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?