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The time you have left (for 60+ crowd)

Since I hit the big 6-0 this year I've become more reflective, even though I sometimes behave like I'm 0-6. You younger folks are still going to live forever. I remember those days well.

We all have a limited amount of time, so with that happy thought in mind, what are your must-do vs like-to-do lists? Why?

Age.
Age brings perspective
in the fine clarity one gets at midnight on the tracks looking into the lights of an oncoming train.
It dawns on you rather quickly... there's only so much time left.
Only so many star-filled nights, snowfalls, brisk fall afternoons, rainy midsummer days.
So how you conduct yourself and do your work matters.
How you treat your friends, your family, your lover.
On good days, a blessing falls over you. It wraps its arms around you, and you're free and deeply in and of this world.
That's your reward: being here.
That's what gets you up the next morning...a new chance to receive that benediction.
While you're buttering your toast, getting dressed or driving home from work, you stumble into those moments when you can feel the hand of God
gently rest upon your shoulder.
And you realize how lucky you are. Lucky to be alive, lucky to be breathing in this world of beauty, horror and hope.
Because this is what there is: a chance.
A world where it's lucky to love, lucky to be loved.
So you go until it fills you, until the sweat, blood and hard tears make sense.
You go until the light from the fading distant stars fall at your feet.
Go, and may God bless you.
- Bruce Springsteen, "Letter to You"

Posted by
21666 posts

My intent is to celebrate my 90th birthday in a Paris cafe. That will be in the last year of my passport so I probably will not renew it. We had our first trip to Paris in 1970 and will make it our last trip. We will find the same cafe. And the iphone will softly play, "It Was a Very Good Year," followed by "Raspberries, Strawberries." The year will be 32, and how I wish I could have been in Paris in 1932. "It was a very good year ....... "

Posted by
2214 posts

I echo Frank, but not Paris. Either Quimper in Finesterre or Zagreb. My wife and I are 69-72. We are less and less interested in large cities, and more interested in the 2nd and 3rd cities. We'd consider living in Europe for a time.

Our bucket list:

Bulgaria-Albania-Macedonia
Poland-Lithuania-Latvia
More Germany
More France
Portugal-Spain
Circumnavigate the Black Sea (currently not the best idea)

I know that I should look outside Europe, but I am not interested in S America. Africa is of very limited interest. There are few places in Asia - most Anatolia, Armenia - that we are interested in. But little else

Posted by
1643 posts

A slide off your topic a bit...

A woman (from church) who is soon to be 98, told us she wants her home kitchen renovated. Lol!!

She is spry, has all her faculties, tiny little woman, lives alone, eats healthy, reads her Bible, and keeps a positive attitude.

I love seniors - A lot of insight, wisdom, and examples. 😇

Posted by
206 posts

I am an avid road cyclist and just turned 70 the other day. I love biking in Europe and have a trip to Italy booked for late September. I'm still healthy and fit enough ride 50 miles a day and with a little training could still double that. But at the same time, I feel the biological clock ticking, so I'm planning to get as many trips in as I can.

Posted by
21666 posts

Good for you!!! We have finally thrown in the towel on bicycling touring in Europe.. Our bikes when packed in their suitcase weigh close to 45 lbs and it has been become more than what we want to handle on the train. Still travel in the US with them. There was a time when we would fly into the airport, get the checked luggage, find a quiet corner, assembled the bikes and ride away. Life was easy.

Posted by
3789 posts

I am 63, but about 10 years, due to working in a health care setting, I decided no waiting until retirement to achieve my 'I'll be ticked if I miss them' list items. So I did Alaska cruise, Peru (Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca), Amazonia rainforest, Galapagos Islands, Egypt and a safari. These sound like ticks on a list but each trip was enhanced with other experiences; some leading to life changing events and hobbies that enhance my life.
I am soon retiring, and now my list is fluid and every one will be a gift as I am healthy and financially able to do them....many I know could not. I will start far afield with SEAsia, then India, perhaps then something around Japan or China. If it means a stop off of some length somewhere else, then all the better. Central America has appeal for birdwatching, more Europe and eventually places simpler and closer to home like US and more of Canada.
Somewhere in the middle of this Covid mess, I realized that if I could never travel again, I would be at peace with what I had accomplished. Now, that doesn't mean I am not looking at places open to Canadians and still relying on that 3 month winter escape come January. But it means I am thankful I chose to do those big important trips at the front end of my list

Posted by
2887 posts

I am with Maria. I have lived my life ‘not’ waiting to experience things, but tempered with raising a well balanced child. I did speed up a few priorities recently in anticipation of a few off years. However, as Maria indicated I am fine if I don’t travel internationally again. That being said, I always thought if I became less mobile, I would just go to Paris and watch Parisians pass by from a cafe. All is good and all ages provide different experiences to enjoy.

