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Reasons to Travel When You Are (Sorta) Old

Posted by on May 25, 2011

So I was reading this blog post on GloboTreks called “Nine Reasons to Travel When you are Young” and I thought yeah, he’s right and you should travel when you are young. I wish I had been able to travel a whole lot more when I was young.

But you know what? There’s a whole bunch of reasons to travel when you are (sorta) old as well.

1. You can afford it. My husband and I are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but we certainly have more disposable income than when we were paying for boxes of disposable diapers, clothes for growing kids, or college tuition. Although having kids is a joy that never ends, they are pretty much able to pay their own way now, which means we can afford to travel more.

2. No young kids. Any travel we did years ago had to revolve around the school calendar, whether my car-sick prone son could manage it and if it was something kids would like. We don’t have to worry about that anymore. We can go wherever we want, eat whatever we want, and pretty much do whatever we want. It didn’t take us long to decide that an empty nest was pretty darn fabulous.

3. You like the company of your traveling companion. My husband is my favorite traveling companion. I enjoy travel with girlfriends and other family members, but after 33 years, he gets me. We enjoy pretty much the same things when we travel and hardly ever argue. Hardly ever.

4. You know what you want. We don’t really care what anyone else likes. We like to cruise. We like hop on/hop off buses where we can set our own schedule and see whatever we want at our pace. We like nice hotels with room service. We like aquariums. We like nice restaurants.  And we like seeing new places all over the world.

5. You know how to pack. When we used to go to Pensacola Beach years ago, I packed everything except possibly the kitchen sink. And I would  have packed that, given enough room. I wanted choices about what to wear and felt it was vitally important to make a fashion statement. I’m so over that. I have learned to manage on much less clothing than I ever thought I would. I still can’t make it with just a carry-on, but maybe eventually I’ll even learn to manage that. But probably not.

6. You know how to appreciate the finer things. Fabulous food. Luxurious hotels. Splendid shows. Magnificent views.  Everyone can appreciate these things but if you have gone without them for years and McDonald’s was a really big night out, you really appreciate them so much more.

7. Naps are de rigieur. I love naps. Whenever I can, I curl up under a blanket in a dark room with a fan quietly humming. Ah, bliss! They are not a requirement when we travel, but it’s nice when we have time to just relax and nap before our next adventure. Luckily, my husband feels the same and we fit in a nap whenever we can.

8. You are constantly amazed. When we docked in Jamaica several years ago, we got up early enough to see the sunrise over the mountains because someone had suggested this to us. It was a great suggestion. I’ll never forget looking at each other with amazement as the warm golden sun slipped up from behind the dark green, forested mountains. That’s so beautiful! We’re in Jamaica! Can you believe how lucky we are?

9. You are street smart. We know not to carry all our money with us. We know to beware of people asking for help in foreign cities. We know where not to go after dark. We know not to drink too much and get in trouble. We are smart and sensible and mature. It takes a while to get that way.

10. It makes you appreciate your own life. We love every single thing about travel but there is nothing like arriving home to your own house, your own bed, your own things and your loving family. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and we appreciate everything so much more when we return from a trip.

What about you? Reasons to travel when you are (sorta) old?

13 Responses to Reasons to Travel When You Are (Sorta) Old

  1. jamie - cloud people adventures

    ha, i love it! especially number 7. i dont think ive reached the age yet where i can get away with afternoon naps, but they are one of my favourite things to do in the world!
    great post.

  2. Michael Figueiredo

    This is great! I love to read the flip-side of the argument. I agree with Jamie, #7 is the best!

  3. Christy

    I’m probably not at that age where I can say that I am (sorta) old yet, no offense:P
    But, I can totally relate and agree with your points as well, especially at point #1…LOL! When we are young, we are probably busy earning our dough and saving them for, well, almost everything. We can’t be big spenders, unless we have a rich daddy whose name rhymes with Buffett or Gates, and going on vacations require careful planning too:) I am still thankful that I can still go on trips and vacations every year (# of times vary:), but guess when I have earned enough to retire rich, yeahhh…then I can go anywhere I want..I can afford it anyway:P

  4. Christina

    That’s a great list! And it’s so true. I like #1 and #4 – I think they are the reasons most young travellers on a budget get frustrated and anxious, because they are constantly tight on cash and haven’t figured out quite yet what they want from their travels. I guess especially #4 comes with life experience and knowing yourself more.

  5. david

    Hurray for napping!

    This is a great post and I’m totally going to steal “(Sorta)Old” when I describe myself from now on. In fact, I’ve been needing to update my About Me page on my blog and that’s how I’m going to start it: “Hi, I’m David, and I’m (Sorta)Old.”

    I still can’t figure out #5 though. I still pack too many shoes.

  6. inka

    I particularly applaud 6,7 and 9. Too true. I’m the glamour granny who at age 64 still goes strong and can’t stay put for long. I travel on my own but i can appreciate the ‘know your travel companion’ spot.

  7. Laurel

    I really enjoyed this post. I’m in my mid 30s and I travel much differently now than I did when I was in my early 20s and I’m sure 20 years from now I’ll travel differently still. I really like that different things appeal to travelers of different ages.

  8. Norbert

    This is a very positive other side of the coin on why we should travel at a certain age. Great post and thanks for the mention!

    I’m still young so I haven’t gone through the process of raising kids and having “grown ups” responsibilities like owning a house, etc. But once I cross that stage in my life I will start appreciating things more like you mention here.

    BTW, I’m totally on #7… this I love no matter at what age! lol

  9. Jeremy Branham

    What do you consider sorta old? I am almost mid life! However, I am right there at #2. Hopefully that will be easier than I think it will be. Some stuff I can relate to you and some stuff I can’t. At home or abroad, naps are ALWAYS a good thing! :)

  10. adventureswithben

    How about – “Because you don’t have much time left”. If you want to knock items off your life list, you better do it soon before you can’t anymore.

  11. Sophie

    Bottom line: If you want to travel, age is insignificant :)

  12. Lisa

    I’m with you on #5, over time I’ve learned to pack light. It makes traveling so much easier than dragging excess stuff around. It’s a process. Enjoy your adventures!

  13. senafp

    This is a really great post. Well, I am with you on ALL of them. I have had little ones who are now grown up and take care of themselves. McDonalds was my favorite restaurant out and drive-in movies..yeah!!..I am (Sorta) Old too. I have not traveled much before kids. I did travel to Istanbul, Turkey and on my honeymoon to Europe. I thought that we were going to be doing much more traveling but that didn’t happen. Buying a house and starting a family when we are young was our decision. Now I have the desire to travel, even for a weekend. Lots of changes for me this year!!…

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