A place for geezers, grey hairs, and oldies to discuss independent travel. Reminisce about travel in the days before Lonely Planet and discuss issues applicable to the mature traveller.

A Way to Make the Young'uns Jealous

JessieS

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2007
A few weeks ago I happened to be in the BootsnAll chat room when my mother called. I took a break from typing to talk to her (as any good daughter would), but when I told her what I'd been doing when she called, she said, "Oh, well would you tell them that I'd like to take a trip in 2007 where I fly into Beijing, take the train to Lhasa, then fly to Kathmandu, volunteer somewhere there for a bit and then go to Mustang; I might be needing their advice later." Dutifully, I typed all of it into the chat. After I got off the phone, one of the other gals in the chat said, "Geez, my parents just moved into the retirement community my grandparents live in..."

Yes, I have an unusual mother. She'll be 65 this year, and for the last few "major milestone" birthdays she's done things I would never do - mostly because they involve being in high places and I'm deathly afraid of heights. At any rate, she's the epitome of an independent traveler to me, which only goes to show that you don't have to be 19 to be an intrepid adventurer!

Now comes the good part - if you're over 50, you not only "know better" than your younger traveling counterparts, you get discounts on things they don't. Mary over at the Eco Travel Logue mentioned a great book of resources for the over-50 crowd; make the kiddies jealous. It's the least you can do.
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Dustyshoes

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  • Added on: January 6th, 2007
Way to go Jessie's Mum.
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WhereForArt

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  • Added on: January 6th, 2007
Thanks for the link - and good for your mom! I think too many people just put their life to bed when they retire. It never occurs to a lot of people that there is an exciting life after 65.

And btw, I empathize with you on the height thing - I have a real phobia about heights, too, and it limits where I can go sometimes. I suppose it could be worse, though - at least I don't have a fear of flying or the water, otherwise I might never leave the US. Smile
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JessieS

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  • Added on: January 6th, 2007
Yeah, planes don't bug me... Something about being enclosed. For instance, I can get to the top of the Eiffel Tower just fine, but when I was asked to go stand on the outside part of the balcony for a photo-op, I freaked. My mom's done hang-gliding and parachuting out of airplanes. I love her, but I think she's nuts...
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scubamama

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  • Added on: January 8th, 2007
Wooo Hooo! Here's to turning 50 this year.
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  • Added on: January 8th, 2007
Right on! You're in good company.

WhereForArt

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  • Added on: January 9th, 2007
Hey, my year was last year - welcome to the 50's club!
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Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
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It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

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  • Added on: January 10th, 2007
My fiftieth is mere months away too. The older you get, the younger you are.
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Jeanie

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2007
It's down to peoples attitude to life in part. Some people are old even when they are young.We start our RTW packpacking trip in June I'll be 63 and my husband and friend will be 62 while we're travelling. We all think we're still in our 20s and have a very positive attitude to life. It's only when you look in the mirrow and see this old face looking back that you realise you're not young. If you can do all the things you want too in life then it's good. We are all fit and healthy but unfortunately not everyone is so lucky when they reach 60. You have to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
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  • Added on: February 9th, 2007
I am not old. I am chronologically gifted. It is all to do with yourt outlook on life. My soon to be 33 daughter was horrified and apalled last year when I told her I was doing the Brothel Tour when I went to Kalgoorlie,that is in Western Australia for the benefit of all you Yanks. She was even more horrified when I gleefully related all the er ah delicious little details I had benn told .Especially when i got to the part about " jenny" who showed us around, demonstrated what the use of an item of furniture was for. ( 101 positions dear ) although she only showed us 3 .Just as well I never my poor daughter that I lay on one of the beds. She'd of had a fit. I thought I was supposed to be the prim and proper one, and her the Let it all hang out, Do your own thing sort. " If you can keep a sense of humour and see the funny side of life, you will never be old." That is a quote by me.
Last edited by Whistler on February 20th, 2009, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2008
I've read recently that there are paraglider as old as 70+ age and gender in paragliding here but they are usually men.

As for women I know my mother is much more active than I am, going on trips during the weekends, even went to visit my brother that stayed in India.

I feel that boundaries of age and gender "appropriate behaviors" are dissolving and more people in my parent's cycle of friends sees retirement as a chance to have fun and not just to enter the role of the elderly parent that sits all day and wait for his family to visit.

backlasher

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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2008
I'll turn 62 in August. Last week, my father celebrated his 91st. birthday. He says, if there's anyplace you'd like to go, go, because the day will come when you can't. I try to take his advice. I don't like to sleep on the ground anymore but I have more time and money than when I was in my 20's. There are still a lot of places I want to go.
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nancy sv

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  • Added on: March 24th, 2008
My mom was another one of those who simply couldn't be stopped. Toward the end of her life, she couldn't walk all that well, so she got a walker with a chair on it so she could sit down and take a break when she needed to - but she never gave up traveling. She even took that walker up something like 275 steps to some temple in Italy because -gosh darn - she was determined to see it! I hope I'm like her when I get old (I'm 47 now, so am fast approaching it).
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Scribetrotter

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  • Added on: March 24th, 2008
My mom died at 84 and was absolutely indomitable till the end. I hope I turn out like her!

I live in Europe and she lived in Canada, yet each year, twice, she flew over to see us. She would connect at various airports, on her own, and complain loudly if services weren't up to scratch. She only asked for a wheelchair when her hand luggage was too heavy.

Once in Europe, we would drive around the continent, spending endless hours in flea markets, testing out new restaurants, discovering small inns.

Well into her late seventies, she came to visit me in Bangkok where I was then living, and we set off to see the sights. She outwalked me at every turn!

When I was backpacking in Africa and Asia several years ago, I often met older folk in guesthouses, hostels, dorms and the like. They usually rose earlier, walked further, and were plain more curious than any other travelers. I celebrate them all - because that's what I want to grow up to be!
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Barrie

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  • Added on: April 8th, 2008
I once met an elderly lady back in the 1990's in Indonesia and she was slinging a backpack. I became friends with her and over a cup of coffee asked her age. Her reply:

"Me?. I'm only a spring chicken at 80. I sure do have a lot of travelling to do and people to meet"

Sure would be good to be like her and rockin' n' rollin' when I get to that age.

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