Senior Lifestyles

Senior travel: Why it's worth the effort

Getting older and becoming seniors (whatever that means) results in an increase in some activities while there is a decrease in other activities. The following is dedicated to an activity that is on the increase: travel.

Travel is an activity that seniors are increasingly participating in. Given the expanding amount of discretionary time available, travel has become the No. 1 activity for seniors.

They travel by car, bus, railroad, motor home, ship and plane. They go alone, as a couple, with family, with friends or as part of a tour.

The motivation behind why seniors travel is not the same for everyone. It could be as simple as “getting away” to a different place. Or seeing those places that they’ve studied and read about in school. Maybe it’s a love of museums, artifacts or different cultures. The reasons seniors travel are personal and varied.

Whatever the motivation or reason to travel is, it costs money. And regardless of how well the trip is planned and managed, it costs a lot of money.

Yet when asked “Where’d you go?” experience indicates that after one year, most seniors have difficulty remembering where they’ve been, let alone any of the specific details. So, one might ask: What’s the point? Why go and spend all that money if you can’t remember where you’ve been and the details?

Before answering those two questions, the senior traveler needs to ask the following three questions: Did you enjoy the trip? Did you meet interesting people? Did you learn anything? Let’s leave the specifics out. They are a part of long-term memory. If the answer to any of those three questions is “yes,” then the trip was worthwhile.

As human beings, and in particular, as senior human beings, we are the sum total of all our experiences. We don’t remember them all. We’re like the artists who don’t remember every effort or stroke that went into their final creation. But all their efforts came together to create that final result. As long as we seniors are alive, there is no final result. We will continue to evolve and develop by adding to our experiences. That’s why we travel, and should continue to travel.

Allen Cymrot is a Mountain View senior.

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