portland

1/1/22 Pick a City to Visit in Each of the 50 States (in process)

1/2/22 Try a New Tea (completed)

While in Springfield on my weekend away, I visited Chabom Teas & Spices on historic Commercial Street. What a wonderful shop to wander about it. It smelled amazing in there. I selected several teas, including Christmas in Paris from Stash Teas. It’s a flavorful blend of lavender, chocolate, peppermint and vanilla. How perfect for the holidays.

Let the Adventures Begin tea
Let the Adventures Begin – Try a new tea

1/3/22 Add Adventure Décor to My Home (completed)

This activity is also still in process. I added a beautiful “To travel is to live” fabric wall hanging, from the Decocrated online shop, to my bedroom using it as a covering over my double windows. I’m also working on a couple of adventure vignettes that I’ll share another time.

Let the Adventures Begin wall hanging
Let the Adventures Begin – Travel is Life

1/4/22 Enjoy a Winter Firepit Night (scheduled)

1/5/22 Full Moon Dance in the Backyard (scheduled with firepit night)

1/6/22 Email Pitch to Seattle + Accommodations (in process)

11/7/22 Email Pitch to Salem + Accommodations (in process)

1/8/22 Email Pitch to Providence + Accommodations (in process)

I’ve created an email template to use, when sending pitches to tourism boards in cities, and one for pitches to accommodations. I’m preparing to batch send emails.

1/9/22 (my actual Birthday) Read a Book about Adventure (completed)

Greg gifted me a book for my birthday, that is perfect for this activity, titled The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Charlie MacKesy wrote and illustrated this gorgeous book about the adventures of…you guessed it…a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse. The little group shares simple yet deep conversations and fun adventures in the “wild”, a place that represents life.

Easily read in less than an hour, the life lessons, however, remain forever. And the whimsical drawings and paintings touch the heart. It’s a delightful book that I’ll re-read every week and pick up frequently, to open to a random page.

Check the book out and order HERE.

Let the Adventures Begin book
Let the Adventures Begin – read an adventure book


The morning before my birthday, I journaled about the things I’ve learned the last decade. As I wrote out my thoughts, I realized how much I’ve grown. It’s a good realization to have, turning a year older, and hopefully a year wiser.

This is what I wrote:

Let the Adventures Begin words

It’s been an intense time of learning during the last ten years. And it began a few years before that, with much unlearning.

I claim my years…all 64 of them…and the experiences…all of them…that brought me to this place in life, right now, right here.

This is me. And this is 64.

I’m excited to see what I learn in the next 12 months, during this Year of Adventure, and where I go.

This is 64
This is 64.




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Creating Adventure

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With less than a month until my 64th birthday, I’m ticking off the activities on my list of 64 wild things to do. During this time between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, I’m delving deeply into adventure. This is good! Adventure is my word and theme for next year and this in between time is prepping me for the new year it seems.

I am creating adventure. How you ask? I’m breaking out of routines, thinking about experiences rather than material things, dreaming big, putting action with my dreams and learning that truly, adventure is everywhere. And, I’ll allowing myself to be guided, invited and inspired.

Check out the first post in the birthday series HERE, for an explanation of this fun, ongoing celebration.

Creating Adventure title meme

11/30/21 Have My Daughter-in-Law Create T-Shirts I Design (in process…I have one more shirt to design before Megan can create my tees.)

12/1/21 Email Pitch to Honolulu + Accommodations (in process)

12/2/21 Eat at a New to Me Restaurant (completed)

I completed this activity while on my solo getaway weekend in Springfield, Missouri. I chose Café Cusco, a Peruvian restaurant near my accommodations. My meal…vegan sweet potato noodle stir fry…tasted amazing! A few drops of their house hot sauce added to the outstanding flavor of the veggies and noodles. How fun to experience Café Cusco and Peruvian food for the first time.

Creating Adventure cafe cusco meal
Creating Adventure – Café Cusco meal.

12/3/21 Plan an Alleyway Garden (in process)

12/4/21 Watch an Adventure Documentary (not completed although I’ve selected “Expedition Happiness” to watch)

12/5/21 Reconnect with Tai Chi (in process)

Years ago, I took Tai Chi lessons with a local instructor. I loved those lessons in moving meditation….until my legs could no longer keep up with my desire to continue. Pain stopped the Tai Chi. Although I am healing, and no longer in intense pain, my legs remain more stiff than I’d like. One of my goals for 2022 is to strengthen my legs and create greater flexibility.

I expressed a desire to return to my Tai Chi practice. The next day, I received an invitation on Facebook from an instructor in the UK who offers free daily Tai Chi lessons. I accepted that invitation! Check out the page if you are interested as well.

