Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Is anyone else feeling stranded?


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Nikola Sijan
(sijannikola) - F - M
Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 00:45:40 MDT Print View

I have found myself in the hardest period of my life, trying to balance between the things I see no exit from.
Being a fresh immigrant to Australia, I have started my life from the scratch. Coming from legal background which is not recognized here it was a hard blow to do the job I don't like with little chance to change profession in the near future since it brings much needed financial security.
On the other hand I am blessed with great family and little baby girl who turned 9 months couple of months ago.
Hiking used to be my choice of pressure relief. Not anymore. Now I often do 10-11 day work steak and go on holidays every second year to do my weeklong hike before 'go-and-see relatives and I family' cycle kicks in. Being accustomed to European mountains I find West Australian wilderness unattractive and pretty flat for my taste.
I often read and watch photos on BPL and find inspiration in them, but 2 year waiting period really drives me crazy. Turning 36 next year rings a bell that maybe the best years of my life are behind me unused to their full potential.
Finally, sorry for the rant its Sunday afternoon here and the thought of another week or more of work routine pops my dream balloon with loud bang in my head.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 08:04:12 MDT Print View

You are far from alone Nikola. How did you come to choose Australia?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 08:06:16 MDT Print View

I am in a similar situation to you Nikola due to the economic downturn in Europe,.

Edited by stephenm on 09/01/2013 08:06:47 MDT.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
Normal on 09/01/2013 08:43:17 MDT Print View

time to focus on the family and make the best of everyday no matter what your doing. At 48, my life has focused on taking care of everybody else for a long time. Maybe, when the kids are done with school, and the business is paid for, i can actually go on a long hike, maybe.

you are in an absolutly common and normal situation for 36.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
What you get out of life, or what you don't get out of life is entirely up to you... on 09/01/2013 10:28:12 MDT Print View

I have never been to Australia, but from what I have read and from the pictures I h ave seen, I would like to go.

Don't focus on the big expansive things in life. Learn of the little wild places near you. Go hike them, whether they are half day, one day, or longer hikes. I find wonderful places all over the US, places others don't see as beautiful. Focus on the little things in life that you and your family can enjoy. An ocassional dinner out, a movie, a good book, walks in the park or in the neighborhood, ride a bike around town together. Thrift stores are wonderful places to shop.

When I was a little older than you I worked a full time job, plus I owned a small home-based business, and went to school full time. I was also raising two young kids with my wife. I had a plan, and everyday I thought about the end goal. I could have felt stranded, but decided to enjoy each day. I found time to hike, and find time to spend with my family.

I live in a desert and have learned to love places that others see a baren, God forsaken places. Just need the right attitude.

36 is young, unless you let life pass you by. You don't have to let life pass you by, unless you let it.

Almost every week I am on a plane somewhere for work. Most people would not like being away from home so often. But I make it fun. I find places to hike almost every week. I have no control over where I fly, but I have a choice on what I will do with my free time once I get there.

"If you think you can, or think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford.

If you click on by website link in my profile, you will see many posts on finding the gems in life.

James Couch
(JBC) - M

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 10:30:32 MDT Print View

Nikola,

It does sound like a rough situation, but at 53 I can tell you that you still have many good years awaiting. Everyone is different, but for me, I am happier and more contented at 53 than I was at 36.

My primary outdoor pursuits are cycling and climbing. On the bike I am not quite as fast as I was at 36 (let alone in my mid 20s) but I can still keep up with most groups and enjoy it as much as I ever have. As for climbing, I can still climb at as high a standard as I ever have and have no problem keeping up with much younger partners. The experience gained in both pursuits have made them more enjoyable now than ever.

Enjoy your daughter and family. Your child (or children) will grow up faster than you can imagine. Both my daughter's are now grown. One of the greatest things about being in my 50s is that now my children are some of my best climbing and cycling partners. I regularly ride and climb with my two daughters and they are equal partners in any adventure.

Try not to despair, and keep yourself in good shape, you have many years of adventure ahead of you.

Best of luck to you, and hang in there!

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Feedback on 09/01/2013 11:43:48 MDT Print View

Great feedback from everybody ... awesome.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Time to disrupt the rut on 09/01/2013 12:05:23 MDT Print View

I think what you are feeling is normal. I'm 43 and I find that I have to take moments to reassess my life more frequently. The school year has started for my kids along with their sports. If I were to allow it, my life for the next several months would be this schedule repeated:

1 Wake up, eat breakfast, drive to work
2 Work
3 Run to pick up whichever kid needs to go to whatever sport, orchestra, etc
4 Eat Dinner
5 Sleep
6 Repeat

Weekends vary only that I'm doing some work around the house, going to hockey games, etc.

