grandmother with granddaughterGetting older isn’t necessarily a slow march towards death for your travels but as you age how you travel tends to change. Physically and mentally, if you continue to travel you’ll tend to see a slow shift in many of these directions;  each of which can keep your trips, outlook, and self youthful over the ultimate journey.

You’ll Move Slower

I’m not talking about creaking knees (although that might happen as well) but rather the pace at which you travel. Younger travelers tend to want to “see more” and by doing so can often end up seeing less since they’re in constant motion. Being on the move is an important part of traveling (and the definition of it) but moving only takes you to and through places.

  • Checklists are fun but might not be as gratifying as the to-do list dwindles.
  • Seeing places with your eyes is a quick process but tasting foods, chatting with locals, and experiencing a culture is much more involved and requires time.

Perhaps consequently, the age of expatriation floats around the mid-30s and might reflect the trend of older travelers to stay much longer in a single destination.

Seeing More Similarities In People And Places

The more you travel to different places, the less intense the visual differences become and the more evident our human similarities come to be. The same phenomena also happens to the things we see – the monuments, historical sites, and beaches – while perhaps lovely and fascinating, are only as memorable as the experiences we connect with them.

santiago chile park

  • These sights may be architectural marvels in themselves, but it’s the human story behind them that binds our consciousness to the people and the land.
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The same goes for those beautiful beaches in Boracay, Santa Cruz, or any number of the best tropical islands – after you see all of them, what makes each one stand out?

family travelIndependent And Family Travel

Statistics show that as travelers age they tend to do more of two things – travel independently and travel with their families (of those 11% travel with pets). Your meetings with other people may be more targeted (e.g. visiting friends) rather than a hostel lobby, or might start a decade of travels from a single solo trip by operating outside of what you previously thought possible.

stubborn donkeyAs you travel (and age) your confidence grows, along with a combined stubborn development of determination. Being less worried about “what will I do by myself” you’ll learn how to travel alone and make your plans reality no matter your situation.

Don’t think you can do it? Be inspired by a few of the many traveling families, solo travelers, digital nomads, female vagabonds…as you age you’ll realize how irrelevant age can be when it comes to traveling.

There is of course useful technology as well like travel social network TripSay, language social networks, location-based social networks, Twitter, Facebook, and many local travel blogs to help keep you connected and social worldwide.

Putting Up With Less

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Bad tours, dirty hotel rooms, and hidden charges might be brushed off in your earlier years but as you get older the likelier you are to speak up. Your complaining repartee and prowess will enable you to work your way around luggage fees winning battles at the ticket counter like Sun Tzu.

Hopefully as you travel and age you’ll begin to see how many people don’t have same the opportunities to do what you are doing. Although you’ll put up with less, you’ll appreciate that you can travel and embrace it. Often that leads travelers to consider volunteering abroad. (Learn how to get started with The Underground Guide To International Volunteering.)

Change Will Inevitably Happen

How your travels change as you age will vary but change will definitely happen. For better or for worse, now that part is up to you. Keep the journey going and stop aging out of travel by making the most out of your last impressions. Continually challenge yourself to overcome the obstacles without neglecting to protect your body from the physical effects of traveling so globetrotting never gets old and neither do you at heart.

[photos by: cam knows (grandmother with granddaughter), Stv. (family travel), guiliomarziale (stubborn donkey), (R)DS (airport ticket counters)]