Creating Adventure tai chi
Creating Adventure – Tai Chi

12/6/21 Research Things to Do in Providence, Rhode Island (completed)

Providence is on my list of 15 cities I most want to visit!

12/7/21 Research Things to Do in Tempe, Arizona

Tempe is also on my list of 15 cities I most want to visit. I discovered both Providence and Tempe while doing research for Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US. I fit the hipster definition well and feel drawn to exploring these fun cities.

Creating Adventure tempe
Creating Adventure – Learning about Tempe

12/8/21 Email Pitch to San Francisco + Accommodations (in process)

12/9/21 Send Thank You Notes/Emails to Inspiring Wild Women (in process)

12/10/21 Research Things to Do in Boston (completed)

This city is high on my list of places I want to explore! Historical Boston offers so many fun things to do. My list is long.

Creating Adventure boston
Creating Adventure – Boston

12/11/21 Create Adventure Artwork for 2022 (in process…this art represents my symbol for next year, the VW van.)

12/12/21 Email Pitch to Carmel By the Sea + Accommodations (in process)

12/13/21 Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights (completed)

It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed this seasonal activity. Greg and I drove to Carthage, Missouri on a mild evening, taking in the festive light displays there. I snapped a photo of a cute display on the historic courthouse lawn, then we walked through the light tunnel, off of the square. We also walked through Carthage Central Park. Thousands of lights adorn the trees, making it a magical experience.

Creating Adventure christmas lights
Creating Adventure – Christmas Lights

12/14/21 Do the 30 Day Instagram Reel Challenge (scheduled to begin January 1, 2022)

Reels are an excellent way to grow an Instagram account. I’ve been reluctant, however, to create them as consistently as I should. This challenge is a fun way to get me in Reel creative mode. You can join the challenge HERE.

Adventure is Calling

And I am answering that call!

Have you heard the expression that what you focus on expands? As I am focusing on 2022, my Year of Adventure, adventures are flowing to me. I’m an active participant in creating adventure by not just waiting for it to find me but by planning and taking action steps and also by remaining open to those surprise opportunities that arrive as invitations.

Additionally, I’m discovering that adventures are everywhere. Although I love international travel, I’m also exploring in my own area and enjoying those experiences.

I’m loving the Year of Adventure already.

What are you focusing on, for 2022?

Creating Adventure cafe cusco 2
Café Cusco, serving delicious Peruvian food.


Click photo to order shirt.



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Life is a Highway

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As I head toward my 64th birthday on January 9, the celebrations are well underway. Get up to speed with what I’m doing, with my post from two weeks ago HERE.

Every day I randomly select a number and than match it to my list of 64 birthday activities. If that number is already selected, I randomly choose another number.

Although I felt a bit reluctant to celebrate in this way this year, I admit it’s a fun way to honor the woman I am becoming and engage playfully and creatively with myself and the Divine. I’m glad I chose to proceed.

Check out which activities popped up for me during the last two weeks and hop on board my celebration vehicle. Life is a highway…and I’m going to ride it right up to my January birthday…and far, far beyond.

Life is a Highway title meme

11/16/21 Work Through the Get Untamed Journal (in process)

Talk about a “random” activity working out well…my Get Untamed Journal by Glennon Doyle arrived perfectly on this day. I dove right in.

Glennon’s book Untamed is crucial to my wild woman journey. I’m on my third read through the book. When I saw that an accompanying journal was due out this fall, I pre-ordered it last spring.

Subtitled “How to quit pleasing and start living”, Get Untamed contains excerpts from Untamed, fresh insights and questions from Glennon and pages for the reader to write out her own thoughts and realizations. I’m loving this journal so much.

Life is a Highway untamed
Life is a Highway – Get Untamed Journal

11/17/21 Wear My Hair Differently

If you’ve known me for long, you know I wear my silvery hair straight and long. I haven’t changed my hairstyle in many, many years.

For this “try a new thing” activity, I borrowed a triple barrel hair waver from my daughter. As she handed it over she cautioned me to not burn my forehead with the heated barrels.

I had fun creating loose waves in my long hair. The hairstyle reminds me of the 1920s when women crimped their hair. I wore my new style all day. And I did not burn my forehead…I burned my neck! OUCH.

Life is a Highway waves
Life is a Highway – making waves

11/18/21 Create a Vision Board for 2022 (in process)

11/19/21 Research Things to Do in Honolulu (completed)

One of my 15 cities on my travel list, Honolulu came into my awareness when it landed on the Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US list. I know I’ll enjoy a visit here.

Life is a Highway honolulu
Life is a Highway – Research Honolulu

11/20/21 Research Things to Do in Salem (completed)

Salem, MA has long been on my list of places to visit. I’m interested in the history and the stories, along with experiencing the energy there. As I research these locations, I’m realizing just how strongly cities call to me.