It's definitely a rut that I easily fall into and I have to keep myself accountable to not let life pass me by.

Things I do to get out of the rut.

1 Don't allow for work to be my first event of the day. Read a book, take the dogs on a three mile walk, jog, anything but SS&S/work.
2 Schedule disruptions from my routine. Lately this has been backpacking but for me it can be a fishing trip, car camping trip, visit a museum, etc
3 Our Thursday night event. While technically a "routine," most Thursday nights we have the kids pick a park. We take our BBQ and enjoy some dinner and discuss whatever is going on in our lives at that moment. Sometimes we just let the kids run. Other times, we use a Geo Caching ap and look for hidden treasure.

I recently lost a dear friend who died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 42. This was a poignant reminder of how precious and short our time is here and to make sure not to let life pass me by.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 09/01/2013 12:10:11 MDT.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 13:59:23 MDT Print View

Your rejection to fully immerse yourself in your current location is building resentment and taking away from your joy.

I suggest you surrender. Stop fighting it. Accept it. You see an ugly area, you will have a lousy adventure. Nothing will ever be as good as your original hometown. Make the best of things wherever you are. Think of yourself as a planet explorer. Even Hawaii has some of the most desolate arid brownish dry vast volcano land mass, and it smells awful because of the sulfur (people only see the postcards of coconut and pineapples of the beach)

Think of the prisoners in a tiny cell for 20 years. They look at a small ray of sunlight as a glorious event. The sound of a bird chirp in the distance as a wilderness story to brag about.

Like the ancient Chinese approach. Go with the flow, don't fight it. Grow happiness at your feet.

Locate wildlife, spy on local insects and reptiles.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Edited by RogerDodger on 09/01/2013 14:02:12 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 14:20:20 MDT Print View

"On the other hand I am blessed with great family and little baby girl who turned 9 months couple of months ago.
Hiking used to be my choice of pressure relief."

Every morning when you wake up, roll over and look at your wife and think of how tremendously fortunate you are to have her in your life. Do the same with your young daughter when you see her first thing in the morning. Do this consciously and deliberately. Soon you'll be taking vacations in their smiles and their laughter will wash away any pressure. All the rest is, as we say in the U.S., gravy.

To paraphrase a favorite quote: Your dreams/relief are still there if you want them to be, you just have to see that they're wrapped in beauty and hidden away between the seconds of your life.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Feedback on 09/01/2013 16:12:57 MDT Print View

I'll second Trace's comment. Awesome.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 16:14:04 MDT Print View

"Turning 36 next year rings a bell that maybe the best years of my life are behind me unused to their full potential."

Personally, I think my 20s were the best years of my life, but I not giving up hope...

Buck up bud, it could be way way worse.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
These are the good old days... on 09/01/2013 16:23:34 MDT Print View

I'm a few decades older than you guys. Here's my view:

This week, today, NOW is the best time of my life.

That's because I've learned that pining away about some other time being better... and/or the woulda shoulda coulda stick hole is the only true waste of time in anyone's life...

I guarantee you that some day you will look back at your thoughts of today and think, 'God, what a waste of time... if I only had the energy and abilities now that I was squandering then with the woulda shoulda coulda insanity!'

In other words: THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS! This week, today, NOW !

Bill D

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 18:08:52 MDT Print View

This is a very good thread, am enjoying reading it and the collective wisdom found in same. Others have already said well, what i would have.

So i will just say + a trillion.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
stranded on 09/01/2013 18:19:29 MDT Print View

Western Australia is quite isolated from the rest of Australia, a bit like Alaska or Hawaii from the lower 48. If you move East you will find countryside that may be more in keeping with your aesthetic.

Family matters so try to find some short walks/picnics around Perth or the SW of WA that the family can enjoy. Most of us, while we have young family, have to postpone our dreams, just keep fit and active until your time comes - they grow up remarkably quickly.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 18:20:05 MDT Print View

I did not get a chance to post properly earlier, I have been away from Ireland for 5 years due to my job (3.5 years in Belgium and 1.5 in the US) I can undersatand how off putting it can be especially when away from family and friends. I learned very quickly I needed to adapt to my new environs and do what the locals do.

