One of the reasons I give to my parents for wanting to travel right now is that I can take advantage of my youth. I can travel longer, faster, and harder without falling sick or getting tired. I can take overnight bus journeys and recover faster from it. I can go into more dangerous and harder to travel places right now and leave the easier places for my old age. I also tell them about the someday isle – what if that someday that I plan for in my old age never arrives and I never end up travelling? All of these reasons fall on deaf ears as my parents think that I will live forever and I will be able to travel when I am older, just like they are doing right now.
But this myth that I had in my head about older people not travelling, but staying at home, has been shattered several times on this trip of mine. I have seen older people (I mean above 55 years of age) going on hikes up pyramids faster than I did. I see them roaming around the cities of Guatemala with a water bottle in tow. I have seen them everywhere we have been on this trip of ours, doing the same things as us, and enjoying themselves thoroughly. When I see them roaming around the Tikal ruins step-in-step with my sister and I, I feel that I cannot keep up the pretence of believing in the myth anymore – Older people are as capable of hard travelling as the younger people our age are.
This makes me wonder if my argument about wanting to travel right now is invalid then? I believe not. I still believe that these are the luckier older people – who have saved up enough money for retirement despite the crashes, who are healthy enough to walk around in their 50s, 60s and 70s, who are still working part-time after the retirement age to be able to pay for travel throughout the year. These individuals aren’t the norm I would say. Most older people have been dealt a severe blow due to the recessions and are struggling to keep up with payments. The ladies I met on this travel are working part-time as consultants, or photographers. Or they had high-paying jobs as anesthesiologists. Or they have husbands who are working as bridge instructors on cruise ships allowing them to travel with.
All I can say is that I hope that I will be one of these individuals who 30 years later will still be travelling and climbing up mountains with the gusto that I have right now. In addition, I am glad to see that there are so many older individuals travelling and taking advantage of their income and health to see the beauty in this world we live in. Another myth of mine has been shattered, but this is a good thing. It means, that not all hope is lost for me – if I do not see something right now, I will be able to see it later.
- This post has been published in Antigua, Guatemala.
If you haven’t heard of the Big Trip yet, you are in for a treat. Boom & Thenix are driving a 1998 Honda Civic down to the southern most tip of South America, through the West Coast of the US, Mexico, Central and South America. We left on July 17th for this amazing adventure with the help of our sponsor Wise24. For a map of our trip so far, please click here. If you have questions about costs, visas, or anything else trip-related, please see our post on The Big Trip or check out our Archives. Add us to Google+.
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