No matter what age you are, travel can be exciting and enlightening. Not everyone wants to relive their 20-something years of traipsing around Italy with a copy of Europe on $5 a day stuffed into their backpack. But then again, some of us do.
Can you imagine trying to travel anywhere these days on $5 a day? Even on our most frugal days, it seems like $50 a day would be a stretch. But I do feel like we have become poster children (adults) for having great travel experiences on a minimal budget.
There was something special at the beginning about not having a set plan. It allowed for more spontaneous experiences when we took suggestions from people we met along the way. I can now appreciate the creativity that spawned from the constraints of a frugal budget.
Yeah, and that’s probably because not only are we more creative these days, but we have better tools. That’s not to say we are flying by the seat of our pants, but tools like Hotel Tonight can give us a lot of flexibility.
But lots of people, especially our age, want to travel on tours to have a more predictable itinerary.
There are also those who want to reward themselves with 5-star resorts after a long career and raising a family. And I get it, that’s their personal choice.
It does seem that at this point in their lives many of our friends are looking for more interesting travel. But whether they’re biking through Italy or glamping in South Africa, they still seem to place a high priority on comfort.
I agree we’ve made intentional choices about how we want to travel. For instance, we choose public transport whenever possible and not renting a car. Embedding ourselves in a neighborhood by renting an apartment can sometimes make the experience uneven. But we love the stories we get to tell as a result!
Throughout our travels, it seems we have become more comfortable being a little uncomfortable. Being nomadic expats puts us in a unique category of being neither here nor there — at least for a longer stay. That level of uncertainty forces us out of our comfort zone sometimes.
But it does bring to mind that we encounter so few people our age doing what we are doing, the way we are doing it. While we’re not exactly “travel unicorns,” increasingly we’re finding that we are a rare breed.
It’s unfortunate but true. The occasional hostel stay has been a great way of meeting other travelers. But the 60-something guests are few and far between; most of our fellow hostel guests are typically in their 20s and 30s.
And we have made lots of friends at the same age as our daughters that way. Once they realize we have no intention of acting as their parents (or even grandparents), things go much more smoothly.
Are you an older traveler who is up for some adventure? Share with us what you’ve done and how it inspired you!
by: Mike & Eileen Brill-Wagner