This retiree has traveled alone to Bali, Iceland and Patagonia – ‘Women can live a full, vibrant life after 50’ – CNET – ApparelGeek

Monique Andre is retiring in her 40s, she hasn’t worked in two years and is exploring the world as a solo traveler and social media influencer on Instagram and TikTok.

With the handle @neveraroadmap, Andre, 54, offers insight into his explorations in Bali, Iceland, Patagonia and other exotic locations, as well as trips to the United States. She uses her savings to fund her exploration and plans her next step.

If she moves to Bali, she said she would no longer have to work. If she stays in the United States, she will need to come up with a plan to generate income.

But for now, she loves giving middle-aged women the courage to travel and explore, boldly and independently.

How did you enter this world of influencer?

I entered the world of influence by chance. I decided to create a TikTok page of my travels and received so many wonderful and not-so-wonderful comments that I felt my voice was needed.

Why are you doing this?

I do this to set an example. I want to show that the world is safe for a woman traveling alone and that we can live a full life after the age of 50. It seems that younger women don’t have many examples of older women living adventurous lives on social media and hope to fill the gap.

I feel like so many women, especially in America, have been led to believe that if they venture out on their own, bad things will happen. I can’t guarantee anyone’s safety, but I can be happy, healthy, and live life to the full while being treated kindly around the world.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

It’s funny you ask me that question, because I believe that’s exactly when we lose our way of who we really are. Isn’t “being” enough? We are human “beings” and not “doings”. In theory, this is the question that I believe leaves us potentially unsatisfied. The concept that we are not already something and that we have to “be” something/someone else when we grow up.

But to answer your question more simply: National Geographic photographer.

How old did you think you were “old”? What do you think now?

I’m not really sure I ever had any idea of ​​old age. My German grandmother was old in age and looks, but she was always topless at the beach in the Canary Islands in her 80s playing bocce while I was a visiting teenager. My 70-year-old mom moved back to New York, slept on a friend’s couch, and got herself another job because she was bored with her retirement in Florida. I don’t remember ever thinking of someone that old. I remember thinking that I could wait to live. I always wanted to be older. I don’t think my mind and age combined until I was 40. I don’t think I was ever meant to be young.

Do you have a to-do list? What’s on it?

I finished my bucket list at 40. I was worried about the number of terminal illnesses. I felt like I never wanted to be on my deathbed saying, “I wish I had.” The only thing at that time that I would have been sad to never have seen was Africa. I went that year for two months and to five countries.

Now, I would say I would love to visit Mongolia and go dirt biking while tent camping, but that would be fine if that didn’t happen. I feel quite fulfilled in life. I’ve raised a wonderful son, had great loves, a wonderful career, and I feel like I’ve been on a bonus round ever since I finished my to-do list. Everyone in my immediate circle knows that if I die tomorrow, I’ve lived a full life and done everything I ever wanted to do.

Who was your role model(s) growing up?

I don’t know if I had specific role models, but I had a feminist world of empowered women forging their way. They have been portrayed in the media. I was born in 1968 and the 70s-80s seemed filled with women doing their thing. I had Leakey’s angels – Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey and Birute Galdikas. I had Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes. I had Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, Laverne & Shirley and Mary Tyler Moore on TV. It just seems like those years were filled with celebrations of strong, capable women.

What’s the best thing about middle age?

The attitude of giving nothing. Honestly, I don’t care what people think and I feel so in control of my life. I feel beautiful, happy, sexy, intelligent, powerful and I don’t hesitate to say it and to feel it. When I was younger, I allowed others, my relationships, and my work to make me smaller. They demanded that I be someone who wasn’t really who I was on the inside. Now I feel empowered to chart my own path and accept nothing but the full extension of myself.

What’s the worst?

I would say the worst thing about aging is that the physical body breaks down. I have ailments and they irritate me, but the good news is that I take care of my body with tenderness and am more aware of my limits.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about quarantine?

This quarantine is not dynamic and happy. I find this to be my most authentic period. I found my 20 was a bit off. My 30 years to raise children. My 40s on career and family, and now my 50s, I feel like that’s it for me. I’m in a very selfish phase and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

How do you want to die? In your sleep or dive into the cliffs or….?

I am not sure. Just happy! Sleep is good. I prefer not to crash, so probably not cliff diving, but if I die in an accident doing something that fills my soul, I’m fine.

What is your biggest vice or bad habit?

I start every morning with a big cup of coffee and because it’s so important to me, I even travel with my own collapsible kettle and instant coffee so I don’t have to wait for restaurants to open.

Where is your happy place in the world?

I don’t have a specific location, but I’m happiest among kind people, places with good energy and beautiful views.

The places seem to fit what I need at different times in my life. Tanzania with its people and wild animals was one of my happiest places. The Colombian dance with abandon with the youngsters was also amazing. Iceland connecting with myself and the breathtaking landscapes. Bali for its spiritual energy.

Sometimes the harshest places, like Patagonia, bring a different kind of happiness. The guy I’m glad I survived. When high winds and rain hit me on a trail hours from shelter and I keep walking on it, I feel such a rush of strength that I can only be happy with my personal resilience in the face. inside of my suffering.

The best advice you’ve ever received – and who gave it to you?

I would say it was my dad and it wasn’t so much advice, but a thought he put in my head when I was 18. We were on a walk on the beach in Miami and I asked her what her favorite age was. He said if he could stay one age forever, it would be 50. It was mind blowing to me at the time. He felt he was still physically fit, he had money, he had learned enough life lessons, and he just couldn’t think of a better time. Because of this innocent question, I’ve looked forward to turning 50 all my life.

What’s the best and worst thing you’ve ever done with money?

The best thing I’ve ever done with money is invest it. When I was 23 I put $10,000 into an annuity and with all the ups and downs of the market it grew to over $100,000. I have other investments in the market and a house, so without much effort I was able to find financial freedom even though I never made six figures.

I always came from a mentality that money is easy to come by, so even if I had financial difficulties or got into debt, I never worried about it. I spent my money as I saw fit and I can’t think of anything I regret.

(This interview has been edited for space and style.)

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This retiree has traveled alone to Bali, Iceland and Patagonia – ‘Women can live a full, vibrant life after 50’ – CNET – ApparelGeek

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