Posted by
4939 posts

BigMike, thank you for the poem. We are 75 and 73, and while we don't actually believe it, the calendar doesn't lie. When I think about missed opportunities, I ache. When I think about how we nearly threw our lives away, I weep. But we're still here, still strong, still together.

For some reason, I once asked Stan about how he want to die, and he said "We're in a plane, we're 100 years old, we're holding hands, and we're on our way home from our last trip to Paris."

I'll take it.

Posted by
2408 posts

Hubby and I will be 64 this summer, can’t believe it. Our first trip together was to Venice, it was so long ago they still had pigeons in St mark’s square. I hope to do some traveling just the two of us and some with family and friends. However it works out. I have a list of places to go and I am so blessed that my husband just says, sounds good and let’s me pick the places. I want to push for 3 trips a year but that might be a hard sell. He says to just take one trip at a time. Do I have any place I must see, no, not really. Whichever city we visit, I’ll be happy.

Posted by
4939 posts

Actually, on further reflection, I think he said "On our way home from our last trip to Europe," not Paris. But hey, close enough. :-)

Posted by
21666 posts

I have told this story before but I like it. At the end of my academic career, I worked for a training company that developed and delivered construction trades training programs. In those days we used a projection system with 35mm slides and a script related to each slide. We used a retired script writer/editor to review all of our script especially the new ones and the revisions. (Again, in the days before computers and word processing or internet.) Summer was our downtime for rehab and development. He loved Ireland and each summer he rented a small cottage on the Irish coast for himself and his girl friend. His habit every morning was to take a hour long walk along the cliff overlooking the ocean, return for breakfast, and then worked on our scripts for the balance of the day. One morning he didn't return. She found him reclining peacefully on a rocky outcropping gazing out to sea. I cannot think of a better way to go.

Posted by
470 posts

I think Erma Bombeck nailed it when she said:

"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

Posted by
827 posts

Frank, I love that story!

I am 61, as is my husband. When we turned 60 at the end of 2019/beginning 2020, it really dawned on us the reality of our mortality. So, we started planning a family trip to Italy last fall. We postponed to this fall, and have rescheduled again. In the meantime, we have visited a few U,S. Cities we’ve never been too.

I would like to get to Spain, Greece, UK, Amsterdam and Germany. My little longer term goal is when DH retires, spend 2-3 months on Rome. Rent a 2 bedroom for kids to visit. I lived in South America as a teenager, so no burning desire to go back. I have no interest in Asia or Africa. I guess my interests seem limited, compared to DH who is fascinated by all cultures.

Posted by
8064 posts

Life is an adventure.
Walked my 1st Camino to celebrate my 60th birthday. Walked 2 more in 2018 to celebrate #63 and hoping to walk again in Sept. to celebrate turning 66.
Stay fit when possible, and have fun.

Posted by
3143 posts

Costa Rica-Hope to see Quetzel
Panama Canal-when I was in elementary school, my uncle was stationed there with Air Force and sent me a book about it being built,

which I still have and reread to get ready for the trip that was, of course, cancelled in 2020
Colmar and Strasbourg and Rouen and more of the Loire Valley
Italy-because it's Italy and I want to see Ravenna, cathedral at Pisa and always Florence
Prague, Krakow, Budapest
England-to do Rabbies tour that we had to cancel in 2020

Posted by
902 posts

Somewhat unexpectedly, although I have had plenty of time to come to terms with it (you never come to terms with it) I find myself approaching sixty from the wrong direction. When I worry about how long I can keep exploring the world, to cheer myself up, or merely reassure myself, I always think of the closing words of the song ‘Senior Citizens’ -

And there'll be time to try it all
I'm sure the thrill will never pall
The sand will take so long to fall
The neck so slim, the glass so tall

The song is sung by Pete Atkin, but the lyrics are by the great Clive James, whose own sand ran out in 2019.

Posted by
147 posts

Only 54 here but I have been planning more extensive trips of 3-4 weeks for when we are no longer bound by work and kids school schedules.

This year’s birthday hit with the realization that I am now as old as my father was when he died. He never took long vacations and died with a full bucket of things he had planned to do once he had the time. This stuck with me so I have crammed as much as possible in early. I view the trips I take now as research trips to find a few places that we would like to go spend several weeks in once my wife semi retires at 60 (another 8 years).

