David Lyman is better known around town as a freelance writer who writes dance reviews for the Cincinnati Enquirer. On the world stage, however, his fame comes from living the Chivas life.

It wasn’t long ago that the Columbia-Tusculum resident — who just celebrated his 60th birthday — did what Jules Verne only imagined. Lyman traveled around the world in 80 days.

Best yet, he got paid for it.

It was high school reunion that prompted this adventure. “I remember being surprised at how old some of my classmates seemed,” says Lyman. “It had nothing to do with wrinkles or hair color. It was their attitudes. It was if they had removed themselves from the evolution of the world around them.”

Lyman read where the Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky company was seeking people to explore the world and discover the “Chivas life.” He applied and got the job; the company was willing to pay Lyman $50,000 plus $50,000 in travel expenses.

So Lyman promptly chucked his day job, stuffed his computer and digital camera into a rolling duffel bag, and took off on the odyssey that would take him to Wales, Casablanca, Mali, Oslo, Sri Lanka, New Delhi, the Himalayas, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Auckland and Buenos Aires, to name just a few.

“I saw and did things I never would have otherwise,” Lyman recalls. “I went dog-sledding in the mid-winter darkness above the Arctic Circle. I explored the mud mosques of Mali. I stayed on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, visited ancient monasteries in the most remote region of the Himalayas and spent the Chinese New Year in Shanghai.”

Be it learning to tango in Argentina, examining 17,000-year-old petroglyphs in western Australia, or seeking out the best view for watching the Aurora Borealis, Lyman made sure he made the most of his global travels. He generally searched out the quirky, the exotic, the outlandish and the hidden gems that populate the planet’s more obscure edges.

“At the age of 60, I’m still a participant in life rather than an observer,” observes Lyman of his journey of self-discovery. “I’ve still got things I’m eager to learn about. And people I’m eager to learn them from, whether they’re 16 or 40 or 80. I’ve got destinations I intend to visit. I’ve got at least one or two more careers in me.

“As long as my knees and eyes hold out, I’m ready for that next great adventure. In fact, I’m planning for it.”

So, David Lyman is taking his life-changing experience and putting it to good use, just as other mature Cincinnatians profiled in these pages are doing, Whether they’re turning 50, 60 or 70, they’re turning back the clock, living active and energetic lifestyles.

That’s the My Turn experience at its best. 

Felix Winternitz is the editor of My Turn. You can reach him at fwinternitz@cincymagazine.com.