Turning 60: Adventure Awaits!

Turning 60: Adventure Awaits!

I turn 60 this month. Yahoo…how’d that happen so fast? I’m not freaked about my age, but I’m a bit nervous about where I’ll be celebrating it. Some could say I’ve done something wrong. After all, I’m spending the night of my 60th birthday sleeping in the back of a pickup truck.

For this milestone, many would choose a trip to Paris or a stay at a luxurious resort. Me? I decided to visit Iceland and see it up close and personal.

Iceland waterfall

Adventure holds little allure for me, it never has. My mom was very adventurous, and both my children thrive on it. But I like comfort and predictability.

So, I find it amusing that my 60th birthday trip will be a complete adventure. I’m thrilled that our son and daughter are joining my husband and I.

geyser in Iceland

The four of us will rendezvous at the airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. We’re not staying in 4-star hotels. We’re not even staying in fleabag motels. We’ve rented a four wheel drive pickup truck, with an attached camper that we’ll be living in for ten days.

cal over camper in Iceland

Unlike the camper my husband and I have been driving around North America, this one has no shower, no toilet, and no privacy. I’m packing for austere conditions, but I am bringing makeup and sunscreen. Some things are non-negotiable for me.

We’ll be exploring the beautiful scenery of Iceland; mountains, hot springs, and waterfalls. But mostly I am looking forward to spending time together as a family.

As we get closer I’ll share more of what I’m bringing along. I don’t plan to waste time in a laundromat. That means I’ll be bringing clothes I can hand wash in a sink and hang to dry overnight.

I can readily admit to being a little nervous about this trip. However, if I don’t challenge myself, I don’t grow.

Stay tuned!



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  1. August 8, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    I applaud you for stepping out of your comfort zone! I rejoice with you in celebrating your birthday and getting to spend it with your husband and children. Have fun. Looking forward to posts about your trip!

    • Jennifer
      August 9, 2016 / 7:49 am

      Thanks Cathy! It’ll be amazing I’m sure! Pictures to follow 🙂

  2. Gudrun
    August 6, 2016 / 6:25 pm

    Hi again Jennifer. Love to see that you are coming to Iceland. Fall is coming, it was 10°C at noon yesterday, nights are colder. So warm clothing should be priority, am sending a link to good info. http://www.dohop.com/blog/what-to-wear-travel-style-iceland/

    Also, please remember that roads are narrow, new traffic safety video: http://drive.is/

    My email is g.sveinsd @gmail.com if you have any questions.

  3. August 4, 2016 / 11:08 am

    An admirable choice for a milestone birthday, I must say, but not shower or toilet for folks in close quarters might prove interesting. Good for you. I know I could never do it.

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      The lack of shower and toilet is my biggest concern!

      • Gudrun
        August 5, 2016 / 6:25 pm

        There are nice swimming pools and hot tubs in almost every village so getting showers is easy. Toilets at camping sites, tourist info offices, coffee shops and many other places. Dont worry about it.

        • Jennifer
          August 5, 2016 / 8:00 pm

          I’m so relieved to here this! Thanks for telling me.

  4. August 4, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Happy Trails! It should be an adventure that’s for sure!

  5. Suz
    August 4, 2016 / 6:43 am

    Have a great trip. Friends went last year and said it was amazing. And how wonderful to be able to celebrate away with your family. Enjoy!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      Celebrating with family will be the best part!

  6. Linda L
    August 3, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    What a fabulous birthday adventure! I hope it is much more than you can even imagine!

  7. Jackie
    August 3, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Enjoy this wonderful birthday adventure. As you say in your blog motto, aging is mostly about attitude. The same goes for travel. Having a Great attitude is the best first step toward having a great trip.

    While in Reykjavik, be sure to sample one of their famous hotdogs. My husband and I share one when there on a cruise stop a few years ago, but wished later that we each got our own instead of splitting one. They are world famous and was great to try, even when we were having great cruise food morning to night!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      How fun!! Who would have thought hot dogs were a delicacy?? My husband will love them. Thanks!

  8. August 2, 2016 / 11:28 pm

    “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.” No toilet. no shower, no… Going for the gusto girl! Happy Birthday!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Xx Sandra!!

  9. Paula Moreshead
    August 2, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I think your trip sounds amazing, and I hope it is even better than you imagine! The older I get – I will be 60 in October – the braver I feel when it comes to adventure and trying new things. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the trip to Iceland and seeing how good you look while camping!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks Paula! You’re going to have to cut me some slack on my appearance. Being that I’ll be sleeping in a truck 🙂

  10. Natalie
    August 2, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Hi Jennifer! So excited for you and to have your kids with you is the icing on the cake! Not sure if you’ve seen “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, but I encourage you to do so. It ties in nicely with adventure and Iceland;).

