Last updated on November 30th, 2023
Featured image: The wisdom of women only gets better with age! | Photo by astakhovyaroslav on Envato
Solo travellers share their wisdom about life and travel
By Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman
At JourneyWoman, we celebrate the wisdom of women of every age in everything we do. That’s why we have inspiring articles about travel from a woman’s perspective in her 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s and beyond. (See our “Older Adventuress” section on our website).
In May 2021, we published an extremely popular article called “5 Things Women Travellers 65+ Know That Make Them Ageless” to look at the positive side of aging. In this, we wrote: “To the media and consumer-driven society, too often aging is a problem to solve – particularly for women. Overlooked or misrepresented, even by the travel industry whose dollars it should welcome, these age-defying women continue to do what they’ve always done – blaze their own trail and hope the rest of the world catches up to them. Not one of the adventurous women aged 65-plus would trade places with their younger selves, even though all of them have aches and pains that remind them of their linear age daily.”
Today, we’re adding to our list
The wisdom of women is never-ending, so today we’re adding five more lessons to this list for a total of “10 Things Women 65+ Know About Life and Travel”, culled from discussions on our private Solo Travel Wisdom group and our own experiences.
6. We live in the moment
Women over 65 have had their share of life’s experiences and they know that time is precious. Rather than obsess over the future, they settle into the moment they’re in, loving the freedom and revelling in the adventurous spirit that this moment allows.
“I am in the moment more, appreciating what’s around me. I am more confident so I initiate more conversations with strangers- people are interesting!” — Rhonda S.
“Travel lets me relive my youth! Yes, I have my aches and pains. My collapsible walking stick is my best buddy when walking ancient sites (and much appreciated when I am foolish enough to take a seat on a shady curb 🙄) But despite all I feel young – but without the insecurity of the young. If I can’t do something, I admit it and find a glass of wine. If I look like crap, I rejoice in the fact that I simply do not care. If I look foolish as I dance in the street … well tough tootsies. I love being a senior. It has given me the freedom to live in the moment with the open heart and the joy of a child.” — Niina N.
“At this advanced age, I am comfortable in my own skin, say no easily, and can take advantage of senior discounts. No need for noise, appreciate silence more now. On the days when I feel a bit fragile, people sense it and give me a hand. I am comfortable initiating conversation, chatting to bartenders or people around me. I do it here so why not there – wherever there might be. I also take the option of resting and dropping out of activities, when my body tells me to. I am a more relaxed and laid-back traveller now.” — Joy F.
“I feel more at home with myself.” — Anne B.
“I am much more able to go with the flow even if I am slower in that flow. Plus I have a wisdom few others have from having lived and worked abroad in 30+ places 1 month or more.” —Gretchen
Women over 65 enjoy living in the moment and being comfortable in their own skin / Photo by Rawpixel on Envato
7. We are seen when we want to be
One of the things that women grow tired of is men who think that because we’re alone we are awaiting their attention.
” I don’t even get harassed by vendors trying to lure me into their shops! I call it my invisibility cloak. When I want to be seen, I can choose to be, but otherwise I’m invisible, and I’m fine with that!” — Rachel H.
“I rarely get hit on, even when alone in a bar. I can sit and people watch and be left alone.” — Marilyn T.
“No more unwanted male attention. Thank gawd.” — Pamm McF.
“No more male harassment.” — Margaret R.
8. We have the time we never had when we were younger
In our working years, trips and vacations have to be squeezed into one or two week increments. Jobs, perhaps our partner’s jobs, and children’s summer holidays and activities all dictated when and for how long we could travel. Now retired, women over 65 have the flexibility to decide their own schedule, which includes travelling when and how they want to.
“I remember during the first-year costume designing NBC’s Passions, I had a 52-week contract with just two weeks’ vacation per year,” says Diana. However, the producers would not allow me to take both weeks at the same time! My husband and I actually flew to Bali for a single week in June, leaving on a Friday night and getting back the next Sunday night, and hoping nothing would delay me getting back to work on Monday morning! — Diana E.
“I DON’T CARE what people think in general. What you feel about my age, my solo travel or any ageist ideology you may foster…..I just don’t care. I’m evolved, very self aware and self confident enough to do as I please, when I please and how I please. It makes for the most exciting adventures!!” – Jady B.
9. We have the money we never had when we were younger
While women are still working and earning, there are usually many considerations other than themselves! Children, certainly, cost a lot of money. And one is always being urged to “save for the future” Well, the future is here! After retirement, one usually has a pretty good idea of both income and expenses going forward, and one’s life expectancy, though unpredictable, still has an influence.
“My financial advisor told me that it was time to start spending down my account unless I wanted my nieces and nephews to inherit what was left once I am gone. This was an astounding concept! No one had ever told me it was OK to spend, let alone on myself!” – Diana E
10. We do what we want, when we want
Getting older is more than stepping into another year — it’s about stepping into your own self-confidence. These women know that there’s no time like the present to live the life of your dreams! Why wait?
“I know what makes me happy, I’m secure, self sufficient, and nothing stops me from making adventurous and educational trips happen! In my younger years, I’d often drag my feet, waiting for the perfect place and person to go with. Time is fleeing, seize the moment!” — Marillee C.
“I can do what I want… when I want to.” (-: Nedra B.
“It’s the moments in life …ya just don’t give a 💩it! OK I said it…what some of ya’ll are thinkin EH! — D Jay C.
What other lessons do you have to share about getting older? What do you love the most? Share in the comments below!
More on the Older Adventuress
Chinese-Canadian journalist Ruth Lor Malloy, 91, shares her life’s work to foster intercultural dialogue and justice for marginalized groups.
You’re never too old to travel solo, says 86-year old author Joyce Perrin in her memoir, “Ants in My Pants”. Join Joyce and other 80+ authors on our September 28 webinar.
We’ve expanded our editorial team to better the reflect the needs of solo women over 50, as women lead a more intentional approach to travel.