Celebrating My Itchy Travel Feet’s 9th anniversary on the Internet has reminded me about the fun boomer adventure I’ve experienced since first hitting the publish button in May 2008. I recently shared my travel experiences in an article at Boomer Café, which the kind folks have allowed me to republish here for you.
Trying new activities, even the scary ones, has greatly enriched my life. And I’m especially thankful to Alan who constantly encourages me plus lends a helping hand on steep mountain trails. I hope that reading the rest of “A baby boomer who is always looking for new adventures” will inspire you to try something new.
Boomer Adventure #1: Paddleboarding on Maui
“Don’t bend your knees,” the instructor called out during my first-ever paddle-boarding lesson in Maui. Legs shaking, I stood upright on the board for the third time that day. Determined not to fall off, I quickly sat back down. Truth be known, most of my paddle-boarding session was spent taking in the beauty of a calm Maui morning from a seated position on the board.
But did I mention the exhilaration I felt from trying something new?
Since this scaredy-cat, afraid-of-heights boomer turned 50, I’ve tried a lot of new experiences while traveling—some have become favorite hobbies while others were one-offs. But the confidence and zest for life that I’ve gained from trying a new activity on a trip are the real paybacks.
Boomer Adventure #2: Hiking 30 Miles in Glacier National Park
I hiked 30 miles on a five-day tour exploring Glacier National Park trails. Preparing for the adventure by walking repeatedly up and down the biggest hill that I could find near my home helped with the conditioning. There was no way that I was going to be the one huffing and puffing holding up the group’s progress. My knees were talking to me by the end of the tour but I was oh-so-proud of myself.
And did I mention the satisfaction that comes from reaching a goal?
Boomer Adventure #3: Swimming with Stingrays in Moorea
On a swimming with stingrays cruise excursion in Moorea, stingrays lazily floated around me in the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. The guide held one so that I could timidly touch its silky smooth skin. I smiled. A stingray grazed by my legs as it swam through the water. I giggled. Another bumped into my chest looking for a fish handout. I laughed out loud.
And did I mention the joy that comes from trying something you weren’t so sure about?
Boomer Adventure #4: Four-wheeling in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains
Four wheeling in Colorado’s San Juan mountains, I stepped on the invisible brake located on the passenger side of our vehicle—ladies, you know the one I’m talking about—as Alan negotiated a rocky trail with the steepest drop-off that I’ve ever seen. Topping the hill, we were rewarded with a meadow of yellow flowers surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks.
And did I mention the satisfaction I felt from overcoming my fear of heights?
If you’re thinking, “I could never do that.” I’m here to say, “Oh, yes you can.” I’m not a hard-core adventurer or super athlete. The base camp at Mt. Everest will never be blessed with my presence. Have you seen those rickety swinging bridges across deep gorges on the trail to base camp?
I’ve given my boomer self permission to try new activities. Sure, I’m afraid sometimes, but I do it anyway, unless the adventure’s totally dangerous. Hey, I might be growing older but I’m not a fool.
So jump into the water, hit the trail or go hang gliding with a hunky Swiss instructor. Experience the exhilaration and confidence of trying something new on a boomer adventure. Check out more of my favorite active travel ideas for inspiration.