Some of life’s most eye-opening and beautiful moments come through travel. As Saint Augustine wisely said,
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Whether you are just graduating from college or you are about to retire from a long career, now is the perfect time to see the world! There are people, places, and experiences (not to mention delicious food!) that will enrich your existence and leave you with beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
Need a little travel inspiration? We’ve interviewed some world trekkers who are passionate about the places they’ve been. Read their stories and catch their contagious wanderlust!
Check Off Your Bucket List
One way to make the most out of life, is by creating a list of things to do before you “kick the bucket.” This is how adventurer Rick Griffin, the creator and co-host of the video blog, Midlife Road Trip, ended up traveling to 27 countries on three separate continents.
When I was in college I read an article about world-renowned adventurist, John Goddard, that inspired me to make out a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I died. Much of the list included travel. Over the next 20 years, about the only things on my list that I actually accomplished were getting married, starting a family, starting my own business and attending a World Series game.
Though I maintained my list, and even added to it, everyday life always seemed to take precedent. In 2004 I had a life-threatening illness that really got my attention and kicked off my midlife crisis. I reevaluated my priorities, and began actively pursuing the things on my list. I’ve been traveling ever since.
Rick’s traveling experiences paid off. He has been named among the Top 10 Travel Experts on Twitter by Thompson-Reuters and among the Top 20 by the Travel Media Group. Rick also shared a few of his most memorable moments in transit.
I had 3 incredible moments just last year: witnessing literally hundreds of humpback whales feeding, breaching and spouting water for several hours in Alaska’s inner passage was surreal; riding mules down the highest sea cliffs in the world in Molokai, Hawaii was exhilarating; and experiencing Rome for the first time with my daughter who had just graduated from college was unforgettable.
You can experience breath-taking moments too! Start by creating your own bucket list of the places you want to see and the things you want to do there. You will find great joy in checking them off one by one.
Feast Your Eyes On Beauty
Sick of staring at a cubicle wall? Bored with life in the suburbs? Travel is a wonderful chance to see some spectacularly beautiful places around the world. Jet-setter David Porter describes how much he and his wife, who run The Roaming Boomers, love to see the glory of nature.
We certainly love meeting people from all over the world when we travel, but I suppose our greatest love is simply being completely overwhelmed with the beauty of creation. The first time I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, the sheer beauty and size of the canyon brought tears to my eyes. There seems to be an innate something in people of all walks of life to admire the beauty of creation.
Life wasn’t always so beautiful for David and Carol Porter. After selling their business with plans of retiring in Arizona, the stock market crash of ’08 wiped away nearly half of their life savings. The couple decided to find beauty in these ashes: they re-invented themselves and embraced their passion for travel.
If you find yourself stuck in an ugly place or situation, it’s a great chance to turn your life around by going on a trip. You never know, it could change your entire life!
Make A Plan- But Make it Flexible!
Often a vacation is ruined by not enough planning- or by too much! It’s a good idea to plan ahead but allow room for the inevitable changes that will happen. Professional Travel Advisor Becky Lukovic shares some advice from her years of adventure-wisdom.
(1) Be flexible
(2) Plan, plan, plan….but don’t feel like you have to do everything…take time to have a three hour lunch at a cute cafe….often.
(3) Buy ice cream at every opportunity….especially when things get a bit stressful
(4) Pack light….lighter than you think you can…
(5) Use a professional travel agent to assist you with planning your vacation–we plan travel every single day.
Becky is the owner of Bella Travel Planning, an affiliate of The Travel Agent, Inc. She specializes in Western and Southern Europe, Costa Rica, Destination Weddings and honeymoons.
Planning a trip can be a lot of work, but the help of a good travel agent will make it a breeze. Before you talk to an agent, sit down with your spouse or travel companion and think through everything you want to do and see. Remember to leave room for the unexpected! Sometimes spontaneous adventures can be the most memorable.
Open Your Mind
The best way to travel is to leave your preconceived notions at home and go with an open heart and mind. Instead of making assumptions, let the locals teach you about their culture. Experienced travel guide Peter Grubb, a travel guide since 1978 and the founder of Row Adventures, shares his opinion on the best perspective you can have:
Leave your habits at home. Travel with an open mind. Don’t expect things to be like home, and if that is what you want, then stay home. The world is a magical, friendly place waiting for you.
Peter has had some amazing experiences of his own including seeing a rhino in the wild and swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos.
We all have different bias views on the way we perceive the world. Travel can change everything 180 degrees if you go into it willing to learn. The best lessons are often learned on the road, not necessarily the classroom.
Does a long flight to a far-away land sound more exhausting than exciting? That’s ok! There are plenty wonderful places to find adventure right in your own backyard- or neighboring state! Travel guru, Youtube star, and creator of the travel blog Bacon Is Magic, Ayngelina Brogan explains how:
It doesn’t have to be a big jump, even a trip to another state or the neighboring country can be a great start.
Ayngelina left her comfortable life to find inspiration in Latin America, but one of this native Canadian’s favorite moments was her snorkeling trip with beluga whales in the Hudson Bay. She loves to share her stories of travel and adventure in hopes of encouraging others to explore the wide world as well.
There are a vast array of beautiful, interesting places in the United States. Road trips in an RV are a great way to see the Land of the Free. Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean islands also offer some great places to visit without wandering too far from home.
Write Your Adventure
Have you always dreamed about authoring a book or starting a blog? Think about documenting your journey to share with others your unique traveling experiences. Writer Joel Warner traveled 91,876 miles with his co-author to write their book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. Joel shares how someone else’s words help him get started.
When my mother, a librarian, first instilled in me a love of reading. After that, the adventuring never stopped.
Joel writes about his experience being a hospital clown in the heart of the Amazon and other amazing stories in The Humor Code. In the past he wrote for Wired, Slate, Popular Science and more. He also blogs at Joelwarner.com.
With self-publishing it is easy to document your travel memoirs. You can also start by beginning a travel blog and post entries photos and written reflections. You never know who you will inspire!
The best way to travel is top just do it. Saying “one day I will…” will only make you put it off more. It may be frightening or uncomfortable at first, but once you find the traveler in you, your life may never be the same. As Henry Miller said,
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
If you are close to retirement and wondering how you can spend this next season of life traveling, contact us today to learn how a reverse mortgage can help get you started on the next big adventure!