Skip to main content

Scott's 80s BIO

Scott's 80s Biography

No 'good' PIKs at 84; just PIK .. sorry


"I'm looking for
loopholes." -W.C. FIELDS,

"Turn me over-I'm
done on this side." -LAWRENCE OF ROME,

“Travel is not a reward for working, it’s education for living.”   Anthony Bourdain

Table of Contents

quick links to Scott's Bio sections

I. Benchmark Boundary

II. Biography Introduction:

III. BIOs Decades: 1>>8

  C. 40s.         [jlk:~~]
       1. My horse, Russ & dog, Misty
       2. Real Estate
       3. Travel & Adventurers:
            a. Oregon Trail
            b. Jilted roadtrip
            c. US/Canada roadtrips
       4. Scott’s Garage Door business
       5. Teacher

    A. Pre-teens:  [jlk:~~]
    B. Teens     [jlk: AAgeG: 20s]  
    C. 20s        [jlk: AAgeG: 20s]
    D. 30s       [jlk: AAgeG: 30s] 
    E. 40s        [jlk: AAgeG: 40s]
    F.  50s         [jlk: AAgeG: 50s]
    G. 60s+.     [jlk: AAgeG: 60s]

By early 80s my hope that I would fully recover from highest level prostate cancer and continue foreign travel had been completely dashed: incontinence, & declining strength -- but I was alive.

OTOH, the cancer seemed in remission, and I had 30 years of domestic & foreign travel videos that I had made expressly to watch in my rocking chair years; expressly so I could re-live not only what I had seen, but equally important, my spoken commentary on each video as I filmed. My 30 year TIME MACHINE.

YouTube videos: I made my videos when there was no practical, free method of publishing videos to the world. Google's Youtube provided that unforseen 'miracle' and what I never imagined being able to do, was now free & relatively easy to acomplish.

Since I was going to watch all my videos for my own pleasure anyway, I thought I might as well edit them for Youtube.  I began to slowly edit my videos & install them on my Youtube Channel <@scottsolotravels>.

Website:   At Scott's Solo Travel website <@scottsolotravels> Reviewing & editing my videos I realized there were writings & research resources I had acquired for each trip that might be of value to those looking at the videos, so I: ...
       a. Initially wanted a website as a simple, limited repository for extraneous research & support documentation related to my Youtube videos
       b. but my videos kept exposing my extensive detailed travel knowledge that I realized might aid & inspire other travelers or wanna-bes at all ages.
       c. I was not plagiarizing other travel websites for travel ideas & knowledge on which to base by blog's content. (I try to disclose when my info is 2nd hand.

      d. Authentic Personal Anecdotes popped up constantly in my mind, illustrating & validating the authenticity & accuracy of the travel knowledge I was espousing. 

Competitive Travel Websites:  Compared to many other 'Travel' websites/blogs that I reviewed, I offered significant beneficial advantages:
   a. My website is Non-Profit so no hyperbolic, unethical click bait social media & SEO promotion.
   b. No blizzard of ads blocking content or distracting reader from content they seek.
   c. No phony travel advice tied to a profitable sponsor.
   d. No financial benefit to me if you use my website or YouTube Channel
   e. Travel content is much broader & deeper than 'any'(?) "How To Travel" website or blog.
   f. My travel Resources content focuses in depth on  --
       a. YOUR physical & money travel safety 
       b. pre-trip & travel health safety
       c. a few detailed equipment modifications
       d. itineraries: past & unused -- that anyone could copy, edit & modify for their personal use as a huge time-saving itinerary template for their own researched itinerary.
       e. my personal decade-by-decade biography, acompanying each decade's evolving Wings & Anchors complemented by important 'life' questions that each changing decade prompts about our lives as well as travel. 






My Universal
Wings & Anchors definitions
& a few 'life' questions

Wings: ... are positive basic personal traits that all humans inherently have. Recognizing & capitalizing on those traits can beneficially improve our lives.

For example: Our fear & curiosity together protect & improve humanity's quality of life. 

Anchors:  ... are factors that have positive or negative effects on our lives, if we choose to identify, understand & manage them. IF we understand & manage them prudently we can improve the quality of our lives. If NOT, we can damage that quality.

A clear understanding of this Wings & Anchors concept can bolster the quality of our day-to-day choices & for decades to come. For example:
   -- a career choice in your 20s is critical, but not
       so much in 60s.  
   -- foreign travel, impractical for teens, may be
       'essential' in 60s.
   -- financial literacy almost ensure worry-free
       60s retirement.

Life Questions: 
    1. Do I have the right to control & plan my life?
    2. Should I tentatively plan my life?
    3. Can Scott's Biography help me compare & plan my future?
    4. Does Scott's Biography expose life's potential success & risks?



