Travelling is wonderful at any age so long as you’re physically and mentally fit at a reasonable level. This past summer my 85 year old father made his second consecutive summer trip to visit us in Ireland, all the way from Florida. He had a fantastic time, and we were even able to do some moderate hiking, so long as the incline wasn’t too steep. And on our recent trip to Malaysia, in the jungle, we met some wonderful and intrepid older Brits and Swedes in their 60’s and 70’s that we shared great laughs with. But if you desire it and are able, you should still try and travel when you’re young. With hard work, sacrifice, saving, and careful planning, traveling is within the grasp of the majority of younger people in Western countries.
When you have the money you don’t have the time – As we accumulate more work experience, we tend to make more money. The catch-22 here is that with more money usually comes less time. That quick trip around Europe is more expensive and while you can see a lot of the highlights, there is less time to slowly savor a place and get a better feel for how locals really live.
Health problems – Another great thing about youth is generally enjoying better health. If we’re lucky, we only start getting minor physical ailments as we hit our 30s. An uncomfortable bed in a youth hostel or budget hotel is not likely to bother the back of a 20-something. But it sure can cause more grief for even 30 somethings like us. And as we age our digestive systems tend to work slower so being adventurous with foreign foods can be a bit more problematic. These are just a couple examples of smaller issues, because with each passing year our risk for more serious illnesses increases.
Setting a precedent – We have some friends who are interested to travel, able, but are scared to leave the United States, even to come to Europe. They are transfixed on negative portrayals of foreign travel that they see on TV, like the odd person that disappears or gets killed on their adventure. These things happen at home too. For many, the longer they go without traveling, the more they get set in their ways. This also means a person might be less likely to enjoy foreign food and appreciate differences in cultures.
No guarantees in life – This goes without saying as any day could be the last for all of us. It’s a great idea to plan for retirement, especially in the current economic climate. But since it’s not promised to any of us, don’t get too carried away thinking about the future. Take time to be present in the current moments, even small ones, and appreciate them. And if you have an interest in travel throw caution to the wind and get out there when you can!