My role models are our great aunt and uncle (89 & 92) who have spent a month in England and two weeks in France every year for the last 30 years. They keep saying it may be the last year, but I seriously believe that their secret to keeping active and engaged with life is that they always have another trip to look forward to.

Posted by
1100 posts

Big Mike, thank you so much for the Springsteen lyrics. Deeply appreciated. I plan to share these lyrics with a group of hospital chaplains of which I am a part when I share my impending retirement with them in a few weeks. Then - hopefully - it's off to Egypt in January although my (grown) kids have some reservations about me traveling alone there. My reservations, though, are with United and Egypt Air...

Posted by
1766 posts

Jane, that reminds me of grandpa, a D-day and Bastogne veteran that was the best man I'd ever known, but he was old school.

His ideal final day would be a round of golf, an ice cold beer with a nice dinner, and then dying peacefully in his sleep.

jmauldinuu, Egypt will be quite the unforgettable adventure. Like RS says, "Travel is intensified living." I think it's good for the soul.

I applaud AlanJ and everyone who strives to stay fit and healthy. That matters as it adds to the quality of life. I would add that all of the greatest and fittest athletes eventually died. Death is undefeated and untied.

Assuming one is blessed to reach the average life span of about 80, then when you're 60 you're entering the fourth quarter of your life, like a football game. The end is coming. I like to think of living past 80 as the game going into overtime.

Anyway, for us, it's Iceland in July, a trip out to Yellowstone and the Badlands in 2022, and Scotland in 2023, God-willing. Beyond that I don't know. Maybe return to a place we really liked.

Posted by
1766 posts

ianandjulie, thank you for that.

You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

- Pink Floyd, "Time"

Most of our lives are spent trying to keep our head above water and dealing with the work and life grind. Years go by just trying to survive and take care of yourself and others, and make it to the weekend.

If we're fortunate we have the money and health to travel. It's a blessing not to be taken for granted.

Posted by
6449 posts

Since my last trip to Europe in 2014 I've dealt with health issues and gained a lot of weight. Now, at 76, getting back in shape enough to risk solo travel outside the country is a never ending battle, but I'm still hoping for another European trip or two before I give up. I am still doing in-country road trips and don't anticipate stopping that until absolutely necessary.

None of us knows how much time we have left - even the under 60 crowd. My choice was not to wait until retirement and risk not being able to travel for health reasons so I started traveling internationally 25 years ago, long before retirement. I was lucky I had worked at a company long enough to have 5 weeks of vacation each year and took advantage of that.

When anyone asks me if I regret spending a good portion of my future retirement savings by traveling when I did, I tell them "no way"!
I may not have as healthy a nest egg as some but I have memories that are worth more than money. Everyone has their own priorities, but if your priority is travel - don't wait, do it now! Tomorrow may never come.

Posted by
941 posts

Wait what? Over 60 is old? Shoot.
My husband will be 69 this august.... I can't believe I'm married to an old guy. I'll be 64 in September and I can't believe it. We are in great shape BUT I do feel like we should plan as active of trips as we can while we can. So bike trip somewhere in Europe May 2022 and maybe hiking on Dominica (not DR) in 2022. I keep wanting to cruise Japan but will put that off a couple years …. when we are old and less active. :)

Posted by
1028 posts

I am very grateful to my husband for basically making me take my first overseas trip (Ireland) at age 50. He insisted that waiting any longer could be too late. (My plan was to go at 60). I am turning 56 this year in Iceland (hopefully). I feel that as long as I am still working, I will take at least one trip per year. I am pretty sure that next year I will go twice, to make up for 2020. An upcoming trip is the only successful motivating factor for me to exercise, so traveling is very good for my health! I already have arthritis challenges, so I am hoping joint replacement procedures continue to improve! I have always said that once I quit working I will stop traveling as it is important to me to be a financial support to my extended family....but I am starting to think that I will keep traveling as long as my health allows it.

These are some of the places on my list: Paris, Prague, Budapest, Sofia, Amsterdam, London, Matera, Sicily, a return to Sweden. Also include corresponding countrysides and secondary cities to the above. The more I travel, the longer my list gets.

Posted by
53 posts

Alan.

I turned 73 this week, but I can still bike 50 miles in a day, too. One trip I have in mind is to Berlin, and then to the Mosel, to bike it as I did on my first trip abroad back in 1972.
The other trip on my mind right now is to Spain. Still have not been there even though I have 20 some trips to Europe under my belt. Debating whether to sign up for My Way Spain for May or October '22. Both prime biking months in Wisconsin, so I hate to be gone then. But, really want to get to Spain.

