Staying Adventurous At 60

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir

Life is too interesting for one type of travel experience. We sometimes envy those who get to travel for work. The idea seems glamourous but what it deprives us of is being adventurous on our own terms. Take Marina Mahathir’s experience; she travels frequently but it’s mostly for work. It is a rarity that she’s able to carve out time for a Rest & Relax type holiday, and that’s what drove her to start Zafigo.

Unlike many of Zafigo X’s 2018 speakers, Marina isn’t a solo traveller. She prefers exploring new places with people she loves because she wants to share all of the wonderful things, she sees with them. And it’s hard not to understand why; she goes to the most picturesque places. Most recently it was Patagonia.

She had just turned 60 and wondered what she could get herself. She had every materialistic item she wanted, what she longed for was something she didn’t have before; something that would enrich her soul.

Marina had been wanting to visit Patagonia forever but didn’t have the chance to before but as fate would have it, her cousin so happened to know someone who was travelling there too and connected the two together.

“It’s not the easiest or the cheapest but when you’re 60, you deserve it,” she joked.

Being there felt surreal to her. This was a place she had read about and seen through a screen, it took a lot to get there (think a 13 hour flight to London, then another 13 hour flight to Buenos Aires, and finally a 3 hour flight to El Calafate) but she made it and was able to see the monumental glaciers with her own eyes.

Choosing this location wasn’t done on a whim. Marina enjoys doing something ‘scary’ occasionally to shake herself out of complacency; a way to keep you grounded and have all your senses reignited by adjusting to the unknown. When she was 50, she climbed Mount Kinabalu. She was the second last person to reach the peak but she did it, and that’s what counts.

Patagonia was her way of going outside of her comfort zone while keeping herself from stumbling upon an H&M or Zara for miles. Globalization has its pros, but its strongest con is that everything starts to look the same. It’s boring, she wanted a change of scenery.

She had just that plus cold weather and strong winds but it was well worth it to see new things like Perito Moreno. She described it as a humbling experience as she, a girl from the tropics, never imagined seeing a living, breathing thing right before her. You could hear it crack and crumble, and at that moment, she understood the magnitude and beauty of nature; she felt tiny.

The only problem with doing this type of travelling is that it becomes addictive. You’re always looking to see something better, something that’ll have a bigger impact than the last place you went to. These days when Marina travels, she tries to balance it out with doing something comfortable and something that pushes her out of that zone.

She makes it a point o have different kinds of trips. It keeps life more exciting and creates more experiences for us on our short time on this planet. As she put it, “Life’s too interesting to stick to one type. If you want the world enough, you’ll find ways to get it.”

Watch her set below entitled Wanting the World and Going Out to Get It below:

ZafigoX returns on 21 and 22 September 2019. Tickets are being sold from RM350 for a single standard 2-day all-access pass. Buy them today at Zafigo.

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Zafigo is dedicated to the woman traveller, offering tips, guides and insights to make travel – be it for work or leisure – better, safer and more interesting. Focusing on selected cities in Asia and the Middle East, we also serve as a platform and community for women to share their experiences and knowledge with fellow travellers.

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