In this episode, Natalie Wester inspires us women in midlife so you too can live the life you love! Natalie is a solo international traveler and blogger who retired before sixty. She is now inspiring women in midlife to permit themselves to change the life they’ve been living so they can live a life they love!
After two careers and a season that was spurred by loss and a long-term relationship ending, Natalie decided she needed a change! On a trip to New Orleans Natalie had an encounter with three women who shared how they changed their lives and felt inspired to do the same. On the plane back to Cleveland, she thought that she would just retire! I mean why not? She then met with her financial planner and set in motion to retire the following year.
Natalie then embarked on a journey of visiting six countries in seventy days! This took around two and a half months and she took just one carry-on and had a budget of fifty dollars a day. Natalie shares how she felt the night before starting this journey and how she faced a panic attack and her fear of flying. She thought to herself, take one step at a time! I just need to get to Portugal! During her thirty-day stay in Portugal, Natalie began to feel more confident and was able to overcome her fear of traveling alone, getting lost, and her fear of heights. It was empowering for Natalie to feel that she could navigate this trip on her own!
Natalie shares with the listeners her most interesting experience within the seventy days which was her trip to Morocco. She shares about her hiking experience in the high Atlas mountains where she needed to get out of her comfort zone and face her fear of heights! The experience of being in the home of a Berber family and sharing a beautiful meal and the sunset on the drive back was one of her highlights and made her get out of her comfort zone.
We then go on to discuss how Natalie has an interest when she turns 65 to move to Portugal and how she landed on this location. With all of her criteria, Portugal checks all of her boxes!
Natalie then goes on to share how she started her Instagram account as a way to stay connected to her family and friends back home. She then went on to sign up for a class and took a course on creating a website. And there her blog was born! The response to her blog has been very encouraging and the private emails from people regarding her content has been very gratifying. She is so glad she faced her fear and hit “launch” on her site! Being authentic and unfiltered is difficult and you do put yourself out there when you are creating content for a blog or social media! She has been finding her voice and the confidence to be increasingly transparent.
I then ask Natalie to share about being state teacher of the year and her meeting with President Obama. This is on her website and felt that it was important to recognize this accomplishment and her experience at the Oval Office. ( Way to go Natalie! Let your light shine! )
Natalie goes on to share about her midlife re-imagined apprenticeship to become a whiskey distillery intern. It was her curiosity in learning more about whiskey distilling that she began to figure out a way for her to learn in a real-world environment. It was then that she spoke to the CEO of Cleveland Whiskey and created her position. She then started a twelve-week program! She has been learning a lot about herself and the business. She doesn’t yet know what she will be doing with all this knowledge but she doesn’t need to have it figured out yet! Natalie is having a good time, learning something she has a passion for, and is ok not having all the answers!
You don’t need to travel solo for seventy days to find Natalie’s interview inspiring. Her message is all about moving forward and facing your fears! Now let’s get moving!