I am over 50 and want to start afresh and travel but not sure what its like out there in general and in particular for people my age. I have been on a couple of package holidays in the past and a trekking holiday once Is there any body else out there in this situation or who has been and done it. Any advice, tips, would be most welcome. Thank you.
Hi, After years investing all my energies into looking after others I am at a crossroads and after at first feeling a little bit heartbroken have decided to make a different choice and travel. Its now or never so it might as well be now! I don't know how to begin but know I would like to do the Camino de Santiago (I am a regular walker in the Peak District so the walking will be fine), go to Cuba, New Orleans, possibly the Rio Carnival. A colleague retired to Thailand and not sure if he is still there but if so I may be able to stay there for a while as well. Not sure if that will get me started in a safe environment or if it will make me more nervous about being on my own. I have a rucksack from my long distance walks, but does that really contain everything you need for your whole journey? Yes, I'm that green! At the moment I plan to investigate renting the house out and find a way to save with a view to going on my travels next year, perhaps around the March time (my birthday). The only money I will have other than what I will have saved will the be rental from the house so it will be on a very small budget. However, I presume that's the case for most people. I really would appreciate your advice and guidance. Thank you in advance
It sounds like you are confused and anxious about what to do next in life other than to travel on a tight budget. Seems to me that both your desire to travel inexpensively and to find direction would be best accomplished by walking the Camino de Santiago. That's what I plan to do next year (see my recent planning blog on the subject), although not for the same reasons as you. September/October is a good time to walk, and you don't really need to train that much given your trekking in the Lake District...many train on the way. So go for it!
Then with winter approaching, it's off to Thailand...a very easy country to travel around and inexpensive (your rental income should be sufficient) and safe by taking the normal precautions. And the months of December and January have the most pleasant weather. I should know...I lived there for many years. Just reading the blogs of those who are or have traveled there should give you a good idea of what to expect and where to go. And once you've become comfortable with life there, then you can branch out to surrounding countries as you will have to do anyway with expiring visas. Discount airlines such as AirAsia are inexpensive ways to get around Asia...and even to Australia.
By February it will then be time for the Rio carnival...followed by a slow trip around South and Central America, then Cuba, and on to Miami and across the southern US to New Orleans, before returning home...or just finding a place to stay for months south of the border.
If you do plan to return home you might be able to save money with an RTW ticket. Check out Airtreks.com to enter your itinerary (and play with various ones) and prices.
I'm excited just thinking of the many opportunities you will have. If you need more specific advice, please let me know.
In response to: Msg #192340
Thank you so much, and for your kind words. You are right I am anxious and confused and only decided to travel today and after feeling really excited this morning, later thought I was being a bit silly and felt very despondent. Anyway I would rather be a bit silly and do something that could be wonderful than trudge on, be boring and never have done anything to speak of. Your encouragement is very much appreciated. I am now going to put the emotional lability away for ever and do something constructive! So .... I have a lot of planning to do. I definitely will need more specific advice at some point and so am sure I will be taking you up on your offer! What do you think about Camino de Santiago in March/April (I don't want it too hot) and this September will be too soon, whilst next seems a long time to wait although it would give more time to save. If Camino would be good in March/April would you have ideas of the best places (within my parameters) between that and Thailand. One place I would love to go to is the icaragua falls.
I was considering May and September 2016 as I also want to avoid heat and cold. But you have to be prepared for both in either season. Before Easter many albergues are still closed, but then again there aren't any crowds. As everything I know is based upon what pilgrims have reported, you would do better to go right to the source. In my blog about planning for the Camino I list several. The website and Facebook page for American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) is very good and encouraging. You don't have to be an American to join or ask questions. You could Google Camino De Santiago and find many other links. You can also search on YouTube for Camino videos.
Now that you are planning to walk early next year...perhaps later than March for weathers sake, You could do the reverse of what I suggested before and start Rio in February, if that's not too soon, as that's when carnival usually is...but is tied to the religious calendar so varies every year. Since you are in the Americas, then you could travel through South and Central America and Cuba, before returning to Europe to walk the Camino in April/May.
You might want to take a break before going to Thailand...internalizing the lessons of the Camino...before going to Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia...and because that time of year is the end of the hot season leading into the rainy season. Like I said before the best time to visit Thailand is from October to January. If you can't take a break at home because your apartment is rented out, you can find some very inexpensive living arrangements in Croatia along the Adriatic Sea. Or you could just go to Thailand anyway, and relax on a beach to contemplate before exploring.
I'm a Moderator so I'm going to accept you as a Blogger now.
Thank you, I will do a lot more research and its really helpful the way you have pointed me in the right direction. To be a blogger do I have to come on line and post regularly? I don't have much to say just now - more questions than answers as they say. Hope to have more to contribute when it comes to fruition. Best wishes to you and your family.
