sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Every Year After 60 Deserves a Re-Boot! Where Will You Go?

By Dami Roelse May 06, 2024 Mindset

The desert spreads out below me as I pick my way on the rocky trail. Yesterday’s deep purple of Chinese lantern flowers lining the path has changed to soft lavender phacelia and bright orange mallow.

Life at the speed of two miles an hour lets me retrieve the names of plants buried in the recesses of my brain since last summer’s hikes.

I stop and scan the valley below, check the flower app on my phone for a new name to add to my botanical vocabulary. I adjust my pack, sip water and move on. My eyes drink in the vistas. I inhale the perfumed air, smell the wind and taste my salty sweat.

My senses are alive; my receptors are working to keep me from tripping while filing new information.

My Annual Re-Boot

Once a year I leave auto-pilot at home and go for the great re-boot. A vacation from screen time, from the comforts of furnishings. I take a long walk with my daily needs in my pack. I hike sections of the Pacific Crest trail, a well laid-out long distance trail, where nature is my friend and (sometimes) my foe. I pick my season avoiding extreme weather and hardship.

This year I have ventured into the desert in April, thick with blooms and with tolerable temperatures. I move my body all day. The natural cycle of light and dark dictates my actions. I fall asleep between eight and nine PM and wake at the crack of dawn, birdsong or coyotes in the distance telling me another day is here.

Finding Peace in a New Routine

Two weeks of being outdoors, squatting, bending, reaching and walking eight hours a day is my retreat and re-set for my physical and spiritual well-being. I walk away from insecurities about what I still can and cannot do. Daily, I overcome the obstacles of living in the outdoors. I find peace in the routine the trail provides and asks of me. I come back stronger, empty of mind chatter and full of fresh ideas.

Walking is my spiritual and physical practice. The formula of walking/exercising one hour a day, one day a month, two weeks a year, keeps my life expanding as I age. At my age (70+), I am healthier and experience more harmony than I did at age 53.

Re-Boot Requirements

However, walking isn’t for everyone and a retreat from daily living can take many forms. To call a retreat a re-boot, a few elements are required so it can bring spiritual and physical renewal.


Some form of movement to awaken and renew the body.


A focus to awaken the mind.


A daily routine or repetitive activity to allow the mind to experience spaciousness needed for renewed creativity.


Absence of screen time, work involvement and family and community involvement.

A yoga retreat, a painting retreat combined with daily exercise, a walking meditation retreat, a canoeing trip in nature; all are examples of potential re-boots.

For me, solo-hiking in nature is a sure-fire recipe for renewal. I experience enough routine, enough emptiness, enough movement to come back with improved health, confidence and presence of mind. Try it!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you experienced a retreat that meant a physical and spiritual re-boot? Do you have yearly rituals to reset your daily life? How do you create these opportunities for yourself? Please join the conversation.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I won’t hike alone anymore. After my husband passed away, I was hiking at the local reservoir we always hiked at and I slipped. I didn’t fall but it certainly made me aware that I was indeed hiking alone. If I got hurt, how long would it take for someone to “find” me. Also where I was hiking had sketchy, limited cell phone service. Cell service is probably better now but that slip was enough for me. Also, a female alone in the woods can be an easy target. I’m not saying we cannot protect ourselves, I’m just saying, why take the chance. Hike with a buddy, someone who actually shares your zeal for hiking, adventure and safety!

Carol Aleksiuk

Women I know who hike solo carry a satellite phone. And bear spray for not only bears but whatever/whoever. I live in the Alberta Rockies, some rugged trails. Attach these items to yourself. There are bear spray holders. Mine goes on my backpack waist strap ready to use in seconds. Satellite phone attached to upper strap. Women should not be afraid to go solo. Be prepared. I am 72, prefer one other hiker with me but hey not always possible and not as peaceful as being alone.


Please don’t miss the point of the article….

Viktoria Vidali

Dami, everything you write about here resonates deeply and promises renewed mental and physical well-being. We must learn to be good company to ourselves no matter where we may be, at home or out trekking!


This is actually gardening for me. I get lost and then find myself. While getting plenty of exercise. Spring in the garden is a reboot every year.


Do you ever feel afraid out there “alone”? I am 72, and I am feeling like I need a reboot. I enjoyed your article, and it is very motivating. The Pacific Crest Trail, like Cheryl Strayed? You are brave?!

The Author

Dami Roelse encourages her clients to live life with engagement. She blogs and coaches women 50+ to walk, hike and backpack. Her second book, Walking Gone Wild: How to Lose your Age on the Trail, was published in May 2018. You can find out more about Dami at Transformation Travel

You Might Also Like