Jane,

The way I want to end is to be with my best friend/sometime travel buddy, on the fast train from Brussels to Paris, having bought our supply of chocolate, sampling as we ride, big crash, blood and chocolate everywhere, instantly gone with our mouths full of Galler.

Posted by
2206 posts

The stories of you people in the +60 and +70 brackets have me feeling good about my future. I'm still 3 years away but have often pondered Big Mike's question about travel priorities and must-see and do lists. Thanks to the responses so far my lengthy lists in both categories are still doable.

Posted by
6540 posts

BMWBGV, the last year has made us acutely aware of our limited time in getting things done. I am hoping to pick up the pace in travel, as I realize we will run out of time and health long before we run out of places to go. We've done the must do's but could go back some places over and over.

Posted by
8212 posts

Sempre Italia, I love this (and Erma Bombeck).

"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

Posted by
1766 posts

Stan the man, Amen.

Susan, the only thing about dessert is maybe skipping it once in awhile will add years to our lives? I just wish hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, cheese cake, and pizza with extra cheese was healthy. Maybe if enough of us eat this way the Titanic will sink under our collective weight. I'm just goofing around. There's the 0-6 part of me.

Posted by
5697 posts

April 8, 2024 -- probably my last total solar eclipse (and first/only trip to Texas) at age 79.

Posted by
2214 posts

The responses here remind us all of the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman Emperor, common man, and Stoic philosopher.

"You can die any day". Another phrase: Memento mori - remember your death

This is not the insight of the Stoics alone. Most religions suggest contemplating your mortality. Doing so gets you to do those things that really need doing.

Like more posting on the Rick Steves Forum.

Posted by
656 posts

I turn 60 this year and my husband just turned 63. Watching our parents over the past few years pass away or become much less mobile has been eye opening.

My husband is semi-retired but I am a consultant and work a 50-hour week. That said, we are seizing the moment now that our third child is about to enter her senior year of college and traveling more.

We took our adult kids to Barcelona, Geneva, London and Edinburgh recently. In addition to trips to visit family in Miami, DC and Dallas this year, we are soon heading out for a month in Aix-en-Provence. We rented an apartment and I will “consult” from there. Hopefully we’ll get to Europe once a year going forward—that is the plan!

Places to settle for a month:
London
Vienna
Seville
Verona/Florence

Places to visit:
Lisbon
Porto
Madrid
Prague
Bruge
Gdańsk
Warsaw
Copenhagen
Amsterdam
St Petersburg
Jerusalem
Lots in Germany

Taking suggestions 😊 We’ve got to get BUSY!

Posted by
1766 posts

Calimom, that's an impressive list. Best of luck to you and your better half :-) I hope you accomplish every last bit of it.

You touched upon something that has impacted my own life. Dad was energetic, alert, healthy, and vibrant until he went from 60 mph to zero as far as work and exercise went. He once ran a 2:48 marathon. The deterioration was steady once he began to spend his days on the couch and letting my Energizer bunny mom do everything for him. She likes to stay busy and, well, do everything. Dad is in his early 80s and... it's tough. The lesson for me is to stay vital and active, and resist the temptation to sit around too much. I don't know if it will be work, volunteering, or some combination of things, but I'm going to keep moving as long as I can. There is some truth behind the "use it or lose it" advice.

Anyway, thank you for sharing.

Posted by
60 posts

It is never too late to have a happy juvenile delinquency...... twopffenig

Posted by
96 posts

Live every day likes it’s your last. In the blink of an eye, life can change. Mine did 8 years, 5 months and 21 days ago when a drunk driver dissolved the life my husband and I knew, nearly leaving our 16 year old daughter an orphan. We were both in the hospital for some time. I floated out of body the first week when doctors weren’t giving favorable odds I’d pull through. When I did come crashing back, I awoke with broken bones head to toe, 48 staples from stem to stern holding my insides minus a few bits and bobs in and a traumatic brain injury. I began two years of intensive cognitive and physical therapy, learning how to read and write again, regaining lost memory (I only recognized a handful of people and still have no recollection of the accident or the year or two leading up to it.) . I had a mountain of broken bones to rehabilitate including a shattered scapula, three broken vertebrae and a crushed leg. I was told I’d probably never raise my arm above my shoulder or walk without a limp. All I could think of was they didn’t know me and my inner drive to backpack Europe. My husband had made trips before. It was my passion but we’d been so busy feathering our nest egg, raising our child and polishing the grindstone that they were infrequent. Now it was my penultimate goal. I wanted to carry my own backpack, use public transit and be able to read and write about my travels. Twenty two months later, my husband, daughter and I accomplished my goal. Since then, I’ve managed to go back 3-4 weeks every year. We make accommodations for our short falls, plan for unexpected down time and generally move at a slower clip. Without living through this experience, I would have never understood the extraordinary power my dreams have to carry me through and lift me beyond limitations.

