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Is 29 too old to travel ?

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Is 29 too old to start travelling ?
13 years ago, January 8th 2007 No: 1 Msg: #9736  
N Posts: 1
Just wanted to give advise or comments from travellers out there who experienced my dilema before they decided on travelling. I'm 29 and have had mixed reactions from friends and family telling me i'm too old to take a year from my career to travel to Oz ! At 29 I already regret not doing so in my early 20's but it wasn't fesible for me then, it's possible now but all this negativity about my age is holding me back from making the decision. Would really appreciate some comments, cheers !!!
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13 years ago, January 8th 2007 No: 2 Msg: #9737  
B Posts: 455
Hi Vicky,

Go for it!

I traveled when I was young, and at the time I met everyone from kids younger than me to a lady in her seventies. It won't really matter what age you are when on the road as people take time out at all different stages of their lives to do something they've always wanted to do.


Age isn't really important, you'll meet people who share a lot in common with you, both traveling and locals. There'll be some who are middle-aged but are as enthusiastic as teenagers, then you'll find those who were like me - someone who is pretty much deep down an old man already...


One word of advice for traveling Australia though - some of the bus tours are specifically aimed at a certain style of travel, some can be a mobile party-bus that travels round the country. Consequently they generally get a fair number of young'uns. So depending on what you are after for your time traveling, you may want to take the independent option of a buying a car or normal buses/trains.

Hope this helps - any thoughts from others who felt the same prior to traveling?



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13 years ago, January 9th 2007 No: 3 Msg: #9740  
B Posts: 138
Hi Vicky,

I'm younger than 29 years old but I would say go for it (with a punch in the air!). Its never too late to start travelling and I would say that being older and in a better financial situation (than an 18 year old backpacker who lives off of pizza and cheap wine) may be better. You probably have a bit more money and can afford to splurge in the better hostels/hotels and eat a few more proper meals than someone who had to sleep on a park bench a few nights.
I agree with Matt. You may find that there's a younger crowd going to Australia. I'm sure you'll find people that share a lot in common with you but also be prepared for a few nights on your own when you don't want to associate with 18 yr olds. Head to the restaurant with a good book/journal/postcard writing and settle in with a good glass of wine.

You seem more concerned about your career. I do agree that its harder to travel when you're settled into a career (I'm heading that direction myself). However, if your company won't allow you to come back afterwards, I'm sure that your skills will allow you to find a new job with a similar description.

There will always be people discouraging you from travelling and are concerned about the details in life that will bog you down if you allow it to (mortgage, starting a family, paying off student loans, etc). I agree that they are important details (having a house of your own is important) but there's always time later for it especially if you're only taking a year off to travel. The question I think you should ask yourself is if you don't go... when will you go? and are you going to regret it when you're 50?
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13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 4 Msg: #9770  
Vicky, Forget about what friends and family are saying- none of their business. Could they be a bit jealous?? Me thinks so.
I just took 6 months off and travelled through Indonesia by myself and I am a woman who is a lot lot older than you. And do you know I GOT TO LIVE MY DREAM EVERY SINGLE DAY. How many people can say that??
So Girl go for it. YOU certainly do not want to get to a certain age and say What if?

I have some words that are written on a card that carry me through the decision making times in my life. Pamela Fuge Sydney Australia.

Trust your heart, Don't be afraid to reach out to something new, Go Ahead, get your hopes up. Even if things turn out differently than you imagined,
YOU have tried, you will have learned, you will have grown.
And you will never have to live with regrets.

It seems to me that what wears us down the most in life aren't the chances we take,
but the chances we don't take,
The dreams we put aside, the adventures we push away.
So whatever it is you are wanting in Life, Go For It.
Always remember no matter what, Trust Your Heart.
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13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 5 Msg: #9785  
Too old at 29! You're joking! I'm 47 and have met people much older than me travelling. Travel when you can, you might regret it later if you don't do it now. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 6 Msg: #9788  
29..... If you're able, you're never too old to hit the road!

My Wife and I are 27 and intending to start a RTW in May for >12 months. Can only speak for myself but like you I couldn't travel when I was younger (Uni cleared me out financially). I started my career and got well established, bought a house, married my childhood sweetheart and was then was diagnosed with cancer last year.... Kids were next, but the chemo put paid to that for the time being, so one door closes another opens.

I always wanted to travel, and obviously because of what I've already been through everyone is being really supportive with my desicion to go, work are giving me a career break (would still go if they hadn't)and am renting out the house!

there is a lot of jealousy but that's not my problem, it's only now I've been given the incentive to do something, that I am, and am now realising that if I'd really wanted to I could've done this years ago. So could they too if they really wanted to!

go for it... you'll love it, and you'll never regret the desicion! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 7 Msg: #9798  
B Posts: 460
I agree wholeheartedly with the other posters - if YOU feel like travelling now, then do it. To many people, going travelling seems a little risky and off the career/marriage/mortgage/kids route, so the advice you will generally get is not to deviate from that path. If your career is a top priority, then see if you can take some sort of sabbatical, or get an idea from recruiters whether a year of travelling will enhance or detract from your CV. Depending on your job, you may well find employers will look favourably on taking time out. The phrase "Travel broadens the mind" did not become a cliche because it was completely false! You will find any number of project management skills are exercised while you're travelling, and your "people skills" will be given a good work-out by the amazing diversity of characters you meet along the way. In fact, I haven't met anyone who had a problem getting a job after they returned from their travels. For several, the experience of travelling had made them realise they wanted a career change. And for the ones who went back to what they were doing before (or similar), their main problem was that, having done one bit of travelling, they were restless to be off again.