Have you been in touch with any bush walking groups, maybe Roger Caffin, Franco D or some of the other very informed doen under members could give you some information and some support.

Edited by stephenm on 09/01/2013 18:22:00 MDT.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 18:31:52 MDT Print View

Plan B -- This American Life

Nikola Sijan
(sijannikola) - F - M
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 20:30:49 MDT Print View

@Ken

I have ended up here by pure chance. I met my wife who is an Australian citizen in 2007, she didn't like the life in Eastern Europe and we decided to give Western Australia a go.

Edited by sijannikola on 09/01/2013 20:32:08 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 20:34:17 MDT Print View

Look on the bright side.

You could have been stranded in Syria.

--B.G.--

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/01/2013 20:38:05 MDT Print View

I have had your feeling at times. Each of us has different seasons of life. Very few that have a family are able to be completely in control of each season. I am 49 and still lack the amount of free time to pursue backpacking/climbing activities I enjoy so much. I can tell you unequivocally that any thought that you are 36 and life is passing you buy is simply not true. I am in better shape than many 20/30 year olds that I regularly pass up in the mountains. The human body is remarkably strong, resilient and enduring if you take care of it. Part of taking care of it is relaxing and enjoying the current season of your life.

Will Inman
(Empacitator) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/02/2013 06:31:59 MDT Print View

I'm also in Western Australia, are you in Perth or elsewhere? I did the Cape to Cape last year (Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste) and it was absolutely stunning and only 3 hours south of Perth...

I also just completed the Bibbulmun Track (965km) on Saturday and there are some great sections of that too...

Not many mountains around here that's for sure :)

http://i.imgbox.com/acrESvuD.jpg
http://i.imgbox.com/acsshuYA.jpg
http://i.imgbox.com/abn7ZFvP.jpg
http://i.imgbox.com/acyg1NZI.jpg
http://i.imgbox.com/adb0gKju.jpg

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
I hear you on 09/02/2013 07:17:49 MDT Print View

Hey Nikola, I hear you.

I'm a stay-at-home dad and it was very unexpected. At first I felt trapped by my new role and felt resentment that I wasn't "out there" working and pulling my weight financially. On the flip-side, I loved that my new job was to stay at home and help our son with his first steps and words. It was a bit schizo for a while.

It has taken time to accept my new job. I am a father, in the fullest sense of word. But it wasn't easy at first. I am a photographer. I yearn to be out, engaging the world.

Change is often difficult. The more I embrace my current reality the more outlets I discover. Since earning an income isn't entirely my responsibility I can explore art, but that does mean finding space away from my role as a father. See, there's the tension again. But it's and interesting one.

I haven't resolved all the issues. Hopefully my story can help you a bit.

Cheers,
Richard

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re:Nikola on 09/02/2013 13:06:03 MDT Print View

Are you from Romania? Was just wondering with your name :-) My husband travels there periodically.

As for the comments on feeling the best years are behind? I don't think so. It is only that way if one lets it be that way. I turned 40 this year...and honestly, I am OK with that. I feel very comfortable in my skin, and constantly trying new things in life.

Had a friend who immigrated from New Zealand to the US, her career wasn't recognized. She started over in her late 30's, had to go back to college and get a full degree. But, 4+ years later, she was back doing what she loved. (She had been a lay midwife who worked in hospitals. in the US she had to be a nurse midwife to do that). She set her goals and tried to make the best of her life - and got a great family out of it :-)

Nikola Sijan
(sijannikola) - F - M
:) on 09/04/2013 05:58:04 MDT Print View

@Sara. I am ethnically a Serb born in Croatia although my name is similar to Romanian Nicolae. There are different versions of my name in Slavic culture such as Nikolai, Nicolae, Nikola, Nikolas and Nikos.

@Will. Hi there mate! Yes I must admit that Cape to Cape hike sounds pretty interesting. Having been a couple of times in Albany (Australian South West) I must say that I was dazzled by the beauty of that region. Precipitous cliffs, wild sea and endless beaches are something worth seeing. Thanks for the idea! Btw I live in Rockingham, not too far from your place :).