Life is a Highway salem
Life is a Highway – Research Salem

11/21/21 Email Pitch to Savannah + Accommodations (in process)

After I do the research for each location, then I’ll pitch the tourism boards and several accommodations in each city…when that activity is selected. So far, Savannah and Memphis are the only cities in which the Email Pitch followed the necessary research.

11/22/21 Email Pitch to Chicago + Accommodations (not completed yet)

11/23/21 Do an Adventure Challenge Activity (scheduled)

I’m taking my Instax camera and Adventure Challenge Solo Edition Book with me on my weekend getaway (activity chosen on 11/7) to Springfield, MO. I have that weekend booked for 12/10 – 12/12. I’m excited to share more about that trip later.

11/24/21 Connect with My Song for 2022 (completed)

Every year, a word/theme, symbol and song find me for the journey ahead. My word for next year is “adventure” and my symbol is the VW Van. The day of this activity the song for 2022 found me quickly, literally popping into my head full force.

Rascal Flatts’ song Life is a Highway is perfect to roll with me through a year of adventures. These lyrics caught my eyes and tugged at my heart:

“There’s a world outside every darkened door/Where blues won’t haunt you anymore/Where the brave are free and lovers soar/Come ride with me to distant shores.”

Life is a Highway 2022 song
Life is a Highway – Connect with 2022 song

11/25/21 Email Pitch to Taos + Accommodations (not completed)

11/26/21 Go on a Solo Day Adventure (planning stage)

11/27/21 Design a Wild Woman T-Shirt (completed)

What a great way to commemorate my Year of the Wild Woman! I enjoyed playing around with design ideas and coming up with a colorful and playful tee. There’s a second “design a t-shirt” activity on my list. And a “have my daughter in law Megan create the shirts” one too.

Life is a Highway tee
Life is a Highway – design a Wild Woman t-shirt

11/28/21 Email Pitch to Memphis + Accommodations (in process)

11/29/21 Research Things to Do in San Francisco (completed)

San Francisco is high on my travel list. Whether I visit that city next year or not depends on how the pitches go and how everything aligns. I’m open to these travel experiences and excited about visiting without being rigidly attached to when. For me, that’s part of the fun of traveling.

One Third of the Way to My Birthday

Unbelievably, I’m one third of the way through my birthday activities. It’s fun and it’s challenging. I like “going beyond” my comfort zone in big ways and these experiences take me there.

Plus, it’s beneficial for me to reach out to tourism boards and hotels. I’m a travel and lifestyle blogger. This is part of my job. I enjoy creating content for others that is helpful and beneficial for them as well.

What I’m finding is that as I reach out to people, others are reaching out to me. I love that outward flow and return of energy.

Life is a highway…and I’m going to ride it all night long.

Many compare the “senior years” to the sun going down…calling them the twilight years of life. You won’t find me sitting in a rocking chair, reminiscing about life. I’m riding the waves of life all through my long night. Someday, when a bright new day dawns, I’ll be off on a fresh and exciting adventure unlike any I’ve experienced before. But…not yet.

Life is a Highway san francisco
Life is a Highway – Research San Francisco


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64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday

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This season, from September 1 until January 9, is my favorite time of year. Not only do I love the holidays…Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas…my birthday is January 9.

For the third year in a row, I’m celebrating my birthday in a big way by enjoying special experiences leading up to the actual day…one for each year of my life. Although it’s fun to celebrate in such a way (check out last year’s activities), and I learn new things about myself and the world I live in, I almost didn’t participate this year. It’s a huge time commitment to squeeze in 64 extra activities as I approach my 64th birthday. I honestly don’t have the time for anything else beyond what I’m already doing.

However, as I contemplated skipping the birthday festivities, I felt sad. And sadness will not do.

So, this year, a bit of a compromise. I did list 64 wild things for my 64th birthday. Most are not new experiences. Instead, they are things I want to do and I’m allowing the random selection of when they are done to be the fun part.

Rather than write experiences out on slips of paper to draw from a jar, I’m using an online random number generator. And as I did last year, I’m not tying myself to doing the activity on the day it is selected. My goal is to do them all by my birthday…with the exception of adventures that will unfold over the course of 2022.

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday title meme

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday

Here’s how this works.

I listed and numbered 64 activities in my notebook. Beginning on November 7, I randomly select a number, using the online generator, and then date the chosen activity.

While there are some “wild” experiences on the list, I’m leaning heavily into adventures. My word for 2022 is “adventure” and I’m super excited about that. As I complete this wild year and embrace an adventurous one, this blend of birthday activities moves me into a new year.