40s/50s Challeges & Oppportunites

This synopsis is necessarily longer than other decades because: ---
    1) it applies to both your 40s & 50s in varying degrees, and
    2) in 40s/50s you might modify your 20s/30s plans & also, agressively plan your 60s-80s ‘golden years’.

Life crises occur in all decades, but peaks in 40s with notorious ‘mid-life crisis’ which can run into your 50s.      

Let’s look at key factors:   
    1. Self-Evaluation & Reflection: (empty nest): The compounding unavoidable burdens of 20s / 30s family & work* AND the burdens of your 40’s (college children, mounting debt, career burnout, or aging parents) may be stressing your body & mind forcing an unavoidable 40s /50s reflection & self-evaluation on your life’s achievements & goals so far AND your future.

This ‘self-introspection’ may reassure you or frighten you.  If re-assured,  then blast on forward looking for opportunities & experiences that can enhance your life even more.      BUT, If frightened, you may question the “meaning or purpose’ of your entire life.”

You may challenge past decisions & missed opportunities, feel ‘trapped’ in an unfulfilling marriage or stagnant career ... not having met your personal or professional goals. This mindset may create symptoms of failure, regret, sadness, depression, irritability, anger, resentment, anxiety (children’s well-being and safety), guilt, loneliness, emptiness, and lack of direction.

Familial (parents/peers), societal & cultural pressures may foster inadequacy, guilt, duty, and weigh heavily forcing you to challenege, evaluate and finally accept or reject such pressures.         It is your life, not theirs. 

Anecdote: My mother belittles Dad: During our end-of-life-talk, Dad told me that my mother who had ONLY a typing class belittled college-educated Dad's lofty Eastman Kodak vice presidency success. IMO, her phony personality deterred his advancement.

Fortunately, if you can muster the courage to face your "introspection', its ‘negativity’, if any, can fuel a powerful motivation to ‘make up for lost time;  to search for & take new life/career directions.

AnecdoteLaw school. Really?: When I was 34 years, my wise, young girlfriend challenged me, “ If you have such wise, strong convictions, ‘put up or shut up’ and become a lawyer. That's a ridiculous idea, of course...😀.. 3 years later, I finished law school, past the bar 1st time, & opened my solo criminal & real estate practice. My self-worth & esteem had demanded this effort. She changed my rudderless life. Thank's M'Lady.   

At 39+, working 6 days a week & 'thinking' law' 24/7/365, I realized I did not want 25 more years of that responsibility's pressure, my fancy suits, my expensive sports car & my là là beach-life.  I quit law & California for Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a more manly lifestyle. Two bold decisions that added immeasurable value to my life experience.                                            You only live life once.  [pplk: version/insight]

    2. Relationship Changes (empty nest): 
Eminent empty nest fears of loss of purpose or identity may cause sadness, depression, irritability, resentment, anxiety (children’s well-being), guilt, loneliness, and even some physical symptoms. 
                        Yet, ‘bird’ parents ‘just fly away’ to foreign lands.    

That “empty nest’s reduction of family & financial burdens can expose a whirlwind of brand new opportunities borne of the freedom to explore all options set aside during 20s & 30s. Partners may have conflicting visions of their future & marriage which may require either a conscious re-boot of their relationship’s core attractions to re-establish a deeper emotional connection or risk a "gray divorce.”

You can't outwit fate by standing on the sidelines,
placing little side bets about the outcome of life…
If you don't play, you can't win. Judith McNaught.

    3. Gender Differences:

          1) shift from primary caregiver to more supportive & guiding roles,
          2) careers shift from employee to:
              a) leadership roles,
              b) start own business, or
              c) totally different career or relationship direction (divorce).

Such basic shifts may alter your work-life balance; increase importance of your professional identity; increase your self-awareness, confidence, and assertiveness; lessen your willingness to conform or compromise on your needs & desires; & demand for more freedom to pursue new challenges: world travel, writing, etc.

Anecdote: Julie, an overweight and sardonic court clerk Court Clerk simultaneously caring for her long-term, terminally, ill husband. after his passing, she immediately retired. I met her several years later: trim, and vibrant. She had been traveling the world.                                                                    You go,  girl!!

     Men: … may suffer regret, anxiety, and a sense ….
          1) of loss of youth, virility, manliness and desirability
          2) of having ‘missed out’ during their duty-bound 20s & 30s
          3) that ‘time is running out’ to experience those lost opportunities.
          4) of need for more reassuring intimacy to offset lower sexual urge.

Such intense emotions may lead to sudden impulsive lifestyle changes, (quitting career, divorce, young girlfriend, expensive car, etc.) OTOH, it can spawn an intense & sober search for new directions & purpose in their lives. 

