Updated: May 2, 2020
By Meredith San Diego
Travel while you’re young and able, they say. See as much as you can before you turn 30!
We see this in print repeatedly. And I get it, the idea of a gap year is usually associated with the short period, some time between the successful completion of secondary school and university graduation.
But why all the ageism regarding travel?
Travel isn’t just for youngsters anymore. These days fabulously fit females over the age of fifty are trekking for days and even weeks to reach world renowned travel sites like Machu Picchu in Peru. Gen Xers are boldly in search of live-in experiences in developing countries like Vietnam. Retired couples are taking to the skies with 40L backpacks destined for the Camino in Spain, and 80 year old widows are braving border crossing after border crossing to see the 7 wonders of the world-- having never had the chance in their youth.
So the short answer is-- NO! You are not too old to travel! Stick with me here and let me tell you why.
Age is Only a Number
I was 35 years old when I began my full-time adventure travel journey. I completed my university education, worked for a handful of corporations, and experienced several varied career choices. By 35, I hadn’t married nor had any children-- so instead, I made the decision to join and serve in the United States Peace Corps, which landed me overseas for three years in Eastern Europe. After my Peace Corp assignment ended, I had no desire to return to my traditional westerner style of life.
However, I did know one thing for certain though-- I wasn’t getting any younger. And I still had some personal travel goals I wanted to accomplish as well as fulfill my desire to transition to an online career and become a digital nomad so I could travel longer term if I wanted.
Age Builds Character
Age dictates our experiences and tolerance levels. Yes, age may serve as a deterrent in some instances sure, but truly we are as young as we feel.
And older travelers often have some beneficial advantages over their younger counterparts, such as:
Finances: More years worked usually equals more time to build a nest egg.
Vision: Goal setting and a sense of direction in life comprises the air we breathe.
Courage: More time to learn from our mistakes or navigate flat out failures.
Adaptability: More experienced in overcoming the many changes throughout life.
Age is a State of Mind
Admittedly, I was always slightly impatient for my thirties. Early in my adolescence, both of my parents described their thirties as the best time of their lives. It didn’t make much sense until I rounded the age of twenty-seven and that golden decade was in my sights that I began to feel the impact of their words.
Presently, inching closer to 40, I can speak honestly when I say my third decade of life has taught me fluidity and embracing the ebb and flow of existing on planet Earth.
Change is the only constant in life, and gaining this knowledge with age was the key to unlocking the cage on my courage to travel later in life.
Wiser Beyond Your Years
All too often in modern society we must be reminded of our own mental power.
Which destinations are you passionate about visiting? For a moment, imagine what sounds might be happening around you standing in that destination. What smells might you distinguish in the air? Which cultural festivities might be playing out before you?
As your subconscious manifests these dream destinations, you get a warm sensation in your gut and a smile charms your face. That’s your wanderlust bubbling my friend! You owe it to yourself to make that travel vision a reality.
Embrace Your Worry Warts
Too often restless travelers get stuck on the process of planning. Overthinking the possibilities of what could go wrong and default to staycations or mini-vacations with family. Well worrying is wasted energy, because I can confirm for you that things will undoubtedly go wrong, and it’s always when you least expect it.
That’s all part of the journey.
Adapting to change while journeying through different environments and unknown cultures allows for a more enriched travel experience. That is where your ever growing wisdom comes into play.
Have the courage to simply go anyway, despite the worries. Put those years of learned critical thinking skills to use and let them shine. Go for personal growth and self-discovery! Go for the adventure. Go just to go!
Challenge yourself and go beyond the edges of your comfort zone. Whatever the circumstance may be, whatever age you might be, the world is waiting to meet you!
Author Bio: Meredith is a travel blogger and vlogger from the USA with over 50 passport stamps. She offers an intuitive insight into life as she jet sets around the globe.
Follow her adventures on her blog, Baglady Meredith San Diego.
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