Lonely Planet Writer

Meet the man who took a gap year at 55 and documented his travels to 32 countries

Age is but a number and for photographer Richard Silver, it certainly didn’t hamper his experience of having one of the most fascinating years of his life. In 2017, the Brooklynite travelled to 32 countries across four continents over 12 months and now he has showcased his entire experience through incredible photos of his adventures.

On top of Padar Island Indonesia
Richard on top of Padar Island Indonesia Image by Ash Edmonds

The initiative was part of a concept called Remote Year (RY) who host around 50 or more people travelling to 12 cities around the world. A one-year commitment, RY provides the participants with an apartment and take care of your travels with a set itinerary. They also provide a co-working space in each city so that participants can work – it is the participants’ responsibility to have a job but because of the nature of Richard’s job he was able to go beyond the designated ten countries and keep travelling.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu in all of its glory. Image by Richard Silver

According to Richard, he was the “oldest male” to take part in the journey, something that he feels is quite special. “I was blessed to travel with this group of people. The age group was from 24-55, me being the 55. Yes, they made fun of me a lot, but it was all in good fun and be it that I am from New York, if you goof on me it only means you care.

“I was older than many of their parents but they all knew I was not their father. We partied, drank, ate, hiked, went boating, rode motor bikes – we did it all together without any issues. If anything, I made fun of them because very few of them could even keep up with me.”

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia – “I participated in so many spectacular adventures this year it is impossible to say what was my favorite one” Image by Richard Silver
Nuclear Exclusion Zone Chernobyl
The Nuclear Exclusion Zone in Chernobyl. Image by Richard Silver
Base of Torres del Paine
Base of Torres del Paine in Chile. Image by Richard Silver

“It is difficult to explain to people what it is like to have a whole new kind of family experience that you never thought was possible” Richard adds. “To share a year of your life with such a large amount of individuals, along with so many personal highs and lows, it just isn’t something that many people will ever have an opportunity to experience”.

Sunset over Nusa Penida Indonesia
Sunset over Nusa Penida in Indonesia. Image by Richard Silver
Valencia Spain
Gorgeous Valencia in Spain. Image by Richard Silver

“Ballooning over the Pyramids in Mexico, hiking Machu Picchu, sunrise at Angkor Wat, scuba diving in Indonesia with ten-foot manta rays, seeing Komodo dragons or even going to the Nuclear Exclusion zone in Chernobyl; all of these were my favourite experiences, not one more than any other one”.

Richard already plans to revisit some of the locations and to continue travelling the world. You can find out more on his website here.