  Anecdote (urban legend): A young wife works to put her husband through med school, only for husband to divorce her for a younger woman & more showy lifestyle. Ironically, both sex's high 40’s & 50s incomes may make a ‘gray divorce’ easier because both partners can be financially independent.

    4. Health/Mortality Awareness: Our natural aging’s health issues, physical decline, loss of parent AND life choices & success regrets often conjure up a specter of ’a wasted life’ AND a murky road to ‘mortality’s death.      

While most roll over & give up, others jump-start a PUSH to accomplish something; a committed quest to make the most of the time before you die. That's good!

"When one door closes, another door opens;
but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us." Alexander Graham Bell

Anecdote: My father's death when I was 55 & my very best friend, Mary Mead’s death a year later kicked my ambition into high gear.

"Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them."William Arthur Ward

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl,
but whatever, ~~ you have to keep moving forward.” —Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    5. True Intimacy: Having weathered Mother Nature’s sex-driven 20 & 30s marriage, career & child rearing traumas, & burdens, now, finally, you can appreciate the value of a deep, interpersonal male-female relationship that is volitional rather than duty-driven.

 Anecdote: me: In my 20s and 30s Mother Nature obsessively drove me (wasn’t MY  fault 😇) to have sex with beautiful women. I suspect a combination of ego & possessiveness. I don't believe I was ever capable of a truly deeply ‘loving’ relationship.

In 40s & 50s you may have to correct 20s & 30s decisions AND
for your 60s thru 80s+.

My 40s Bio

                B. Biography                                Questions

                                Deeper dive, ... more context.                                                       Questions to ask me or  yourself.


At 39½ I left my 30s and Manhattan Beach, California for Jackson Hole, Wyoming for several reasons:
    1) to escape the pleasantly, non-challenging, numbing 'la la' vibe of Manhattan Beach, California.      A lifestyle many would crave.
    2) to escape the future probability of a 25-year, 24/7 high pressure, constant grinding solo law practice.
    3. to seek a more manly lifestyle, far from the fatuous lifestyle of Manhattan Beach, its Strand biking & bars.
    4. to gain the freedom to push new boundaries of experience & adventure although I didn’t know exactly what.

I was escaping from Manhattan Beach as much as I was running to Jackson Hole. It was perhaps the most important decision of my life, but I did not know that then.

When I arrived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming months before my 40th birthday,
I would have 5 future experiences I could never have imagined just 6 months earlier.

    1. buy my own horse & wrangling (leading) Dude Ranch guests on overnight horse pack trips into the Grand Teton Mountains,
    2. designed & built a large log house,
    3. Start Scott’s Garage Doors: selling, installing & repairing garage doors.
    4. solo hike the Teton NP's Crest Trail. (Note: Kid’s play for many, was a scary challenge for this ‘city born & bred’, desk-
        pounding 40 yr old). 
    5. college, … again .......


I. My 1st horse, "Russ" & dog, "Misty"

Once in Jackson Hole, I soon bought an old rental property to live in & remodel, a home lot on the Snake River and  began researching horses & western gear.


Anecdote: Learning to ride: I had occasionally ridden pay & pump dude horses in Griffith Park, LA  and ‘thought’ I could ride. My home property bordered the R Lazy S dude ranch with direct access to Teton Nat’l Park along the Snake River. I wanted a horse.

I bought a beautiful sorrel-cutting horse (rejected) from Dan Mortensen,a respected, trusted horse seller.  On my test ride, riding Russ, the horse, was like riding a cloud. But after my ride, Dan said, “Scott, that is too much horse for you.” But I respectfully insisted and bought him anyway.

At home, Russ & I went for our 1st ride. About a ¼ mi down my road Russ stopped and refused to move forward no matter what I tried. He would go back, but not forward.

I called Priscilla who teaches young RLazyS ranch guests to ride and asked her if she would give me a few lessons. She spent an hour or so with me and I went back, saddled Russ, & started our 2nd ride. Never again had a problem once Russ realized, “Yikes! He knows how to ride"

Soon I volunteered to wrangle summer R Lazy S Dude Ranch guests on overnight pack trips up onto the Teton’s high country Crest Trail.

Oh, the hours, days and years Russ & I spent riding the Teton National Park’s south trails & a few dude ranch overnights.

Anecdote: Wrangling in the Tetons: I can still remember shepherding ‘ranch dudes’ up a steep canyon trail into the Teton Mountains, decked out in my simple, authentic cowboy costume & a plain, but high quality, working cowboy’s saddle thinking … , “ A year ago I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined I would be here doing this.“

Sad Note: Years later, a ranch person I had left Russ in the care of, left the ranch gate open and Russ was struck by a car & put down. One of my life’s saddest several days. I loved that horse.