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      I haven’t and I’ll check it out!!

  11. August 2, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Sounds like an awesome adventure happy birthday!

  12. August 2, 2016 / 9:08 am

    Happy Birthday Month! It’s my birthday this month as well! 🙂

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! I think it’s great that you are embarking on an adventure that doesn’t come natural to you!

    Iceland looks beautiful. We actually had a layover on the way to and from Germany in Iceland, and I now regret that we didn’t spend a few days there. At the time I planned the trip, I was so overwhelmed with planning everything for our Germany trip that I couldn’t think about organizing more…

    Looking forward to reading all about your adventures! And hopefully we can meet up and you can tell me about it in person once you get back home! 🙂

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Happy birthday month to you too!! Let’s get lunch on the calendar:)

  13. August 2, 2016 / 8:55 am

    So exciting! I’ve heard the scenery in Iceland is amazing. And a very Happy Birthday to you!!!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      Thanks so much!!

  14. Karen H.
    August 2, 2016 / 5:21 am

    Happy Birthday adventure Jennifer! Wishing you and your family joyful times on this trip. I’m looking forward to the beautiful pictures. The weather will be a wonderful change from this unrelenting northern CA heat wave. Xx Karen

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      I’ll share as much as I can, Internet willing:). It should be nice and cool.

  15. Susan D
    August 2, 2016 / 12:56 am

    Wow. I’m full of admiration for your adventurous spirit. Have a wonderful birthday. I can’t wait to hear about it all.

  16. Allison LeBlanc
    August 1, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    Last year was my 60th birthday, also in August. I normally adore adventure and new places but last year was different. In the previous 12 months I had lost a dear sister in law to a horrific brain tumour that took her so fast there was no time to say goodbye. A month later my husband and I stood in another ICU praying for the life of our eldest child who had taken a drug overdose. you can understand why I could not give my heart to an adventure…..so I went to where my soul has always found solace, beautiful Prince Edward Island on Canada’s East coast. The week before that birthday I spent a delightful week on an Island in the St. Lawrence in Québec, another place that thrills my soul.
    I congratulate you on this special day and enjoy Iceland. Several friends have gone and have really enjoyed it. This August I will be on Anne’s Island again in August…perhaps I will have a great adventure on another birthday…right now the sea is calling me and I must go.

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Dearest Allison,
      You’ve had a rough spell. I’m so sorry. Listening to what your soul craves is so important. Sending healing thoughts your way! XO

  17. Barb
    August 1, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I’m not far behind you; I will turn 60 in October and have decided I want to visit our son in Tulsa. I guess I’m not as adventurous as you! My brother and sister-in-law are traveling to Iceland in December. I’ll be sure to share your experiences with them. Have a great trip!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Oh but I’m not adventurous, Barb! I’m nervous as heck. Thank goodness my children are accomplished travelers. I’m just along for the ride:)

  18. August 1, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Love this idea! What fun. Adventure awaits!

  19. Martha Edmundson
    August 1, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Happy birthday, Jennifer! Your trip sounds like a wonderful adventure. I admire your ability to stretch your comfort zone in order to experience life more fully! Good for you!!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      I hope I don’t whine too much at the accommodations 🙂

  20. Tracey
    August 1, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    According to developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, this time of your life is known as the ‘generativity vs stagnation’ period. Well done on your radical choice to generate rather than stagnate. You have given me cause to think about where and with whom I would like to spend my 60th. I think the highest peak in Australia on a pair of skis followed by a well deserved beer at the pub at the top Eagles Nest with my husband, kids and maybe – grandkids??

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:50 pm

      Your plan sounds great, Tracey! I don’t want any moss growing under my feet either.

  21. Jen D,
    August 1, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    LOL…good for you!! I love how you’re doing this and it sounds so good, I think I’ll share it with my husband. Happy Birthday planning!!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Thanks so much Jen!

  22. August 1, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    At the top of the world with your loved ones on your 60th?
    Can’t think of a better place!
    Happy Birthday, Jennifer!
    w /L

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks my friend!!

  23. Paula Lusk
    August 1, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Happy Birthday! Some of my husbands and my best trips have been a total surprise to me. And some of the best. I understand your trepidation, but try to enjoy. (And pick up a porta potty somewhere, it will make you more comfortable.) Happy trails.

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      I’m thinking the porta potty is a necessity!! “What have I gotten myself into?” comes to mind!

  24. Allison Jones
    August 1, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Quite the adventure !!! you are brave !!

  25. Susan
    August 1, 2016 / 9:35 am

    Happy birthday and I wish you a safe trip.