I confess I’m a bit of a stalker rather than participant in this forum. Writing is still a bit of a struggle to string words together for me. I felt a bit attacked posting about my 3 weeks in Turkey this November. I had had Covid and Turkey had a fairly low infection rate at the time, not that I need to justify my trip to anyone. For me, it was self preservation.. The isolation and confinement of Covid had triggered my PTSD; leaving the house, answering the phone, getting the mail were becoming increasingly difficult again. A solo trip to Turkey in the middle of a pandemic was a risky tonic I was willing to take.
The magical thing about being 6 is you do live like there is no tomorrow. You live in the bliss of the moment. Six year old’s could teach us a lot.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West

Posted by
1696 posts

So many wonderful stories here.

Jane, I love Stan’s ideal goodby. :) Travel satisfies my soul.

thenosbigs, your story reminds me yet again that we never know someone’s story. (I remember your Turkey trip report.)

For myself, I want to enjoy each day because you just don’t know if you get another (much less another year). That meant I needed to enjoy the past year in spite of no travel because travel wasn’t possible. And this year I want to enjoy travel if it is possible. Wray, your picture of enjoying Paris from a sidewalk cafe (if we are slowing down) made me smile - something to look forward to.

Ms. Jo, I will celebrate 66 with you in September. :)

And no must-do list for me. Just lists of places I haven’t seen yet and places I want to see again if I can.

Posted by
1277 posts

No bigs, thank you for trusting us with your story

I echo a lot of what was writtenby many of you... my beloved dad died at 71 which has me wondering if I really want to keep polishing the grind stone until age 65.

Erma bombeck is my spirit animal

Posted by
184 posts

Big Mike, thanks for posting that poem. Thank you so much, thenosbigs, for sharing your story. Many good posts in this thread. And I love Sempre Italia’s Erma Bombeck quote!

Posted by
384 posts

This is weird, but I just answered a similar question elsewhere:

"When the party's through
Seems so very sad for you
Didn't do the things you meant to do
Now there's no time to start anew
Now the party's through."

-- Nick Drake, "Day Is Done"
( https://youtu.be/Y2jxjv0HkwM )

Why am I traveling to Oaxaca of all places? Why this place and why now? What's the point of travel in the first place?

If you're 25, the end of your life is an abstraction and the whole "there's time to change things!" is a nice balm. When you're 55, your death isn't an abstraction, it's a fact of life that dominates more and more of what remaining time you have left.

Let me teach you one of those amazing words the Germans come up with for describing various forms of existential agony: Weltschmerz. Loosely, this is a form of sadness when one realizes what is versus what could have been. This is the compound interest of regrets and choices not made, or made poorly. Not only does Weltschmerz grow with each passing year, its very presence amplifies itself because the more you know what could have been, the more you understand the cost of that absence.

You can slap whatever Hallmark nonsense you need on this to get through the day, but Weltschmerz never goes away. It's always there. It's there at 3:00am when you wake up in a silent house and look at everything around you as consolation prizes for races not won. It's there when you see your friends succeeded in a million different ways that you never did. It's there when you look at 6 million lines of text you wrote and realize you're not the next Hemingway after all.

On your deathbed, Weltschmerz will be one of your last visitors. He'll hand you a bill and you'll know what it's for. My bill will be long, but it'll at least be minus "drink mezcal in Oaxaca", as it will "watch a total solar eclipse from start to finish", "cross the equator" and "pet a fox".

That's why I'm flying 10 hour during a pandemic just to drink mezcal in a place I know nothing about.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
470 posts

Thanks to everyone sharing so much of themselves here. At 69, I too am painfully aware of the ticking clock. I am so happy that I decided to retire at 60 and started traveling. Even if I can never go back to Italy, especially, I am grateful for the memories I have from the trips I did take. If there is anything to be learned from the past year, it's that anything can happen to change our plans, even if it's not directly happening to one's self.