In spring I bought a well-bred female, black labrador, which I named Misty. I can still remember that little black bundle nestled next to my leg as we drove home that day. I loved my father, but I've never had a human or other animal that I loved more than that dog.

She and I were constant companions: she slept on my bed, rode in my truck's front seat, and waited patiently nightly until I tossed her my empty Häagen-Dazs chocolate cup.

Anecdote 1: Trail riding trio: When she was young she ran through the woods beside Russ and me on our rides on quiet south Teton NP trails alongside the Snake River. When it looked like she was getting too tired., I'd reached down & picked her up, placing her on the saddle until she was antsy to race off again.

Anecdote 2:  Cold cross country nights: We slept under the same blanket on bitter cold nights in my Subaru traveling across the country.

Anecdote: Animal stalking: Silently hiking Teton NP's off trail forests, if I or Misty spotted an elk or bear, I'd call Misty softly to my kneeling side as we watched for a while before moving on.

Sad Note:Again, sadly, too few years later, I contracted a horrible body rash ofhuge, thick hand size welts that migrated across my body/face/scalp all day long accompanied by great emotional anxiety. ( I show a PIK NOT to gross you out, but so you can empathize)

After all the allergy tests the doctor said I was allergic to Misty. I tried 'gutting it out'  it, but it was too horrible. Finally, I asked my friend Dan Mortensen, to arrange a for Misty to live with a small ranch family living up in park. I delivered her there one afternoon and tore myself away. Even now, I cannot avoid the tears.

The bitter irony of losing my horse, and Misty was that I began to believe that the gods would ,. .."give me nothing that I might love, that they wouldn't soon take away. "Interestingly, this probably made it very easy for me to avoid all romantic relationships sometimes in my latter 40s onward.


II. Real Estate:  (jlk: ?s below)

A. Old rental property:  At 41 I bought bought an old 3 unit rental property to live in & remodel which I still own debt free; still generating cash flow.

B. My Log Home:  On JH arrival, I bought a home lot in Yodler Subdivision nestled behind the RLazyS Ranch with direct west views of Jackson Hole Mt. Resort ski area, long north views of Grand Teton Mountain, and ¼ mi hike access along Snake River into Teton National Park.

At 42 or 43, I had designed & started building a 2800 sq ft ‘native’ log cabin on my lot. Other than the logs themselves, I did or participated in the building’s entire construction. Ironically, it was too big a job requiring too much cash flow and I didn’t get it finished before I sold years later to the wealthy.


III. Adventurers

By my mid 40s I began seeking more demanding outdoor adventures at least at my skill / fear level.

Anecdote: Fear: Once I asked my lawyer friend if he was ever frightened before he began a trial. He responded, "After I had been on Vietnam War’s front line knowing I could be dead a minute later, not much has frightened me since.”

Surviving such risk solidifies your confidence, self-worth & self esteem.    I think most of my solo outdoor adventurers were, in part, driven by the need to TRY to face a similar risk that would help elevate my confidence & self-worth.

    A. Teton Crest Trail hike in Grand Teton NP. (Note: what is/was kid’s play for many, was a scary challenge to this ‘city born & bred’ desk-pounding 40 yr old)

Anecdote: Young bear encounter: After my 1st solo night camped along a stream I fished dinner from, I was following the trail out of a ravine when a young black bear ambledacross my path 40 yards ahead. My 1st thought, “Isn’t it cute.” My 2nd thought came faster. Mother bear’s have an instantaneous explosive 'cub-danger' reaction. I was scared. I backed up to a tall stump, dropped my pack and shinnied up about 10’.

Only later as I gained skills would I realize that:
    1) Teton Park black bears are generally non-plussed by human hikers, Grizzly
… not so much.
    2) mom could easily have plucked my off that stump like a over-ripe apple.
                                Things were getting ‘manly” real quick.


    B. Oregon Trail:  At 45, road-tripping around Wyoming,  I became enthralled with the Oregon Trail’s history as it wound across Wyoming. I intensely studied books & old trail maps etc. Then, traveled its Wyoming length in my Roadtrek RV van following the original Trail’s faint 2-tracks & dirt roads across ranch lands sometimes building little rock bridges for my van to cross a creek. Sleeping in those remote boondocks trying to commune with THAT heroic past.

Finally, I opted for a more authentic experience: I would solo horse-pack ride across Wyoming’s Oregon Trail. I rented 2 horses  (Russ had been killed) that could easily be ridden or packed the ‘owner assured me.’ Borrowed the required horse panniers & assembled the gear I needed. Dan Mortensen taught me how to load a pack horse. I even cached supplies along the way beforehand, just in case.    I would do the entire route in multi-year 4-day chunks from Wyoming’s east border to its Western Idaho border.

