I was thinking today and remembered a comment that a friend (acquaintance more so) made about me being to old to travel. He made this comment to me before my decision was made to leave for London to live and work for two years. I was 27 years old. I remember he had me reconsidering my decision. I’m not sure of his reasoning, maybe he meant it was time for me to conform to the social norms, get a boyfriend, settle down and have children. While this isn’t completely off the agenda, its not my highest priority. My priority is to do what makes me happy and travelling the world does that. I wanted to write this post for anyone else that has experienced someone like this and let you know a few reasons why you are never too old to travel.
- Age is generally linked to common sense (well in most cases) As we grow and experience the world we have more tools to tackle those Day to day travel challenges that inevitably arise. Language barriers, cultural differences
- You have healthier finances. Generally speaking when you are 20 years old straight out of university you haven’t had the opportunity to work and save any money for trips away. So in saying that the trips you do take you need to make choices and sacrifices on tours, activities to fit a tighter budget. That’s no fun.
- You will take in more of culture and appreciate it. As opposed to your early 20’s, when priorities centre around which areas have the best nightlife, as you mature as a traveller you are more interested in where is the best waterfall, beach, museum or Day trip. You are generally waking up around 6am to get the most out of the day vs getting home at 6am and wasting a whole day recovering. Your need to experience new things outweighs your need to sink 10 jagerbombs in one night (yeah I’ve done that). I still like to go to bars occasionally when travelling, for that social aspect (you really do meet people from all over the globe) and to grasp the local culture (you have to check if the beer is good right?).
- Your comfortable travelling alone. As we grow older we have friends and family that are inevitably living there own lives. You are not seeing each other everyday and kids, careers, commitments make it almost impossible to plans travel at the same time. This forces you to take the plunge into solo travel and you realise that it’s actually pretty epic. No one to ask what to do, your own schedule, freedom like that it pretty special.
- You care less. Being in my 30s has literally taught my to give less F’s. I want to do anything in my life that makes me happy. I don’t care about being a millionaire, or getting married and having my dream home. When we are younger we do feel a certain societal pressure to do things by a capped age. Not now. I want to travel so I will, and you should too.
- You have more life skills. By the time you hit your late twenties and onwards you have generally had for more experiences whether they are good (new relationships, job promotions) bad (loss or injury) or ugly (loss of friendships, intimate breakups). These experiences will make us appreciate life in a new way and grasp those moments of joy at all costs. You are able to relate to people and empathise with hardships a lot more than you have before any of these trials and errors occurred.
So if you encounter someone who tells you you are too old to travel, you have children now you can’t travel, you have a husband now you can’t travel, you need to focus on you career you can’t travel there is proof this is not the case. Adam and Sharon at Galwaysgoround went against the grain, threw their family of three young children in a caravan and chose to leave the city life behind for life on the open road. What about Paula and Gordon at Contented traveller who have been travelling the globe for 13 years now, or Dan and Nataliya, at Mint Lyfe who “did all the right things” like finishing university, getting married, buying a house only to find out that wasnt the key to happiness. Travel was.
Oh and if you need a little more convincing here’s a few photos of my current travels in Lombok, Indonesia.