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/04/2013 08:55:08 MDT Print View

it's not all really that much too hot, and it's probably above freezing. you are not trapped in stalingrad awaiting death. mao is not running your country. your family has enough to eat. nobody close to you has running sores that can not heal.
i'd say you're doing, as a person, pretty darn Great !

when we consider the billions and billions of people who have lived and died over all the myriad generations, and how many of them were slaves (most), and how many were sick and had teeth pain the majority of their lives, and how may watched their children die, and how many got burried alive in the cold mud by shellfire at verdun, and how many were slaughtered by the various khan's (multiple many millions), the collectivists (more many millions), the plagues, the church (pick one ..), we will find we have lived thru pax western nirvana.

it does/will not get any better than Right Now. all will be dark soon enough.

i suspect i am spoiled rotten, and life is really not supposed to be all as long and wonderful and glorious as mine has been.
i go to bed every night telling myself that i am the luckiest man on earth.

you have food, family, and health. looking around a bit ... one may find that that is quite enough.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/04/2013 09:03:23 MDT Print View

Good perspective, Peter.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/05/2013 21:16:29 MDT Print View

Take this advice for what it is worth, but I find it salient to this idea. The unexpected parts of life are bliss. Your move could bring joys that you can't even imagine right now. Here is a video that my brother made with a narration that I really found very applicable to my life. We all travel through life. Finding meaning is an exceptional part of it. Feel free to check it out. I found it very interesting. The claim is that life itself is the essence of existence.

No use in not enjoying the great gift that we have. Chance and potential makes everything great. Every year ahead can be your best.

http://www.citizen.tv/the-new-FaYF0YBfCG.html

Edited by mpd1690 on 09/05/2013 21:24:44 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: "Turning 36 next year" on 09/09/2013 13:01:55 MDT Print View

"Turning 36 next year rings a bell that maybe the best years of my life are behind me unused to their full potential."

I hiked the PCT at age 43 and 44. At age 36 I wouldn't have been able to. I'm almost 48 now and look and feel younger than I did at age 36. I have a better job now, too, and lots more in my retirement account. Don't feel like life has passed you by just yet. There are lots of years left and things could change in ways you can't even imagine.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Glory days on 09/09/2013 14:43:08 MDT Print View

My own personal experiences as I am about the same age and went back and forth with similar thoughts:


In my mid 20s and early 30s, I worked jobs in the IT field (mainly help desk/ general IT) as it was easy to get a decent to good paying job, save money and go hiking.

I loved that time of my life. Planning for the next big adventure and the going on it. In between long hikes, I’d be out every weekend. Go to a happy hour and know tons of people at the local bars.
And, even with my ugly mug, dated a fair amount, too. : )

At about age 35, I figured I was getting tired of the boom-bust life style. (Saving money, go hiking, starting over again). Getting laid off in 2009 helped me evaluated what I want, too. Time for a career vs a job, planning for retirement, and all that normal so-called adult things.

At about the time I figured it was time for a change, I met my now wife. If I met her at 30, I would not have been ready.

So here I am at 39. Turning the big 4-0 in a few months.

Are my best years behind me? The glory days of adventure, a free lifestyle and all the good things in life gone? Nonsense.

I am just at a different stage of life.

We are planning a future together. One where I hope to go into consulting and maybe (make that *I will*) if not take off for 4-5 month chunks, where 4-6 week chunks is definitely doable. It is what a very good friend of mine does and one I can see myself doing.

Since Mrs Mags and I both enjoy the simple things in life, retirement in our early 60s looks attainable as well. Assuming we both maintain a healthy lifestyle, I look forward to a retirement full of good health and new challenges. My Dad retired at 59 years old and he, is quite frankly, loving life. A paid for home. A modest, but comfortable pension (Rare as hen’s teeth today. I know!) and the freedom to enjoy what he wants after nearly 40 years of hard work as a sheet metal worker.

Not much to ask for. And something Adrianna and I hope to have experience as well..without perhaps more freedom in my younger years than my Dad experienced.

To be honest, part of me laments my “lost freedom”. But my much like the thru-hikes I’ve been on, it takes work to get where we want to be in the long term.

It would be easy to again save money and go hiking, but perhaps at the expense of our long term goals and true freedom: Crafting the life we want and not just a boom-bust lifestyle.

If my younger years are about doing what I want, my middle years are about working to get where I want to be.

In the meantime, I don’t think of my younger years as my glory days but a wonderful experience that shaped who I am.