Anecdote: bucking horses & bnroken ribs:   In preparation, I quickly learned that one horse when packed continually let its lead rope get under the tail of my riding horse causing painful irritation. I figured I could manage that lead rope successfully.                      I was wrong.

Far out on prairie after a couple of days ride & a few minor bucking events, my horse exploded into a bucking frenzy with the rope painfully secured under its tail prompting both horses to explode.  Seeing no way of controlling 1800-2000#’s of frenzied bucking muscle, I literally dove out of the saddle direct to the ground landing between the horses & rolling out of their way.      Unfortunately I broke several ribs perhaps because of the full-day pack I always had on me in case I got bucked off on the open plains & horses ran off. 

After the horses calmed down, I walked them to the corral of a nearby abandoned ranch, provided water & feed, stacked my gear alongside and walked 7 miles out to a hiway motel for help.  Next day horse owner came for me & the horses.

In Jackson docs wrapped my broken ribs & a month later I finished that 1st part by mountain bike.

    C. Jilted solo roadtrip:  Roadtripping alone???: At 46, an ex-girlfriend jilted me 1 week before our planned ‘reconciliation’ camping roadtrip to British Columbia, Canada’s ‘Vancouver Expo 86’. After my early European return from my lonely Dating Game trip, it simply did not occur to me to travel alone.  But, hurt & indignant, I went alone anyway.    Busting Paradyms

The trip was fantastic: the Expo, friends visited along the way, hiking & site seeing en route, but most of all, … I really enjoyed that SIT (solo independent travel) ‘in-the-dirt’ travel mode;  the freedom & flexibility that would thereafter become so precious to me.

I NEVER felt loneliness again. Thereafter, I intentionally & happily traveled ‘solo' independently everywhere. (2 exceptions: 1) an old classmate’s invite to travel with 9 women through Indonesia (Bali) on our chartered restored luxury yacht, & 2) a Baltic Cruise with friends ... to prove I dislike cruises.

    D. US/CANADA Travel: Thereafter, throughout my 40’s, I summer road tripped western US & Canada’s West initially in my Chevy Suburban & later in my ratty old van. In winters I traveled thru the US Southwest ultimately living winters on my 38’ sailboat, Tulip, in Redondo Beach, Cal.    That was a mellow lifestyle.

Anecdote: Taking on water:  I bought a 36" sailboat in Marina del Rey and my knowledgeable sailor friend helped me sail it to Redondo Beach, BUT (with me there is always a ‘but’), ½ way down & a ½ mile offshore, I noticed the cabin was filling with water. Somehow between the emergency pump & me bailing frantically, we made it. Pure terror on my 1st sail.  NOTE: The water drain pipe had no ‘backflow valve’ & was siphoning water INTO the boat.

Winters traveling between Wy & Cal in my RV van, …  I usually took different N>S routes down the Oregon Coast or down thru the mid-west.  In summers usually long road trips thru America & Canada’s northwestern parks and Vancouver Island.

1999 Van roadtrip: Civil War Sites (Gettysburg, Antietem, etc), DC trip, Okeefenoke Swamp , FL paddle 


IV. Scott’s Garage Door business

Always searching for reassuring cash flow, I bought a faltering garage door business, which I named Scott's Garage Doors. For several years & into my 50’s I sold, installed & repaired garage doors & openers.  I had little competition because it is a narrow specialty trade dripping with danger from the powerful springs used to raise & lower heavy garage doors.


My Scott's Garage Doors working suburban. ... after years of hard labor & Wyoming weather.


In this rich man’s town I still did not feel financially safe. Yet, always what seemed to drive me at my core was the need to confirm my self-worth. 

    “…. & then there is  most dangerous risk of all – 
risk of spending your life not doing what you want OR
  betting you can buy yourself  freedom to do it later.”
                                                            Randy Komisar,  The Monk &  Riddle:  Education of  Silicon Valley Entrepreneur


V. Teacher

   A.  RV Van Catastrophe - kinda: 

Anecdote: catastrophe struck - kinda: At 48, cruising eastern Wyoming’s Oregon Trail sites in my ratty old 1978 RV van, catastrophe struck - kinda.

I felt a puff of dirt fly into my face from INSIDE my van while I was driving. Moments later WY’s super winds had blown the entire roof canopy off my crappy old 78 camper van spewing a blizzard of papers, personal effects & a stack of carefully hidden $20 bills across the surrounding Wyoming prairie ... Never to be seen again, at least by me.

Strangely, this experience shook up my life.  I drove back across Wyoming to Jackson Hole in my 'topless' van with a howling wind loudly banging a flapping piece of metal adding to the psychological stun of my experience.

