How old is too old to travel?

“How long is a piece of string?”, “You’re as old as you feel”; “act your age”; “at your age you should know better”.  All these clichés are true enough, but only if they apply to you, and I’d much rather subscribe to ‘go for it!’

Mumbai in India
Outside Leopold's cafe in Mumbai, India

I am an Irish sixty something who, in the past year alone, has been to Estonia, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, China and Germany; not to mention half a dozen trips back and forth to London.

train in Burma
Taking the train from Yangon to Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), with backpack strapped and ready to go!

I am certainly not wealthy, I don’t have independent means; indeed I am happily spending that which I should be saving for a comfortable old age.  In fact, I am happily spending my children’s inheritance, albeit with their blessing.

Travelling does not have to be expensive, or too too basic.  All it takes is a little bit of time, a rough idea of financial limits, and a basic knowledge of searching the internet for cheap deals.  My experience is that a ‘dIY’ approach is usually the least expensive, but don’t totally discount package deals because they can be a starting point if you feel uneasy about going it alone.

ice and snow festival harbin china
Braving the -30 temperatures for the Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, China

I have found that other cultures are much more considerate towards older people, they are solicitous and do not seem to regard those of us who have had multiple birthdays as insignificant.  On the contrary in fact, I find that young people in particular will happily go out of their way to help.  I might also add that these young people are often a fount of knowledge regarding the less expensive ways of seeing what ought to be seen.

Batu Caves Malaysia
Balking at the prospect of climbing 1000 steps at the Batu Caves, Malaysia

So don’t let anything, least of all your age, prevent you from getting out there and seeing the world.  Honestly, it truly is amazing.


*Maura is a new recruit to the travel blogging community, starting her website Geriatric Backpacker in the hope that she convince other retirees to hit the road and stop letting the youngsters have all the fun!

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