I haven’t done as much as I should have to advance the new North of 50….and now—today, as you’re reading this–I’m (hopefully) sitting on a beach eating egg sandwiches and drinking decent, hot coffee with a friend or two as the sun slides up into the sky and summer slowly winds to a close. Or maybe we’re wading knee-deep in warm salt water, crabs skittering over our feet while feathery stands of red and green seaweed wrap themselves around our calves like strands of…..well, seaweed (at least I hope it’s seaweed) in still bay waters on a quiet Sunday morning. Or maybe I’m still asleep at my brother’s house.
Whatever the scene—it’s Labor Day weekend on eastern Long Island—the place where I grew up, and the place that still has the biggest part of my heart. I love to travel and see new places, and I love the place where I live today, but East Hampton will always be the place that affects me the most.
It’s about the land, and I recently figured out that it’s the light (there’s something about it) that draws a person to create, whether that’s painting, photography, writing or another creative pursuit. And it’s about the woods and the sea and the village, and it’s about the quiet time after all the city people leave (they don’t call it Tumbleweed Tuesday for nothing).
It’s also about the secret places those of us who are from there know about. People may discover them, but they don’t know them the way that we do. They’re spots that aren’t in the tour books, hidden pockets where we spent hours when we were younger and spots to which we return with our kids and their kids. They’re special places you want to tell everyone about….but on the other hand, if everyone knows, maybe they become less special.
That’s one question I want to explore in the new North of 50 blog: if you could tell someone about the secret places where you live or where you grew up, the hard-to-find, rarely celebrated special spots in your world, what would you say? Where would you tell them they had to visit before they left your part of the world?
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The new blog.
North of 50 was originally a nod to age and geographic location, and it still is, in a way. And I’ll explain that more thoroughly once I get going. I’m working on a redesign of the logo and I’m still building the new site in the background of the current one. Actually, that’s only sort of true—in both cases: I haven’t worked at all on either this past month, and here we are at the beginning of September and I’ve just come back from Iceland and am lounging with “da goils” (and my mom) on “da guy” (slang for Long Island—you have say it as one word that rolls into itself: long-Guy-land).
Anyway…..when I get back home, and get back to work, here’s my (current) vision for N50:
The site is for and about women of a certain age—no hard number, despite the digits in the name, yet definitely about for and about a more mature audience—not for the Instagrammer, influencer, jet setting picture-perfect person who makes the journey all about themselves, and makes themselves the center of the story. The site will be focused on experiences and offer useful insights for others.
It will be a monthly—kind of like an online magazine, with news you can use but also stories you’ll enjoy that will bring the personal dimension of travel into focus. I expect there will be between 6-10 new stories every month.
It’s ultimately about exploring the world. Call it travel if you want, but I think it’s more about discovery–about places, but also about ourselves. I’m planning to set it up based on themes (at least that’s the plan right now); highlighting subjects such as:
- What is solo travel; what does it mean to you?
- Tours vs. self-planning
- Food firsts…or “what’s the hell’son my plate?”
- When disaster strikes—how to handle sickness, natural disasters, and bad situations
- Defining the exotic; it’s all in your frame of reference
- Pets: can’t live without ’em, can’t take ’em with you….or can you?
And of course, destinations. There will always be destinations.
It will be demographically and geographically diverse—stories of people and places all over the world. And there will always be the opportunity to comment and to share experiences and expertise. There will be tough subjects, and controversial ones too….bottom line is, you’ll learn something from each piece.
It will be broken in to sections:
First person: stories of travel: first solo trips, girls’ weekends, the seasoned traveler, off-the-beaten-path journeys, the ups and downs of being on the road, adventures of a lifetime and misadventures (good and bad) never be repeated—in either case. Some difficult topics….and a little about what’s in your backyard that people need to know about (see above).
Tips and tricks: a section to highlight useful info that includes input from experts of two kinds: experts in the their fields, like doctors and travel specialists and outfitters and government-types; and experts who have the first-hand knowledge and insights into places around the world, as seen through the eyes of a mature women traveler. This could be info about travel warning or vaccinations or it could be suggestions on what to pack and what to pack it in….or it could be a tip on a great website or a special place to visit.
Community Board: a place to connect on a range of topics; a place to find meet ups and share info, updates to travel warnings,
So this is where you come in:
I’m looking at a December or January launch, and I want to share your stories. One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s stories about themselves is decidedly less interesting than the stories of others.
So if you’ve got a story you’d like to share, send me an email: Northof50info@gmail.com . Tell me, in a few sentences who you are, the place you’ve visited and what you story is. I’ll get back in touch and we’ll build the story from there.
I’d like to get started working on some stories as I do the other background work. Right now, my plan is to launch the site December 1st and to post the first full issue on New Year’s Day.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Editor’s note: I drafted this over the course of the month, bits and pieces here and there, but somehow, my final draft which I finished early this morning, has disappeared. I’ve recreated it as much as i am able, and have vowed to conquer WordPress once and for all, so I don’t lose my material again. Sigh.