Once again, I realized my life was drifting nowhere.  I sought advice from my lawyer friend & wife. What should I do now to gain a new useful direction? 1) join his law firm (he tried to suppress his laughter), 2) run for local judge, or 3) teach high school. I chose the latter.

    B. High School Teaching Certification.  At 49, I enrolled in University of Wyoming College of Education to get my high school teaching certification. Compared to law school, it was a relaxed, enjoyable learning experience, analogous to riding a rodeo bull vs basket weaving.

I spent my free time monitoring various 'fun' science classes AND exploring & hiking the Laramie, Wyoming region & back country areas. A year’s intellectual vacation: education courses, but the far more exciting geography, Roman history and monitoring’ various science classes. 








Wings & Anchors


In our 20s & 30s, we make critical career & marital decisions, driving hard to achieve our goals & shouldering our burdens … quite often including mounting debt. 

Entering our 40s, many of thoseresponsibilities may remain, yet we can see the “empty nest’s” redemption ahead on our horizon: free parent time, children have graduated or entered a trade, etc. 

Tho pending relief & a new horizon beckons, future opportunities & issues, perhaps ignored until now, should begin to ignite our optimism AND …  trigger a gnawing great financial warning. 

An empty nest offers free time for new pursuits (arts, hobbies, sports ), but adequate financial literacy & investments MUST be pursued to finance our Quality of Life vision, and secure a safe & pleasant retirement.  

Note: These 1st 3 “Wings” are are similar to what we discussed in pre-teen, teen, 20s & 30s BIO’s because they are, IMO, innate & natural positive attributes all of us have, but often get dulled by educational institutions, AND work & family commitments.

   1. Unlimited Intellectual curiosity: (...  leading to useful knowledge)
        Your Present Status: Has your career’s upward sweep or your children’s unbridled curiosity expanded your own curiosity giving your life greater vibrancy & compulsion to learn more of your world as your pending 'empty nest' offers the free time & hopefully, less debt.

BUT, if your educationally suppressed curiosity remains stagnant in deference to your brain-numbing addiction to the passive manipulative stimulation of Fox News, endless TV sports, etc.  you are squandering a human’s most precious resource — the excitement of the undiscovered.

A passive intellectual life is, IMO, an anesthetizing cop-out to ignorance. Harsh words? Yes, but am I correct? I am trying to wake you up before you waste your life’s opportunities. No reincarnation or 2nd shot here!!

Like most unhealthy addictions, you are in severe danger because the 40s/50s offers the last reasonable chance to revitalize your career, fortify a drifting marriage, advise your children's adult lives, invest for financial security & escalate your Quality of Life & satisfaction. 

   2.  Unconstrained imagination & creativity.
        Your Present Status: Your curiosity is the ‘drive force’ of your imagination & creativity.   If your career, marital & parental mind is always jumping with new ideas, pursuits & questions then you are mentally alive. You can easily aspire to Leonardo’s “Renaissance Man ideal pursuing all knowledge & experience: hobbies, sports, reading, American roadtrips and foreign travel.

OTOH; if you are ‘dead’ looking forward to the next social media injectionor MSM’s click-bait titillation, you're like a tree branch caught in a river’s side eddy … lazily, endlessly spinning, … going nowhere. This ‘head in the sand’ mindset can cripple your future’s tranquility & retirement’s financial security.

3. Self-worth & personal character traits:  
      Your Present Status: Hopefully your career, family & children’s blossoming success have continually strengthened your self-worth & esteem. *

OTOH, if your career or marriage has undermined your self-respect, or your kids have strayed, you must grab the horse-by-the-tail and face your situation. Either you muster the courage to establish or recapture YOUR self worth etc or you will continue your slow dull slide into eternity. 

Revile my blunt words if you wish, but I have already lived my life. My only challenge is that I motivate you to fully live yours. You can ignore my advice and no one else will know … or care.

Note: Character traits are acquired & enhanced by decisions YOU make in difficult moments.

* Self-esteem & self-worth:  
      Your self-esteem reflects your confidence in 1, 2 & 3 above
      Your self-worth (subtly different from self-esteem) reflects you personal belief that you are a worthy, good human being as reflected in your character attributes & work ethic.



In 40s most must juggle multiple responsibilities and financial pressures.
    1. Knowledge & Experience base: Ideally, you have continually added to your base practical knowledge, skill competencies & experiences hopefully aiding your career’s upward trajectory, marriage’s stability, & expanding your interests & 'financial literacy’s investment skills.

    2. Curated worthy, enduring relationships outside your career & kid -related exposure that will ease your future ‘empty nest‘ transition.

