Fifty+, Portraits, Travel



[By Irma Heuven]

The gorgeous Deborah Darling was born in New Zealand on 8th December 1961. Her parents were English, and they sailed to New Zealand when her mum was expecting her.

Deborah has been together with her boyfriend for almost 15 years, but they don’t (usually) live together. She recently sold her apartment as part of a big reset, so now she is staying with him at the moment but they are planning to go back to their “happily together/apart” living arrangement in a few months’ time.

Until she was in her early fifties she worked in the IT space as a technical writer and software tester.

These days she is a (self-appointed) pro-aging ambassador and a silver model. Besides, that she started a small online shop, with a partner they have recently started making handbags. A completely different life!

Her life philosophy is that we are never too old, and it is never too late.


  1. How do you feel about being fifty plus?

I love being the age I am. I am looking forward to turning 60 in December, a new decade!

2. At which age did you enjoy life the most? Would you like to go back?

I have loved being in my fifties, I feel that I have grown so much and have really come into my own in the last ten years or so. I wouldn’t like to be any younger than I am. 

3. From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?

Getting divorced in my mid-forties made me stronger. It was a very sad time for me, but today I believe that if we aren’t making each other happy anymore, then letting each other go is a gift.

4. What changes have you experienced after your 50th?

I have changed so many things in the past ten years or so. I made the decision to embrace my age, I lost some extra weight that I had been carrying for most of my adult life, I became fit, let my hair be its natural silver, and started a modeling career at 53.

5. Which book and/or film and/or music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Harold and Maude”. It’s quirky (and slightly dark) comedy-drama made in 1971 about the importance of living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all.

6. What would your ideal day look like?

My ideal day would be in a country I haven’t visited before (Vietnam is high up on my list) exploring either on foot or on a bicycle and eating street food. When I travel I like to experience as much of local life as I can, I love to stay in small guesthouses, and buying food from street vendors or markets is much more fun to me than eating in fancy restaurants.

7. Who should we follow on Instagram?

  1. @efftheiragingstandards
  2. @trainwithjoan
  3. @breetherooster
  4.  @markbryan911

8. What’s your favorite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?

  • Destination    :   India
  • Hotel              :    The Green Hotel in Mysore, India 
  • Museum         :    My passion is to visit churches, graveyards, temples, and any old buildings when I travel, I don’t head for                                     traditional museums.
  • Restaurant     :    Street food or a meal at a pavement cafe all the way!

9. What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table.

I am a reluctant cook, but I make a simple and delicious chickpea and coconut curry that is always a hit.

10. Which childhood dish represents best the time and place of your youth?

I spent some of my childhood growing up in Zimbabwe and my mouth waters when I think of eating delicious chargrilled, crispy corn on the cob straight off the open fire where it was cooked. Happy memories of hot weather, running around barefoot, and lots of swimming.

11. How did you become the person you are today?

Even though my life is very different these days, when I look back at the things I have always loved to do, and the experiences I have had, this “new” life is really about me having discovered my skills and strengths and using them with a purpose. I am becoming the person I was meant to be.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with other inspirational women!

You can follow Deborah Darling on Instagram

Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend an inspiring friend in her fifties? We love to hear from you. Please send us an email.


A way to say goodbye in the name of Irma

Irma Heuven

+31 6 835 50 567

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