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Do 60-year-olds travel differently than 45-year-olds?

Edited by Evelyn Hannon

My own girlfriends of 60+ are talking about the way they are looking at travel now as opposed to the way we travelled when we were younger. We also had a wonderful conversation about this topic on the Journeywoman Facebook page. We're noticing differences in the ways our bodies are reacting to travel, the length of our trips and how our travel interests are shifting.

Here are some tidbits from women who are all over 45 and who are considered rock stars in the world of travel.

orange tick Donna Meyer - www.nomadwomen.com
I travel slower, not so much from necessity but by choice. I am no longer in such a big hurry, which may seem counter-intuitive given that I am much more aware of the passing of time, how very fast it scurries past on its little rabbit feet. But I am far more interested in really SEEING what I see, in experiencing it on every level, tasting it, smelling it, touching its textures. I don't want to just be passing through. I want to sink in, if only a bit. I also take much more trouble to meet people, talk to strangers, make new friends. I am far less shy about approaching strangers than I was years ago and also far more ready to accept invitations from friends of friends, follow up on on-line invites for coffee or a drink, call or message friends of friends I've been given contact numbers for and I think I might find interesting. I sign up for classes in things that interest me or meet people on walking or food tours. On the other hand, I am not at all afraid to spend time alone. I go to the theater alone, eat alone, walk alone, and enjoy my own company far more than I ever did.

orange tick Zoe Dawes - www.thequirkytraveller.com
As I've gotten older I seek out more unusual and interesting places rather than sun, sea and sand destinations. The history, culture and food of places fascinates me and meeting local people has become more important. I'm still happy to travel alone but the experience is now sometimes more important than the destination.

orange tick Nancie McKinnon - www.budgettravelerssandbox.com
I'm no longer a whirlwind diva on the road. I take my time, and savor the moment.

orange tick Leyla Girak Almanak - blog.women-on-the-road.com
Nothing fundamentally different but some things are harder, like getting up after a night on the ground in a tent (a forklift would be handy).

orange tick Carole Terwilliger Meyers - www.berkeleyandbeyond.com/index.html
I am more selective about where I choose to go because I have less time. I also like to hold on to railings when I use stairs.

orange tick Ursula Maxwell-Lewis - www.ursulamaxell.wordpress.com
I don't think I do! If opportunity knocks, I go! Of course, now my kids pay their own way, and go without me.

orange tick Gaelyn Olmsted - geogypsytraveler.com
My RVs have gotten bigger but I still tent camp. Unfortunately arthritic shoulders limits backpacking anymore. I am happiest when connecting to nature, hiking at my own lollygag pace, stopping frequently to absorb the surroundings, and photographing the now for future memories of the past.

orange tick Lea Lane - Travel Tales I Couldn't Put into Guidebooks
I'm 75 and have traveled - both solo and with others - to over 130 countries. Nowadays I try to give myself as much space and time as possible, the true luxuries of travel. I don't push too hard and I try not to stress. I'm more careful and take fewer risks. Otherwise, I'm as interested in the world as ever, and will keep traveling for as long as I can!

orange tick Barbara Weibel - holeinthedonut.com
At 45 I was still immersed in the corporate world, working 70+ hours a week and taking trips for two or three weeks at a time. Like most Americans, I chose destinations close to home and scheduled every minute in order to see as much as possible. Since leaving that world behind to pursue travel writing and photography, my travels take a much different form. I purchase a one-way ticket to a continent and spend the next few months wandering with no fixed itinerary. When I have seen enough of a city or country, I move on to the next one, relying on advice from locals and intrepid travelers I meet along the way. I schedule very little in advance, in order to take advantage of opportunities that arise along the way.

orange tick Evelyn Hannon - Journeywoman.com
At 45, I was fearless. I carried my belongings in a large backpack and was on the road solo for up to four months at a time. I was on a strict budget then and seldom spent money on fancy hotels. Most of my meals were picnic style and I walked to most places. I used public transportation only when very necessary, taking taxis was a rarity. I saw a lot! Now at 77, I still travel solo although I'm much more inclined to join small group tours. Truthfully, I love being taken care of and look forward to the company of others over dinner. These days I'm reviewing small ship cruising (less packing and unpacking) and getting to far away places in the smoothest way possible. At 45, I loved the elegance of Paris. Now, in my late seventies, I adore the quiet of the Antarctic and the wild beauty of Iceland. And the very best part? I'm including my teenage grandkids in some of my journeys. I consider these teaching holidays. I want to show them the Journeywoman way before they set off on their own.

What we tell our daughters about travel...

DO IT! As often as you can, to wherever you can. Never pass up an opportunity to experience somewhere new, even if just two streets away. (Jane, Erie, USA)

Travel is one of the best educations you can get. You experience the world, people, its cultures and beauty. Enjoy it with an open mind and heart to humankind. (Allison)

I would tell my daughter to not be afraid to travel by herself, to throw caution to the wind, and take advantage of every opportunity to see this beautiful world. (Barbara, Lancaster, Ohio, USA)

It would be a memory. A memory of a traveling realization that made family the sweetest thing to me. A reminder to her of why she is more important to me than any 'freedom' or 'adventures' that life without children brings. (Anna G. Joujan, Boston, USA)

Go to places you have always dreamed of and don't be afraid to take chances to be different. Travel wisely, research & budget well, keep a journal, take lots of pictures and most of all, ENJOY. (Bev, Toronto, Canada)

Grandma - Just do it!Travel teaches you to be the person you are, not the person you think you should be. (Eileen, Boston, USA)

It is normal to feel afraid at the beginning; use this to push yourself forward. Do not care that much about makeup and if your hair looks crappy, but be sure to wear sunblock even on cloudy days. The wealthiest path one can achieve is by travelling, so enjoy it. (Daphnee, Berlin, Germany)

I named my daughter after the legendary pilot Amelia Earheart because I wanted her to be brave and travel. I would tell my daughter that this is a big diverse world that we live in and I want her to travel and be part of the world. (Raylene)

Travel will empower, educate and entertain you. Scan for danger, wear a hidden money belt. Don't get into cars with strangers but chatting with them in museums is OK. Remember that you have sisters in every country; they are the source of information on what is safe, proper and interesting. (Carol, Santa Rosa, USA)

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