    3. Health Concerns: In our 40s overall health is generally good, yet, almost unavoidably, we notice our body functions, and perhaps mental functions beginning to deteriorate; not much maybe, but enough to be noticed —the proverbial ‘gray hair.’

Chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes often magnify in 50s if not wisely managed. (Note: My Type II diabetes was diagnosed at 52)

If wise, we more closely monitor our body’s well-being, proactively exercising etc to hold back the natural decline. If NOT, we ignore it, and settle deeper into our couch & Doritos.

Anecdote: Health/body abuse: Tragic irony, I have friends & acquaintances who passionately dedicated themselves to success & financially well being, yet knowingly, visibly allowed their bodies to deteriorate into degenerative obesity & its compounding complications. effectively squandered their health, undermining the very early retirement & foreign travel goals they worked so hard to achieve. So illogical, so insane so sad.

Anecdote: woman’s smoking & diabetes: A friend’s wife smoked constantly for years & openly ignored her diabetes therapy (pills), until too late, dying rapidly long before her healthier husband. Intentional suicide?

    4. Lifestyle complacency:   (jlk: )

In our 40s we are burdened with a peaking career’s long hours & greater duties coupled with similar increased family duties & maturing children while sandwiched between ‘aging’ infirm parents' care demanding more financial support & investing. You may figuratively cry out, "Enough is enough” & simply try to seek out some relief by simply coasting.

Ironically, you are also on brink of an ‘empty nest’ dynamic of 40s & 50s when your last child leaves home for college, start a new job, or move on their own, 

This is a risky junction because it can beguile you with the reward of relaxation & self-indulgence addictively lulling you into denial of aging’s future risks & opportunities.

So, are you trying to break new ground with new physical & mental challenges to stave off the FOMO prompted by a ‘mid-life crisis’?Have you a gnawing desire to explore new hobbies, interests, sports, reading, American road trips and ‘foreign travel’s unknowns?           It costs nothing to explore.

OR, have become too 'safe' in your secure, uninspired, passively titillating, curiosity-dead, MSM predictable lifestyle perhaps wishing no change. 

Your life, your right to decide. 

  5. Work complacency:  You may be either 1) lazily content with your job or career status, all your critical financial needs satisfied; devoid of further ambition, OR, 2) bored & antsy for more challenge, even a different field? (jlk: )

Anecdote: Fighter jet canopy: One day I was driving down an eastern WY highway researching the Oregon Trail, the howling winds rocking my ratty old 1980 butchered Ford van RV back n’ forth, when I suddenly felt a puff of dirt blow into my right eye. 

But before I could react the entire top of my van blew off, like the defective fighter jet’s canopy might do. All my papers & personal belongings stored in its overhead compartment plus a pack of $20 bills went flying eastward across the plains never to be seen again. The event fundamentally shocked me into re-evaluating the direction of my life.

This experience shocked my highly predictable & comfortable lifestyle with no ongoing demanding challenges. I spent the 4-5 hour drive back to Jackson Hole with the winds loudly flapping a loose metal piece in the entire open top. 




1800#s of bucking' ' dynamite somewhere on the Oregon Trail

Later at home, I pondered 3 options, 1) resurrect my law background by a) running for local judge or b) try to ‘con’ my best friend into letting me join his law firm (he chuckled respectfully dismissing that option) OR become a high school teacher to ‘put my money where my mouth had always been.” 

That fall I enrolled in University of Wyoming College of Education and the following spring I graduated with my High School Teaching Certificate later that year, I began teaching part-time and then full-time for the next 10 years.

    6. Financially illiteracy’s Investing: (jlk: finanmcial literacy)

Hopefully, you have increased your financial literacy and invested in real estate, stocks, etc, OR, you have remained financially illiterate. 

If financially literate you are constantly exploring personal finance initiatives (pay off credit card debt) & investment options (rental property, stocks, etc.) to enjoy & protect your retirement vision..

If still financially ILLITERATE having buried your head in the sand —: 1) content with your current standard of living in spite of rising taxes & prices & 2) willing to work into & thru your retirement years until finally becoming a burden on your kids?    

Am I too cynical, cruel & sarcastic?
You sure?

Anecdote 1: Bedroom rental: 75 years ago my Dad rented out a bedroom to a gentlemen to supplement our family's income.

Anecdote 2:  Tucson Sheriff Sergeant bought a laundromat which his entire family operated until kids paying for college.

Anecdote 3: me: 1) owned rental properties, 2) leased & remodeled a defunct laundromat, 3)bought antique oak furniture along NY & PA border, restored sold in my laundromat and finally, 4) operated a small Home Handyman repair business.

    7. Intellectual complacency: Again, You are either:
    ONE, addicted to passive entertainment (manipulative MSM & redundant football) &  redundant free time chores (lawn mowing) OR, ….

