Where have you always wanted to go? For me, it’s Peru, to Machu Pichu. As a young traveler, hitch-hiking around Europe, I met a Swiss man who played for me a record of Andean flute music he’d bought in Peru. I fell in love with it and have always dreamed of hearing the music on the pan flute live, where it originated. But I know that the location is demanding and I’m concerned that it may be beyond my physical abilities these days. Should I give up on my dream?
No way! I just have to plan it in a way that accommodates my needs. In an article about a couple who made the trip, they emphasize giving yourself time to become acclimated to the altitude before you start. And for a relatively inexpensive fee, (just over $1,000 for a five-day trek) all their gear was carried for them, their tents were set up and taken down, and a cook prepared their meals.
Where Seniors Get Inspired
Of course, Peru is not the only place I’d like to visit. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can certainly find it on the Internet. At BootsnAll, travel articles abound. I enjoy reading about adventures others experience and from that I am inspired to try new things.
Check out the Transitions Abroad website. Their article, “The Best in Senior Travel,” lists many, many sites where you can find “some of the finest websites for senior travel that we have found anywhere on the web, each with their own specialties—from offering tours to providing advice for travel…”
With the web, you can use modern technologies to research exciting and previously unknowable destinations. Those of you who are comfortable with computers (and if you’re reading this article, you have at least a minimal level of comfort) and other electronic devices can research and plan your own vacation destinations, themes, accommodations, and tours. You may choose to book through a travel agent, but you can use your research to customize many aspects of your trip.
Search the travel posts to see if there’s someone whose desired trip tickles your fancy. Go to National Geographic’s site, and enjoy reading some articles—maybe you’ll find an idea there for a trip you’d enjoy.
Learn New Things
Have you been studying a new language or do you want to? By the way, Duolingo offers excellent FREE language courses in at least 32 languages, and they are adding new courses all the time. Learn some Turkish and travel to Istanbul. Pick up a little Portuguese and tour Portugal on your way to Brazil!
Have you always been fascinated by archeology? Check out Find a Dig and arrange a trip to participate in an actual dig.
Is gardening something you love? Most countries have botanical gardens open to exploration and/or participation. The United States Botanical Gardens offers a volunteer program. The United Kingdom is covered with exquisite gardens and gardening opportunities. I did a quick Google search on “volunteer in a botanical garden United Kingdom” and found many, many opportunities to contribute to gardening in special places. Just plug in the country or region of your choice to find what you’re looking for.
Join a Learning Travel Tour Just for Seniors
If you’d like someone else to do the planning and arranging, choose a tour company that specializes in travel for seniors. For example, ElderTreks “is the world’s first adventure travel company designed exclusively for people 50 and over. Established in 1987, ElderTreks offers active, off-the-beaten-path, small-group adventures by both land and sea in over 100 countries.”
There are more and more companies catering to seniors as our numbers continue to grow. To wit: Senior Travel Buddies! Find someone to share the adventure with! Join Senior Travel Buddies and get started.