A photo of a happy boomer couple, or solo traveler, accompanies an article about traveling the world. As the story goes, the wanderlusters have sold their belongings and home, said goodbye to routines and are exploring the planet indefinitely. And it’s the ONLY way to travel.
I’m sure you’ve read a story like this. It’s the current hot boomer topic in the media world. When mainstream publishers, like the New York Times, write about a boomer traveler; most of the time it’s some version of “sell everything you own and travel the world.” And the story makes it sound so easy and glamorous.
But what about those of us who don’t want to sell all of our belongings to travel the world indefinitely? Does that make us less worthy boomer travelers? Are we somehow missing the boat?
I have news for you:
It’s okay to keep a home base and travel the world, too.
Before I’m blasted with emails from vagabonding boomers, let me make something perfectly clear:
Selling everything you own to explore the world is a fine way to travel.
I have many boomer traveler friends like David and Veronica of The GypsyNester or Barbara Weibel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel who are living that life. And I love reading about their adventures.
But I need a home base.
One of my greatest travel joys is coming home. It’s where Alan and I savor and process the wonderful memories made on an unforgettable adventure. The giddiness I feel at returning home is the happy bookend to the thrill and excitement that I feel at the beginning of the journey.
And then there’s this:
Who’s going to keep the world running if everyone is traveling full time?
I appreciate the teachers, doctors, lawyers and grocery store clerks — boomers or not — who make my world hum. What would I do without them? What would you do without them?
And being a part of a community adds depth and meaning to our lives — shopping at local stores, swapping stories with neighbors or volunteering for charities. Not to mention the baby boomers who are sacrificing their newfound free time to care for elderly parents or grandchildren. To you I say:
It’s okay to travel in bits and pieces.
Take the time when you can. Go as far as you can. Do as much as you want. Then come home, hug your pets and grandchildren, relax in your favorite chair and savor the journey until next time.
Mainstream media probably isn’t going to write any stories about part-time boomer travelers because our story isn’t glamorous or the current hot topic.
I’m not even sure what to call us. Are we casual travelers, occasional travelers, part-timers, vacationers, explorers or all of the above?
We’re just boomers traveling the way that works best for us.
What do you think? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts. And visit My Itchy Travel Feet often. Use our stories and travel advice to create your own adventures. They’re written with the part-time boomer traveler in mind.