At My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel, Donna L. Hull (she’s the writer) and Alan Hull (he’s the photographer) travel the world recording their experiences with words, photos and videos so that boomers will know exactly what to expect on their next trip. Since May 2008, the Montana couple have reported on active travel adventures covering both international and domestic destinations. How did they get started in the online world of travel reporting? Donna tells the story:
Are you ready for the next adventure?
In the late 1990′s, my 70-something, well-traveled and yet-to-be-in-laws, Kathryn and Dean, made the choice to move to a 3-step retirement facility. When Kathryn grew tired of being cooped up in her new digs, she would say to Dean, “My feet are getting itchy. Take me on a trip.”
In 2000, I married Kathryn and Dean’s son Alan and my travel adventures began in earnest, first with a honeymoon in Hawaii, quickly followed by a 3-week tour of the Western National Parks. Kathryn and Dean actually introduced me to international travel and luxury cruising when they invited us to accompany them on a Baltic Cruise in 2001. The next year, we sailed from Venice to Rome together.
Then, in 2006, Alan and I sailed on a 42-day cruise. To make communicating with family and friends a bit easier, I started an online travel journal. When I began getting comments and questions from people that I didn’t know, I looked around on the web to see what other boomer travel blogs were out there. I couldn’t find any that focused on the type of travel that my friends and I were doing—active and inquisitive travels—and that was when My Itchy Travel Feet was born.
Baby Boomer is More than an Age Range
I write about baby boomer travel: where to go, what to do, and how to do it. I want to go, see and do it all. But before we head out on our next adventure, let’s get clear on what being a baby boomer means—to me, Donna L. Hull, your host and chief navigator here at My Itchy Travel Feet.
“Baby boomer” does describe an age range, technically. The U.S. Census Bureau (and hospitality marketers) defines boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964. But, we are much more than an age range. Boomers are independent; we think of ourselves as special and unique, and have a hard time realizing that we will ever be old. We’re optimistic, positive, hard working and goal oriented. Now that the children are out of the house (or almost), we have more free time and more room in the budget for travel.
Boomers bring energy to their travels. We’re willing to try new activities and embrace new experiences with an open mind. Boomers have a zest for life, both at home and on the road.
Every Boomer’s Travel Style is Different
Although I’m attracted to adventure, I’m also deathly afraid of heights and a bit of a scaredy cat. That makes picking the right active travel experiences challenging, but it feels great to conquer that fear. And, Alan is always there to patiently help me through it. I can’t tell you how many times his strong hand has helped me get beyond a steep part of a hiking path or calmed my nerves on a treacherous 4-wheel-drive-trail.
I like the heady mix of luxury and adventure. I jokingly call myself a travel princess, but it’s really true. I find nature to be inspiring but even more so when there’s a luxurious lodge (or an historic one) with a gourmet dinner and wine waiting for me at the end of the day.
I like challenging myself with an activity that I’ve never done (and might be slightly afraid to do), knowing there’s the safety net of a guide plus comfortable accommodations waiting for me at the end of the adventure.
As for my husband Alan, he’d choose a 4-wheel-drive trail over driving down the interstate in a luxury car. At home, he prefers wearing jeans and driving a truck with a manual transmission. Yet, he enjoys putting on his white dinner jacket for formal night on a luxury cruise. “Seeing the sparkle in Donna’s eyes is worth it,” he says. (Hopeless romantic, anyone?)
One of my favorite travel experiences was watching a pride of lions waking up from an afternoon nap in South Africa’s Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Later, when our safari vehicle pulled up to our accommodations at Ivory Lodge, the staff was waiting with specialty drinks and cold towels.
But that is me. What is adventurous to me might not be adventurous to you. Your ideal boomer vacation is subjective and individual—I’m just here to help you uncover all the options.
Are you ready to discover your sense of adventure?
I’m willing to try most anything at least once. For me, it’s about the experience of trying something new, although I’m realistic enough to know that I’ll never climb Mt. Everest. (Now that’s true adventure.) But, if an adventure is within my capabilities, then I’m going to try it. Alan would go just about anywhere in our jeep—especially if there is a nice glass of wine at the end of a long day.
Having said that, I also enjoy just sitting on the balcony of my cabin on a small ship luxury cruise, taking in the world as it sails by. The combination of personal service and access to places that I might not otherwise see is intoxicating—an adventure of another kind.
How about you, what is your sense of adventure? Are you ready to discover something new?
P.S. Did you know that baby boomers purchase 80% of luxury vacations and adults aged 55 + account for one-third of all trips in the U.S.? Do you represent a PR company, destination or business interested in reaching an audience of active boomer travelers? We can help. Check out our PR and Advertising information.
We’re also available to the media for interviews or as a boomer travel resource.
P.P.S. Looking for Donna’s writing credentials? Check out her clips page.
Scratch YOUR itchy travel feet with our FREE monthly newsletter.