In response to: Msg #192363
Changing your status from New to Blogger just gives you more privileges on the site. Mostly it's going from being a possible spammer to a recognized member of the community. Usually we can't identify a spammer if they haven't written any blogs, but your questions and our back and forth convinces me that you are not a spammer! You do not have to blog to be an active member. Just blog when you have something to say...even if it is your preparations for a trip, just as I posted several planning blogs. We look forward to your first blogs.
You should watch travel videos from <snip> which has huge stock of various country. I think that may help you decide where you should have your vacation. You can also get some insight about your expenditure after watching the traveling videos.
[Edited: 2015 Aug 10 09:21 - traveltalesofawoollymammoth:258356 - No URL addresses please]
I am 60+ and have done quite a lot of travelling on my own inexpensively by exchanging my home or hospitality ... It looks like you have your own home so,why not try that . I did a 6 month trip to Australia and New Zealand almost all,of it through home exchange and was met with so much generous lite and kindness.
Home exchange is something I have done for more than 25 years and never had any problems.
Good luck. In response to: Msg #192338
Hi Stephie P
. Welcome to Travelblog.
, I am a 60+ traveller. My wife, Sylvia, is 70+ and we still travel the world - so there is no excuse for not going. If you don't want to take a chance on your own, there are plenty of travel companies who will help you sort out a route. We favour an Australian company called "Sundowners" who does trips through the Stans and China but I am sure there are UK companies who do the same sort of adventures, Look them up and get out there.
I started travelling just a bit short of 50, it has been one of the best decisions I've made.
Some of the things I've learned :-
When you find yourself in need almost everybody is ready and willing to help - whether the problem is big or small.
Hostels are the best choice of accommodation, if you're not ready for a dorm bed take a private room but when you're in the hostel spend your time in the common rooms meeting other travellers. Just start talking to people and you'll soon find yourself fitting in.
Use Trip Advisor, HostelWorld, Booking.com, Agoda, Thorn Tree Forum on Lonely Planet to choose hostels, get tips, ask questions etc. Contribute back to them with reviews, forum posts etc.
Book your hostel ahead online so you're not arriving into a new place with nowhere to stay - trudging around finding a room is a dull activity.
Expect things to go wrong and don't get too stressed when they do. Be flexible and adaptable.
Expect to pay tourist prices for many things, but always keep in mind how much more you're paying - does a $ or two really matter that much to you compared to the person who's gaining it from you ?
Keep your wits about you but don't be paranoid.
Get a local SIM card for your smartphone / tablet.
Be aware of bank charges for cash withdrawals, don't use credit cards for getting cash.
Try a shorter trip before you commit to a longer one.
Go and do it.
All you need to do is relax. You just can't think straight when you have too many things going on at the back of your head. This will make you more confused and you'll end up nowhere. For travelling, money is not a constraint. First you think about what kind of vacation you're looking for; by the never ending beaches or among the hills where the chilly cold wind blows. Think, how would you like to spend your vacation. Once you have figured out the kind of vacation you are looking forward to, pick a destination. Be smart as travelling to South East Asia would be much cheaper for you, i believe. And the best way to save money, don't pick the mainstream tourist destinations. I will give you two reasons why:
1/. They are over priced
2/. They are over crowded and mostly not the quality tourists.
Stay somewhere close to the main city but not in the city. And don't book hotels online. There are a large number of homestays at a very reasonable rate and decent stay, but they aren't put up online. So you will not find them in the internet. You won't believe, i even got a room for 150INR (which is say about 3 USD), and the room were decent and well protected.
Also use the local transport than booking a taxi or a cab as that saves a whole lot of money (Just a suggestion).
So basically all you need to do is relax and plan out when and where are you going to go. Rest, just follow your instincts and trust me, it always takes you to the right place.
Thank you so much to you and everyone who has responded. I am getting some fantastic tips, advice and encouragement. I wondered if it might be possible to work whilst I am away. Not too much as that defeats part of the object which is to feel free for a while as well, of course, as expanding my horizons and education of the world. Do you know how easy or difficult it might be to earn by working whilst on my travels. I will be doing an online course which will result in a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Otherwise I don't mind what I do but I am not skilled and couldn't do bar work. Thanks again.
Quite a few TBers teach English as a second language. My son got his CELTA certificate in Bangkok and then taught there for 18 months in his gap year (and a half) before law school. In Thailand you need a university diploma along with the CELTA to get a visa. Each country has different requirements so you need to check that out. Hopefully other TBers will be able to respond for other countries or you can Google search...lots of websites devoted to that specific subject. Or you could search TB for TEFL and see what those TBers have written.
That's the spirit. I guess if you are willing to travel, then you can travel to places what your budget allows. And, yes, you can go for trekking as well. I will you good luck for your future travel endeavors. 😊