I recently wrote an article for REAL (powered by Humana) on traveling with boomer health issues. It got me to thinking. What does a baby boomer traveler do when health or life problems keep them from scratching those itchy travel feet? Actually, Alan and I have been facing a few minor illnesses which have caused us to confront this same problem.
So how do boomer travelers cope when they can’t travel?
Change Your Plans
Alan and I were very disappointed when we had to cancel a sports car excursion to Whitefish, MT with the Big Sky Region of the Porsche Clubs of America because of a temporary health issue. To take the sting out of staying at home, we found another trip to take its place. Later this month, good health willing, we’ll meet members of the Inland Northwest Region for a trip to Nelson, British Columbia.
But what if changing plans isn’t an option? Is your travel curtailed because of duties at home — a job, caring for elderly parents or raising grandchildren? There’s a reason baby boomers are also called the Sandwich Generation.
Play Tourist in Your Hometown
If budget restraints or family obligations are keeping you at home, become a tourist in your hometown. Close your eyes. Now open them with a fresh look at where you live. What sites would you like to visit? Plan a day or two away at a local resort if you can manage it. Or introduce the grandchildren to adventure in your backyard with a nearby hike. If your elderly parent is mobile, visit his favorite museum. Are there ethnic restaurants close by? Experience dinner in another country by dining at one or attend a cultural festival.
Is leaving your house out of the question? Let’s get more creative.
Relive Your Travels
Remember all of those photos you’ve stashed in shoe boxes, or on computer files? Raising my hand here. Now’s the time to arrange them in scrapbooks or create photo books with digital photos on sites like Snapfish, Blurb or Kodak Gallery. This could be a fun multi-generation project with the grandchild who’s now living with you. Or did you take a trip with your mom? Bring out the scrapbook to relive happy memories with her. Do you have a way with words? Why not write about your favorite trip?
Watch a Movie
Is there a film that reminds you of a favorite destination? Or perhaps you’d rather view one about a location that you’ve longed to visit. Since a trip to Antarctica is high on my baby boomer list, I’ll be watching March of the Penguins. For more travel movie ideas, check out Reel Life With Jane where family film critic, Jane Boursaw, reviews movies and television shows. And, boomers can always find travel fun on the National Geographic Channel or the Travel Channel.
Read a Travel Adventure
Another way to travel vicariously is with a good book. Vera Marie Badertscher reviews books and movies that inspire travel at A Traveler’s Library, so you’ll want to check out her recommendations. For me, I enjoy reading books about adventures that I’ll probably never accomplish — like hiking to the top of Mt. Everest. I don’t know what it is about the Himalayas that attract me. And there’s no realistic way that this boomer travel princess who’s afraid of heights will even reach base camp, especially after seeing photos of the swinging suspension bridges in The Planet D blog post about hiking to Everest Base Camp. I’ll satisfy my inner Mt. Everest adventurer by reading Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by John Kraukaer. Would you rather read your travel adventure online? Barbara Weibel at Hole in the Donut writes riveting tales about cultural travel.
So there you have it — how to scratch those itchy travel feet when taking a trip isn’t possible. Would you like to add to the list? Post a comment to share your stay-at-home travel tip. I may be taking cough syrup but I’m turning it into lemonade (as suggested by Vera Marie Baderstcher).
I have included an Amazon Link to March of the Penguins and Into Thin Air for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at Amazon.com.