Baby boomers have always embraced the spirit of travel. In our youth, we understood that it is not the destination, but the journey, that counts. So, we stuck out our thumbs, jumped in our friend’s VW vans, laced up our shoes and set out to explore the world.
Unfortunately, over the years, some of us have come to look at travel differently. Instead of being a state of mind, travel has become a point on a map. Worse, for many baby boomers, travel has become a symbol for our economic differences. Let me give you an example.
Every time I write about travel, there’s always a vocal minority of people that post negative comments like, “That’s all very well for rich people.” I even had one lady, send me a long email saying that I was “Making her feel bad about her life,” because she couldn’t afford to visit the wonderful places I mentioned.
Isn’t this missing the point? The places that I feature are just focal points for a discussion about travel. They are examples that are intended to inspire. Each of us faces our own financial realities – but, we are only limited by our imagination.
Not everyone can afford to travel to Bali for a 3-month yoga retreat, but, everyone can afford to explore the world. Some of the best trips that I have ever taken have involved little or no money. A few weeks ago, I took a bus to a local city in search of a delicious slice of cheesecake that a friend recommended. I spent the day walking around the lake, drinking coffee from my own thermos and chatting with the locals. The total cost for the day, including the cheesecake, which was fabulous, was under $10.
Another time, I took a road-trip to a city that was about 6 hours away. We stayed overnight in a wonderful little apartment that we found on Airbnb. Since we split the costs 4 ways, each of us paid about $30 for a wonderful adventure.
Even if you want to visit more exotic locations, there are plenty of ways to keep your costs low. You can stay in a monastery, try Couchsurfing, use Airbnb, sleep on a friend’s sofa or try a home exchange. Will your trip be as comfortable as staying in a luxurious resort? No, of course not. But, will it give you plenty of opportunities to explore the world while meeting amazing people? Yes, absolutely!
In our teens and 20s, most of us understood the true meaning of travel. We set out to explore the world and, in doing so, we discovered ourselves. Now, in our 50s and 60s, we have the opportunity to do the same thing. All we need to take along for the ride is a sense of adventure!
What is the best inexpensive trip that you have ever taken? Where did you go and why? Please join the conversation.
Here is a short video that I recorded on the topic of travel being a state of mind.