Posted by
3418 posts

" One of those amazing words the Germans come up with for describing various forms of existential agony: Weltschmerz. Loosely, this is a form of sadness when one realizes what is versus what could have been. This is the compound interest of regrets and choices not made, or made poorly. Not only does Weltschmerz grow with each passing year, its very presence amplifies itself because the more you know what could have been, the more you understand the cost of that absence. " A very eloquent post , Mike . It recalls this number of great introspection from " Follies " ( 1971 ) , by Stephen Sondheim . I am 75 and acutely feel this sentiment - https://youtu.be/SHWx4BsAtyQ

Posted by
1277 posts

Oh, Steven, we did Follies when I was a singing theater nerd in college..... the deep poignancy of the lyrics went over my head at age 21.

Posted by
8212 posts

BigMike, I have a lot of experience skipping dessert... I still remember the chocolate mousse I said No to in 1988 - lol.

Posted by
18241 posts

Frank said, "That will be in the last year of my passport so I probably will not renew it."

My passport expired a year ago, but I hadn't renewed it because I knew it would be a while before I used it again. A month ago I realize, I was about to turn 77, will be before it gets renewed. That gets me through 87. Will I really be traveling to Europe at 87. I'll cross that bridge when (if) I get to it.

Posted by
1597 posts

@staynsavor

I love Shirley Bassey and that song really spoke to me. It is so true.

Posted by
3789 posts

I can't imagine a time I don't have a valid passport. Maybe it's because I have always lived so close to the US border so I am only an hour's drive from 'international' travel.

Posted by
31 posts

I have lived life backward, waiting to have a child at 45. By then I traveled all over the US, Costa Rica, North and South Africa, all over Europe....that itch never stopped and I traveled with my daughter annually to somewhere new China, Vietnam, Peru, and many long stays in Italy, Greece, Ireland. I am now 65, retired and my daughter is an adult. The interesting thing is my bucket list is filled, not only with new destinations, but I am just as passionate about returning to destinations that I can't imagine never seeing again.

Posted by
270 posts

What is it about getting older that makes us so reflective on life?
When you lose a friend at the young age of 42 you really do realize it can end anytime. In 2003 while waiting in line to go up to Neuschwanstein, my wife and I struck up a conversation with 2 retired couples. I was 44 at the time and I would guess they were in their 60s. One of the lady's said to us "It is great to see you traveling at your age". They were all too aware of what life could bring. One of the men had physical limitations that prevented him from climbing too many stairs. We will continue to travel until such limitations make it impossible. My wife is getting into her genealogy so we will most likely concentrate our travel plans on running down our roots. We prefer Europe so we will continue to do most of our overseas travel there. Ireland and the Nordic countries are next on our list.

Posted by
876 posts

My hubs and I are 67 and 63 this summer. We both retired early and blessed we have health and money. I love to travel. I think it is in my blood! My first trip was when I turned 4 in the Netherlands. My grandparents lived there . They paid for the trip for my family for that summer. Next was when I went to England when I was a senior in high school. Third was on an educational tour on acis with my sister and my youngest son (he was finishing up 8th grade). Now the 4th trip was the crucial part of why I want to go go go as much as I can. My ancestors came from Shetland islands, so my sister and our cousin (bob was my dads 1st cousin) went to Shetland in May 2010 for Hamerfarin and seeing our ancestors homeland. My dad (he has now passed ) but then he was in an assisted living at that time, suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Using a walker - transitioning to a wheelchair. He wanted to go with us so bad but due to his health issues, there was no way he could even go. He was literally in tears and made me so sad. With that being said .... I told my husband when you retire we are going to Europe every year. So since 2015, we have gone and stayed 20-25 days for each trip. (excluding 2020 and 2021.) For 2022, we are doing a whirlwind of travel. June whole month gone. Scotland, again and Iceland. August RS Scandinavian tour. December for our 40th anniversary RS Munich Salzburg Vienna tour .

Here’s to all of us for good health to travel!!

Kim

Posted by
5539 posts

. . . but you can’t have lunch if you don’t have the money, so there’s a calculation needed for some people, as to what to eat, and when, besides the where.

In any case, the advice to always eat dessert first has understandable merit.

Posted by
2058 posts

Kim,
You will love the Munich Salzberg Vienna tour, I also did it December 2019. My last tour before Covid-19!

I’m doing the Scandinavia tour in May, I will let you know how I like it. I’m sure I will love it.

The last week of August 2021 I’m going to Venice for a week with a small group, all of whom are fully vaccinated and have to test negative. As of now, we will have to wear masks indoors and outdoors, too. But I am willing to do this to experience Venice without mobs of tourists!

Mike,
For quite awhile now, I have been aware of time ticking away which makes me want to travel as much as possible and, this was before the Pandemic! Now I feel I have to make up for lost time. I feel blessed to be coming out of the Pandemic and looking forward to resuming my passion of travel.

