Should You Ever Stop Traveling?

The first time I ever left North America was when I was 21-years-old. To some that might sound like I was an old bat before I really was able to see the world, to others maybe a delicious look into traveling while young.

About a decade later my country count has grown thirty-fold and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon. I’ve had to hunker down a little to have a little stability in both mind and body, but overall I’m glad that it seems to be possible to hopefully explore this world for years to come. I’m a big advocate of senior holidays and continuing to see our beautiful planet your entire life.

edythe sweeney eileen cotter wright and hazel sweeney2

One of my biggest travel heroes is my grandmother. She lost her husband fairly young, and decided after retirement she would go travel, usually on her own, meeting friends along the way. Some of her favorite experiences was visiting Oxford in England, cruising through France and enjoying the Greek islands. By the time she hit her 80th birthday, she has seen ALL seven continents and had enough stories to wow us for a lifetime.

Her big 7th continent adventure was boarding a scientific ship and kissing the ground in Antarctica. It’s a wonderful thing to be inspired by, especially as female travel was almost a pioneering thing then – way before social media! Now at 97-years-young, I like to send her photo books of all the wonderful destinations I now get to experience too.

Traveling phases

fredericksburg texas eileen cotter wright

Too many times online, on TV and in print there are photos of smiling twenty-something with a backpack or festival-goers in exotic beach destinations. While that is all well and fun, I think these images made me worried that I had to stop traveling once the ‘real world’ set in. It seemed frivolous. I was ever more worried if I wanted to have a family of my own, a career and a solid relationship that they would have to be set aside for wanderlust.

I’m happy to report so far, none of this is true. Some of my best adventures have been outside my twenties! And if I do have children someday, I hope to get their own passports a lot faster than I did. I also look forward to enjoying slow travel in my retirement, where we can really savor the flavor of a new place and take our time by boat, safari or simply relaxing at the spa.

Build up to something big

One of the last few pains about my traveling passion is the financial aspect. It can be difficult to pick and choose where to go, budget the right amount for transport and accommodation, then hope it all works out in the end.

retired parents in london eileen cotter wright

However, I hope to be like my own parents someday, who worked hard for what they have and now can pretty much travel anywhere they’d like. Their senior holidays and vacations are full of scuba diving, seeing live music, taking canal adventures and so much more.

So, should you ever stop traveling?

Absolutely not.

amalfi coastline italy eileen cotter wright

My grandmother, parents and I have all learned to appreciate traveling at different stages in life for different reasons. I did enjoy the crazy, budget-filled adventures in my twenties, but look forward to the richer, more fulfilling holidays as I get older. I can’t wait to meet other retirees down the road who love exploring as much as I do!

Author: EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

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