Bronwen’s ballooning adventure began when she entered our ‘Happier Ageing Dreams Project’ earlier in the year. An initiative set up by Nurse Next Door Australia to grant the dreams of older Australians and prove that life continues to hold possibilities, regardless of age, the ‘Happier Ageing Dreams Project’ attracted a great deal of attention with some pretty extravagant dreams, but it was Bronwen’s dream that caught our attention.
Entering the project Bronwen’s dream was as clear as it was simple: to see her home town from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. An avid traveller, Bronwen told us she had seen a lot of what the world has to offer but every time a hot air balloon flew over her house she grew a little more envious of those lucky enough to be up there, seeing Melbourne from the peace and quiet of the basket. For years Bronwen watched the hot air balloons glide silently by. With none of her friends interested in joining her, and not wanting to have the experience alone, Bronwen thought this was just one of those dreams she’d left too late.
But at sunrise on Good Friday Bronwen’s dream came true when Nurse Next Door Melbourne’s co-founder Sacha Biesse arrived on her doorstep at 5 am and joined her for the ride of her life. From the joy in her eyes, as the balloon was fired up, the waves, smiles and hugs received throughout the morning to the final hug for pilot Kiff as Bronwen’s feet touched the ground, it was simply, in Bronwen’s words, a wonderful day and the perfect adventure.
For Nurse Next Door it was the opportunity to provide an experience that is at the heart of our concept of happier ageing, that you are never too old to continue to pursue things that bring you joy. It was a reminder of how important it is to challenge the misconceptions around ageing and this idea that, at some self-determined point, we are “too old” to chase our dreams or have a sense of adventure. What is ‘old’? 25 is old to a child, 50 is old to a teenager, whilst 75 is young to 90 year old. No matter how big or small, dreams are so important, they’re what gets us out of bed in the morning, what brings us happiness when things are tough, what reminds us of the possibilities available to us at any age.
You’re never too old to chase your dreams and those older years are the perfect time to do just that. Even if you need a little help.
Remember, the sky’s the limit when it comes to dreams (and we highly recommend you add a balloon ride to your list!)