Posted by
876 posts

Jane - thank you

Judy - l will patiently wait for your scandinavia report. Lol. I too feel that way too, as you stated!!

Posted by
2058 posts

I’m back to report my 9-10 days in Venice was a huge success, we had so much fun soaking up the culture, coffee and canals. Masks, shmasks and tests, it was all worth it just to be there. I wrote a trip report under Trip Reports if you are interested in my account. I have booked a trip to Florence in March next year, time’s awasting! Gotta travel now, who knows when the next pandemic will hit?

Mike, thank you for the poem by Bruce Springsteen!

Posted by
1597 posts

Travel has been a big part of our lives for nearly 30 years now and we have been so fortunate to have traveled to many parts of the world. Being stuck at home since 2020 and fast approaching our mid 70’s has caused us to rethink our future travel plans. We will be far more mindful of what destinations will be next for us. We will truly make those trips count and appreciate them even more.

Posted by
12794 posts

The pandemic has caused me to change travel plans drastically and decisively In 2009 I turned 60., ie, am in that age group.

The primary travel focus is now going to be directed at France and Germany, first and foremost, and then England, Scotland, Poland, Austria, Finland , etc. Still haven't visited places I had in mind since my first trip in 1971.

Then what about the numerous places in eastern Germany, both cities and small towns, (Rostock, Greifswald, Prenzlau, Halle, Jena, Stralsund, Wismar, Schwerin, Goerlitz, Lützen, etc , etc ) I have yet to explore , stay, or visit.

France...tons of places I have to see, towns, villages, and cities.. ..Rouen, Cherbourg, St. Malo, Chaumont, Brienne-le-Chateau, Grenoble, Nevers, Bar-le-Duc, Dijon, Troyes, Nancy, Rennes, Orleans, Blois, Soissons, Laon, Chartres, Beauvais, Thionville/Lorraine, and so.

This all will take planning, direction of purpose, determination and energy. and, above all, good health.

Posted by
765 posts

My husband and I are 63.

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 56 1/2. She died when she had just turned 59. Her father was diagnosed with cancer when he was 56. I'm not sure of the exact type, but I know it started with pain on the right side of his abdomen. He died when he was 58.

In January of 2014, when I was almost 56, I had abdominal pain on my right side, and an ultrasound and CAT scan revealed that I had "lesions" on my right lung and on my liver. Well, of course, given my family history, I was pretty much planning my funeral, given that news. I was scheduled for an MRI, but not until late July.

The only places I had been, outside of the US and Canada, were Hong Kong and Tokyo in 2008, and Paris and London in 2010. One place I had always dreamed of going was Prague, and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, thinking I would never make it there. Once I got over the initial shock and had the chance to talk more at length with my own doctor (who had been away when I got the news from her locum). I was made aware that the reason my MRI was so far away was that my situation was considered to be not urgent. That made me feel better, and I decided to plan a trip to Prague while I still could.

So, on July 1 2014, my husband and I flew to Budapest, where we spent 6 days, followed by Vienna, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Salzburg, and Munich. It was a wonderful trip. While we were in Vienna, my husband accepted an offer for a new position for which he'd interviewed in June. This position meant more income, plus a more flexible travel schedule (no longer tied to school holidays).

After my MRI, I learned that my liver lesions had, in fact, been there for a long time (but nobody had mentioned them to me before), and they hadn't changed. My lung lesions were watched with regular CAT scans over the next year or so, and they didn't change either. So, I no longer felt as if my expiry date was imminent, but I had an increased awareness of my mortality, and resolved to not put off travel anymore.

Since then, we've travelled to Portugal, Spain, and the South of France; Denmark, Norway, Scotland, and the South of England; Namibia; Costa Rica; and Ecuador and Peru, including Quito, the Galapagos Islands, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Lima; as well as to Boston and to New York City.

Prague and Machu Picchu were the big, bucket-list items for me. (I'm really glad we went to MP and the Galapagos Islands when we were still able to snorkel, climb lots of stairs, etc.) So, if I couldn't travel again, I wouldn't have the huge regrets I would have had in 2014. But we plan to continue doing a major trip every year as long as our health holds out and we can afford it. (After hubby retires, our income will drop somewhat.) We had to cancel Italy and Croatia in 2020, so we are going to Amsterdam and parts of Italy in 3 weeks!!! (Squeeeee! So excited!) I'd still like to go to Croatia and Greece someday (maybe in 2022?); and Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and St. Petersburg; and Indonesia; and Southeast Asia; and other parts of Africa, and, and, and....

