Do you feel like going on a trip but you’re not 20 anymore and you think it’s too late? No, the journey that will change your life can be taken at any age!
I often meet people my own age who think they are too old to go on an adventure. They think that they won’t have the strength, that they will be alone in the middle of other travellers. They dream about this trip, perhaps they have dreamed about it all their lives, and now they tell themselves that it is too late to explore the world. This is a very sad statement because… it is not true!
The vast majority of long-distance travellers are young, it is undeniable. But this is of no importance and is not a valid reason not to make this travel project a reality
While travelling, you meet many other travellers. Impossible to make a typical portrait, they come from the 4 corners of the globe, from all social strata. They are gay, heterosexual, of different religions, of different styles, shy or boisterous, timid or rash, big or small, rich or poor. In short, the world in all its diversity. They have one thing in common, however, and not the least: they are overwhelmingly young, between the ages of 20 and 30.
In the midst of all this youth, if you were born before 1980, chances are that you are the only one of your generation in the dormitory. So what? They’re just like you… a few years younger. They get lost, they make mistakes, they get out of breath and are surely looking for the same thing as you: adventure, encounters, change.
Another dictat to be erased: The ideal traveller is young, sporty, slim and super cool
The web is full of photos of young explorers, arms open to the horizon, all together partying in a bar, thumbs-up or posing in front of monuments. A very large part of the publications dealing with long journeys feature people under the age of 30. This reinforces the idea that the journey is only for a certain part of us and that all that is left for the seniors is to set off on an all-inclusive cruise to discover the world. Don’t believe in this nonsense. Not only do you have a right to many lives, but be sure that not all long-distance travellers are cool, sporty or experienced.
The dictates of image are powerful. Seniors are associated with comfort, quiet, safety and young people with Mike Horn style adventure. But this is not the case! These young adventurers are fond of private rooms, luxurious swimming pools and are just as tired as the seniors after a night spent in a Burmese train. The long journey is for everyone, young or old.
When traveling, the gap of a generation will not isolate you, on the contrary!
In a western life, if you are over 50, having a drink surrounded by young people is rather rare. When travelling, it is very common. Just follow the movement a little, join a cultural visit, a trek, an exploration. Long-distance travel is very conducive to the formation of heterogeneous groups. You will certainly have the chance to make a road trip, a trail with a group of young travellers and everything will be fine. This mixture is very enriching, for them as well as for you.
Only few people in their fifties embark on a big solo trip, you will sometimes face age ostracism. But this remains rare!
This age difference will sometimes put you in front of unexpected reactions: you find yourself a little out of the game. I sometimes found that my presence made these young travellers feel uncomfortable or unwanted. No invitation to join the group for a drink, to share a taxi or to explore the surroundings. I was put “aside” when most of the time the mixing is done naturally.
Luckily, these unopen-minded travellers are not that numerous, they are even rare in proportion, but they contain a violent ostracism to which not everyone is prepared to react. In most cases it is a manifestation of an unresolved parental conflict because, to your misfortune, you are the same age as their parents. However, you should not stop at a few sad experiences because, as future travellers in search of change, you will soon realise that the long journey is no more for young people in rucksacks than for their elders.
The ostracism of age is real, even when travelling, but age doesn’t change anything: when you’ve decided to leave, it’s because it’s the right time, whether you’re 20, 30, 50 or 70 years old
You will certainly go through moments of doubt and will have to fight the malevolence, the jealousy of those who want to keep you where they think you belong. Do not be discouraged.
You will no doubt be entitled to a few unfortunate reflections, but how many other wonderful exchanges, full of joy and complicity!
I hope to help change the way some people look at people over 40 or 50. I also hope to reassure those who would like to change their lives but are afraid of being alone. You will meet people from all way of life, positive and caring, open to sharing, social mixing and adventure. You will set off towards other horizons and explore other territories. You won’t need a lot of strength because travelling is easy!
Help, I’m old! Damn, I never noticed that before!
Also to be read if you are afraid of the unknown…
No, the world is not filled with enemies. Be prepared for the 1% malicious that plagues this world, but above all be prepared to smile back at the remaining 99%!