I still get out and experience things most people dream of seeing and I have a wonderful community of friends. If I sometimes call my job “The Salt Mine”, it is in jest and something I have to remind myself of, too!
Compared to the work the previous three generations of my family did, a well –paying, non-physical career (with no long term injuries such as the one experienced by my grandfather and father) that gives me flexibility and options is rather wonderful. It helps give me the future we want rather than have me look fondly on the past I used to have. And think life passed me by.

Life is good. Sometimes difficult, sometimes not what we expect, but it is still good. This too shall pass. Life has not passed you by.



OK..off my soapbox. : )

Edited by PaulMags on 09/09/2013 14:50:20 MDT.

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/09/2013 16:55:03 MDT Print View

Damn. If the best years are before 36 I am screwed! It would mean I've been on a down hill slide for 27 years. Good thing I know it's not true. The key to making now the best years is to continually learn, challenge yourself, look ahead but live in the present. I have recently come back to backpacking and BPL has given me a new perspective. And no matter how much I work and give time to my family, I run, read and have fun every day. It's all good. And thanks to Mags, week after next I am headed out with no stove! We get to choose our mindset and I figure the next 30 years will be the best! That's my mindset.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Is anyone else feeling stranded? on 09/09/2013 17:10:05 MDT Print View

"when we consider the billions and billions of people who have lived and died over all the myriad generations, and how many of them were slaves (most), and how many were sick and had teeth pain the majority of their lives, and how may watched their children die, and how many got burried alive in the cold mud by shellfire at verdun, and how many were slaughtered by the various khan's (multiple many millions), the collectivists (more many millions), the plagues, the church (pick one ..), we will find we have lived thru pax western nirvana.

it does/will not get any better than Right Now. all will be dark soon enough.

i suspect i am spoiled rotten, and life is really not supposed to be all as long and wonderful and glorious as mine has been.
i go to bed every night telling myself that i am the luckiest man on earth.

you have food, family, and health. looking around a bit ... one may find that that is quite enough."

Couldn't have said it better, although I must say you have serious competition for the title of luckiest man on earth. ;0)

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
So much good advice on 09/09/2013 17:10:34 MDT Print View

Really great advice and perspectives here.
Like others have said, enjoy the little things ; it takes a certain attitude to be able to do that.
Have a goal, but the see the present for what it really is....your life.
I spent years thinking that if I only had......( insert a number of things here) then I could really go for it and start living. Now I know I have had plenty of everything to go for it all along.

Another perspective/ trick:
Should something seriously bad happen tomorrow, would you not yearn for how things were before, would your life right now not seem great, would you not wish you could just rewind and appreciate everything as it is?

Paul Andronico
(Jakesandwich) - M

Locale: S.F. Bay Area
Another Perspective on 09/09/2013 17:31:08 MDT Print View

From some of your comments (e.g., "I have ended up here by pure chance."), it seems to me that you believe life has surprised you with some bad luck. The truth is that you chose to marry your wife and agreed to give life a chance in Australia. My suggestion is to give it a real chance over a reasonable period of time. Try to make things better every day. Fight to figure out a way to use your legal training in Australia (import/export, maybe)? Or try another career that you might find more interesting. If you give it a real solid effort and still find it awful there, then sit down with your wife and explain that you are feeling just like she did in Europe. Then try and figure out a way to make a life together where you both can be reasonably satisfied. I have been married for 22 years, and there have been some pretty low points. Respect yourself and your wife as you try and find your way during this tough time. But most of all, don't quit.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
feeling it too... on 10/08/2013 08:06:03 MDT Print View

in April i moved to Philadelphia after taking a job that paid much better and in September my divorce was finalized. i am in a relationship that can best be described as a rollercoaster - so many up and down switches it has taken a toll on both our souls.

i'm in a new city with no friends, my favorite, healing backpacking locations are now out of reach (cost of gas and time).

in many ways my quality of life has diminished and now i'm in a place i haven't been in nearly 20 years - the future is very uncertain and scary. at 41 i'm in a different place than i thought i would be. all things change.

Edited by asciibaron on 10/08/2013 09:22:49 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: feeling it too... on 10/08/2013 09:06:10 MDT Print View

As the sayings go...one day at a time....if you are going through hell, keep on going....one foot in front of the other.
Sounds rough; I am sorry you are going through a hard time. Hopefully you will ride this out and come out an even stronger, more compassionate person.
Welcome back to BPL!