Is 60 Too Old for Adventure Travel? No Way – But Consider These 4 Things

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After a month in Europe, followed by a
6-week trip to Ladakh, Nepal, and China, including base camp Mt Everest and Mt
Kailash in Tibet, I’m home again on the West Coast of America.

Adventurous, you may think, for a
72-year-old.

I’m back with a new view of the
globalization of the world, politics, global migration, and my place in it.

Travel Means Living

For one part of the journey, my Dutch
travel buddy – whom BTW I met on a long distance hike a few years ago – and I
were on our own, organizing our activities as we went, with or without a guide.
Another part of the trip (in Tibet) was an organized tour.

I felt safe during the journey, though
the circumstances kept me on alert to avoid accidents and sickness, and made me
try new things and work hard at figuring out logistics and unfamiliar
situations. Alertness stimulates the brain. Travel keeps me growing.
Growing means living. 

Women in My Community

Home again, I’m meeting up with my
local hiking community and hear stories of the other women’s summer adventures.
One woman (73), who visited the Galapagos and the Dolomites, told me she takes
at least one trip every year to a place where nature is changing/disappearing
because of climate change.

She chooses organized tours where she
only has to arrange for her flight and transportation to the tour departure
point.

Another woman (66) told me she
returned to areas she had hiked when she was younger. By doing
short distances, she could
backpack and experience the wild beauty of the Sierras.

A third one (71) has gotten so
enthused about hiking that she bought an RV. That lets her walk and paint
farther from home and have a comfortable place to sleep at night.

My trip buddy (50), who had never
before been in Asia, discovered a new world. She is ready to go back and
see/do more!

‘Active’ Describes Us Well

What do these women have in common
that makes them set off on adventure travel as they get older? They are part of
a growing group of elder women who cannot accept “retired” means belonging
to the passive stay-at-home-and-watch-television section of our society.

In Tibet/China, people expect “old”
people to behave in this passive way. Even my tour guide tried hard
to have me stay at the hotel in Darchen instead of hiking the 52km kora around
Mt Kailash! It wasn’t in his scope of possibilities that a 72-year-old
could do such a thing. I changed his outlook on aging! 

Adventure travel women set themselves
apart by taking care of their physical health. Often, they are part of an
active local group. They have diverse interests. They share tips about cost
cutting travel. AND they support each other. 

Maybe you know an adventurous woman
and want some of what she has. I want to support you in venturing out by
writing and sharing about being active and adventurous as you age. 

If you want to join the many women over
60, who travel and bring a new perspective in their life, you must consider: 

Your Physical State

Physical changes that are taking place
as you age include slower reaction, reduced eyesight, hearing loss, loss of
agility, sleep disturbances.

Stay in good physical condition by
having an exercise routine and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort
zone at least once a week. Traveling long distances can be hard on the body and
you need your body to cooperate when you go! 

Adventure Travel Cost

Budget your income, figure out how
much you can put aside each month/quarter for travel, and use the money for a
trip. This is outside your “rainy day” fund. Learn about budget travel or
reduce your costs by creating adventures nearby. Sixty and Me is full of
advice and travel tips. 

Your Social Circle

Most likely, your social circle will change
as you reach retirement. Are your connections inspiring, adventurous? Make
(new) friends who share your sense of adventure and will travel with you. Join
an organization or club that helps you go on adventures.

Think hiking club, a choir (my choir
went to Japan!), a painting group or a travel club. Invite family members with
a sense of adventure; take your grandchild on a trip of their choice. You’ll go
places you haven’t imagined!

Subscribe to travel organizations who
cater to over-50 people (Road Scholar, Elder trek) if you want to step outside
of your community. 

Your Interests

Keep exploring new things and learning
new skills as you age. From knitting to mountain climbing, cooking to music.
These interests might take you to Ireland to research wool production and local
knitting styles, or Mt Kailash to do the 52 km kora around the mountain.

You might find yourself exploring
Italy, attending a cooking course in Tuscany, or joining a combination
painting/walking tour in the Apennines.

Or, for more local adventurers, learn
about your local flora and fauna, go on identifying walks, butterfly counting
days, and add to your knowledge and local preservation efforts. 

Adventures, big or small, faraway or
nearby, will stimulate your senses, your brain synapses, and your enjoyment of
life. I came away from this summer of travel with a solid idea for a novel I
can write as winter sets in. Don’t let life slip away from you. Grab the
possibilities and lose your age!

Where did you go this past summer?
What adventures did you find? Why did you choose to go there? What experiences
did you bring back home? Please share with our community.

Let\’s Have a Conversation!

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