Traveling among the elderly

So what are the pros and cons of traveling in our advanced years? I am just back from a New Years’ jaunt to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, so I am in a good position to judge. Also, the fact that I now own and operate @HistoricTours of Texas. (What the heck was I thinking? At seventy-seven, I’m supposed to be retired). I specialize in tours for my fellow compatriots in age which gives me a unique perspective. I especially like taking widows who have the interest, the income, and the time to go and would rather not travel alone. What a great group with whom to travel!

Among the pros are getting to meet others who love to satisfy their curiosity about places they have always wanted to see but hadn’t had the time to go before. This last trip was a particular delight with three travelers, Vickie Mitchell, Karen Baldwin and our only male, CL, who reveled in the experience of being in Mexico. In addition to helping me learn the vagaries of Facebook, the two brilliant businesswomen brought me up to speed on marketing in the new world of Social Media. Sharing experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, is what travel, and blogging about travel is all about.

They assured me that social media does not have to be a narcissistic, self-centered exercise in self-aggrandizement. It is marketing, for heaven’s sake! Now-a-days, we don’t force our friends to sit in darkened living rooms while we click through a thousand slides of our latest trip. Today, we post our travel pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In, Tiktok, or a dozen other mediums I haven’t quite mastered yet. We are sharing and if our friends want to scroll through a few (a very few of our many pictures) our friends can do so at their leisure and enjoy our trip vicariously. So, I’m returning to blogging to share a very few of the pictures from our latest adventures.                              

A definite pro for traveling with my guests/friends who are advanced in years is sharing experiences like climbing an ancient temple or standing under a sky filled with fireworks or watching a light show unfolding on the face of a magnificent baroque church. Or dining at Estoril where the owner suggests new culinary delights and takes our order himself. Or gazing in awe at the magnificent paintings on the ceiling of the church at Atotonilco, called the Sistine Chapel of Mexico. Or getting to take a siesta in the afternoon after a two-hour meal. And if you must do New Years Eve, we recommend a nap in the afternoon before heading out to celebrate. The biggest pro is the freedom to go when and where we want, whenever we feel like it. It is truly satisfying.

Of course, there are cons as well. Pain is a biggie, especially among those of us whose joints have been used for years too numerous to count. Knees that ache with every step we take. Or hips that don’t flex the way they used to. Or internal organs that require frequent “rest” breaks. Or sinus allergies or other ailments of the elderly. And if the hotel is in an ancient four-hundred-year-old building with stone walls two feet thick, the frigid temperatures seep into the walls and turn the rooms into iceboxes. The only saving grace is heaters or a thick layer of blankets. Let me recommend a blanket around your head as it sticks out from under the covers. And of course, missing our pets. Okay, missing family, too, but when everywhere you look people have their furry friends with them, we wish ours were with us too.

Yes, young families get to go on vacations skiing in New Mexico or Colorado, sharing Air B&Bs, driving hundreds of miles. But, they worry constantly about getting back to the job, getting the kids back in school and returning to the daily grind. Not us! We get to go without worrying about nuthin! And upon returning home, we can still hop in that big Ram truck and head for Branson, Missouri just because we feel like it.

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