Lonely Planet Writer

Senior Gap Year

Older travellers often put a shine on their 'golden years' by exploring the world, seeing and doing the stuff they’d postponed while working or raising families (or getting back into the swing of it now the kids have left!)

The global financial crisis is leaving some older people with redundancy packages to burn on these adventures – a Senior Gap Year of sorts.

Others however, are fighting curly toes syndrome because they can’t afford to get up and get gone. Many are weighing their options.

These older travellers are debating the horrors of the word ‘zoomer’ to describe enthusiastically nomadic boomers.

And this daughter is feeling a little overwhelmed with the concerns that come with the chance of a lifetime – taking her mum to Asia for the first time:

“My mum got her first vaccination today. She is happy out and is trusting in me totally.

The thing is I'm scared:

Scared that it will be too hot.
Scared that she will find the volunteering difficult.
Scared that she will get sick.
Scared that I won't come up with the best plan to ensure that she has the best time ever in what she considers her only time coming to Asia...”

Got any advice to share? Carefreewanderer would appreciate it.

What do you think? Do gloomy economic times give older people the opportunity or excuse to take the plunge? And how might it be different for older travellers in certain countries: is it expected - or unacceptable that they skip town?


Photo: courtesy Bob_Duck, Lonely Planet Flickr Group