I am curious about something...
I am a nearly 40 y/o female from the US that has never traveled any further than Mexico/Canada and those were 'border' trips. I am planning a solo (well, mostly solo! I am meeting a friend in Vietnam for the first few days). I am planning to 'backpack' in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and hopefully Laos.
I worry that I will have a difficult time meeting people due to my age. I get the impression that most of the backpackers are quite young and possibly traveling the 'gap' year thing.
I am past the party all night long stage but still enjoy going out and having a few drinks and my interests would include the local culture, food, and sites.
I feel that I am a fairly open minded, youthful (in spirit), and easy-going person.
So....question is ?? Am I too old to start doing this? Am I going to have difficulty meeting people? Are the 'young' travelers going to look at me and wonder to themselves 'wtf is this old lady doing here'?
You are certainly NOT too old to start doing this. Put it this way, if you don't do it in 20 years time you'll look back and think that you were mad not to.
As for what the younger people think, who cares?
I say, GO FOR IT.
33 and counting.
I headed off 4 years ago and felt I had gone past a certain number that excluded me from the younger crowd. But then I realized that I had the best of both worlds. The younger crowd generally respected the older traveler, and the older crowd were always good for a chat.
People of all ages make for good travelling. Pix'n'mix. I have traveled with 18 year olds and 70 year olds. All in different places and all different experiences. Some not so good, but its travel and you can walk away. But the majority have been great times.
I found it worse to dwell on it too much. Go for it and enjoy!
I am certainly not trying to 'relive my 20's' as one poster stated. In fact, I want to stay AWAY from the party all night scene!
I hear you! I wouldn't time-travel back to my 20s for all the money in the world.
From what I've read on this site over the last few years, travellers are every age under the sun. All you need is a sense of adventure and somewhere to start! Enjoy your travels, and tell us all about it!
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 29, 2008, at 5:47 AM by tway ]
Wow! I have gotten much more response on this than I thought I would. I am completely reassured that my trip is going to be a blast!!
Thanks to all the posts and advice on this forum, I feel like I am as prepared as I can be for the trip. I just wish I could leave TODAY. I am only going to be gone for a month but already I am dreading coming back home and in the back of my mind I am planning the next trip!
For anyone that is interested in my blunders/adventures, you can follow along my blog here http://khandilee.travellerspoint.com I am not much of a writer....consider yourself warned!
If anyone is going to be in the area around the same time, drop me a line and maybe we can meet up.
I am only going to be gone for a month but already I am dreading coming back home and in the back of my mind I am planning the next trip!
This could be the start of something big!!
Have a great time
Hey there, Khandi Lee...
I am 41....Now, I have been travelling for a long time now. It is not new to me. That said, I have never felt that I have outaged the ability to travel. I have met and eighty year old British man who packed to Cartagena de las Indias solely to take a sailboat through the Panama Canal...I've met a fifty year old woman who took a TEFL course so she could teach in (of all places) Slovenia. The world of travel is not exclusive to the young...Far from it. The young chuckleheads out there spend much of their time MISSING the places they are visiting in favour of partying with each other. A more experienced and level head would see much more and get a lot more out of it.
You can do so much as a more adult traveller. Do your research, follow your interests. There is a world that the younger set are totally missing that you can capture....You can be the person who says: I saw this....to a kid who was in the same place and can only tell you which clubs were cool.
and, know what? You can also find out which clubs were cool.
Khandilee - go for it! and enjoy every single hour of every day for a month or whatever time you will be - cause Im back from mine and man I wish it were me again! you will love every minute of it! Take things as they come - no worrying now - go !
Maybe I should have clarified that I am not worried so much about traveling at my age, but the fact that this is my FIRST travel experience. I feel so far behind the rest of you!
What great advice/encouragement that has been given....thank you all!
I am currently reading Rolf Potts, Vagabonding What an inspirational book!!
Starting 'old' but not planning to stop for a very long time....
I am a travel RN in the US and have been moving around to different cities and place for the past 5 years. When I started, I told my family that I was just 'taking a summer assignment, I'll be back in the fall'. I have never looked back or regretted my decision and I am in love with traveling through the US. I can only imagine the joy that will come from traveling in the many varied countries of this great earth!
How do you deal with the anticipation?? I think I am going to BURST with excitement...still 53 days to go!!
Oh one thing has just entered my mind as I read the post above my own - I was travelling in South America last year and met this man in the hostel, so well mannered and taking time to meet and greet everyone in the hostel there in Ushuaia, southern tip of Patagonia saying good morning etc in spanish. As I listened I knew from his accent he wasnt a native spanish speaker. He came round to me and it we greeted each other and talked a little while. I then found out he would be joining me on the same flight north from Tierra del Fuego to El Chalten. We then decided to meet up again at the airport later and we chatted while waiting patiently on those Argentine flights - What he told me was that he had retired from Switzerland 14 years prior to Ecuador and now resided there but here he was on a tour of south america for 8 weeks alone while his wife decided not to go and stay at home - he was 76 years of age - a real inspiration to me and to all travellers - I hope to be still travelling when I get to 76 and beyond! Keep the spirit alive guys!
Hey Khandi.....I have never found a more inspirational travel book than "Vagabonding" I found myself quoting him and reading passages aloud from the book as I went through my work day. That is enough to fuel a travel fire under you.
First timing: Some Scary Shit...! BUT I envy you that moment. That moment when you land in a place and now have to figure out what to do next. A whole different set of wheels start turning. You are at the foot of a whole different Yellow Brick Road. It was damned exhilirating my first time to a place where they couldn't give a fark if I was an out of towner.
And I can it as damned beneficial to have that THAT feeling wash over you again as an adult. The feeling of
"Fake It Til You Make It"
Good luck, Khandi....I'm sure you'll be fine.