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March 24, 2010

Following in the footsteps of seniors

I’d never thought much about senior travel until a wrinkled yet muscled man sat down next to me on the Pokhara to Kathmandu bus. Preston had lived in Mexico, Hawaii, Nepal, Thailand and more — he’d been on the road for most of his life.

He’d relied on his wits and his skills to take him around the world. Renovating houses, fixing up boats, running a gem polishing factory, leading troops. While working to save for travel offers a great balance, an alternative route is to integrate our work and our travels as best we can. We can still always take breaks as needed…

English teaching and travel writing get a lot of attention, but what else can drive a life of travel? In the past few weeks here in India, I’ve met a textile designer, an auctioneer, a lubricants salesman, a tiger researcher, and a stock trader getting ready to move from London to Hong Kong next month.

By finding work that requires travel, we don’t have to divide our time between work and travel. Living on the road expands from experiencing, eating, and sleeping to include pursuing and achieving audacious, oft-profitable goals.

So what does this have to do with senior travel? Most of the seniors I meet on the road have done most of their travel — and are still traveling — as a direct result of the travel-based work they’d chosen to pursue. Sometimes the job sounds boring on paper. But if you listen to these seniors’ stories over a glass of whatever, it becomes clear their lives have been anything but.

Meet any exemplary seniors out there lately?

Photo by freeparking via Flickr

Posted by | Comments (2) 
Category: Expat Life, Senior Travel, Working Abroad


2 Responses to “Following in the footsteps of seniors”

  1. Rebecca Travel-Writers-Exchange Says:

    Great post! It just goes to show you that traveling is NOT only for the youngsters. Many seniors are “seasoned” travelers who can run circles around younger travelers. Plus, they usually have more common sense.

    When I was in the UK, I met some senior travelers. They wanted to see the world and that’s exactly what they were doing. They didn’t care about what family and friends thought, they just traveled. One time I met an entire family (mom/dad, kids, and grandparents); they were European. The family was traveling together on their bikes throughout Western Europe. It was inspirational!

  2. G. Michael Schneider Says:

    Another thing that is so great about seniors is that, after 30 or 40 years of work, their resume can be extremely impressive. That means they will be in great demand as short-term consultants or experts and can find short-term overseas employment. I am retired (3 years) and my wife and I just got back from Bhutan after a two-month teaching/consulting gig with all of our expenses fully paid. This is our 15th working vacation. Might want to check out my blog to see how we did it.

    Michael Schneider

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