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Yes, You Can Realize Your Travel Dreams at Any Age!

By Carolyn Frick September 28, 2022 Travel

It seems that everybody has a bucket list these days, and for many of us that list includes travel. Even though my husband and I have been traveling together for over 20 years, our bucket list of places we want to go keeps getting longer.

Vacationing somewhere for one or two weeks never cut it for us. We even took two, yearlong sabbaticals and lived overseas, but our itch for more travel remained unfulfilled. So, with our list getting longer and time to see it all getting shorter, we made the decision to adopt the slow travel lifestyle.

So, What Is Slow Travel?

For us slow travel means making a base in a city and visiting everything in that section of the country that we want to see, at our own pace. We might stay three or four weeks, or six months. Then we move on to the next city or country and establish a new base. Having a base allows us to rest up and stay healthy in between our adventures.

We’ve actually been slow traveling for over a year and a half now and are loving it. We love to travel and experience not only the natural beauty of a place, but also to immerse ourselves into other cultures and learn about local traditions, foods, and languages.

When we made the decision to adopt the slow travel lifestyle, we retired a little early. We freed ourselves of possessions, selling our house, cars, furniture, and putting a very few sentimental items into storage as we plan to slow travel the world.

Currently, our world travel plans cover the next decade or so, fingers crossed. Of course, not everyone wants to make such a radical move as to sell all their possessions and become a constant traveler, but it enabled us to do what we’ve always dreamed of.

Not only did it give us a lot more money to travel with, it also took a lot of worry off of our shoulders. Of course, our plans do include regular trips back to visit family and friends.

Since we started our adventure, we have discovered that there are quite a few of us retired slow travelers out here, some in their 90s; you just don’t hear much about us. We’re hoping to change that. Growing older doesn’t mean having to limit yourself or your travel options; it means embracing them. We continue to make adjustments to our travel style as we go.

Learn Something New

My husband is a videographer by trade, so we started our own YouTube travel channel, Over the Hill and Far Away, to document our adventures as we slow travel around the world. I guess that makes us digital nomads as well.

We did have a learning curve. Even though we didn’t grow up with a camera phone in our hands, we are eagerly embracing our YouTube journey and learning the technology along the way. In addition to YouTube, we can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Establishing a Base

Since we started our slow travel world adventure, we have been across Mexico.

We spent six months in Puerto Vallarta, then visited central Mexico where we made a video on What to See and Do in the Historic and Colorful City of Guanajuato, and three months in Merida. You can watch our video below.

In each location we were able to not only familiarize ourselves with the city, but also took side trips to surrounding towns and attractions making videos along the way. I was also able to finish up my Bachelor’s Degree in English, online, during our time in Mexico. I started my degree at age 55 and graduated at 59 (you really are never too old).

After Mexico, we spent a month in Porto, Portugal. There was so much to see and do in Porto and the surrounding area that we will definitely be going back to spend more time in Portugal in the future.

Next, we spent three months in South Africa, basing ourselves in Cape Town and exploring the coast and the wine route.

We then took a month to drive across the vast desert landscapes of Namibia.

Currently, we are in Bangkok, Thailand and will be spending the next six months or so exploring Southeast Asia.

Start Planning Now

The number one thing you hear from people approaching retirement is that they would like to do some traveling. In our experience with retired friends and family, if you don’t go into retirement with a plan, extended traveling will most likely not happen. If it’s your dream to really get out there and travel in retirement, the planning should start now.

Whether you want to travel overseas, live the RV lifestyle for a few months a year, or plan travel excursions with your grandkids, start thinking about where you want to go, and what you want to see. The more planning you do now, the more rewarding your experiences will be.

A lot of research, planning, and prep work went into beginning our slow travel lifestyle, but worrying about our age was not at the top of the list. We know we’re getting older, and we know our limitations. We also exercise, watch our weight, try to eat right, and luckily, neither of us take any prescription medications.

Getting older does not have to mean limiting yourself. For us, now is the time to try new things, go new places on our own schedule, and learn along the way. This is what we have spent years working towards, and we are embracing the adventure.

We have found that old saying to be true, “Anytime (or any age) is the right time to start something new!”

Let’s Have a Conversation:

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Are you planning a special trip from your bucket list? If so where to? Have you been somewhere that you would recommend? Please let us know.

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31 Comments
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Barbara Cummings

I haven’t had a regular home/house since 2015. As an RN, I take on occasional travel contracts and since 2020, I’ve stayed in the US. I drive back and forth (alone) between Boston, MA and S Oregon and I take the “smile” route mostly. This gives me a chance to visit friends and family all down the east coast into Florida and/or through Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, and California. I’ve made great new friends staying at Airbnb’s and I’ve also done some house/pet sitting. Before COVID, I would fly over to Europe, again using Airbnb mostly, and I’ve made friends wherever I go. I got a deal on a European river cruise one time a few years ago and then, visited with some lovely people I met on the cruise, in Australia the following year. Now that the world is opening up again, I’m looking at taking my side gig as a Healthy Aging Coach and creating group events, maybe even tours/retreats. Instead of thinking “I can’t”, I like to ask, “How can I …?”

Patricia Nier

Carolyn, I’ve checked your you tubes and only see one for Europe (Porto). Have you done any more videos throughout Europe/Emgland/Ireland?

Carolyn Frick

Hi Patricia,
Thank you for your response. No, the only travel I have done in Europe is Porto. We are trying to get our hard travel destinations done first and save easier travel, like through Europe, for some years down the road. For now we are focusing on Africa and Asia.
Carolyn

Toni Stritzke

I travelled solo using HF Holidays. They are walking holidays and not so expensive. The company has lodges all over the UK and Europe.
I am no walker but did not have much trouble keeping up as they have two or three levels of difficulty.
I found the people I met, lovely. All of them friendly and fun.
You have a leader who walks with you so I felt quite secure and happy.
I’d decided if I was going to be single for the rest of my life, I wasn’t going to let it stop me from seeing a bit of the world, even from Perth WA!

Carolyn Frick

Way to get out there and go Toni! Thank you for including this information for other readers to be inspired to check into doing a walking tour. Enjoy your travels!
Carolyn

Leslie Granger

Great article Carolyn! I hope we’ll be brave enough to start the traveling lifestyle soon. There are so many places I want to see!

Brenda Black

I’m planning to visit Porto in the spring of 2023. My adult son resides there, so I plan to spend a week or so with him. But then I would like to do a group tour of Portugal. Any recommendations?

Beth

Where do you stay for 3-4 months? How do you find safe affordable lodging?

Carolyn Frick

Hi Beth,
So far we have stayed six months in Mexico, three months in South Africa, and a month each in Portugal, Namibia, Thailand, Cambodia, and next we will be spending three months in Malaysia. That is one thing you have to know in advance, how long the country will let you stay. We use Air BnB for safe, affordable lodging. It is very cost effective especially for longer stays, just be sure to read the reviews of a place and look at the fees.
Carolyn

The Author

Carolyn Frick is a mother, grandmother, and writer. A retired Financial Advisor, Carolyn was also a Personal Trainer, Spin Instructor, and amateur bodybuilder. Currently slow traveling the world, Carolyn is the co-founder of YouTube channel “Far Away Now.” Changing perceptions of aging and inspiring others to realize their dreams.

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