This week I’m writing about travel for us oldies, technically known as middle-aged people. There’s so many blogs dedicated to travel for millennials, travel for those in their twenties and thirties, but very little for those who are maturer in years, if not in behaviour. It’s almost as though, the youth of today, the font of all knowledge, assume that we stop travelling (like we assume our parents stop having sex. I know, gross right?!) as soon as we hit a certain number. They say life begins at forty and frankly there’s a ton of reasons why travelling in my forties is way more rewarding and memorable than my travels of yesteryear, although I wouldn’t change those for the world either.
I’ll try not to bore you though (after all, us oldies are prone to naps!) so here’s just five things I appreciate more about travelling in my forties.
Travel hacking in the U.K. is hard work. It is less rewarding and more effort than for our friends on the other side of the pond. The best credit card bonus here is around 30,000 compared to 110,000 in the USA. Sickening!
By now though, I’ve had time to figure out some pretty impressive ways to rack up the points quicker without become a flight bore. This means that I now mainly do my long haul journeys in business. That flat bed makes all the difference to my achy back plus I don’t have to hang out with the rowdy stag groups in the heaving Weatherspoons. Instead I can sit back and sip on my free wine with my free wifi in comfort. If you haven’t already got in on the act, here is my 14 week guide to bagging tons of points.
More disposable income
I’ve done some pretty frugal travel in my time, shared hundred-bed dorms (although it was in amazing Fiji!), grotty dorms in gang infested cities and cockroach invaded dorms in Oz. I’m not complaining. Those experiences make great stories years down the line, occasionally even reminding the teenagers that I can be pretty cool. Let’s face it though, if I could do over in five-star luxury, would I really turn down all-inclusive hotels with personal butlers and heavenly spas? Having a little more money in the bank means I get to splurge every now and then.
My nineteen year old self might never have left the U.K again if I’d suffered through some of my recent mishaps. From running for our lives in a Tunis riot, to crashing a snowmobile or being stranded in Bali or Brazil (take your pick!) my younger self would have been apocalyptic at such nightmares. Jason and I, on the other hand, find this adds to the rich travel tapestry of our life. It’s fuel for the dinner table and serves to remind us of our blessings on a regular basis.
Just do it
A sad reality of aging is discovering that you fear something more than aging. That’s not aging. I’d been to one funeral before the age of 27. Now I go to at least one a year and they seem to be increasing in frequency. People die before their time, which reminds me to live now. Just this Christmas, a dear friend, not much older than I, passed away but boy did he live a full life.
Got an opportunity to dive with sharks? Take it! To jump out of a plane or raft a wild river? Go for it! It might be your one chance!
Home is where the heart is
My heart is torn, because much as I love travel, and the itch doesn’t ever go away, I also love coming home. The lure of my huge, super comfy bed is just too great after weeks of sleeping in concrete panelled beds in the east. Sometimes you also just need a huge Sunday roast with tons of veg!
What do you appreciate more about travelling as you age?
How about you? How have your travels changed as you age, and what do you appreciate more now?