Not too long ago, retirement was a time of relaxation and “aging gracefully.” Well, if playing golf, knitting and reading in your rocking chair is your idea of a good time, more power to you. But, taking it easy is no longer your only option. As we reach retirement age, more boomers than ever are saying no to rocking chairs and yes to rocking and rolling around the world.
Each year, nearly 100,000 adults participate in a Road Scholar educational adventure. The not-for-profit organization, whose mission is the inspire adults to learn, discover and travel, offers 5,500 programs in 150 countries and 50 states. But those figures don’t tell the whole story.
I was recently scanning through my 600 Facebook friends when I realized that less than 10% of them regularly interact with my posts or engage in conversations with me. In total, perhaps only 10-15 people regularly engage in dialogues that demonstrate a deep and meaningful interest in my life, work and passions. I’m not criticizing, by the way. I know how busy life can get. But, it’s still interesting how much we have come to rely on surface-level interactions with the people we care about.
One of the best things about traveling in your 60s is that you have the experience to know what you love and the energy to explore the world on your own terms. For many baby boomers, this means leaving the beach towel at home and looking for something a bit more adventurous.
If this sounds like you, here are a few adventurous travel destinations that will show you unexpected vistas, while introducing you to other people who like to live on the wild side.
Learning is a lifelong process and today’s travelers are combining learning with travel as never before. When it comes to senior travel, learning vacations offer opportunities to expand horizons, make new friends and stay mentally and physically fit. Women can choose from many senior travel programs that include fun, enjoyable learning opportunities.
Most people have expressed at least a passing fascination with the story of England’s King Henry VIII. I remember studying the Tudor history in school and trying to keep track of all of his wives and their collectively tragic fates.
Well, that’s it. After more than a week in beautiful, inspiring Prague, I’m on my way home. As I write this, I am sitting at a little coffee shop near the main train station in Prague. The sun is shining and the city is going about its business. This really has been an amazing trip.
Looking back at the last 9 days, it’s amazing to think how much Road Scholar managed to pack into this adventure. As I look back over my time in Prague, I am reminded of the “3 P’s” that make travel such a wonderful experience – people, places and new perspectives.
One of my favorite things about traveling is getting to dig deeper into the unique culture and history of the places that I visit. There’s nothing wrong with visiting a place to relax. But, for a truly meaningful experience, I find that nothing beats combining learning with travel.
As I sit here in my little 4-person couchette on the train from Zurich to Prague, I am reminded of everything that I love about travel. For starters, I just spent the last several hours with two lovely ladies, who shared their life stories and plans for the future.
When it comes to picking destinations to experience, I’m a snob. The less-travelled, the better. Except for one place: Machu Picchu. There are few more iconic tourist destinations… but what if you’re not looking for a tourist experience? That’s why I went with Road Scholar. I wanted the physical challenge of hiking the 26-mile-long Inca Trail that leads to the mountaintop fortress and the chance to learn from Inca experts along the way.