Not everyone gets the urge to travel when they're "young". I hadn't the slightest interest in travelling when I was in my 20s, despite having lived and worked in several countries, and it was only in my early 30s that I started thinking about it seriously. Apart from having both the motivation and the finances that were lacking when I was 20, I had also begun to realise the pitfalls of waiting - it can't be denied that career/marriage/mortgage/kids responsibilities affect your ability to travel, plus you never know when unforeseen events such as illness (or death) might leave you physically and/or mentally unable to travel easily. I decided I'd rather travel now and then I'd never have cause to regret what might have been. As Michael mentioned in a previous post, you can travel at any stage in your life, however there are definitely stages requiring less effort than others.

The fact that you're considering travelling suggests that career is not exclusively the top priority in your life, so I would echo the other posters and say "Go for it". And have a browse through the many blogs on this site to see just what it is you'll be missing out on if you don't go :-) Reply to this

13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 8 Msg: #9802  
I'm a few weeks away from turning 30, and I have to say that I get so much more out of the traveling I've done in the last couple of years than I would have in my early twenties. I don't think I knew myself well enough in my early twenties to appreciate the experiences of traveling like I do now! One of my favourite quotes is by Sir Edmund Hilary: "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." I love what I learn about myself while traveling as much as what I learn about other places. But even five years ago, I wouldn't have been comfortable enough with myself to be able to appreciate that aspect of travel.



"No matter how widely you have travelled, you haven't seen the world if you have failed to look into the human hearts that inhabit it."
~ Donald C. Peattie ~ Reply to this

13 years ago, January 11th 2007 No: 9 Msg: #9803  
I say go for it. Most definitely. I had always wanted to travel since I was a little girl. My Dad passed away when I was 18 and that set me on a path that was not quite planned. I ended up in Canada where I've been living for nearly 6 years. I also met my lovely boyfriend and we both realised that we wanted to travel and see the world. So we 2005 off and went to South East Asia and India. It was the best year of my life. I loved it so much and it was simply amazing to see so many places and people. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We were lucky to get a year's leave from work. Not so lucky as the money that we spent travelling we could have put into our first real estate buy together. Prices had risen when we got back but for us, we wouldn't trade our year away for anything. So go and enjoy! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 12th 2007 No: 10 Msg: #9805  
All of your posts are really inspiring!! My husband and I (ages 35 and 33) are seriously thinking about traveling, although we are also caught in the mortgage/dog/job thing. It's tough to think about leaving it all behind for a while! We haven't gotten alot of positive feedback either - especially with the types of career tracks we would be leaving behind. But, I think about it and ask myself if I would regret not having traveled, and I have to honestly say "yes". So, the next step is making it happen. BTW, have any of you who have traveled for extended periods of time left your animals with friends/family? That is my biggest concern, as our dog is 10 years old. How did your animals do being left for so long? Sorry to stray off topic, I just wanted to ask...thanks - and good luck birdus - we're older than you so don't feel bad about being 29! 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, January 12th 2007 No: 11 Msg: #9806  
I decided to take the plunge at 35. Not all of my friends/family understand, but that's ok. I'm taking a year off from good job, house, etc. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 12th 2007 No: 12 Msg: #9811  
We're leaving our cat (of five years) with my brother in law while we travel, luckily for us, he'll be renting our house as well so there'll be no move for her to contend with (Dog's seem a little more adaptable to new environments though than cats, so I doubt that would be a problem) just a different face to feed her for a year.

I honestly think my Wife will miss her more than anything else!
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13 years ago, January 12th 2007 No: 13 Msg: #9813  
29 .. too old for travelling .... what cobblers. If you want to do it, do it. Where there's a will, there's a way. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 12th 2007 No: 14 Msg: #9815  
From a career perspective...

At 42 I fretted about giving up the job and effectively launching myself at the world without a safety net, but it all sort of turned out OK. By my pre-travel standards I needn't have worried - we kept enough money back to tide us over and ended up back at our previous employers before that ran out.

The difference now is that our work is deliberately temporary, the house is more burden than shelter (though currently decorated with a 'sold' sign), and life too short not to go again as soon as the finances permit. That the trip only whetted our appetite is a consequence that no-one warned us about.
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13 years ago, January 13th 2007 No: 15 Msg: #9849  
I started traveling the day I turned thirty and I have been more or less going for two years now. It was a tough decision to give up the good job, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you want to travel then do it now, otherwise you will get to retirement age and may not have good enough health to do some of the things that should be easy now.