There is always a new place to see, and we always find things to love about every destination. But I've made sure to see my "must sees" at least, and I'm glad I did, because I know that my warranty is running out, and every year feels like a gift.

Posted by
765 posts

Just want to add: remind me not to get on a plane or a train with any of you. LOL

Posted by
1257 posts

BigMike-Thanks for sharing those words from the Boss, I love him and the husband can't stand him! Ha

For us it was not age but cancer that brought us to our knees on the limited amount of time we may have as a married couple who always talked of travel and adventures as we raised 5 kids, worked full time and enjoyed our very full lives. We took our first international trip once the husband got his all clear. On that trip we walked, and walked, and climbed and discovered, and took risks, and just figured it all out, all the while holding hands, sharing memories and just basking in each other and our relationship.

That was 13 years ago, two international trips later and now we have very bad backs and knees, and all that walking and climbing is so much harder, we had no idea we would ever feel this way. Even just 5 short years ago I have pictures on the top of Monaco looking down at the Ocean and I know I walked all the way down and had zero knee pain. So the focus now is on health and wellness to be able to travel. We both have longevity on our sides and fully expect to live to be well into our 90's (as long as the C word does not pop up again), but I think our bodies have maybe another 20 years left to travel, and realistically that is only 4 more major trips, maybe 5.

Posted by
1096 posts

I have the Frank Sinatra & Robbie Williams duet version to, "It was a very good year" on my iPhone. I enjoy it a lot.

Posted by
7497 posts

Since we retired we had been spending a month in Europe or Asia every year. Then we decided we had better take two of those trips each year and off we went on many more adventures.
COVID has robbed of us of two years of traveling which makes me very sad.
And we have made a decision not to visit anymore Third world countries , especially independently, due to their lower levels of medical care. If I have to be hospitalized on a trip, I would much rather , for example, be in Amsterdam and not in Cambodia. We have received medical care while traveling and although everything has turned out fine in the end, some of the locations had very sub standard medical care with less than sterile facilities. So we will visit Europe even more as it is safer as far as medical care in addition to loving it there.

Posted by
214 posts

There was a post on this thread at one time that purportedly was from an 85 year old woman who walked 10 miles a day and lifted heavy weights daily etc.
I admit I was curious. Since the post has now disappeared I was wondering why.
As for me at 70 years old I have a trip to Italy and Solvinia in late April into May.
I am a solo traveler;my husband has no interest in going, but gives me his blessing.

Posted by
7 posts

Frank your reply brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. I can see that being the a wonderful choice for the last scene in a movie and never ending love story!!

Posted by
258 posts

We're 73 and 71. We started going to Europe every year 13 years ago. We love to drive and have slowly spiraled out from the big cities because we're not crazy about seeing sights twice. We've done three week drives around Ireland, Great Britain, and France. We've used Ricks books for this and even run into Rick three times. Those were great trips but now we're using other guidebooks to find other areas that are not as well known. So far, that's been fun, too. The only change I see coming is a move to more trains and less cars. 2020 threw a monkey wrench into our once-a-year trips so 2022 will have two.

Posted by
117 posts

Wonderful stories. My wife and I went on a month-long tour of South America to celebrate our 70th birthdays and 50th Anniversary a couple of years ago. It included trips to Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. We were not the oldest on the tour. In addition, we went on a couple of other month-long trips to Europe including Turkey while in our 60s. We are planning a 45-day trip to Italy next year that includes two back-to-back RS tours. We are in pretty good, but not perfect, health at 73. I think we will never stop traveling. It is our passion. We have traveled extensively for decades, and to be honest, we have slowed down a little. One thing we've learned is that we don't have to do everything on a tour's agenda in order to enjoy it fully.

Posted by
13420 posts

Too many that I knew that waited till retirement had some life crisis cut their time short so I started in earnest at 40; I am 64 now.

Paul of the frozen north

Our bucket list:

Bulgaria-Albania-Macedonia Poland-Lithuania-Latvia More Germany More
France Portugal-Spain Circumnavigate the Black Sea (currently not the
best idea)

Bulgaria, Albania, both excellent, and COVID restrictions, now is the time.

Circumnavigate the Black Sea; well avoiding Russia, also this is the time. Turkey is fine, Ukraine is pretty amazing (no place i would rather be on the first warm day in the Spring than Odesa), Moldova is a culture trip worth the effort and you can do it in a night or two out of Odesa (the wine is good too), Bulgaria has some fascinating ancient costal towns, I never made it to the Romanian coast, but Romania in general is pretty sweet, also haven't reached Georgia but maybe this Spring (its about $75 from Budapest on Wizzair).

Go for it before the politics prevent it.