LOSING Ten Years



One of the greatest things about traveling without a set plan is that you get to do what you want. George and I traveled several years ago thinking we had few plans but looking back we many more than we do now. George loves to play his guitalele and I love to read. I think without books and music we would be lost.

My friend, Melissa, recommended several superb books to me and I’d like to share one with you. I found What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty  fascinating. The idea that Alice, the main character, hit her head and suddenly believed she had been thrust ten years into the past gave her new perspective on her life. She became was challenged to think about her choices;  she was completely befuddled by where she now found herself.

Alice’s sister says: “How would I feel if I lost ten years of my memory, and what things would surprise me, or please me, or upset me about how my life had turned out.”  Meanwhile, preparing for this one-year journey I have really wanted to have a chat with the “me” of four years ago. I was so nervous to quit my job in 2008 and leave for a year of adventure with with George. I could not imagine how it would all work—finding a tenant for our condo, a home for his cat, quitting my job!! I just felt so overwhelmed. I was really not the “no plans” traveler or person. George helped me through the self-induced drama but looking back and having left long-term for the second time, we now knew enough to have rented our place four times. I can say that for me some tasks really do get easier with practice. Our relationship is more solid, my ability to be flexible is better, and I like my choices. I think my “self” in ten years will not have as much to say to me now as I do to my “self” of ten years earlier. But you never know!

I would call my 2008 self and say RELAX-it all works out. George loves you. The trip is good. Yes, you cry and yes, there are times when there is nowhere to sleep but you live. And really, who cares? So you sleep on a table at a bar one night and in a taxi on the way to Borobodur, yet nearly every night you have a bed and sometimes even running water with electricity! As they said in the film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “It will be all right in the end, and if it is not alright, it is not the end.” That would have been a good theme for our last trip. For this one, Everything is all right could be the current theme. I just want to be with George and hope to read more books that makes me think!

I really enjoyed What Alice Forgot. I hope that if you imagine a conversation with your past or future self, you feel good about your choices and your life path. Taking the chance to leave on this journey has always felt like the right choice. In 2008, I was unsure and nervous about what would happen on the trip and in my relationship with George. Now in 2012, I have no idea what will happen next and I cannot wait to find out!

What Liane has to say about her book:

  • I had always wanted to write a story about time travel but I found the logistics made my head explode. Then I read a story about a woman in the UK who lost her memory and behaved like a teenager – she didn’t recognise her husband or children. I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel. So I came up with the idea of a woman, Alice, who loses 10 years of her memory. She thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child and blissfully in love with her husband. She is horrified to discover she is 39, with 3 children and in the middle of a terrible divorce. It’s like the younger Alice has travelled forward in time. Readers tell me that what they liked best about this novel was how it made them think about the choices they’d made and wonder how their younger selves would feel about the lives they are leading now.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

One response to “LOSING Ten Years

  1. I am such a bookworm when I travel – that, and I journal a lot. I just feel so chill and introspective, and like I have time for my brain to take in and process new things. One of my favorite memories is finishing “100 Years of Solitude” while on the porch of a cabin on a Thai beach during a monsoon. An overwhelming book, and overwhelming moment, and such a cathartic day!

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