(Last Updated On: August 5, 2019)

“This is a Paid Collaboration with Premier Care in Bathing

For retired people today, there are more travel options available than at any other time in history and the benefits of travel for seniors are enormous. With trips of a month or more on the increase, mature travellers are becoming more adventurous, travelling to more exotic destinations and spending more money on travel than ever before. However, there is still a misconception that travel at an older age can be harder than on other groups and some people let concerns such as budgeting, logistics, language barriers, mobility and safety issues put them off the idea of travelling after retirement.

Jonathan Look and Sarah WIlson on an Argentina Adventure

How Travelling Has Impacted Our Lives

When Sarah and I first started travelling the world, we had many of the same worries, but luckily, when we began our adventures, our desire to see the world up close was much stronger than those other concerns. Once we had been travelling a while, our confidence grew, our fear of things we didn’t understand subsided and we realized that out exploring the world, meeting new people, learning about other cultures and sometimes living far outside of our comfort zones, made us happier than staying in the cocoon of home.

Why We Wanted To Retire And Travel The World

While we love the familiarity and comforts of home up to a point, there comes a time when we become restless and want to connect with the part our ourselves that craves adventure and new experiences. Happiness comes from savouring life wherever you are, but we want to “smell the roses” in places all over the world.

We saw retirement as a time where we could design our lives to suit ourselves without the need for adhering to other people’s direction or schedules.

What We Have Learned From Travel

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime,” and it is true. Things that from a distance appear to be frightening or weird from a distance appear different when seen up close.

Image of windmills at Kinderdijk Netherlands
Windmills at Kinderdijk

We have learned that the worst limits to a happy retirement are the limits that we willingly or thoughtlessly accept. It isn’t always comfortable or easy, but that is the point. There are ways to compensate for a lack of mobility or to soothe the inevitable aches and pains. The vital thing is not to let them steal your dreams.

Travel builds confidence that can transfer to other areas of life. It teaches you problem-solving skills and broadens your perspective. We have also learned that while having old friends is important, travel is a wonderful way to make new friends to share your experiences with.

How To Get Started Traveling At An Older Age

If you want to start seeing the world, you have to remember that the perfect time to begin never comes. Waiting, waiting, waiting is a sure-fire way to get left behind.

Make that first step. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Find a cheap plane ticket to where you want to go and buy it. You don’t need a lot of specialized equipment or the perfect wardrobe to begin travelling. Have enough desire to overcome your (probably unfounded) fears, and you are on your way.

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If you are new to travelling, you can begin with a small group guided tour to a destination you have always dreamed of visiting, or do some extensive planning and head off on your own. That first step will whet your appetite and introduce you to like-minded people doing the same thing. Before long you will come to realize that developing travel skills is the same as learning other abilities and you may want to leave home for lesser-travelled destinations with more a more flexible schedule and let serendipity be your guide.

What Are Some Of Our Favorite Travel Destinations

When our friends at Premier Care asked us to write this piece on what it’s like to be older travellers and our favourite destinations, we found choosing that one special place to be almost impossible to answer. We like to experience the full spectrum of travel. Be it luxuriating on a Five Star River Cruise on the Danube River through Europe, or trekking up a volcano in Indonesia to see the sunrise. Sometimes we crave the excitement of a big city – New York and Hong Kong come to mind. Other times we enjoy stepping out of our comfort zone and exploring the chaotic streets of India or staying in a homestay in a remote hill tribe village in Laos. And at other times, just simply enjoying the tranquillity of nature.

Image of Sea of Clouds in Alishan Taiwan
Sea of Clouds in Taiwan

We have yet to hear any travel enthusiasts say that they wished they had stayed home more, or wish they had waited longer to get started. The sooner you start your adventure, the longer you will have to remember your experiences and savour them.

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