In the quest for a meaningful life, consider a variety of worthwhile adventures that focus on broadening your perspective toward the aging process. A trip to Greece or Andorra may be the inspiration you need to coax a healthier lifestyle approach.
Speaking of Greece, consider adapting a philosophic approach to discovering authentic ways of aging. In the book, Travels with Epicurus, author Daniel Klein gives us an overview of some famous Greek philosophers’ thoughts on aging, while injecting some of his own insights. Klein states that “old age is a privilege to be savored, rather than a disease to be cured or a condition to be denied.”
Plato surmised that “Life should be lived like a play”…since…“Man is God’s plaything.” Klein sums up the criteria necessary to craft a meaningful old age and agrees with Plato about not taking life too seriously, but also feels it is important to reflect on your life and realize the value of your own history. He also cites benefits from the enjoyment of spending quality time with family, and unplugging the clock to overcome the fear of running out of time, as helpful ways to live out a meaningful life.
If you would rather not venture too far from home, revel in the excitement of spontaneous adventures where you and a loved one or a couple of close friends pack an overnight bag and hit the road on a quest to hear a good blues band. Adventures that are pre-planned can be just as enjoyable, with stopping points that appeal to your particular interest, such as Civil War landmarks and re-enactments or celestial stargazing events. Take advantage of online search engines to connect with others that enjoy the same interests and by joining local and regional clubs.
Plan a trip to the mountains since high altitudes promote long life. A study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found the top 20 counties with the highest life expectancy were in Colorado and Utah with an average mean elevation of 5,967 feet above sea level. Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and the study suggests those genes may change the way heart muscles function. New blood vessels form as a result of lower oxygen levels, which creates new pathways for blood flow into the heart. If living in a lower oxygen environment that prevails in high altitudes helps reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, it could lead the way to new clinical treatments that address those conditions.
Extreme challenges, such as snow skiing and mountain-climbing are worthy activities for high altitudes. If you’re new to the sport, seek out a qualified instructor and get your doctor’s approval first. Stretch the boundaries beyond your usual comfort zone to explore your potential wanderlust. Consider signing up with a travel companion or two for a cruise or destination catering to senior citizens to enjoy the perks of traveling with your peers. Explore the benefit of rejuvenation by scheduling a trip to a luxury spa or retreat which caters to your specific interests, such as herbal wraps, a Mediterranean diet menu, and detoxifying body treatments.
Adventure is all about excitement. A cross-country train trip or leisurely camping excursion might be just the ticket for keeping pace, yet slightly removed from the mainstream population. Buddy-up with a close relative or good friend or consider joining a travel club, such as Eldertreks, to spread your wings even further.
Travel can be expensive – or not! Depending on the specifics of your travel plans, costs associated with wanderlust can be minimized by planning ahead. US News and World Report offers these tips for affordable travel that can apply to retirees or anyone that is hoping to travel economically.
Travel like an old pro: slow. Retirees have more time to plan and shop around to take advantage of off-season discounts and travel dates that have lower fare prices and fewer crowds, such as cruises and sight-seeing tours.
Shop around for discounts and deals. Seniors can benefit from extra discounts that may not be publicized regularly. Sign up for email alerts to receive information on the latest travel deals from your preferred airlines and hotels and take advantage of free air mile offers. Let your fingers to the research to get your best deals.
Consider taking a full-time job with travel options. Search for a consulting job that sends you packing. Take advantage of the travel costs incurred by the company and extend the trip to explore new sites and nearby attractions.
Seniors have specific criteria when it comes to traveling. Here are a few general safety travel tips for Retirees from the Retirement Cafe:
- Leave the good jewelry at home.
- Confirm your travel plans and reservations before leaving home.
- Put your address both inside and outside of your luggage.
- Scrutinize hotel and restaurant bills, especially when traveling.
- Keep valuable documents and items inside carry-on luggage and in your possession.
- Opt for less-expensive luggage to downplay your social or financial status, especially when travelling abroad.
- Regardless of how far you go, the degree to which your next trek turns out to be pleasurable, adventurous, and satisfying will depend on how well you plan your trip.
- The quality of your journey will also depend on your ability to be spontaneous and how well you are able to maintain a positive attitude throughout.
Travel is a great way to re-ignite your inner-spark and expand your horizons. Seeing new places, learning about other cultures, and meeting new people opens your mind to possibilities. The splendor of exploring one-of-a-kind places like the Grand Canyon or going on a European railway adventure can enhance your life with a fresh thirst for adventure.