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Thank you Susan!

  26. Beth Prokopf
    August 1, 2016 / 9:27 am

    This trip sounds awesome. Can’t wait to read more updates.

  27. August 1, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Jennifer, So exciting! I just talked to Laurence who went to Iceland this year with friends and loved it. I think this will be such a fun adventure and why not? I love your attitude. Shows your not growing older just wiser. How nice to be back with the four of you- your original family again! can’t wait to read more. Hope you are enjoying summer. xo Kim

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks Kim! Having the original family all together is what I’m most excited about. The older our children get, the less likely it is, we can coordinate it. That’s the best gift of all xx

  28. Joanna
    August 1, 2016 / 8:41 am

    i’ve looked around and thought where is it safe to travel in these trying times. I think you picked a safe bet. My granddaughter went two summers ago and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and the friendly people.
    You’re all going to cram into that tiny camper?! Wow! I’m sure you’ll have fun because you are surrounded by your children. Happy 60th Birthdsy!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      All of us “cramming in” is the operative phrase. It’ll be an adventure in tolerance and manners too! I’m so excited we’ll all be together.

  29. Carmen
    August 1, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Enjoy! It sounds wonderful. I also enjoy a shower and a bathroom so it would be stretching myself as well. You are an example to me. Happy 60th and I am so glad your family will be with you, the best gift!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks Carmen. The family together is absolutely the best gift!!

  30. Jan Brown
    August 1, 2016 / 7:32 am

    Happy birthday to you and best wishes to you and your family on this fabulous journey! Have an absolute blast! Can’t wait to read your posts. Xoxo

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Thanks Jan! Xxx

  31. Donna
    August 1, 2016 / 7:27 am

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your trip!

  32. Patricia
    August 1, 2016 / 7:07 am

    Hello Jennifer, your 60th birthday trip sounds amazing! My husband and I will be in Reykjavik for 4 nights in September on our way back from the UK to Canada, so I am looking forward to hearing all about your adventures.

    If you don’t know it already, I recommend the blog http://unlockingkiki.com/ – she is an American who has been living in Iceland for several years. Her blog has many posts about the country and lots of ideas for things to do and see. Happy travels!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      A huge thank you Patricia!! I’ll check out her blog. Have fun when you go!

  33. Ann Kelley
    August 1, 2016 / 6:54 am

    It will be tough, but in the end you will enjoy it so much more. You will be closer to the beauty of nature. You will meet more people. Campers tend to mix more than people in hotels and motels. The memories will be great ( even the bad ones). There will be a lot of laughter.

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      I do expect it to be tough. But you’re right. There will be lots of laughter and the memories priceless!

  34. Margie in Toronto
    August 1, 2016 / 6:54 am

    You’ll love it – it is an amazing place. I was there for 8 days last May and I’d go back in a heartbeat. But you are very brave to do the whole camping thing = I stayed at a small boutique hotel in Reykjavik and took day trips with their wonderful bus tour companies.

    Take layers, make sure your coat/jacket is waterproof with a hood, along with a scarf, gloves and heavy duty walking shoes. The weather can change in a heartbeat so you have to be prepared for anything. Enjoy!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      Good advice about the hood, Margie! I’ve got an old Northface coat that is t pretty but will work perfectly.

  35. Arlene
    August 1, 2016 / 6:49 am

    Sounds like a very interesting trip. Can’t wait for posts !

  36. August 1, 2016 / 6:16 am

    How fun! I am really looking forward to your report on Iceland.

  37. Amy
    August 1, 2016 / 5:07 am

    Such an awesome and inspiring blog post! Happy Birthday! I hope this birthday and all of them are simply wonderful!

  38. Debs
    August 1, 2016 / 3:51 am

    Jennifer when you come out of the airport terminal, turn to your right. I lived about 3 blocks away, almost at the end of the runway, in military housing. It was the most wonderful place to live as a child. Adventures, challenges, strange weather and light and dark. But it showed me different could be interesting, fun, wonderful to be a part of. You are indeed taking on a great challenge with close quarters for 4! But, what an adventure. “Oh the sights you’ll see and the places you’ll go!”
    All the best!! Happy Birthday!

    • Jennifer
      August 4, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      It sounds like an amazing adventure as a child! The close quarters and rustic accommodations will be challenging. But I know the company and scenery will far out weigh it!

  39. Jules 4a
    August 1, 2016 / 3:47 am

    Good for you, sounds fantastic, I look forward to a vicarious trip.

  40. Maureen Lancaster
    August 1, 2016 / 3:31 am

    No toilet!!! Are you mad

    • Jennifer
      August 2, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Quite possibly:)

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