    TWO, Your curiosity & ambition drive your thoughts & actions compelling you to:
        a. to seek the excitement of new knowledge (each Nat’l Geo mag, Curiosity Stream’s documentary VIDs), the arts (classical music, History on Fire podcast.AND American road trips thru national parks, small-town museums & historical sites. 
        b. to imagine foreign travel’s near infinite variety of amateur super-intense, unlimited exposure & exploration of our Earth’s culture, archeology, geology, and environments.

(Please remember, this is a travel website, after all!😀)

   8. Relationships: have curated worthwhile relationships that will continue to be enduring positive influences.




















“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
           Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”                 
                                 Omar Khayyám



























Important 40s Questions

At 40, What does YOUR future look like to YOU?

     Optimistic or uninteresting & frightening or are you in denial?

What would you TRULY like it to be?      

      Balance passionate pursuit of interests with financial retirement comfort or status quo.?

Career Questions:
1. Does your career fulfill your current & future ambitions & financial needs OR do you need more $ & a greater challenge OR a brand new career?   Have you ...
    a. defined your 'greater challenge' & begun the advancement process? (more education, pro-active w/bosses)
    b. calculated your retirement's financial needs realistically?
    c. considered alternative visions? (sell high value house for small condo & $ in investments, additional parttime $ work)

2. Can you guarantee a career change will be better or successful? Of course not. Everything is a risk /reward calculation.

 “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all -- the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”–  risk of spending your life not doing what you want on  bet you can buy yourself  to do it later.” - Randy Komisar, The Monk &  Riddle:  Education of  Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

3. Should Medical issues stop you? Maybe, maybe not.
       Anecdote: Handicapped kid travelers: At my Athen's hoste a group of 10-15 physocally handicapped kids were traveling.

4. Pets?
 Anecdote: AZ visits Arizona home briefly because aging eastern cat must be returned to. OTOH another pet jumps up and down with excitement when they arrive at the pet care facility. One apparently waits for pet to die the other lives their life.

Relationship Questions:

 1. Should you & spouse proactively evaluate your relationship? 
     Individuals are always assessing their relationship, but may not share their thoughts with each other which may strengthen or prompt disharmony. Mutual honest communication is the path to harmony, or not.

IMO, (bachelor) many marriages are endured, perpetually restricting and reducing each's ambitions,, increasingly LESS-communicative reducing the scope of each life to a small common denominator. Many result in divorce, I have met only a few that allow /promote the individual sphere of the other's ambitions/goals while simultaneously creating a sphere of common pursuit. 

Anecdote: A 'good' marriage: She is an authority on Native American music, he a medical pathology professor. She does 'her thing' while he does an Alaskan wilderness trip with others, but they share nature-related Yellowstone NP courses. They exude the ideal

   2. Is divorce a viable option? Of course, if necessary, but each should be equally accommodated financially. In my bachelor's opinion,  'marriage contract' is a legal construct, NOT an inherent, natural one,  designed to fulfill Mother Nature's 'need for the procreation of all living things


Investing Questions:     pplk

1. Does your career's income fulfill your current & future retirement financial needs?

2. Have you realistically calculated your retirement's financial needs?

3. Have you considered alternative income & financial visions?
    a. Less expensive lifestyle? (sell family house & buy small condo & invest balance; used cars for longer
    b. additional part-time work income to invest
    c. inexpensive SIT (solo independent travel)  
    d. Eliminated credit card and other 'bad'  debt


4. Is it too late to start investing?    
    a. can you become financially literate?
    b. Can you invest in stocks, relaets, indiex funds? (yes, if you pursue "a." above.)

Anecdote: Home property: In 1979 immediately after moving to Jackson Hole I bought 3 ½ acres of beautiful property for $65,000 on the Snake River looking north to the Grand Teton mountain & west to the Jackson Hole Ski Area. 20 years later I sold it for $1.25 million. Today it would be worth $3-5+ million.

Anecdote: Apple (AAPL) stock:  On 3/11/2010 I bought shares of Apple company at $8.01 which today are worth $168/share (2100% return.    "As America goes, so goes to stock market', Warren Buffet


Travel Questions: (This a travel blog after all 😃)

1.  Have you waited too long to travel?  Too old?

2. What, right now, could you do to start or plan domestic & foreign travel? 
     a. probe your travel passion, if any
     b. adjust finances: reduce expenses & debt costs, 
     c. plan a hypothetical trip pplk


6) finances: Anecdote: price of van's gas

Could I have left my rental propertty for a monmth or so at a time? 


“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”                 
                                 Omar Khayyám





Join my mailing list to get new content notifications.

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp