By Kim Hutchison
Most of us can think of something we’d really like to do – a dream we’d like to follow, but the courage it takes to pursue that thought or that dream isn’t always easy to find. Timing, circumstance and obligations play important roles in the decisions we make, but sometimes taking risks is what life is all about and Ponoka resident Doris Maron can attest to that.
Maron grew up on a farm in eastern Alberta and was the seventh child in a family of nine. She married at age 19 and eventually had three children, but her marriage often left her feeling like she was missing out on everything she wanted to experience and dreams she wished to follow. When her children were five, eight and 10 she ended her marriage, raised her children as a single parent and went back to school to upgrade her education.
After years of owning her own financial planning business in Edmonton, in 2001 at age 53, Maron sold everything she owned in order to live her ultimate dream – traveling around the world on a motorcycle. On Aug. 4, 2001, she departed from Edmonton on her brand new 750cc Honda Magna and, after visiting and 44 countries on six continents, she arrived home on June 30, 2004 –nearly three years later. She wrote and self-published a book about the first half of her experiences titled “Untamed Spirit: Around the World on a Motorcycle” and, on Dec. 15, her second self-published book chronicling the second half of her journey titled “Untamed Spirit II: Living a Dream” will be available for purchase in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Ponoka.
Maron, who feels she is an untamed spirit because she is still passionate about living life to the fullest and experiencing all that she can while in this physical body, wouldn’t change her travels for anything.
“This is a dream I had for so long. I thought if I don’t get up and do it I’m going to be too old and my biggest regret would be to wake up every morning wishing I would have done it,” she said.
Maron loved travelling, especially to South America.
“There are so many amazing places in this world,” she said before noting a few of her favourites. “New Zealand is a wonderful country – the people are so nice. I loved Argentina for a different reason, which is the spirit of the Spanish culture, and the history in Turkey is fascinating. Spain was beautiful as well. There are just so many nice places. The problem is that people are so tied up with possessions. They are deemed the be all and end all and really, they’re not. I lived with very little and I didn’t miss those things because the education I obtained from my travels outweighed any material possession I could have owned or asked for.”
Based on some of her encounters, Maron shared some great advice to keep in mind when choosing a vacation destination.
“Travelling the world is not as dangerous as we are often led to believe,” she said.
To raise additional funds in order to continue her expedition, she taught English in Bangkok and adults in her class asked if it is safe to travel to the United States of America. “That question really put things into perspective for me. We don’t hear about the 99 per cent of normal travel experiences. We all hear about the bad ones, no matter where we live. This was really interesting and was a really big eye opener for me.”
With relation to gaining the courage to follow your dreams Maron says, “Make the decision to do it and once you do, things start to come to you. When you put out positive energy and focus on that dream, it happens.”
Next, Maron plans to save the necessary funds required to travel again. For information on how and where to get copies of her books or to read more about her incredible journey, visit www.untamedspirit.net.
Maron can be reached through e-mail at Doris@untamedspirit.net