When I was younger, I traveled a lot, and far and wide. I suppose it was a normal part of being young (indeed, I can’t imagine anybody who is young and growing who are not curious and anxious about exploring the world they live in). I’ve climbed mountains, dived in the ocean, flown, sailed, explored cities and countries, forests and the seas … And if reading and experiencing are considered to be part of travel, I suppose I can also proudly claim that I’ve done it and had it too, and not in a small way.
Now that I’m nearly fifty, my traveling interest has somewhat changed. Adventurous kind of exploration is no longer a priority. I still like and enjoy going places — in the literal sense of words. But it is no longer a huge source of excitement in its own right and I don’t generally pursue it like I did. My exploration tend to be more inward-looking and more spiritual now. I have become more interested in questions of existence and meanings: what I have done with my life, what I can still do and improve, what I can learn from it all, what heritage I can leave behind when the time comes for me to leave.
I still read as much, as widely and as avidly as it has ever been, of course. Reading is after all a mental and spiritual sort of adventure. Nothing has changed much in this regard.
I don’t know if what I am experiencing these days is typical of any middle-aged persons. I suppose it is (I can’t hardly imagine anybody whose outlook on life has not significantly changed in their middle ages).
This shift in outlook, however, does not mean that I have ceased to be interested in the worldly affairs of life. I still am. With the different perspective, however, and with experiences that I have gained over the years and through the many travels I have made, I have become more aware of things, more reflective — wiser and more patient if you will — and can see things in broader contexts than I used to.