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Divorcee who travelled the world to find herself admits disappointment with the results

spent years wondering if she'd switched the iron offA middle-aged woman recently returned from a round-the-world voyage of discovery into herself has spoken of her immense disappointment at realising she really is in fact every bit as dull as she first thought. ‘For years I felt identified by my roles as a wife and a mother and felt my life was in a bit of a rut. So when my marriage ended and the kids left home, I decided to seize the opportunity to reconnect with myself by going on my travels and rediscover my exciting side,’ said Susan Austin, 53, who can’t pass for any younger even with lipstick. ‘Turns out, though, that I am just spectacularly uninteresting. And it doesn’t matter whether I’m swimming with dolphins in Bali or crapping up a mountain in Nepal. I’m just a thundering bore.’

After years of divorced friends regaling her with tales of their life-affirming wild adventures abroad as they were finally liberated from years of tedium, Ms Austin had prepared herself for crazy sexual escapades with a string of unsuitable partners and mind-expanding narcotic experimentation leading her to behave with unprecedented outrageous abandon. ‘But most nights I just read a book,’ said Susan. ‘I was invited to an orgy in a beach-hut on Koh Sumui, but I ended up looking after the coats. I thought I’d tried skinny-dipping once. But when I described what I’d done to my friend, she explained that I’d just had a bath.’

Ms Austin has now returned to her job as a librarian and is considering taking an evening class in bookkeeping and maybe getting a cat. But for now at least, her travelling days are behind her. ‘When I got home, there was a letter on the mat saying that I’d won a luxury six-month cruise in a prize draw,’ said Ms Austin as she enjoyed her 4.30pm cup of Earl Grey. ‘But I’ve given it to a friend. After all, this scarf isn’t going to crotchet itself. And why on Earth would I want to miss all that Gardener’s World again?’

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Posted: Oct 8th, 2009 by Mary Evans

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