Keith Reply to this

13 years ago, January 15th 2007 No: 16 Msg: #9890  
Do it! I've just taken half a year off at 28 & plan to do one year plus starting later this year (when I'll be 29 myself). I've found travel in my late 20's to be without a doubt the best thing I've ever done. Don't get me wrong, travel in my early 20's was great too - but in my case (everyone is different) with a few extra years has come more cash, maturity and appreciation for the world in general. My parents were slightly taken aback that I left a long term relationship and have interrupted my career at a big, ugly corporate to achieve all of this - but now they can see how happy it's made me - they're on board and even gave me the South America LP for Christmas (unprompted)!
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13 years ago, January 15th 2007 No: 17 Msg: #9893  
B Posts: 8
29 too old? You must be joking... I'm 33 and still backpacking around the world (just came home from my "Laos-Cambodia-Thailand" roundtrip). Unfortunately i don't have so much time as i used to have when i was a student (i started wandering around at 25), but now i have money that i didn't have before.

Truth is, that i don't feel to party all nights and i don't usually mingle with those "young" travellers and get drunk almost every night. And in Vang Vieng (Laos) i really didn't care about tubing down the river, when all got drunk... But OK, thats because of age... And i take much more technical equipment (camera + lenses) now that i used to take with me before. And i'm a bit more cautious and less getting into the trouble that i did when i started my travels...

There is a big question... Would i leave a job and go travelling for one year? Honestly, i wouldn't leave my current job as i'm really enjoying it as it is great experience including great people. And my job allows me to take my hollidays in one "go", so... (can go travelling around 5-6 weeks per year). One other reason not to go travelling around for one year is my gf, as after our last trip she is a bit fed up with travelling (and i went so SE Asia alone, while she continued her post-grad studies). I certainly plan a longer trip when i will be changing my job in the future... (ok, it depends also on a family,...) Reply to this

13 years ago, January 16th 2007 No: 18 Msg: #9926  
B Posts: 14
Hi! I'm 28 and feel I've barely started! I hope to do a lot more traveling during my lifetime, and certainly won't let age be a restricting factor (there are plenty of other things that can restrict us as it is!)
I am concerned about the career/property issues - I had only just got a foot in the door in the former - but the experiences so far have outweighed those worries.

If the idea of traveling has entered your head and it's possible for you to do it now, why deny yourself the opportunity based on the opinions of other people? It's YOU who'll have to put up with possible feelings of frustration in the future for not following your heart! It's just one year out of who-knows-how-many in the workplace! While friends' and family's concerns about your career are not unreasonable, there are advantages in taking some time away - I would agree completely with what previous poster John McCabe had to say. Traveling could well focus your mind on what you want from life and make you feel surer about your career choice, or alternatively make you realise it's not actually for you. You might never even have known that you had such doubts.
So travel can mean uncertainty - both on the road and on your return - but isn't it better to face up to these uncertainties and know that the decisions you then make are the result of consideration, rather than passively sticking with what you know assuming it's what you want? (Alternatively, you may already have given serious consideration to what you want from life, and are perfectly happy in your career but just want to take a year out to travel and don't need all this psycho-babble!)

So don't let age, or other people's opinions, hold you back. One final thing, my dad has recently retired and he and my mum have travelled to Japan and South Africa, and are on their way to South America with Australia and New Zealand to follow. And my mum's almost completely wheelchair-bound. While there are obviously things they cannot do and difficulties encountered they haven't been put off so far!
An open mind and positive attitude are generally far more important than age or other restrictions!

Good luck to any budding travellers, whatever the outcome of your decisions may be! Reply to this

13 years ago, January 17th 2007 No: 19 Msg: #9955  
You know, it's funny how life is....a few days ago I posted re: traveling - we weren't sure how we would figure everything out, etc. Well, we just found out today that my husband's law firm is dissolving and that he will lose his job within the next 2 weeks. They have asked him if he would like to join the new firm that is starting up, but he would have to work more hours (he already works too much!) with less pay. So, to all of you out there who are thinking about traveling, go for it! 😊 Life is crazy - you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow - you could lose your job, your house, but in the end you will have your memories - and those last a lifetime.

We're planning on leaving for a cross country trip (in the US) as soon as we can for 2 months - we can drive our car and it'll be pretty cheap. We're going to rent the house out, ask our family to watch the dog, put our stuff in storage, etc. After that we'll relocate to the DC area (with the dog, and the stuff!) to work for 6 months, and then back on the road - this time to NZ and the South Pacific!

This is divine intervention if I've ever seen it - the universe wants us to travel! 😊 Our blog will be up and running soon, so keep an eye out for us! 😊

BTW - MichealnFaye - thanks for the reply, I'm sure you're cat will be fine! We are going to ask my parents to watch our doggie - and if not, we have found a really nice kennel... Reply to this

13 years ago, January 17th 2007 No: 20 Msg: #9961  
Hi, I'm a 32 years old female on a 6 month trip around SE Asia - love every second of it! I had the same negative reactions from my family and friends before I went - but now they see the pictures in my blog and half of my friends are saying they should have done the same! I'm having the time of my life - go for it, it's your life! Reply to this

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