I’ll create birthday posts twice a month, to update on what I’ve done. And like last year, I’ll not write about every experience but highlight some that I’ve done. I’ll also note whether the activity is completed, in process or scheduled out.

Here are the first activities from the past week:

11/7/21 Plan a Solo Weekend Adventure (booked in Springfield MO for 12/10 – 12/12)

11/8/21 “Shop” for a Vintage VW Van (completed)

The VW Van is my symbol for 2022, representing adventure. For fun I included this activity as a way to put my intentions out into the universe.

I discovered VW Vans, from the 60s and 70s, range in price from $5000, for a van that needs tons of work, to $150,000 for a fully restored vehicle.

The one pictured here is a 1967 model, for $79,900.

I can see me driving one of these on road trips!

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday vw van
64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday – shop for a vintage VW Van

11/9/21 Dancer’s Legs (in process)

I love that when I ask a question or put a request out there, I get a response. Next year brings adventures and big plans coming to fruition. I need my legs, which were damaged due to a car accident in 1995 and years of chronic pain and inflammation, to keep up with me!

I’ve been walking daily, to strengthen them. When I asked what else I could do, to keep my legs limber, flexible and strong, two things immediately came into my awareness…tai chi and this course from DailyOm…Dancer’s Legs.

Before my legs gave out on me, I practiced tai chi. I feel ready to return to this beautiful moving meditation. And although I had not heard of this course called Dancer’s Legs, it popped into my email and caught my eye.

This fourteen day course focuses on small movements that strengthen, tone and elongate the muscles in the legs. Taught by a dancer, this sounds like the perfect course for me. I have a very full week this week and I’m out of town this weekend. I begin Dancer’s Legs next Monday.

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday dancers legs
64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday – Dancer’s Legs

11/10/21 Research Things to Do in Savannah Georgia (completed)

Next year I have 15 adventures that I’d like to experience, in 15 different US locations. All 15 cities made my birthday activities list. As they are randomly selected, I am looking at activities, tours, accommodations, vegan restaurants, etc. and creating a section in my adventure notebook about each. Plus I already have trips planned for Gatlinburg, Tennessee and John’s Island, South Carolina.

For each city, I request a visitor’s guide and sign up for their email newsletters. I’m also ordering historic maps from Amazon for each location. See the one I ordered for Savannah HERE. Plus I create a Pinterest Board for each city, to keep info together.

Also included separately on my birthday list is to email pitches to the tourism board of each city and several accommodations for comped stays. This keeps me moving toward my goals as a travel blogger.

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday savannah
64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday – things to do in Savannah

11/11/21 Search for Adventure Related Hashtags on Instagram (completed)

Instagram is my primary source for connecting with brands and travel partners. I’ve focused on this social media platform for the past two years, learning as I go, and hashtags are an important component when posting.

I currently use 18 – 30 hashtags every time I post. This year I created lists of hashtags focused on solo travel and living life beyond the edges. For next year, my Year of Adventures, I’m including 10 adventure related hashtags.

On Instagram I don’t want to use hashtags that have high numbers…in the millions…because new posts quickly drop out of sight. I want under a million and over 50,000 with a couple under that number.

Here are my ten adventure hashtags:

#yearofadventures #adventureanywhere #adventurealways #adventureepic #adventureiscalling #adventureislife #adventurespirit #adventuremore #adventureseeker and #soloadventures

I save these on my phone where I can easily copy and paste to appropriate posts.

Join me on my adventures and follow me on Instagram, if you aren’t already! I’m always happy to return the follow.

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday hashtags
64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday – adventure #s

11/12/21 Create an Adventure List for 2022 (in process)

11/13/21 Shared Adventures with My Grandkids (in the planning stage)

These adventures will take place in 2022. I have six grandchildren. This activity has challenges. One grandson is living in Moscow, Russia for two years, getting his master’s degree. The youngest just turned a year old. The four in between are all teens.

I’m looking forward to the challenges though and sharing my love for adventure with each child. I’ll need to get creative sharing an adventure with my grandson living in Russia.

64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday grandkids
My oldest and youngest grandchildren.

11/14/21 Watch a Film or Listen to a Podcast Featuring a Wild Woman (completed)

11/15/21 Research Things to Do in Memphis, Tennessee (completed)

I just selected this one today and started by requesting a travel guide and signing up for info. I find these research type activities so much fun! Doing the research and then engaging my imagination before travel creates an amazing travel experience for me.

Headed Toward 64

I am off with a bang on the birthday activities for this year and happy with the way the experiences are flowing and/or lining up. I’m engaging my creativity and playfulness without overburdening myself, time wise. It’s a win/win. Truly, I’m grateful that I gave myself a green light to celebrate in this way.

Watch for an update in a couple of weeks!

64 Wild Things for my 64th Birthday


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.