As an older woman, retirement should be a wonderful time to do exciting things with your new-found freedom. A considerable part of your life may have involved taking care of your kids and spouse and focusing on your career, leaving very little ‘you’ time. Finally, that time is here. This is the next exciting chapter of your life.
According to the Center for Disease Prevention (CDC), the average 65-year-old woman can expect to live for 19.3 more years. This lifespan is longer than in previous years, with healthy nutrition, and proper exercise you can really enjoy your hay days.
According to a study conducted on seniors, older people want to do more than fill in time during their retirement; they yearn fulfillment and purpose. This need can be fulfilled through volunteering, taking up a new challenging job, a new relationship or reviving a hobby.
This study termed these activities as ‘serious leisure.’ They helped seniors stay busy, make new friends and enjoy their lives. Traveling is one of the fulfilling and exciting activities that you can explore during this time.
There is a fourth-century quote by Saint Augustine that goes, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should travel without a travel companion.
You Deserve This
“You, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection,’’ Buddha. As women, during the course of our lives, we give so much of ourselves. Our time, our resources, we sacrifice our wants and aspirations for the sake of our children and so on.
This is a great time to put yourself first and splurge a bit. Go on that trip you have always wanted to go and don’t worry so much about people back home; you can always call them to see that they are fine.
Go dancing at the beach and wake up really late the next day to room service, have a drink during the day with your new-found friends, go to the spa, indulge in some pasta and pizza without worrying about those calories that would have kept you away from those tasty dishes when you were younger.
Connecting with New People
If you go on tours through a travel club, this is an opportunity to meet and connect with older people who share similar interests with you. If, say you decide to go for a woman only trip, think about all those fellow single women you will get to meet and the shared experiences.
Shared experiences are powerful and healing in that they help us feel less alone. Some people prefer the all-inclusive vacation. However, in the event you plan to go on a trip where you volunteer, you will meet people who share your values on giving and sacrifice. This may lead to significant, long-lasting friendships.
One traveler, Ms. Cole, said that looking back, she wished she had not been so nervous in the beginning and that the most memorable things were the friendships formed. She still keeps in touch with her travel companions on Facebook and meets with those she connected the most.
Fuels Your Purpose
One of the ways to enhance the quality of your life is to stay purposeful. Travel is a way to do this, whether you are fulfilling a childhood dream to go to Italy on a food and wine trip or whether you are helping women in Africa learn to be economically independent, it is deeply fulfilling and liberating.
The great thing about volunteering, for instance, is that it makes you focus less on your own hardships, hence keeping you happy and grateful. In a world of great need, the skills you have acquired through the years can be instrumental.
New experiences are fun and exciting and even a little scary. You are guaranteed to enjoy them. As you interact with different people and their cultures, you will get to understand them and truly appreciate them. This is a very eye-opening affair. You also get to experience different food, drinks, and weather—what a treat!
All travel experiences are different that’s what makes it so interesting. Your choices are not limited; instead, you have quite a lot to pick from. You could go to an island, ice-skating, a cruise in the ocean, or exploring the wild. With such a wealth of choices, you are bound to find something that excites you.
You can opt for a low budget trip or a more extravagant one depending on your financial state, either way; you experience something new and interesting.
Love May Find You
If you are still searching for it, it is never too late to find love. Older women have been known to find love later in their life. The man to enjoy these fun exciting years of your life may be on the next trip; he may sit next to you on the plane or volunteer with you. Open yourself up to these opportunities.
What Could Be Holding You Back From Traveling?
You may be afraid to go into the unknown and try a new experience. This is normal, but you must push through the fear and do it anyway, you will be glad you did.
If your concern is related to your finances, you can look for an alternative way of raising the money instead of dipping into your retirement pond. Besides, there is always the option of a low-budget trip, and you can research on this and see which one suits you.
Being a single person, you may be afraid of feeling lonely when you travel alone. One traveler said that there was nothing worse than being alone and lonely in an expensive couple-oriented resort. Many single women are afraid of traveling solo.
The Good News
If you are being held back from traveling, there is plenty of good news for you.
Increase in Solo Travelers
The idea of traveling alone has become increasingly popular. According to the 2015 Visa Travel Intentions Study, about 24 percent people had traveled alone on their most recent trips up from 15 percent in 2013.
40 percent of the solo travelers were female. Traditionally, a solo traveler has been single and searching. These days, it’s just as likely for them to be married or in a committed relationship.
According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), over 80 percent of people aged 45 and older, who have taken a trip alone plan to make another one within the next year. If you are a single woman traveling alone, you can rest assured that you will come across many solo travelers.
Special Packages for Solo Travelers
With solo travel gaining popularity, companies are now tailoring their services to suit them. Cruise ships are adding more cabins for people traveling alone; they are also doing away with single supplements.
Tom Harper River Journeys which is a river cruise company based near Boston, said that, in 2016, they would introduce a ship with French balconies and supplement free staterooms for solo travelers. Holland America had planned to add 12 new ocean view cabins for single travelers.
Cynthia Anderson, who co-owns a travel agency, said that solo travel and women-only-travel was growing fast and that it had come as a surprise to them. This is good news for you as a single woman looking to travel alone.
Some travel agencies focus mainly on women, enabling them to enjoy travel tailored for them. A good example is Gutsy Women, which is run by April Merenda, the president and co-founder. She explains that, for single women travelers, traveling among couples feels like being a fifth wheel and is unpleasant.
Women like variety in their experiences and bonding with fellow women while couples prefer resorts and tend to stick to a single location. April understands the needs of women and her services are aimed towards fulfilling these needs.
She stresses more than anything that travel for women is about being courageous enough to put yourself first, refresh and rejuvenate your body and spirit while exploring fascinating destinations with like-minded women.
The Woman Network also comes highly recommended and receives excellent reviews. This is a full-service travel company that specializes in travel for women and is based in Toronto, Canada. It’s founder is Debbie, and she fully understands the needs of other women.
Women travel ranges from single, divorced, or married but traveling alone; however, women enjoy the security and closeness of a group. They tend to have common interests and form friendships that last a long time.
You can explore this dynamic form of traveling in a group of other single women. Do your research and see what works for your travel needs.
Tips for Traveling Solo
- Pick a quality travel agency that has a good track record to book your trip.
- Do thorough research on travel agents and tour agencies. Seek recommendations from friends who have traveled and read up customer reviews on the Internet.
- While comparing trip prices, be sure to be comparing trips of the same quality.
- Consider small groups traveling for their security and a travel director who is ready to assist you.
- For safety purposes, ask the hotel clerk to write down your room number instead of verbally announcing it. You can check your room number once you are on the lift.
- Join a group that interests you, such as a women-only travel or health and fitness or community service. This way you will be with like-minded individuals, you will be fulfilling your dream, and you will not feel out of place.
- Do not put off your dreams to travel because you are single, join other like-minded women and have a good time.
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Traveling is one of the most fulfilling and exciting activities that you can explore later in life.
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